Looking for an exciting 15-day trip to Costa Rica? You have come to the right place! In this article, I will guide you on an unforgettable trip to some of the most impressive destinations in Costa Rica. From dreamy beaches to lush tropical jungles and incredible national parks, this itinerary lets you discover the natural beauty of this fascinating country. Get ready for an adventure full of breathtaking landscapes and exciting experiences!
Here's what you'll find:
2-week trip through Costa Rica
This 15-day trip to Costa Rica lets you discover the natural and cultural diversity this country has to offer. From the energy of San José to the paradisiacal beaches of Puerto Viejo and Bocas del Toro, through the impressive volcanoes of La Fortuna and the natural wonders of Uvita and Drake Bay, every day offers you new experiences and fantastic landscapes. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Costa Rica!
Day 1: San José – Gateway to Costa Rica
Start your journey in the bustling city of San José, Costa Rica's capital. While many travelers pass this city quickly on their way to other destinations, I recommend making the most of your stay in San Jose. Experience the charm of the old town, visit the National Museum to immerse yourself in the country's history and culture and taste the delicious local cuisine at the traditional markets and restaurants.
Transportation: To get to San Jose, you can fly directly to Juan Santamaría International Airport or use ground transportation from other destinations in Costa Rica.
Day 2-3: Puerto Viejo – Caribbean beaches and relaxed life
On days 2 and 3, head to Puerto Viejo, a scenic beach town on Costa Rica's Caribbean coast. Here you will find dream beaches, a vibrant Caribbean culture and a relaxed life. Enjoy the warm turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, relax on the beach at Punta Uva or Manzanillo, and explore Cahuita National Park, where you can hike trails surrounded by lush vegetation and immerse yourself in an incredibly colorful underwater world while snorkeling.
Transportation: From San José, you can take a bus or private transfer to Puerto Viejo, which takes about 4-5 hours.
Day 4-5: Bocas del Toro (Panama) – Close to Caribbean exoticism
Although it is technically located in Panama, do not miss the chance to visit the beautiful islands of Bocas del Toro, which are located near the border with Costa Rica. On days 4 and 5 you cross the border and enter this Caribbean paradise. Explore the islands on a boat tour, enjoy white sand beaches and crystal clear waters and immerse yourself in the vibrant nightlife of Bocas Town. You can also snorkel, surf or just relax in a hammock while enjoying the paradisiacal surroundings.
Transportation: From Puerto Viejo you can take a bus or shuttle to the Panama border and then continue by water taxi to Bocas del Toro.
Day 6-8: La Fortuna – Volcanoes and hot springs
On Days 6-8, travel north to Costa Rica until you reach La Fortuna, a destination known for its mighty Arenal Volcano and soothing hot springs. Enjoy breathtaking views of the volcano, explore the trails of Arenal Volcano National Park, and relax in the area's natural hot springs. You can also visit the impressive La Fortuna Falls and participate in activities such as ziplining, boat tours and walking over suspension bridges.
Getting around: From Bocas del Toro, take a water taxi and then a bus or shuttle to La Fortuna, which usually takes about 5-6 hours.
Day 9-11: Uvita – Encounter with nature in Ballena Marine National Park
Continue your route towards the Pacific coast and discover the beauty of Uvita. Here you will find the Marino Ballena National Park, famous for its impressive coral formations and for being an important spot for whale watching. Enjoy the pristine beaches, swim in the natural pools known as "Las Ventanas" and feel one with nature as you explore the park on a kayak or paddleboard. Don't miss the incredible experience of seeing humpback whales in their natural habitat.
Transport: From La Fortuna you can take a bus or a transfer to Uvita, with an estimated duration of 5-6 hours.
