24 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

24 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

24 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Zurich
Fly:  14 h 30 min
1
San Jose
— 3 nights
Bus + Taxi:  2 h 45 min
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 45 min
3
Vara Blanca
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 45 min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
5
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
6
Nosara
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h
7
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
8
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Fly:  15 h 30 min
End: Zurich

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.
Step out of San Jose with an excursion to Poas Volcano in Poas Volcano National Park--about 1h 25 min away. There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Teatro Nacional Costa Rica, take a memorable drive along Top Travel Costa Rica, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and explore the striking landscape of Irazu Volcano National Park.

For other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the San Jose trip planner .

Zurich, Switzerland to San Jose is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. Traveling from Zurich to San Jose, you'll gain 7 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect much hotter weather when traveling from Zurich in October: highs in San Jose hover around 31°C, while lows dip to 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Tue) early enough to travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Poas Volcano, J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, Irazu Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Oct 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Top Travel Costa Rica ©
Top Travel Costa Rica
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica ©
Teatro Nacional Costa Rica

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 9th (Wed): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

To see ratings, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, read Tortuguero trip itinerary website .

Traveling by combination of bus and taxi from San Jose to Tortuguero takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Traveling from San Jose in October, expect Tortuguero to be somewhat warmer, temps between 36°C and 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Wed) so you can drive to Vara Blanca.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Tours
Find places to stay Oct 8 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing

1
night
Vara Blanca

Vara Blanca
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
On the 10th (Thu), take some stellar pictures from Mirador Huequecura and then admire the sheer force of Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, read Vara Blanca road trip planner.

You can drive from Tortuguero to Vara Blanca in 4 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks Nature

Side Trip

Mirador Huequecura
Find places to stay Oct 9 — 10:

3
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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Manuel Antonio: Jaco (Horseback Riding Tours & Zipline). There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio, take a memorable tour with Tours, walk around Parque Nahomi, and relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio online vacation maker .

Drive from Vara Blanca to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Quepos, Jaco
Find places to stay Oct 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Zipline
River Rafting & Tubing

3
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.
Monteverde is known for parks, nightlife, adventure, fun & games, and zoos & aquariums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, experience the excitement of Curi Cancha Reserve, relax in the rural setting at El Trapiche Tour, and whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To see maps, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Monteverde trip planner .

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Nosara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Oct 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
El Trapiche Tour ©
El Trapiche Tour

2
nights
Nosara

Nosara ©
Along with its agricultural and fishing heritage, Nosara stands as one of the oldest expatriate communities in the country.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Thu): relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, enjoy the sand and surf at Samara Beach, and then putt your heart out at Jungle Mini Golf, Nosara. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones), tour the pleasant surroundings at SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary, and then take in the exciting artwork at MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY.

To find maps, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Nosara itinerary planner.

You can drive from Monteverde to Nosara in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Nosara

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Playa Samara
Find places to stay Oct 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Playa Guiones ©
Playa Guiones
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary

4
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.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tamarindo: Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal), Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste) and Stand-Up Paddleboarding (in Playa Flamingo). Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Tamarindo Beach, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, look for gifts at Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa, and get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura.

To find traveler tips, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, use the Tamarindo visit app .

Getting from Nosara to Tamarindo by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands, Shark Diving, Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Find places to stay Oct 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands ©
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands

5
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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for parks, spas, outdoors, theme parks, and classes. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, experience rural life at Finca Loma Verde, get interesting insight from Tours, and take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

For where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos online journey maker .

Drive from Tamarindo to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Oct 22 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

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