18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

18 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: London
Fly + Taxi:  15​h 30​min
1
Monteverde
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos
— 5 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
3
Manuel Antonio
— 4 nights
Bus:  1​h 15​min
4
San Jose
— 2 nights
Bus + Taxi:  3​h 30​min
5
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h
6
Tamarindo
— 1 night
+2
Shuttle + Bus + Fly:  18​h 30​min
End: London

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 some cultural insight at Santa Elena Skywalk and Ecological Sanctuary. Take a break from the city and head to Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Zipline. There's still lots to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Frog Pond, take in the exciting artwork at Art House, take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and stroll through The Bat Jungle.

To find where to stay, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read our Monteverde journey maker .

London, UK to Monteverde is an approximately 15.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of flight and car; or do a combination of flight and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 6 hours traveling from London to Monteverde. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Mon) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Find places to stay Apr 19 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Ecological Sanctuary ©
Ecological Sanctuary

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.
Escape the urban bustle at River Rafting & Tubing and Tabacon Hot Springs. There's lots more to do: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal), admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and view the masterpieces at Wood & Art Gallery.

For reviews, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

Drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) early enough to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Apr 22 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

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.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Biesanz. Take a break from the city and head to MidWorld Costa Rica and River Rafting & Tubing. When in Manuel Antonio, make a side trip to see Rainmaker Park in Parrita, approximately 44 minutes away. It doesn't end there: relax in the rural setting at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices.

To see other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio trip itinerary planner .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a shuttle. April in Manuel Antonio sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 22°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) so you can travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trip

Rainmaker Park
Find places to stay Apr 27 — May 1:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica
River Rafting & Tubing

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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Wed): explore the world behind art at Precolumbian Gold Museum, get engrossed in the history at National Museum (Museo Nacional), and then explore the activities along Savegre River. On the 2nd (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Costarricense, take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, then get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and finally contemplate the long history of Our Lady of the Angels Basilica (Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles).

To find ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the San Jose trip itinerary planning tool .

Traveling by combination of taxi, flight, and bus from Manuel Antonio to San Jose takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. May in San Jose sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 22°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) to allow time to take a shuttle to Tortuguero.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Parks Nature

Side Trips

Savegre River, Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles
Find places to stay May 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De 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.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero trip planner .

Traveling by shuttle from San Jose to Tortuguero takes 3.5 hours. May in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 23°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to travel to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature
Find places to stay May 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park

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.
On the 4th (Sat), stop by Azul Profundo Boutique and then get your game on at Bolas Locas Mini Golf.

To find reviews, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Tamarindo online journey planner .

You can do a combination of shuttle and flight from Tortuguero to Tamarindo in 6 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle, flight, and taxi; or do a combination of shuttle, taxi, flight, and bus. While traveling from Tortuguero, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Tamarindo, ranging from highs of 39°C to lows of 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay May 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana
Bolas Locas Mini Golf ©
Bolas Locas Mini Golf

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