Days 12-14: Drake Bay – Adventure on the Osa Peninsula
On days 12-14, head to Drake Bay, a remote corner of Costa Rica on the Osa Peninsula. From Drake Bay, you can take a trip to Corcovado National Park, one of the country's most impressive natural treasures. Explore the rainforest's unique biodiversity, spot monkeys, sloths and exotic birds, and admire waterfalls and pristine beaches. In addition, enjoy activities such as hiking, snorkeling and kayaking in the area.
Getting around: From Uvita you can take a bus or shuttle to Sierpe and then a boat that will take you to Drake Bay. The sailing trip takes about 1-2 hours.
Day 15: San José – Farewell and unforgettable memories
On your final day, return to San José to conclude your Costa Rican adventure. Take advantage of this day to enjoy the last moments in the city, visit a museum or market you haven't explored before, and reflect on the incredible memories and experiences you've lived during these 15 days.
Transport: From Drake Bay you can take a boat to Sierpe and then land transport to San José, with a total duration of approximately 6-7 hours.
Traveling around Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a country with a great variety of fauna and nature. You can visit volcanoes, national parks, towering waterfalls, sunbathe on the beach, kayak,...
There are differentTOURS AND ACTIVITIESthings you can do during your trip to make the most of your stay:
Is Costa Rica safe to travel?
Costa Rica is a rather dangerous country where nothing should happen if you are careful and take your precautions. Remember to follow these recommendations:
- Do not resist physical theft.
- Don't show high purchasing power, that is, don't go with jewelry, bags, etc... that are expensive.
- Be careful when you go out at night and stay in crowded places where you are surrounded by other people.
- Thefts are common, so don't walk with your camera or mobile phone in your hand or hanging around your neck.
- Try not to carry the backpack on your back. Place it in front of you or use a fanny pack or cross body bag.
Personally, I traveled alone in Costa Rica for 3 months (I visited San José, Puerto Viejo, Tortuguero, Dominical, Uvita, Bay Drake and Puerto Jiménez) and I was not in a really serious situation.
As I walked down the street with the camera, several Costa Rican people approached me and warned me to be careful about robberies, as they told me they are very frequent.
In my case they tried to steal 2 times during the trip and luckily I realized it in time and was able to avoid it. In any case, it's always a good idea to havetravel insurancewhich can compensate you financially and help you if a medical emergency occurs.
👉 If you are interested in traveling alone, I recommend this article on the reasons andadvantages of traveling aloneand this other article with tips for traveling alone as a woman. I encourage you to try it as it is a great and very rewarding experience for yourself.
Vegansk in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is not a country that faces vegan food. Anyway, they have some traditional dishes that are vegan or you can ask without eggs or sauces like pico van haan (rice with beans for breakfast), black bean soup or rice with vegetables.
You should always ask if the purées or soups are made with some sort of dairy product or meat stock, as they may seem like vegan dishes but are not.
In San José you will find some vegan restaurants, but if you leave the capital, the offer is very limited or non-existent. Then I make three recommendations and in this link you can read tips for traveling vegan.
- Try to stay in hotels that are known for making vegan and vegetarian dishes. This is the best option and the most practical to avoid looking for places where you can eat comfortably without repeating the same dishes over and over again.
- Before going on a tour that includes a meal, always mention that you are vegan or vegetarian so they can accommodate the food.
- Costa Rica is a country where you can find a variety of fresh produce (fruits and vegetables) to prepare salads and breakfasts with fruit. In any town or village you will easily find a supermarket or street stalls where you can do your shopping.
