20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

20 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America trip planner

Make it your trip
Drive
1
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 1 night
Drive
3
Monteverde
— 1 night
Drive
4
Jaco
— 1 night
Drive
5
Uvita
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Quepos
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Fly
8
Poas Volcano National Park
— 1 night
Drive
9
Chachagua
— 1 night
Drive
10
El Castillo
— 1 night
Drive
11
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
Shuttle
12
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive

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1

Tortuguero

— 1 night

Costa Rica's Amazon

One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
On the 12th (Sun), learn more about the world around you at Sea Turtle Conservancy and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

To see photos, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Tortuguero online trip itinerary maker.

San Jose to Tortuguero is an approximately 3-hour car ride. You can also do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from San Jose in July, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be a bit warmer in Tortuguero, with lows of 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature · Museums
Find places to stay Jul 11 — 12:

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 1 night
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.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Mon): experience rural life at Finca Loma Verde and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs.

For maps, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Spas
Find places to stay Jul 12 — 13:
Highlights from your trip

Monteverde

— 1 night
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Tue): stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, then get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle, and then take in the exciting artwork at Alas y Raices.

For traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Monteverde trip itinerary maker website.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Shopping · Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Jul 13 — 14:

Jaco

— 1 night
A seaside resort town with plenty of entertaining distractions along its attractive coastline, Jaco has long been a major tourist destination on the central Pacific coast.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Wed): take a memorable tour with Tours and then get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour.

For photos, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Jaco road trip website.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Jaco takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) so you can go by car to Uvita.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Tours
Find places to stay Jul 14 — 15:

Uvita

— 2 nights
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.
On the 16th (Thu), get interesting insight from Tours, then stroll through Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers. Keep things going the next day: admire the sheer force of Uvita Waterfall and then explore the striking landscape of Parque Nacional Marino Ballena.

For ratings, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Uvita planner.

Drive from Jaco to Uvita in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Quepos.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors · Parks · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jul 15 — 17:

Quepos

— 3 nights
The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Sat): get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports and then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports. On the 19th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stop by Altair Souvenir & Gallery Shop, then take a memorable tour with Tours, then walk around Parque Nahomi, and finally get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To see reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Quepos road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Uvita to Quepos takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Mon) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Quepos

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure
Find places to stay Jul 17 — 20:

Tamarindo

— 2 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Mon): find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Monkey Park, and then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, and then kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read Tamarindo trip itinerary tool.

You can drive from Quepos to Tamarindo in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can travel to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jul 20 — 22:

Poas Volcano National Park

— 1 night
A trip to Poas Volcano National Park allows you to see one of the world's largest craters, trek through a lush rainforest, and visit a coffee plantation all on the same day.
On the 22nd (Wed), admire the sheer force of La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens, join in the after-dark buzz at Souvenir Muy Tranquilo, and then contemplate the geological forces at Poas Volcano.

To find photos, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Poas Volcano National Park online travel route planner.

You can fly from Tamarindo to Poas Volcano National Park in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to travel to Chachagua.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Nightlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jul 22 — 23:

Chachagua

— 1 night
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): experience rural life at Finca Luna Nueva.

To see ratings, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Chachagua road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Poas Volcano National Park to Chachagua takes 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) to allow time to travel to El Castillo.
Find places to stay Jul 23 — 24:
Highlights from your trip

El Castillo

— 1 night
Start off your visit on the 24th (Fri): explore the fascinating underground world of Venado Caves and then get impressive views of Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano). On the next day, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Arenal Eco Zoo and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Butterfly Conservatory.

To see traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, read El Castillo road trip website.

Drive from Chachagua to El Castillo in an hour. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in El Castillo

Parks · Nature · Zoos & Aquariums · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jul 24 — 25:

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 3 nights
Start off your visit on the 25th (Sat): admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall. On the 26th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Baldi Hot Springs.

To see reviews, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos vacation maker.

Traveling by car from El Castillo to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes an hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can take a shuttle to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jul 25 — 28:

Santa Teresa

— 2 nights
A coastal getaway popular with surfers and young travelers, Santa Teresa spreads out from the beach and the main coastal road to a ring of newer developments on the surrounding hills.
Explore Santa Teresa's surroundings by going to Tortuga Island (in Puntarenas) and Montezuma (Horseback Riding Tours & Montezuma Falls). There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa, find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, and take in the exciting artwork at Bri'ah Art Gallery.

To find other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Santa Teresa trip planner.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Santa Teresa by shuttle takes about 6 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) so you can drive back home.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jul 28 — 30:

Costa Rica travel guide

4.5
Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.

Arenal Volcano National Park travel guide

4.4
Hot Springs · Waterfalls · River Rafting & Tubing
Plan a tour of Arenal Volcano National Park to get in touch with nature, enjoy scenic views, and admire the majestic volcano up close. The park, established in 1991, protects a variety of ecosystems and wildlife. You can choose from four hiking trails, taking you across the rainforest and lava fields. Enjoy scenic lookout points, see a staggering variety of birds and plants, or climb the dormant Mount Chato on your trip to Arenal Volcano National Park.

Province of Puntarenas travel guide

4.4
Beaches · Zipline · Nightlife