17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica trip builder

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Route & dates

17 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Ottawa
Fly:  9​h 15​min
1
Manuel Antonio
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
3
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Tamarindo
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h
5
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
6
Turrialba
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 45​min
7
San Jose
— 2 nights
+2
Fly + bus + train:  10​h 15​min
End: Ottawa

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.
Escape the urban bustle at Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Biesanz. The adventure continues: explore the stunning scenery at MidWorld Costa Rica, zoom along the surf with a waterskiing or jet-skiing adventure, relax in the rural setting at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices, and get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see other places to visit, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio trip itinerary maker tool .

Ottawa, Canada to Manuel Antonio is an approximately 9.5-hour combination of train, flight, and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Traveling from Ottawa to Manuel Antonio, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Sun) early enough to travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Adventure Tours
Find places to stay Apr 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica
River Rafting & Tubing

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.
Take a break from the city and head to River Rafting & Tubing and Tabacon Hot Springs. And it doesn't end there: get impressive views of Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal), take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, take in the natural beauty of Baldi Hot Springs, and hike along Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

To find maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary builder website .

Getting from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos by combination of taxi and flight takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Apr 8 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

3
nights
Monteverde

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.
Get outdoors at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Ecological Sanctuary. Get a sense of the local culture at Santa Elena Skywalk and Monteverde Chorotega Arts & Crafts. It doesn't end there: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks and identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Frog Pond.

To find more things to do, where to stay, maps, and tourist information, read Monteverde trip planner .

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Mon) so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Historic Sites
Find places to stay Apr 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary

1
night
Tamarindo

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Mon): stop by Lydia Beech Art and then kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach.

To find where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Tamarindo tour planner.

You can drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. On the 17th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Beaches Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Apr 16 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Lydia Beech Art Boutique ©
Lydia Beech Art Boutique
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura

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.
On the 18th (Wed), look for all kinds of wild species at Tortuguero National Park.

Make your Tortuguero itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

You can do a combination of flight and shuttle from Tamarindo to Tortuguero in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, flight, and shuttle; or do a combination of bus, flight, taxi, and shuttle. In April in Tortuguero, expect temperatures between 35°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can travel to Turrialba.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks
Find places to stay Apr 17 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park

1
night
Turrialba

Turrialba ©
Start off your visit on the 19th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Guayabo National Park and Monument.

To see other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Turrialba online attractions planner .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Tortuguero to Turrialba. Traveling from Tortuguero in April, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Turrialba, with lows of 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Turrialba

Nature Historic Sites Parks
Find places to stay Apr 18 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Guayabo National Park and Monument ©
Guayabo National Park and Monument

2
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.
On the 20th (Fri), take an in-depth tour of National Museum (Museo Nacional), take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, then view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, and finally admire the masterpieces at Precolumbian Gold Museum.

For ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our San Jose online day trip planner .

Drive from Turrialba to San Jose in 2 hours. In April, daytime highs in San Jose are 33°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. You'll have a few hours on the 21st (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Shopping

Side Trip

J.LANG Atelier & Showroom
Find places to stay Apr 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

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