15 day Costa Rica tour | 2 week itinerary -? ›
Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to enjoy Costa Rica, home to epic national parks, great surfing, beautiful beaches, and exotic wildlife found around every corner. Life is vibrant in this wonderful country – ready to be enjoyed in this Costa Rica 2-week Itinerary!Is 2 weeks in Costa Rica too much? ›
Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to enjoy Costa Rica, home to epic national parks, great surfing, beautiful beaches, and exotic wildlife found around every corner. Life is vibrant in this wonderful country – ready to be enjoyed in this Costa Rica 2-week Itinerary!How many days in Costa Rica is enough? ›
We recommend spending 10 days to two weeks in Costa Rica, as this timeframe will give you enough time to cover all the major highlights while also including time for traveling from one destination to another. A two-week Costa Rica itinerary will guarantee you see everything the country has to offer.Is 1 week enough for Costa Rica? ›
A week is the minimum amount of time you should spend in Costa Rica to experience both the beautiful inland and the coastline. You won't be lacking in things to do if you spend two or more weeks in Costa Rica.How much is two weeks in Costa Rica on a budget? ›
Traveling for two weeks in Costa Rica on a mid-range budget will cost you around $2,000 – $4,000, including accommodation, meals, day trips, and car rental.How much cash do I need for a week in Costa Rica? ›
For a one week Costa Rica trip, I recommend to bring around $200 dollars in US dollars cash per person.Is 3 weeks in Costa Rica too long? ›
Three weeks is the ideal time to absorb the Costa Rican way of life and enjoy all the top things to do. Use this Costa Rica 3-week itinerary to plan your route around the country's waterfalls, volcanoes, national reserves, and beautiful beaches. Get ready for the trip of a lifetime! Hi, we're Nick & Hannah!Is 10 days in Costa Rica enough? ›
10 days in Costa Rica is the perfect amount of time to get a real feel for the country. You'll have time enough to get deep into the jungle, get up close with the wildlife, soak up the beaches and get active with zip lining and white water rafting.Do I need a car in Costa Rica? ›
Getting around Costa Rica without a car is certainly feasible, but it's likely to be either expensive or time-consuming. So, if you prefer to relax and enjoy, rather than hailing a taxi or waiting for your drop-off in a shared shuttle, renting a car is right for you.Is 7 days in Costa Rica enough? ›
Costa Rica is also a relatively small country, making it the perfect destination to explore even on a week-long trip. Although this might feel like a short time to explore Costa Rica, 7 days gives you enough time to see the country's best highlights.
What is the cheapest month to go to Costa Rica? ›
The cheapest months to book a flight to Costa Rica: August and July, followed by November. Booking a flight in August can result in an average of 2% savings compared to the average yearly flight price.What is the cheapest season to go to Costa Rica? ›
The cheapest time to visit Costa Rica is during the green season or rainy season, May to November. As the largest influx of tourists visit Costa Rica during the dry season (December through April), that is the most expensive time to visit. Read more about Costa Rica weather to know what to expect.How much cash should I have for Costa Rica? ›
How Much Cash Should I Carry in Costa Rica? In general, it's a good idea to carry between $50-$100, most of which should be composed of small and medium-sized bills (example exchange rates include $20 =10.000 colones, $10=5.000 colones, $4=2.000 colones, $2=1.000 colones.)What months are best to go to Costa Rica? ›
The best time to visit Costa Rica is between December and April, when the weather is at its driest and brightest. We'd also recommend traveling in the country's green season, from May to June or in November. This is when you catch the seasons in transition, and the national parks are quieter.What coast is better in Costa Rica? ›
If you go by what the locals say, the Caribbean coast wins. Well-traveled Costa Ricans love to visit the area south of Limon with its most famous beach towns of Cahuita, Puerto Viejo, and Manzanillo. It is less crowded, not as expensive, and known for its great food scene.What months are busy in Costa Rica? ›
Costa Rica's high season for tourism runs from late November to late April, which coincides almost perfectly with the chill of winter in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The high season is also the dry season.Is $10 dollars a good tip in Costa Rica? ›
Tipping restaurant wait staff an average of 15-20% is the norm in Costa Rica.How much is $1 U.S. in Costa Rica? ›
1 USD = 539.753669 CRC May 31, 2023 16:06 UTC
The currency converter below is easy to use and the currency rates are updated frequently.
