37 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

37 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica planner

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Route & dates

37 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
+2
subway + bus + Fly:  8​h 30​min
1
San Jose
— 4 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
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
5
Monteverde
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h
6
Playa Samara
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
7
Tamarindo
— 4 nights
bus:  1​h 30​min
8
Liberia
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
9
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 7 nights
Fly:  11​h 30​min
End: Washington DC

4
nights
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.
Explore San Jose's surroundings by going to Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park), Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca) and Jardin Botanico Lankester (in Cartago). There's much more to do: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, and get a taste of the local shopping with Museo Dr. Rafael Calderon Guardia.

To find where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, use the San Jose day trip planner .

Washington DC, USA to San Jose is an approximately 8.5-hour combination of subway, bus, and flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. Traveling from Washington DC to San Jose, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Washington DC in November, plan for a bit warmer days and much hotter nights in San Jose: temperatures range from 79°F by day to 66°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Tue) early enough to travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

Poas Volcano, Jardin Botanico Lankester, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Irazu Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Nov 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano National Park

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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Wed): get a new perspective on nature at Sea Turtle Conservancy and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find maps, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, use the Tortuguero online trip builder .

Getting from San Jose to Tortuguero by combination of bus and taxi takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or take a shuttle. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from San Jose in November, with highs in Tortuguero at 85°F and lows at 72°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Museums
Find places to stay Nov 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

3
nights
Drake Bay

Drake Bay ©
Go for a jaunt from Drake Bay to Carate to see Corcovado National Park about 1h 15 min away. Spend a day of island exploring on the 16th (Sat) at Cano Island. Make the 14th (Thu) an awe-inspiring day at Naturaseekers.

For more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Drake Bay online itinerary planner .

You can drive from Tortuguero to Drake Bay in 9 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Corcovado National Park
Find places to stay Nov 13 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Corcovado National Park ©
Corcovado National Park
Cano Island ©
Cano Island
Dolphin & Whale Watching

4
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.
Get out of town with these interesting Manuel Antonio side-trips: Jaco (Costa Rica SUP'ers & Zipline) and Parasailing & Paragliding (in Dominical). There's much more to do: kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, stroll through Playa Biesanz, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Manuel Antonio National Park, and stroll around Parque Nahomi.

To find reviews, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio tour itinerary planner.

Getting from Drake Bay to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Thu) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Quepos, Jaco, Parasailing & Paragliding
Find places to stay Nov 17 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Zipline
Manuel Antonio National Park ©
Manuel Antonio National Park

4
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.
Step out of Monteverde to go to Los Tornos and see Finca El Paraiso, which is approximately 46 minutes away. There's much more to do: identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden, relax in the rural setting at El Trapiche Tour, and kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To see where to stay, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, read Monteverde trip itinerary builder website .

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Mon) so you can go by car to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trip

Finca El Paraiso
Find places to stay Nov 21 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
El Trapiche Tour ©
El Trapiche Tour

4
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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Playa Islita (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste), Jungle Butterfly Farm (in Nandayure) and Nosara (Nosara Refuge for Wildlife, SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary, & more). There's much more to do: kick back and relax at Samara Beach, hunt for treasures at Samara Farmers Market, take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall, and step aboard Kingfisher Sportfishing.

To see maps, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Playa Samara trip planner .

You can drive from Monteverde to Playa Samara in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Fri) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Nosara, Jungle Butterfly Farm, Playa Islita
Find places to stay Nov 25 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary ©
SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones) ©
Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones)

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 Tamarindo's surroundings by going to Adrenaline & Extreme Tours (in Playa Flamingo) and Playa Conchal (in Playa Conchal). There's much more to do: stroll through Tamarindo Beach, have fun at Tamarindo Tennis Club, get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, and pause for some serene contemplation at Tamarindo Church.

For reviews, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Tamarindo trip itinerary builder .

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Tamarindo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Tue) so you can catcht the bus to Liberia.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Adrenaline & Extreme Tours, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates
Find places to stay Nov 29 — Dec 3:
Highlights from your plan
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

4
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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Liberia: Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (Parque Nacional Volcan Rincon de la Vieja & Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands). There's still lots to do: contemplate the geological forces at Rincon de La Vieja National Park, look for gifts at Nahua, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Church of La Ermita La Agonia, and admire the sheer force of Llanos de Cortez Waterfall.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Liberia trip planner.

Getting from Tamarindo to Liberia by bus takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive. December in Liberia sees daily highs of 82°F and lows of 82°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Liberia

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Province of Guanacaste, Playa Nacascolo
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Rincon de La Vieja National Park ©
Rincon de La Vieja National Park
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall ©
Llanos de Cortez Waterfall

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 nature, adventure, wildlife, trails, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Arenal, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Arenal Volcano, and skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your La Fortuna de San Carlos trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

You can drive from Liberia to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. You will leave for home on the 14th (Sat).

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Dec 7 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

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