21 days in Costa Rica & Samara Itinerary

21 days in Costa Rica & Samara Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Costa Rica & Samara Itinerary

Start: Montreal, Canada
Fly:  8​h 45​min
1
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Bus + Taxi:  2​h 45​min
2
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
3
Cahuita, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
4
Guapiles, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
6
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
7
Quepos, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Ferry:  4​h
8
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
9
Playa Samara, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
10
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Fly + Taxi:  1​h 45​min
11
Poas Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  25​h
12
Samara, Russia
— 4 nights
Fly:  22​h 15​min
End: Montreal, Canada

1
night
San Jose, Costa Rica

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.
On the 22nd (Wed), take a memorable drive along Top Travel Costa Rica, view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the San Jose road trip planning app .

Montreal, Canada to San Jose is an approximately 9-hour flight. You can also drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Montreal to San Jose. July in San Jose sees daily highs of 31°C and lows of 22°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Jul 21 — 22:
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Top Travel Costa Rica ©
Top Travel Costa Rica
River Rafting & Tubing
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu

1
night
Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Tortuguero ©
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 23rd (Thu), paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

To see photos, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Tortuguero trip itinerary builder tool .

Traveling by combination of bus and taxi from San Jose to Tortuguero takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Traveling from San Jose in July, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Tortuguero, with lows around 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) to allow time to drive to Cahuita.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Adventure
Find places to stay Jul 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing

1
night
Cahuita, Costa Rica

Cahuita ©
With its dusty streets and simple (read affordable) lodgings, Cahuita bustles as a hub of backpacker tourism in southeastern Costa Rica.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Cocles, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Tarantulas Way, and then admire the natural beauty at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens.

Before you visit Cahuita, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

You can drive from Tortuguero to Cahuita in 4 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in July, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can travel to Guapiles.

Things to do in Cahuita

Parks Wildlife Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Cocles
Find places to stay Jul 23 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles

1
night
Guapiles, Costa Rica

Guapiles ©
On the 25th (Sat), admire the natural beauty at Caribbean Botanical Garden and then get outside with La Danta Salvaje.

For more things to do, reviews, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Guapiles trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Cahuita to Guapiles takes 2.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in July, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sat) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Guapiles

Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Caribbean Botanical Garden
Find places to stay Jul 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
La Danta Salvaje ©
La Danta Salvaje
Caribbean Botanical Garden ©
Caribbean Botanical Garden

2
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

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.
On the 26th (Sun), take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs and then trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park. On the 27th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see exotic creatures in open habitats at a safari tour and then take a memorable tour with Tours.

To find where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos itinerary planner.

You can drive from Guapiles to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 2 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Mon) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Jul 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Safaris
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

1
night
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Tue): admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and then trot along with a tour on horseback.

For maps, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Monteverde tour itinerary planning tool .

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) so you can go by car to Quepos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Jul 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Horseback Riding Tours
The Bat Jungle ©
The Bat Jungle

2
nights
Quepos, Costa Rica

Quepos ©
The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Wed): stroll through Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and then kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio. On the next day, zoom along the surf with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure, look for gifts at Altair Souvenir & Gallery Shop, then fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, then get the lay of the land with Walking tours, and finally stroll around Parque Nahomi.

To see other places to visit and other tourist information, read our Quepos online day trip planner .

You can drive from Monteverde to Quepos in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) to allow time to ride a ferry to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Quepos

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Manuel Antonio, Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Find places to stay Jul 28 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Walking tours

1
night
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Santa Teresa ©
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.
On the 31st (Fri), indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, then kick back and relax at Playa Carmen, and then find your balance on the water with categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_best_stand_up_paddleboarding_in_the_area.

To find more things to do and tourist information, refer to the Santa Teresa travel planning app .

You can ride a ferry from Quepos to Santa Teresa in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Jul 30 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Carmen ©
Playa Carmen
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Spas

1
night
Playa Samara, Costa Rica

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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Sat): admire the sheer force of Belen Waterfall, then take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, and then get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To find traveler tips, maps, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Playa Samara trip planner.

You can drive from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Sat) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Wildlife Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 31 — Aug 1:
Highlights from your plan
Horseback Riding Tours
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Belen Waterfall ©
Belen Waterfall

2
nights
Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Start off your visit on the 2nd (Sun): tour the pleasant surroundings at Monkey Park, explore the activities along Potrero Beach, and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Keep things going the next day: take a memorable tour with Tours, see Off-Road Tours, and then look for gifts at Buena Nena.

For more things to do, traveler tips, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo travel route site .

You can drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) so you can travel to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Playa Flamingo, Potrero Beach
Find places to stay Aug 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Off-Road Tours

1
night
Poas Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Poas Volcano National Park
Start off your visit on the 4th (Tue): stroll through La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens, look for gifts at Souvenir Muy Tranquilo, and then get impressive views of Poas Volcano.

To see where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Poas Volcano National Park tour builder tool .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Tamarindo to Poas Volcano National Park in 2 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) early enough to travel to Samara.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens, Souvenir Muy Tranquilo
Find places to stay Aug 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo ©
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo

4
nights
Samara, Russia

Samara ©
A city rich in cultural and architectural heritage, Samara sits at the confluence of the Volga and Samara Rivers, its backdrop the wooded Zhiguli Mountains.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Samara Embankment and Chapaev monument. Escape the urban bustle at Kin. Up and Italian Beach. Explore Samara's surroundings by going to Tolyatti (Park Complex of Equipment History Named After K.G. Sakharov & Monument to Saint Nicholas). There's still lots to do: get in on the family fun at Galileo Park, pause for some photo ops at Monument to Grigoriy Zasekin, get to know the resident critters at Samara Zoo, and see the interesting displays at Modernist Style Museum.

To find photos, maps, topicsMoreInfo.option.ratings, and more tourist information, use the Samara route tool .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Poas Volcano National Park to Samara. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time to Samara Time, which is usually a 10 hour difference. In August in Samara, expect temperatures between 31°C during the day and 17°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Mon) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Samara

Parks Museums Beaches

Side Trip

Tolyatti
Find places to stay Aug 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Galileo Park ©
Galileo Park
Chapaev monument ©
Chapaev monument

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