19 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

19 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

19 days in Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Milan
Fly + shuttle:  22​h 15​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
— 3 nights
bus + taxi:  3​h 30​min
5
Tortuguero
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h
6
Tamarindo
— 1 night
shuttle + Fly:  20​h 30​min
End: Milan

3
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.
Monteverde is known for adventure, wildlife, nightlife, parks, and zoos & aquariums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, get to know the fascinating history of Santa Elena Skywalk, take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and stop by Hummingbird Gallery.

To see maps, photos, and tourist information, use the Monteverde vacation planner.

Milan, Italy to Monteverde is an approximately 22.5-hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and bus; or do a combination of flight and shuttle. Traveling from Milan to Monteverde, you'll gain 7 hours due to the time zone difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Aug 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, trails, wildlife, and theme parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Arenal, and contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal).

To find photos, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner .

Getting from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) 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 Aug 8 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

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.
Manuel Antonio is known for beaches, adventure, nature, nightlife, and outdoors. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, look for gifts at Super Joseth, stroll through MidWorld Costa Rica, and let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

To see photos, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio trip 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. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) early enough to travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Parque Nahomi
Find places to stay Aug 13 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
River Rafting & Tubing
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica

3
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from San Jose: La Paz Waterfall Gardens (in Vara Blanca) and Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park). Next up on the itinerary: get interesting insight from Tours, admire the masterpieces at Precolumbian Gold Museum, get engrossed in the history at National Museum (Museo Nacional), and see the interesting displays at Centro Costarricense de Ciencias y Cultura.

To find where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, read our San Jose route planner.

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. In August in San Jose, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 22°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) so you can take a shuttle to Tortuguero.

Things to do in San Jose

Nature Parks Museums

Side Trips

Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Poas Volcano
Find places to stay Aug 17 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
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.
Start off your visit on the 20th (Mon): look for all kinds of wild species at Tortuguero National Park.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero online itinerary maker .

Traveling by shuttle from San Jose to Tortuguero takes 3.5 hours. Traveling from San Jose in August, Tortuguero is a bit warmer at night with lows of 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) to allow time to travel to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks
Find places to stay Aug 20 — 21:
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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Dantita.

For ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Tamarindo trip planner .

Traveling by combination of shuttle and flight from Tortuguero to Tamarindo takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, flight, and taxi; or do a combination of shuttle, taxi, flight, and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Beaches Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Playa Dantita
Find places to stay Aug 21 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Dantita ©
Playa Dantita

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