44 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

44 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

44 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Dubrovnik
Shuttle + Fly:  18 h 30 min
1
San Jose
— 5 nights
Bus + Taxi:  2 h 45 min
2
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  8 h 45 min
3
Drake Bay
— 3 nights
Drive:  4 h 15 min
4
Manuel Antonio
— 5 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
5
Monteverde
— 5 nights
Drive:  3 h
6
Playa Samara
— 5 nights
Drive:  1 h 45 min
7
Tamarindo
— 5 nights
Bus:  1 h 30 min
8
Liberia
— 5 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
9
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 7 nights
+3
Shuttle + Bus + Fly + Shuttle:  20 h 30 min
End: Dubrovnik

5
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from San Jose: Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca), Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park) and Toucan Rescue Ranch (in San Isidro). There's lots more to do: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, admire the natural beauty at Jardin Botanico Lankester, and steep yourself in history at Teatro Nacional Costa Rica.

To see reviews, maps, and other tourist information, use the San Jose trip itinerary planning website .

Dubrovnik, Croatia to San Jose is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of ferry and flight. Traveling from Dubrovnik to San Jose, you'll gain 7 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect much hotter temperatures when traveling from Dubrovnik in January; daily highs in San Jose reach 30°C and lows reach 21°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

Cartago, Toucan Rescue Ranch, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, J.LANG Atelier & Showroom, Irazu Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch
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 15th (Wed): get interesting insight from Tours and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find photos, maps, and more tourist information, read Tortuguero trip planning website .

Do a combination of bus and taxi from San Jose to Tortuguero in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In January, plan for daily highs up to 33°C, and evening lows to 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing

3
nights
Drake Bay

Drake Bay ©
When in Drake Bay, make a side trip to see Corcovado National Park in Carate, approximately 1h 15 min away. Spend a day of island exploring on the 18th (Sat) at Cano Island.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read Drake Bay travel route planner .

You can drive from Tortuguero to Drake Bay in 9 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Corcovado National Park
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Corcovado National Park ©
Corcovado National Park
Cano Island ©
Cano Island
Dolphin & Whale Watching

5
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Manuel Antonio: Jaco (Horseback Riding Tours & Zipline), Dominical (Parasailing & Paragliding, Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, & more) and Parque Nacional Marino Ballena (in Uvita). And it doesn't end there: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, walk around Parque Nahomi, and explore the striking landscape of Manuel Antonio National Park.

To find reviews, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio day trip planner .

Traveling by car from Drake Bay to Manuel Antonio takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Dominical, Quepos, Jaco, Parque Nacional Marino Ballena
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Zipline
River Rafting & Tubing

5
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.
When in Monteverde, make a side trip to see Guacimal River Bridge 2 in Puntarenas, approximately 42 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, relax in the rural setting at El Trapiche Tour, take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and take a peaceful walk through Curi Cancha Reserve.

To see ratings, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Monteverde driving holiday planner.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde in 4 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trip

Guacimal River Bridge 2
Find places to stay Jan 24 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
El Trapiche Tour ©
El Trapiche Tour

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.
Get out of town with these interesting Playa Samara side-trips: Nosara (Nosara Refuge for Wildlife, Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones), & more), Barra Honda National Park (in Nicoya) and Jungle Butterfly Farm (in Nandayure). And it doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at Samara Beach, kick back and relax at Barrigona Beach, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall.

For maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Playa Samara trip itinerary app .

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 3rd (Mon) so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Nosara, Barra Honda National Park, Jungle Butterfly Farm, Playa Islita
Find places to stay Jan 29 — Feb 3:
Highlights from your plan
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife ©
Nosara Refuge for Wildlife
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach

5
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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tamarindo: Playa Flamingo (Stand-Up Paddleboarding & Adrenaline & Extreme Tours) and Playa Conchal (Playa Conchal & Garra de Leon Golf Course). The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, enjoy some diversion at Sage Brush Art Studio, stop by Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa, and stroll through Monkey Park.

To see ratings, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo tour planning site .

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Tamarindo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sat) to allow enough time to take a bus to Liberia.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Playa Flamingo, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, Sage Brush Art Studio
Find places to stay Feb 3 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Scuba & Snorkeling

5
nights
Liberia

Liberia ©
Tourism in Liberia has been growing since the opening of its airport, with more and more international visitors using the city as a starting point for explorations of the country's northwest.
Change things up with these side-trips from Liberia: Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands & Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja), Playas del Coco (Shark Diving & Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts) and Rio Negro Hot Springs (in Rincon de La Vieja). There's much more to do: contemplate the geological forces at Rincon de La Vieja National Park, explore the galleries of Costa Rica'n Art Craft, look for gifts at Nahua, and take in the dramatic scenery at Llanos de Cortez Waterfall.

To find where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Liberia trip itinerary planner .

You can take a bus from Tamarindo to Liberia in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Liberia

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Province of Guanacaste, Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Playas del Coco, Rio Negro Hot Springs, Playa Nacascolo
Find places to stay Feb 8 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Rincon de La Vieja National Park ©
Rincon de La Vieja National Park
Palo Verde National Park ©
Palo Verde National Park
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands ©
Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands

7
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, trot along with a tour on horseback, stroll through Proyecto Asis, and take a memorable tour with Tours.

To find photos, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos itinerary planning app .

Getting from Liberia to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Tours

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Feb 13 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

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