19 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

19 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip itinerary planner

Make it your trip
+2
Train to London Gatwick, Fly to San Jose, Shuttle to La Fortuna de San Carlos
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Vara Blanca
— 1 night
Drive
5
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Jaco
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Tamarindo
— 2 nights
Fly to London Heathrow, Train to Cardiff

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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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, savor the flavors at Food & Drink, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and stroll through La Fortuna Arenal Volcano Rain Forest Reserve.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos day trip planning app.

Cardiff, UK to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 20-hour combination of train, flight, and shuttle. The time zone changes from Greenwich Mean Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -6 hour difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) to allow time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 16 — 21:

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.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero day trip tool.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. December in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 25°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) so you can go by car to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 22:
Highlights from your trip

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

— 2 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.
On the 23rd (Thu), tour the pleasant surroundings at Tarantulas Way and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park.

To find photos, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip planner.

Drive from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) early enough to drive to Vara Blanca.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 22 — 24:

Vara Blanca

— 1 night
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
On the 25th (Sat), take in the dramatic scenery at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

To find more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Vara Blanca tour planner.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Vara Blanca in 5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Sat) to allow time for the car ride to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks · Nature
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 25:
Highlights from your trip

Manuel Antonio

— 2 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
On the 26th (Sun), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 27th (Mon): see Off-Road Tours and then add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

Inspirock's itinerary builder makes planning a Manuel Antonio trip simple and quick.

Getting from Vara Blanca to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 25 — 27:

Jaco

— 2 nights
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.
On the 28th (Tue), push the limits with an extreme tour and then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 29th (Wed): scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To see maps, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Jaco day trip planner.

Drive from Manuel Antonio to Jaco in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Jaco

Tours · Outdoors · Adventure · Spas
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:

Monteverde

— 2 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.
On the 30th (Thu), tour the pleasant surroundings at Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond and then stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Here are some ideas for day two: catch some excitement at El Trapiche Tour and then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To find other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Monteverde itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Jaco to Monteverde takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. December in Monteverde sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 32°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife · Parks · Tours · Fun & Games
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 31:

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.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Sat): get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Conchal. On the 2nd (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Tamarindo Beach and then get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura.

To see maps, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Tamarindo day trip planner.

You can drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. In December, daytime highs in Tamarindo are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 2:

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.