22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica route planner

This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

Start: Brussels
Train + Fly:  15 h 15 min
1
San Jose
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
2
Poas Volcano National Park
— 2 nights
Taxi + Fly:  1 h 45 min
3
Tamarindo
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
4
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
5
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  5 h 30 min
6
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 15 min
7
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
+4
Shuttle + Foot + Shuttle + Fly + Train:  17 h 45 min
End: Brussels

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: Cartago (Jardin Botanico Lankester & Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles). And it doesn't end there: take a memorable drive along Top Travel Costa Rica, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Irazu Volcano National Park, take a memorable tour with Tours, and get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica.

To find where to stay, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read our San Jose trip planner.

Brussels, Belgium to San Jose is an approximately 16- hour combination of train and flight. You can also fly. The time zone difference when traveling from Brussels to San Jose is minus 7 hours. Plan for much hotter temperatures traveling from Brussels in November, with highs in San Jose at 30°C and lows at 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Poas Volcano National Park.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Cartago, J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, Irazu Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Nov 29 — Dec 2:
Highlights from your plan
Top Travel Costa Rica ©
Top Travel Costa Rica
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano National Park
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica ©
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica

2
nights
Poas Volcano National Park

Poas Volcano National Park
A trip to Poas Volcano National Park allows you to see one of the world's largest craters, trek through a lush rainforest, and visit a coffee plantation all on the same day.
On the 3rd (Tue), get impressive views of Poas Volcano and then take in the dramatic scenery at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Refugio de Vida Silvestre Bosque Alegre and then take in the dramatic scenery at Los Chorros Waterfalls.

For traveler tips, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Poas Volcano National Park trip builder.

Getting from San Jose to Poas Volcano National Park by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) early enough to travel to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Poas Volcano National Park

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Refugio de Vida Silvestre Bosque Alegre, Los Chorros Waterfalls
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Los Chorros Waterfalls ©
Los Chorros Waterfalls
Refugio de Vida Silvestre Bosque Alegre ©
Refugio de Vida Silvestre Bosque Alegre

3
nights
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tamarindo: Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal) and Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste). The adventure continues: stroll through Tamarindo Beach, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura, and stop by Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa.

For ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Tamarindo trip planner.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Poas Volcano National Park to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. December in Tamarindo sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 32°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Stand-Up Paddleboarding, Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands
Find places to stay Dec 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands ©
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands

3
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.
Monteverde is known for adventure, parks, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle, experience rural life at El Trapiche Tour, and delve into the lush surroundings at Curi Cancha Reserve.

For photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Monteverde trip itinerary planning website.

Drive from Tamarindo to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Monteverde are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 32°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Tue) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Adventure
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
El Trapiche Tour ©
El Trapiche Tour

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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Manuel Antonio: Parasailing & Paragliding (in Dominical) and Jaco (Costa Rica SUP'ers & Zipline). And it doesn't end there: kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Manuel Antonio National Park, walk around Parque Nahomi, and get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see ratings, maps, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio day trip planning app.

You can drive from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Adventure

Side Trips

Quepos, Jaco, Parasailing & Paragliding
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Parque Nahomi ©
Parque Nahomi
River Rafting & Tubing

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 14th (Sat), take a memorable tour with Tours and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

For where to stay, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Tortuguero in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. December in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 25°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Adventure
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing

5
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: relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs, witness a stunning natural landmark at Ecotermales Fortuna, head outdoors with El Salto, and admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall.

For ratings, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos online trip builder.

Getting from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

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