26 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

26 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
Fly to Liberia, Shuttle to Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Uvita
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Jaco
— 4 nights
Ferry to Malpais, Bus to Santa Teresa
5
Santa Teresa
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Playa Samara
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Playas del Coco
— 2 nights
Drive
8
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
Fly

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5
nights
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Bogarin Trail and ChocoMuseo La Fortuna. Get in touch with nature at Tabacon Hot Springs and Paradise Hot Springs. There's lots more to do: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, get interesting insight from Tours, see Off-Road Tours, and take in the exciting artwork at Wood & Art Gallery.

To see other places to visit, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

Seattle, USA to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 15-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also drive. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a 2 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 1 — 6:

3
nights
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.
Relax by the water at Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Espadilla Norte. Step off the beaten path and head to Safari Adventures and Rainmaker Park. And it doesn't end there: trot along with a tour on horseback, stroll around Parque Nahomi, view the masterpieces at The Captain's Booty, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio journey builder website.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 6 — 9:

3
nights
Uvita

Ideal for visitors looking to escape Costa Rica's busy beaches, Uvita offers a serene atmosphere and plenty of uncrowded sand for a leisurely vacation.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge. Take a break from the city and head to Kayaking & Canoeing and Playa Ventanas. There's much more to do: take in the dramatic scenery at Uvita Waterfall, scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, look for gifts at Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store, and kick back and relax at Uvita Beach.

To see photos, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Uvita trip planner.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Uvita in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sat) so you can drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 9 — 12:

4
nights
Jaco

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.
Get outdoors at Carara National Park and Horseback Riding Tours. Explore hidden gems such as Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding and Kayaking & Canoeing. The adventure continues: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, take in the views from Tarcoles Bridge, see Off-Road Tours, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Jaco vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Uvita to Jaco in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 12 — 16:

2
nights
Santa Teresa

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.
On the 17th (Thu), tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Hermosa, view the masterpieces at Bri'ah Art Gallery, and then find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Fri): stroll through Playa Carmen, trot along with a tour on horseback, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Santa Teresa tour planning tool.

Do a combination of ferry and bus from Jaco to Santa Teresa in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) so you can drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors · Tours · Beaches · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 16 — 18:

2
nights
Playa Samara

A beach town with just enough development to be comfortable for families accustomed to the trappings of modern life, Playa Samara has the resorts you'd expect to find in such a scenic area, but they don't hinder the relaxing atmosphere.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Sat): view the masterpieces at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY, take a memorable tour with Tours, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. Keep things going the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Barrigona Beach and then take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

To find where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Playa Samara road trip planning website.

You can drive from Santa Teresa to Playa Samara in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 82°F in December, and nighttime lows around 82°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 18 — 20:

2
nights
Playas del Coco

Coco Beach

A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Mon): discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Hermosa, and then look for gifts at Cata Chocolate. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then admire the sheer force of Cataratas Llanos de Cortes, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Immaculate Church of Concepcion de Maria.

To find where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Playas del Coco tour itinerary planning site.

Drive from Playa Samara to Playas del Coco in 2 hours. In December, daytime highs in Playas del Coco are 82°F, while nighttime lows are 82°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Tue) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 20 — 22:

4
nights
Tamarindo

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Escape the urban bustle at Adrenaline & Extreme Tours and Playa Avellana. Get a sense of the local culture at Lydia Beech Art Boutique and La Galeria Centro de Arte. Next up on the itinerary: take a memorable tour with Tours, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, and stroll through Monkey Park.

To see maps, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read our Tamarindo route site.

Traveling by car from Playas del Coco to Tamarindo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 82°F, and evening lows to 82°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 22 — 26:

Costa Rica travel guide

4.3
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.