30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

30 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica travel route planner

Make it your trip
Drive
1
Cartago
— 1 night
Drive
2
Tortuguero
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 7 nights
Drive
6
Monteverde
— 4 nights
Drive
7
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
Drive
8
Nosara
— 3 nights
Shuttle
9
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive

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Cartago

— 1 night
Cartago is a city in Costa Rica, about 25km east of the capital, San José. Start off your visit on the 8th (Sat): take in nature's colorful creations at Jardin Botanico Lankester and then pause for some serene contemplation at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles.

To see reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Cartago itinerary builder website.

San Jose to Cartago is an approximately 1-hour car ride. You can also take a bus; or take a train. January in Cartago sees daily highs of 78°F and lows of 65°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Cartago

Outdoors · Parks · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 9:

Tortuguero

— 2 nights

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 10th (Mon), explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: learn more about the world around you at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To see reviews, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero trip itinerary website.

You can drive from Cartago to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. In January in Tortuguero, expect temperatures between 83°F during the day and 70°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) early enough to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature · Museums
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 11:

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.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Puerto Viejo. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park.

To see maps, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip planner.

You can drive from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 14th (Fri) to allow time for the car ride to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 11 — 14:

Manuel Antonio

— 3 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Get in touch with nature at Playa Biesanz and Mulguri Adventure. There's more to do: see MidWorld Costa Rica.

For reviews, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio trip itinerary maker app.

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Manuel Antonio takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Mon) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 17:

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 7 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.
Take a break from the city and head to Tabacon Hot Springs and River Rafting & Tubing. Next up on the itinerary: contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano, take in the natural beauty of Ecotermales Fortuna, head outdoors with Outdoor Activities, and view the masterpieces at Onirica Art Gallery.

For reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos tour planner.

Drive from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Spas

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 17 — 24:

Monteverde

— 4 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.
Step out of the city life by going to Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Zipline. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Santa Elena Skywalk and Ecological Sanctuary. There's much more to do: stroll through Curi Cancha Reserve, get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, and take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden.

To find traveler tips, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Monteverde trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 24 — 28:

Tamarindo

— 4 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
We've included these beaches for you: Tamarindo Beach and Playa Hermosa. Get outdoors at Playa Conchal and Playa Avellana. Get out of town with these interesting Tamarindo side-trips: Playas del Coco (Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts & Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco). There's still lots to do: see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura, and take a tour of Kingpin Sportfishing.

To see more things to do, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Tamarindo tour itinerary tool.

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. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) to allow time to drive to Nosara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 28 — Feb 1:

Nosara

— 3 nights
Along with its agricultural and fishing heritage, Nosara stands as one of the oldest expatriate communities in the country.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Samara Beach and Playa Guiones. Take a break from the city and head to Barrigona Beach and International Animal Rescue Costa Rica. There's more to do: stroll through Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary and take in the exciting artwork at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY.

For where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read Nosara trip planner.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Nosara in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) to allow time to take a shuttle to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Nosara

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 1 — 4:

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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sat): kick back and relax at Playa Carmen, then admire the sheer force of Montezuma Falls, and then look for gifts at Tica Surf Bikinis. On the next day, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa and then kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa.

To find where to stay and other tourist information, refer to the Santa Teresa online travel route planner.

Traveling by shuttle from Nosara to Santa Teresa takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) to allow time to drive back home.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trip

Find places to stay Feb 4 — 6:

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.