19 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

19 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Costa Rica planner

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Route & dates

19 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Brussels
train + Fly:  28​h
1
San Jose
— 1 night
bus:  1​h 15​min
2
Manuel Antonio
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
3
Drake Bay
— 2 nights
Drive:  7​h 45​min
4
Tortuguero
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
5
Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
6
Monteverde
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
7
Playa Samara
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
8
Montezuma
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h 30​min
9
San Jose
— Few hours
Fly + train:  28​h
End: Brussels

1
night
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 27th (Fri): take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, get engrossed in the history at National Museum (Museo Nacional), and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

To find photos, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our San Jose route planner.

Brussels, Belgium to San Jose is an approximately 28-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 7 hours traveling from Brussels to San Jose. Traveling from Brussels in April, expect San Jose to be warmer, temps between 33°C and 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Find places to stay Apr 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu

2
nights
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.
On the 28th (Sat), soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers and then take in breathtaking views at MidWorld Costa Rica. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 29th (Sun): relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

For maps, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Manuel Antonio online tour itinerary planner .

Do a combination of bus, flight, and taxi from San Jose to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In April, daytime highs in Manuel Antonio are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Find places to stay Apr 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica

2
nights
Drake Bay

Drake Bay ©
On the 30th (Mon), head off the coast to Cano Island. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 1st (Tue): savor the flavors at Minisuper Drake and then get interesting insight from Tours.

To find where to stay, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, read Drake Bay sightseeing website .

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Drake Bay in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Tue) so you can travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Wildlife Nature Parks
Find places to stay Apr 29 — May 1:
Highlights from your plan
Cano Island ©
Cano Island
Scuba & Snorkeling

3
nights
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 2nd (Wed): explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: choose your vessel at Tortuguero Adventures and then see the interesting displays at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To find ratings, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero trip builder .

Getting from Drake Bay to Tortuguero by combination of taxi, flight, and shuttle takes about 8 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry, bus, and shuttle. In May, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay May 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Tortuguero Adventures ©
Tortuguero Adventures
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

1
night
Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui

Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui ©
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Fri): identify plant and animal life at Tirimbina Biological Reserve, then look for all kinds of wild species at Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park, and then explore the activities along Sarapiqui River.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui online attractions planner .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui. In May, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) early enough to travel to Monteverde.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

La Virgen, Sarapiqui River
Find places to stay May 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park ©
Sarapiqui River ©
Sarapiqui River

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Sat): identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle. On the 6th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: identify plant and animal life at Curi Cancha Reserve, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Frog Pond.

For ratings, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Monteverde road trip planning tool .

Drive from Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui to Monteverde in 4.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) early enough to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay May 5 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

3
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 Pura Aventura (in El Guapote) and Nosara (Nosara Beach (Playa Guiones), SIBU Wildlife Sanctuary, & more). And it doesn't end there: tour the pleasant surroundings at Samara Beach, take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall, and enjoy the sand and surf at Barrigona Beach.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Playa Samara day trip planner.

You can drive from Monteverde to Playa Samara in 3 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) early enough to travel to Montezuma.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Nosara, Pura Aventura
Find places to stay May 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Samara Beach ©
Samara Beach
Barrigona Beach ©
Barrigona Beach

2
nights
Montezuma

Montezuma ©
With a scenic position on a sheltered bay, Montezuma remains one of Costa Rica's quieter destinations, attracting mostly backpackers and other explorers averse to making detailed travel plans.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Thu): stroll through Playa Carmen, kick back and relax at Playa Santa Teresa, and then look for gifts at Tica Surf Bikinis. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 11th (Fri): admire the sheer force of Montezuma Falls and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa.

For traveler tips, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, read Montezuma trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Playa Samara to Montezuma takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 12th (Sat) to allow time for travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Montezuma

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Santa Teresa
Find places to stay May 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa
Montezuma Falls ©
Montezuma Falls
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

few
hours
San Jose

San Jose ©
To find traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, use the San Jose online day trip planner .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Montezuma to San Jose in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and taxi; or drive. Cap off your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums
Find places to stay May 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

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