22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

22 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Amsterdam
Fly:  16 h 15 min
1
San Jose
— 3 nights
Bus:  2 h 30 min
2
Quepos
— 2 nights
Drive:  30 min
3
Parrita
— 1 night
Drive:  45 min
4
Jaco
— 2 nights
Drive:  30 min
5
Tarcoles
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h
6
Canas
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h
7
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 2 nights
Drive:  3 h 15 min
8
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 15 min
9
Puerto Limon
— 1 night
+3
Fly + Shuttle + Foot + Bus:  2 h 30 min
10
Cartago
— 1 night
Drive:  45 min
11
San Jose
— 3 nights
Fly:  16 h 15 min
End: Amsterdam

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.
Go for a jaunt from San Jose to Alajuela to see Zoo Ave about 34 minutes away. There's still lots to do: take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia La Soledad, cruise along Top Travel Costa Rica, and stop by J.LANG Atelier & Showroom.

To find photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our San Jose online route planner .

Amsterdam, Holland to San Jose is an approximately 16.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Amsterdam to San Jose is minus 7 hours. Traveling from Amsterdam in February, things will get much hotter in San Jose: highs are around 30°C and lows about 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Fri) to allow enough time to take a bus to Quepos.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours Museums Parks

Side Trips

Zoo Ave, J.LANG Atelier & Showroom
Find places to stay Feb 11 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Top Travel Costa Rica ©
Top Travel Costa Rica
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum

2
nights
Quepos

The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Sat): relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour and then see what you can catch with a fishing tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, then walk around Parque Nahomi, and then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To see more things to do, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Quepos online tour planner .

Getting from San Jose to Quepos by bus takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) so you can go by car to Parrita.

Things to do in Quepos

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Feb 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Fishing Charters & Tours
Spas

1
night
Parrita

Parrita ©
Start off your visit on the 17th (Mon): stroll through Rainmaker Park and then trot along with a tour on horseback.

To find where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read Parrita sightseeing app .

Parrita is very close to Quepos. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Jaco.

Things to do in Parrita

Wildlife Parks Tours

Side Trip

Horseback Riding Tours
Find places to stay Feb 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Rainmaker Park ©
Rainmaker Park
Horseback Riding Tours

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Tue): take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback and then get interesting insight from Tours. Keep things going the next day: take in the exciting artwork at Zukia Art Gallery, then see Off-Road Tours, then get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour, and finally take some stellar pictures from Mirador de Jaco.

To find more things to do, ratings, photos, and tourist information, use the Jaco trip itinerary site .

Drive from Parrita to Jaco in an hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Wed) so you can drive to Tarcoles.

Things to do in Jaco

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Feb 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Off-Road Tours

1
night
Tarcoles

Tarcoles ©
On the 20th (Thu), take in the views from Tarcoles Bridge and then explore the striking landscape of Carara National Park.

For where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Tarcoles trip itinerary planner.

Tarcoles is just a stone's throw from Jaco. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Thu) early enough to travel to Canas.

Things to do in Tarcoles

Parks Nature

Side Trip

Carara National Park
Find places to stay Feb 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Carara National Park ©
Carara National Park

1
night
Canas

Canas ©
On the 21st (Fri), experience rural life at Guanacaste Pineapple Park and then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Centro de Rescate Las Pumas.

To see ratings, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Canas holiday maker website .

Getting from Tarcoles to Canas by car takes about 2 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Fri) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Canas

Parks Zoos & Aquariums
Find places to stay Feb 20 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Centro de Rescate Las Pumas ©
Centro de Rescate Las Pumas
Guanacaste Pineapple Park ©
Guanacaste Pineapple Park

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): hike along Arenal Natura Ecological Park and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs. On your second day here, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and then take in the exciting artwork at Onirica Art Gallery.

For ratings, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip app .

Traveling by car from Canas to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 2 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) so you can drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Feb 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

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.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Mon): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: get a new perspective on nature at Sea Turtle Conservancy and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero online road trip planner .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In February, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Puerto Limon.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Tours
Find places to stay Feb 23 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

1
night
Puerto Limon

Puerto Limon ©
On the 26th (Wed), admire the landmark architecture of Explore Limon and then stroll through Veragua Rainforest Park.

For more things to do, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, use the Puerto Limon vacation builder tool .

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to Puerto Limon takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In February, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Wed) early enough to travel to Cartago.

Things to do in Puerto Limon

Wildlife Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay Feb 25 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Explore Limon ©
Explore Limon

1
night
Cartago

Cartago ©
Cartago is a city in Costa Rica, about 25km east of the capital, San José. On the 27th (Thu), get impressive views of Irazu Volcano National Park, then hunt for treasures at Cartago Central Market, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles. Here are some ideas for day two: stop by House of the Dreamer - Casa Del Sonador, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi and the Museum, then take in nature's colorful creations at Jardin Botanico Lankester, and finally steep yourself in history at Ruins of the Church of Carthage.

For where to stay, photos, reviews, and tourist information, read Cartago journey planner.

Getting from Puerto Limon to Cartago by combination of flight and bus takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or drive. When traveling from Puerto Limon in February, plan for little chillier days in Cartago, with highs around 30°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 21°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Fri) so you can go by car to San Jose.

Things to do in Cartago

Parks Historic Sites Nature

Side Trips

House of the Dreamer - Casa Del Sonador, Irazu Volcano National Park, Iglesia de San Jose de Orosi and the Museum
Find places to stay Feb 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano National Park
Jardin Botanico Lankester ©
Jardin Botanico Lankester

3
nights
San Jose

Take a break from San Jose with a short trip to Mariposas Sarchi in Sarchi, about 54 minutes away. Explore San Jose further: explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, get interesting insight from Tours, let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour, and get engrossed in the history at Museo Dr. Rafael Calderon Guardia.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, go to the San Jose travel route planner .

Traveling by car from Cartago to San Jose takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a train; or take a bus. On the 2nd (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours Museums Childrens Museums

Side Trip

Mariposas Sarchi
Find places to stay Feb 28 — Mar 2:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Museo de Arte Costarricense ©
Museo de Arte Costarricense
Food Tours

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