This is the ultimate tropical vacation if you are wanting to experience many parts of Costa Rica. Explore this peaceful paradise for 2 weeks and discover five very different destinations. Some highlights on this itinerary include volcanoes, hot springs, jungles, water falls, and beautiful beaches.
Costa Rica is located in the middle of Central America. It is bordered by Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. This small country thrives with a diverse amount of wildlife all year long which makes it the ideal destination for nature lovers.This vacation is suitable for all types of travelers, whether solo, couples, or families.
When to visit
Is there really a bad time to visit Central America?…nope! Costa Rica has two seasons, dry (considered summer) and wet (considered winter). However, it is green during both seasons. The more popular time to visit, which is usually more expensive, is during the dry season. The climate is always perfect for a relaxing beach vacation or an adventurous jungle exploration.
How to get around
Spending two weeks traveling around Costa Rica requires different types of transportation.
This specific itinerary arrives and departs from (SJU) San Jose International Airport (1). This is the most popular airport due to its location within the nation’s capital. Add a day or two at the beginning or end of your trip if you wish to spend time exploring this city.
There are several different transportation options between locations. Some transfer options will be by bus, taxi, shuttle, ferry, airplane, and water taxi. This will depend on time and budget.
Check with all hotel accommodations before arrival to make arrangements. Or contact Anywhere.com, which is a respectable travel company, to set up all transportation needs…free of charge! Below each destination is the recommended form of transportation.
Costa Rica Itinerary
Day 1-3 Arenal (2)
This area of northern Costa Rica is known for the Arenal Volcano. This volcano feeds the local water at its base and fills many popular hot springs. This area offers whitewater rafting, hiking, canopy tours, and waterfall rappelling.
Below is a recommended tour to see the most popular sites in Arenal.
La Fortuna Waterfall is a main attraction in this region and worth the visit. The nearby town of La Fortuna is charming and highly recommended to spend half a day.
HotelLos Lagos is a very family-friendly hotel. Relax at this all-inclusive resort for 3 nights. The hotel grounds has many pools to choose from. Some of the pools have water slides, a swim up bar, and a restaurant. There are multiple personal hot spring pools as well but those fill up quickly. The hotel also has a few wildlife exhibits and a sports bar.
Day 3-5 Monteverde (3)
Monteverde is home of the cloud forest. This part of Costa Rica is known for its cool climate, swinging bridges, and large amounts of biodiversity.
There are things to do for all types of travelers at this destination. Choose to spend the day at a coffee farm or chocolate farm. If adventure is more your style, the parks offer many zip-lining tours. All tourists can experience the swinging bridge trails in the cloud forest.
The quickest transfer from Arenal to Monteverde is by water taxi. Cross Lake Arenal and then shuttle to Monteverde.
Stay for 2 nights at Hotel Heliconia.
Day 6-9 Montezuma (4)
Montezuma is a quaint surf town nestled in the hills of Costa Rica. This is the perfect place for travelers to kick back and leave all worries behind. Even though this destination is small, there are plenty of things to do in Montezuma, Costa Rica.
This little bohemian town is situated on the southeastern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. Montezuma is a favorite for youths, surfers, and yogis. Wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate the amount of animals that live here as well.
Monteverde to Montezuma is the longest transfer day. Start with a very comfortable ferry ride, which is equipped with bathrooms and concessions. Followed by a shuttle service with approximately one or two stops, depending on the driver. This transfer will take the majority of the day. Make sure to have snacks and drinks.
Stay 3 night’s at Nature Lodge Finca Los Caballos. This hotel offers reliable wifi. The staff is kind and can help with any questions and tour advice. They will help arrange a taxi service for transport to town. The kitchen is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Keep in mind that there is no air conditioning at this hotel.
Day 9-12 Manuel Antonio (5)
Manuel Antonio is a breath of fresh air with all the modern amenities one could ask for. This is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Costa Rica.
There are many beautiful beaches for surfing and swimming, shopping, Manuel Antonio National Park, animal sanctuaries, and all the adventure tours too.
The majority of this travel transfer is by boat, then a short trip by shuttle to the hotel. You can arrange the boat transfer through a company in Montezuma and your Manuel Antonio hotel can arrange the shuttle pick up.
Stay 3 nights at Hotel Costa Verde. This accommodation has very large rooms with full kitchens and patios. They offer many different pools to choose from and free shuttle service to nearby restaurants. This location is prime and within walking distance to the beach and town.
Day 11-13 Drake Bay (7)
Drake Bay is nature’s paradise located in southern Costa Rica on the Osa Peninsula. It is very remote! But don’t let that fool you because there is plenty to do such as, snorkeling/scuba tours, Corcovado National Park that offers day and night tours, and even bio bay tours. This is the place to be if you are wanting to disconnect from the world an immerse yourself in nature. I could’ve spent our entire 2 week trip in this natural utopia.
First, you need to shuttle to Sierpe (6). While waiting for the water taxi in Sierpe, there is a lovely cafe with food, drinks, and bathrooms. Then a boat taxi will take you through the mangroves to Drake Bay. Allow a few hours for total transfer.
Stay 3 nights at Hotel Jinetes de Osa. All meals included. The views from these large rooms are stunning. Macaws frequent the trees nearby and stargazing is a must at this destination.
Day 14 Return Home
It’s time to say farewell to paradise. The easiest way to transfer to SJU is to fly out of the Drake Bay Airport.