51 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

51 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip planner

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Route & dates

51 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Ottawa
+3
Fly + bus + foot + bus:  15​h
1
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
— 5 nights
Drive:  7​h 45​min
2
Drake Bay
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
3
Uvita
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 6 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 8 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
6
Monteverde
— 6 nights
Drive:  3​h
7
Playa Samara
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
8
Tamarindo
— 6 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
9
Playas del Coco
— 6 nights
Fly:  8​h 15​min
End: Ottawa

5
nights
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Nature Observatorio and Punta Uva Beach. Go for a jaunt from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Puerto Limon to see Veragua Rainforest Park about 1h 25 min away. There's much more to do: identify plant and animal life at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, kick back and relax at Playa Cocles, and have some family-friendly fun at Yesland Mini Golf.

To see traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Puerto Viejo de Talamanca day trip planner .

Ottawa, Canada to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is an approximately 15-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and bus; or drive. Traveling from Ottawa to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Cahuita, Nature Observatorio, Veragua Rainforest Park
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Nature Observatorio ©
Nature Observatorio
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach

3
nights
Drake Bay

Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Dolphin & Whale Watching and Osa Wildlife Sanctuary. Spend a day of island exploring on the 19th (Sun) at Cano Island.

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

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Drake Bay in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) so you can go by car to Uvita.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trip

Osa Wildlife Sanctuary
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Cano Island ©
Cano Island

4
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Parasailing & Paragliding and Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary. The adventure continues: ride a horse along Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge, take in the dramatic scenery at Uvita Waterfall, identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas, and skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To see reviews, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Uvita trip itinerary maker app .

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. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Dominical, Playa Ventanas
Find places to stay Jan 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Parasailing & Paragliding

6
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 explore the less-touristy side of things at Nature & Wildlife Tours and Rainmaker Park. Change things up with these side-trips from Manuel Antonio: Zipline (in Herradura), Tarcoles Bridge (in Tarcoles) and Jaco (Zukia Art Gallery & Mirador de Jaco). There's lots more to do: stroll through Playa Manuel Antonio, stroll around Parque Nahomi, look for gifts at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

For traveler tips, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio trip itinerary maker website .

Drive from Uvita to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) early enough to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trips

Quepos, Jaco, Tarcoles, Rainmaker Park, Horseback Riding Tours
Find places to stay Jan 24 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Rainmaker Park ©
Rainmaker Park

8
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Butterfly Conservatory and Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano). Step out of La Fortuna de San Carlos to go to Vara Blanca and see Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, which is approximately 1h 50 min away. There's lots more to do: soothe aching muscles at Tabacon Hot Springs, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, take in the natural beauty of Los Lagos Hot Springs, and admire the natural beauty at Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

To find more things to do, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos journey planning tool .

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can 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

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano National Park, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Jan 30 — Feb 7:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory

6
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas) and Horseback Riding Tours. Venture out of the city with trips to Viento Fresco Waterfall (in Tilaran) and Puntarenas (Guacimal River Bridge 2 & Macaw Sanctuary Natuwa). And it doesn't end there: look for all kinds of wild species at Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena, delve into the lush surroundings at Children's Eternal Rain Forest, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To see ratings, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Monteverde trip builder tool .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Puntarenas, Viento Fresco Waterfall
Find places to stay Feb 7 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Horseback Riding Tours

5
nights
Playa Samara

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.
Explore hidden gems such as SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary and Barrigona Beach. Change things up with these side-trips from Playa Samara: Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project (in Punta Islita) and Nosara (MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY & Nosara Refuge for Wildlife). The adventure continues: indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, kick back and relax at Samara Beach, 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.

To see more things to do and tourist information, read our Playa Samara trip site .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Playa Samara takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Wildlife Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Nosara, Macaw Recovery Network - Formerly The Ara Project
Find places to stay Feb 13 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary
Spas
Horseback Riding Tours

6
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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Pura Aventura and Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Go for a jaunt from Tamarindo to Playa Flamingo to see Adrenaline & Extreme Tours about 30 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: get in on the family fun at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, identify plant and animal life at Monkey Park, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and take a tour of Kingpin Sportfishing.

To find other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Tamarindo travel route planner .

You can drive from Playa Samara to Tamarindo in 2 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or 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

Side Trips

Playa Flamingo, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Find places to stay Feb 18 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates ©
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

6
nights
Playas del Coco

Playas del Coco ©
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to River Rafting & Tubing and Llanos de Cortez Waterfall. Venture out of the city with trips 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. The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, get impressive views of Rincon de La Vieja National Park, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

Plan trip to Playas del Coco with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Drive from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 1st (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Province of Guanacaste, Playa Hermosa, Llanos de Cortez Waterfall, Rio Negro Hot Springs, Nahua
Find places to stay Feb 24 — Mar 1:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
River Rafting & Tubing
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

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