17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica holiday planner

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

S M T W T F S
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1

Tamarindo

— 1 night
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 10th (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour and then wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura.

To find ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Tamarindo trip maker.

Toronto, Canada to Tamarindo is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Toronto to Tamarindo is minus 1 hour. Expect much warmer temperatures when traveling from Toronto in December; daily highs in Tamarindo reach 32°C and lows reach 32°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 10 — 11:

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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Sun): tour the pleasant surroundings at Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. On the 13th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: catch some excitement at El Trapiche Tour and then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To plan Monteverde vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. In December, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 32°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Adventure
Find places to stay Dec 11 — 13:

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.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (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. Here are some ideas for day two: scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For photos, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Jaco trip planning website.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Jaco takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Spas
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 15:

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.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Thu): stroll through Playa Manuel Antonio and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 17th (Fri): head outdoors with Outdoor Activities and then get outside with Outdoor Activities.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio trip itinerary maker site.

You can drive from Jaco to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) so you can go by car to Vara Blanca.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 15 — 17:

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.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Sat): take in the dramatic scenery at Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

To find maps, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Vara Blanca trip maker app.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Vara Blanca in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 18th (Sat) to allow time for the car ride to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 18:
Highlights from your trip

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 4 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: indulge in some personalized pampering at Tabacon Hot Springs, explore the striking landscape of Arenal Volcano, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To find more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos online travel planner.

You can drive from Vara Blanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 2 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) to allow time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 18 — 22:

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.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): stroll through Tarantulas Way and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 24th (Fri): explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park.

To see where to stay, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca day trip tool.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 22 — 24:

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.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Sat): explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

To see ratings, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Tortuguero journey planning app.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Tortuguero in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In December, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 25°C. You'll set off for home on the 26th (Sun).

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Dec 24 — 26:
Highlights from your trip

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.