31 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

31 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica sightseeing planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
San Jose
— 3 nights
Bus
2
Quepos
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Uvita
— 5 nights
Drive
4
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive
6
Tamarindo
— 5 nights
Drive
7
Monteverde
— 5 nights
Taxi to Atenas, Fly to London Gatwick

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San Jose

— 3 nights
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.
Bring the kids along to Frogs Heaven and Museo de los Ninos. Discover out-of-the-way places like River Rafting & Tubing and La Paz Waterfall and Peace Lodge Gardens. Go for a jaunt from San Jose to Cartago to see Ruins of the Church of Carthage about 46 minutes away. There's much more to do: tour in harmony with nature at Top Travel Costa Rica, take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, and admire the verdant scenery at Orosi River Valley ( El Valle del Rio Orosi ).

For maps, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our San Jose trip itinerary maker app.

London, UK to San Jose is an approximately 15-hour flight. Traveling from London to San Jose, you'll gain 6 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from London in August, things will get somewhat warmer in San Jose: highs are around 32°C and lows about 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) so you can take a bus to Quepos.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Aug 1 — 4:

Quepos

— 4 nights
The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
Discover out-of-the-way places like River Rafting & Tubing and Horseback Riding Tours. Kids will appreciate attractions like Walking tours and Playa Manuel Antonio. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Quepos: Jaco (Fruity Monkey Poop, Off-Road Tours, &more) and Palo Seco Beach (in Parrita). There's much more to do: indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, take a leisurely stroll along Marina Pez Vela, and see human ingenuity at work at Isla Damas.

To see photos, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Quepos online itinerary planner.

Getting from San Jose to Quepos by bus takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Quepos

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Aug 4 — 8:

Uvita

— 5 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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and Uvita Beach. Family-friendly places like Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge and Playa Ventanas will thrill your kids. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Uvita: Nature & Wildlife Tours (in Ballena) and Kokopelli (in Sierpe). The adventure continues: paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour, view the masterpieces at Magic Ananda, scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and stop by Discount Liquor Wine & Cigars.

For maps, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read Uvita trip planner.

Traveling by car from Quepos to Uvita takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Aug 8 — 13:

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

— 3 nights

Walaba

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.
Bring the kids along to Nature Observatorio and Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens. Explore hidden gems such as Punta Uva Beach and La Ceiba. Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Playa Cocles, take in nature's colorful creations at Finca La Isla, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

For other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca online itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Uvita to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Aug 13 — 16:

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 5 nights
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.
Family-friendly places like River Rafting & Tubing and Off-Road Tours will thrill your kids. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Venado Caves and Butterfly Conservatory. Spend the 20th (Fri) spotting exotic species with a safari tour. Next up on the itinerary: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, trek along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica, and get engrossed in the history at ChocoMuseo La Fortuna.

To see other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

Drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Aug 16 — 21:

Tamarindo

— 5 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Adrenaline & Extreme Tours and San Juanillo Beach. You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates and Tio Leo Coffee Tour. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tamarindo: Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste) and Potrero Beach (in Playa Potrero). There's much more to do: take a memorable tour with Tours, step aboard Kingpin Sportfishing, enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, and stop by Papaya Con Leche.

To find photos, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Tamarindo day trip planner.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Aug 21 — 26:

Monteverde

— 5 nights
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Explore hidden gems such as El Trapiche Tour and Nature & Wildlife Tours. You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas) and Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery. There's still lots to do: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle, take a peaceful walk through Children's Eternal Rain Forest, and trot along with a tour on horseback.

To see photos, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Monteverde road trip planning website.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours
Find places to stay Aug 26 — 31:

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.