51 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

51 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica tour builder

Plan created by another user. Make it yours

Route & dates

1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 7 nights
2
Vara Blanca
— 2 nights
3
San Jose
— 5 nights
4
Tortuguero
— 1 night
5
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 5 nights
6
Drake Bay
— 3 nights
7
Uvita
— 5 nights
8
Manuel Antonio
— 5 nights
9
Monteverde
— 5 nights
10
Playa Samara
— 5 nights
11
Tamarindo
— 6 nights

7
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos

Set against the backdrop of the imposing Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna de San Carlos offers visitors a chance to explore diverse natural landscapes and sample some delicious local produce.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, take in the views from Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park, get impressive views of Arenal Volcano, and see Off-Road Tours.

For photos, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos attractions planner.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 16.5-hour combination of flight and shuttle. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 7 hours traveling from Amsterdam to La Fortuna de San Carlos. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Vara Blanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Sep 11 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

2
nights
Vara Blanca

Vara Blanca
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Sat): admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz and then explore the striking landscape of Poas Volcano. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 20th (Sun): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Tirimbina Biological Reserve.

For where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Vara Blanca road trip site.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Vara Blanca in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Sun) early enough to go by car to San Jose.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks · Nature · Adventure

Side Trips

La Virgen, Poas Volcano
Find places to stay Sep 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Tirimbina Biological Reserve ©
Tirimbina Biological Reserve
Kayaking & Canoeing

5
nights
San Jose

San Jose ©
A trip to San Jose, the capital, commercial center, and cultural hub of Costa Rica, gives you a chance to experience the lively atmosphere and rich cultural past of this vibrant country.
Change things up with these side-trips from San Jose: Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center (in Alajuela), Toucan Rescue Ranch (in San Isidro) and Cartago (Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles & Jardin Botanico Lankester). And it doesn't end there: contemplate the geological forces at Irazu Volcano National Park, stop by J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, capture your vacation like a pro with an inspiring photography tour, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia La Soledad.

To find photos, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, read San Jose vacation planning website.

Drive from Vara Blanca to San Jose in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In September, daily temperatures in San Jose can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums · Parks · Tours

Side Trips

Cartago, Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center, J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, Irazu Volcano National Park, Toucan Rescue Ranch
Find places to stay Sep 20 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano National Park
Central Bank (Banco Central) ©
Central Bank (Banco Central)

1
night
Tortuguero

Tortuguero ©
One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Sat): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

For reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read Tortuguero road trip planner.

You can drive from San Jose to Tortuguero in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. Traveling from San Jose in September, expect a bit warmer with lows of 26°C in Tortuguero. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sat) early enough to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature · Adventure
Find places to stay Sep 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing

5
nights
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a wealth of entertainment by the sea, attracting a lively international crowd of revelers while maintaining a bright and breezy coastal charm with a local feel.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is known for wildlife, beaches, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, stroll through La Ceiba, enjoy the sand and surf at Puerto Viejo Beach, and get your game on at Yesland Mini Golf.

For more things to do, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary maker tool.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) so you can go by car to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

Cahuita, Nature Observatorio, Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge
Find places to stay Sep 26 — Oct 1:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
Nature Observatorio ©
Nature Observatorio

3
nights
Drake Bay

Drake Bay ©
Step out of Drake Bay to go to Carate and see Corcovado National Park, which is approximately 1h 10 min away. Spend a day of island exploring on the 4th (Sun) at Cano Island.

For other places to visit, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Drake Bay journey planner.

Getting from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Drake Bay by car takes about 8 hours. Other options: do a combination of shuttle and bus; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Parks · Wildlife · Nature

Side Trip

Corcovado National Park
Find places to stay Oct 1 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Corcovado National Park ©
Corcovado National Park
Cano Island ©
Cano Island
Dolphin & Whale Watching

5
nights
Uvita

Uvita ©
Ideal for visitors looking to escape Costa Rica's busy beaches, Uvita offers a serene atmosphere and plenty of uncrowded sand for a leisurely vacation.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Uvita: Kokopelli (in Sierpe) and San Buenas Golf Resort and Spa (in Ciudad Cortes). The adventure continues: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Parque Nacional Marino Ballena, explore by horseback at Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, take a memorable tour with Tours, and find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area.

To find more things to do, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, read our Uvita vacation maker app.

Traveling by car from Drake Bay to Uvita takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trips

Dominical, Kokopelli, San Buenas Golf Resort and Spa, Nauyaca Waterfalls Nature Park
Find places to stay Oct 5 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge ©
Parque Nacional Marino Ballena ©
Parque Nacional Marino Ballena
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary

5
nights
Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio ©
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Manuel Antonio: Jaco (Costa Rica SUP'ers, Canyoning & Rappelling Tours, &more). There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio, stroll around Parque Nahomi, stop by Altair Souvenir & Gallery Shop, and get interesting insight from Tours.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio trip maker tool.

You can drive from Uvita to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Parks

Side Trips

Quepos, Jaco
Find places to stay Oct 10 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Zipline
Nature & Wildlife Tours

5
nights
Monteverde

Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Change things up with a short trip to Piedra de Fuego in Esparza (about 1h 30 min away). Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, admire the masterpieces at Chorotega Arts & Crafts, take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and delve into the lush surroundings at Curi Cancha Reserve.

For reviews, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read our Monteverde trip itinerary planning site.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Piedra de Fuego
Find places to stay Oct 15 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Monteverde Orchid Garden ©
Monteverde Orchid Garden

5
nights
Playa Samara

Playa Samara ©
A beach town with just enough development to be comfortable for families accustomed to the trappings of modern life, Playa Samara has the resorts you'd expect to find in such a scenic area, but they don't hinder the relaxing atmosphere.
Explore Playa Samara's surroundings by going to Nosara (Nosara Refuge for Wildlife, MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY, &more), Playa Islita (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste) and Jungle Butterfly Farm (in Nandayure). There's lots more to do: kick back and relax at Barrigona Beach, admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall, tour the pleasant surroundings at Samara Beach, and explore the wealth of natural beauty at Barra Honda National Park.

For other places to visit, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, use the Playa Samara travel planning site.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Playa Samara takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors

Side Trips

Nosara, Barra Honda National Park, Playa Islita, Jungle Butterfly Farm
Find places to stay Oct 20 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife ©
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach
Barra Honda National Park ©
Barra Honda National Park

6
nights
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Get out of town with these interesting Tamarindo side-trips: Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (Four Seasons Golf Club & Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands), Playa Nacascolo (in Gulf of Papagayo) and Playa Conchal (Garra de Leon Golf Course & Playa Conchal). There's still lots to do: get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, look for gifts at Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa, enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, and stroll through Playa Hermosa.

To see traveler tips, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo vacation planner.

Getting from Playa Samara to Tamarindo by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches

Side Trips

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Playa Conchal, Playa Hermosa, Playa Nacascolo, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Find places to stay Oct 25 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Boat Tours & Water Sports

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