51 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

51 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly to San Jose, Bus to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
1
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Drake Bay
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Uvita
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Manuel Antonio
— 6 nights
Drive
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 8 nights
Drive
6
Monteverde
— 6 nights
Drive
7
Playa Samara
— 5 nights
Drive
8
Tamarindo
— 6 nights
Drive
9
Playas del Coco
— 6 nights
Fly

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Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

— 5 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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Nature Observatorio and Punta Uva Beach. Change things up with a short trip to Veragua Rainforest Park in Puerto Limon (about 1h 30 min away). The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Cocles, admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla, get your game on at Yesland Mini Golf, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find photos, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip planning app.

Ottawa, Canada to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is an approximately 15-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Ottawa to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Wildlife · Beaches · Outdoors

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 11 — 16:

Drake Bay

— 3 nights
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Nature & Wildlife Tours and Osa Wildlife Sanctuary. Spend a day of island exploring on the 19th (Sun) at Cano Island.

To find photos, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Drake Bay trip itinerary planning website.

Traveling by car from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Drake Bay takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jan 16 — 20:

Uvita

— 4 nights
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 Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge and Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary. Next up on the itinerary: fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, and identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas.

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

Traveling by car from Drake Bay to Uvita takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 20 — 24:

Manuel Antonio

— 6 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Parasailing & Paragliding and Spas. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Manuel Antonio: Horseback Riding Tours (in Esterillos Este), Tarcoles (Tarcoles Bridge & Nature & Wildlife Tours) and Mirador de Jaco (in Jaco). Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Playa Manuel Antonio, get interesting insight from Tours, walk around Parque Nahomi, and zoom along the surf with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure.

To find reviews, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio day trip planning site.

You can drive from Uvita to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Parks

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 24 — 30:

La Fortuna de San Carlos

— 8 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.
Explore hidden gems such as Paradise Hot Springs and Butterfly Conservatory. Go for a jaunt from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Vara Blanca to see Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz about 2h 15 min away. There's still lots to do: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, contemplate the geological forces at Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano), explore the striking landscape of Arenal Volcano, and admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall.

To find photos, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos driving holiday planner.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Jan 30 — Feb 7:

Monteverde

— 6 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 off the beaten path and head to Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena and Horseback Riding Tours. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Monteverde: Macaw Sanctuary Natuwa (in Puntarenas) and Viento Fresco Waterfall (in Tilaran). There's still lots to do: take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas), relax in the rural setting at El Trapiche Tour, delve into the lush surroundings at Children's Eternal Rain Forest, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Ecological Sanctuary.

For photos, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Monteverde vacation planner.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 7 — 13:

Playa Samara

— 5 nights
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Barrigona Beach and Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project. Explore Playa Samara's surroundings by going to Nosara (MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY, International Animal Rescue Costa Rica, &more). And it doesn't end there: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, step aboard Kingfisher Sportfishing, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

For photos, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Playa Samara day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Playa Samara takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 13 — 18:

Tamarindo

— 6 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Pura Aventura and Kingpin Sportfishing. Step out of Tamarindo with an excursion to Adrenaline & Extreme Tours in Playa Flamingo--about 30 minutes away. There's much more to do: get in on the family fun at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, tour the pleasant surroundings at Tamarindo Beach, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and take in the exciting artwork at Lydia Beech Art Boutique.

For where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo trip itinerary planning app.

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Tamarindo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Theme Parks

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 18 — 24:

Playas del Coco

— 6 nights

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.
Explore hidden gems such as River Rafting & Tubing and Rincon de La Vieja National Park. Explore Playas del Coco's surroundings by going to Nahua (in Liberia) and Rio Negro Hot Springs (in Rincon de La Vieja). Spend the 29th (Sat) exploring nature at Palo Verde National Park. There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco, take in the exciting artwork at Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts, and discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Playas del Coco trip itinerary maker website.

Drive from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. On the 1st (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Feb 24 — Mar 1:

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.