17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip builder

Plan created by another user. Make it yours

Route & dates

1
Vara Blanca
— 1 night
2
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
3
Monteverde
— 2 nights
4
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 3 nights
6
Tortuguero
— 1 night
7
San Jose
— 3 nights

1
night
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 16th (Thu): take in the dramatic scenery at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Vara Blanca trip planner.

Budapest, Hungary to Vara Blanca is an approximately 18-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone changes from Central European Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -7 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Nature Parks
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 16:

3
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.
Go for a jaunt from Manuel Antonio to Jaco to see Zipline about 1h 30 min away. There's lots more to do: kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, stroll around Parque Nahomi, see Off-Road Tours, and let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

For photos, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Vara Blanca to Manuel Antonio takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Quepos, Zipline
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio National Park ©
Manuel Antonio National Park
Zipline

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then stroll through Monteverde Frog Pond. Keep things going the next day: stop by Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde, thenwhizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, thenrelax in the rural setting at El Trapiche Tour, and finally get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle.

For photos, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Monteverde trip builder app.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Tue) so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
El Trapiche Tour ©
El Trapiche Tour

2
nights
Tamarindo

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 22nd (Wed): glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, thenrelax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Tamarindo Beach. Keep things going the next day: see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour and then find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates.

To find traveler tips, photos, maps, and other tourist information, use the Tamarindo vacation planning site.

You can drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Playa Flamingo, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Stand-Up Paddleboarding

3
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos

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: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, take a memorable tour with Tours, tour the pleasant surroundings at La Fortuna Waterfall, and explore the striking landscape of Arenal Volcano.

To find ratings, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos vacation planner.

You can drive from Tamarindo to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

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.
On the 27th (Mon), take a memorable tour with Tours and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

For where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read Tortuguero trip itinerary builder site.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect a daytime high around °C in January, and nighttime lows around °C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can go by car to San Jose.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing

3
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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near San Jose: Mariposas Sarchi (in Sarchi), Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park) and Jardin Botanico Lankester (in Cartago). There's much more to do: contemplate the geological forces at Irazu Volcano National Park, see a show at Teatro Nacional Costa Rica, see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, and get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your San Jose trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Getting from Tortuguero to San Jose by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. Traveling from Tortuguero in January, things will get little chillier in San Jose: highs are around °C and lows about °C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Parks Nature

Side Trips

Mariposas Sarchi, Irazu Volcano National Park, Poas Volcano, Jardin Botanico Lankester
Find places to stay Jan 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano National Park

Similar Plans

21 days in Costa Rica, Nicaragua & Panama BY A USER FROM BULGARIA June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: June, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 15 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 18 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM FRANCE February, culture, outdoors, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: February, culture, outdoors, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 16 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CHILE February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 18 days in Central America & Mexico BY A USER FROM COLOMBIA November, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, fast-paced, popular sights Preferences: November, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Fast-paced 9 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, fast-paced, popular sights Preferences: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Fast-paced 16 days in Central America BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 21 days in Central America BY A USER FROM BELGIUM October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 32 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA December, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: December, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 21 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM COSTA RICA November, beaches, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: November, beaches, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 15 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM ITALY January, culture, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems Preferences: January, culture, relaxing, beaches, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Medium 15 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA February, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, wildlife, popular sights Preferences: February, culture, outdoors, romantic, beaches, wildlife Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium
See more plans