We recommend that you bring around $50 to $100 US dollars in cash and a VISA or Master Card. There are other credit cards that are accepted, but VISA and Master Card are the most commonly accepted throughout Costa Rica. If needed, you can get a cash advance on a VISA card if you go to a large bank.What is the best way to explore Costa Rica? ›
The best way to get around Costa Rica is by bus, which is reliable, navigable, inexpensive and frequently runs through San José, Costa Rica's capital. Driving on your own is not highly recommended as some roads are tricky (speckled with potholes and ambiguously marked intersections).
How long to spend in La Fortuna? ›
If the hot springs play a big part in your trip, consider staying in a hotel with hot springs included in the nightly price. (Here are all your hotel options) We'd recommend staying 3-4 days to allow enough time to do all the top things to do in La Fortuna.How do you get around Costa Rica without a car? ›
Getting to Costa Rica and getting around
Buses are the most common way of getting around Costa Rica, and the public bus system is excellent, inexpensive and relatively frequent, even in remote areas. Privately run shuttle buses offer quicker but pricier transfers, while taxis are decent value for groups.
The best areas to stay in Costa Rica for first-timers are the beautiful neighborhoods of San Jose, Arenal Volcano, Monteverde, Puerto Viejo, Manuel Antonio, and Tamarindo Beach. These city are vey popular with tourist that offers a wide variety of tourist attractions and amenities.Is Costa Rica cheap or expensive? ›
While Costa Rica has become one of the most expensive countries to travel to in Central America, there are ways to explore the area while sticking to your budget. A lot of this depends on what time of year you visit Costa Rica. With a little bit of pre-planning, you can enjoy a week in Costa Rica on any budget!Can I drive in Costa Rica with a US license? ›
Your driving license from your home country is valid to use in Costa Rica, if you're in the country as a tourist. Most tourists in Costa Rica can stay for up to 90 days (this can change for citizens of some countries, but North Americans and Europeans get up to 90 days).Is it better to rent a car or taxi in Costa Rica? ›
That being said, you should rent a car in Costa Rica if you want to explore the country, see more of Costa Rica beyond the typical tourist spots, you don't want to depend on public transportation or shuttles and you want to experience Costa Rica like a local.Is Uber available in Costa Rica? ›
The Uber app makes Uber a convenient and easy-to-use rideshare option in Costa Rica. Multiple options to pay for your trip. Another benefit Uber offers is that you can choose how you want to be charged (credit card, debit card, or cash).Is Costa Rica expensive vacation? ›
If you're wondering “Is Costa Rica expensive?”, the answer is yes and no. Compared to other Central American countries like Nicaragua or El Salvador, Costa Rica is generally more on the expensive side. It's pretty well-developed and has a thriving tourism industry, so things do cost more.How many days are enough for San Jose Costa Rica? ›
If you want to check out San Jose, the capital city of Costa Rica, you can easily do it in 1 or 2 days. It's not a big city but there are several excellent cultural and historical things to do in San Jose, Costa Rica.Is 6 days in Costa Rica enough? ›
Even a mere six days is enough time to experience the highlights of Costa Rica. On this brisk itinerary, you'll do just that, visiting both Arenal and Corcovado National Park as well as enjoying waterfall hikes and exotic wildlife safaris.
Can you live in Costa Rica for $5000 a month? ›
Regardless of where you settle down, the overall cost of living is relatively low when compared to the United States and much of Europe. Most single expats in Costa Rica can live comfortably on USD$1,500 to $2,000 per month. A family of four may be able to live comfortably on USD$3,000 to $3500.Which US city has the most flights to Costa Rica? ›
The other 15 airports all offer direct flights, some with multiple airlines. Los Angeles, Miami, and Orlando are the cities with the most direct flights into Costa Rica.Can I live in Costa Rica on $2000 a month? ›
The low cost of living
With housing costs and consumer prices much lower than in the U.S., it's easy to stretch your dollars and live like a king in Costa Rica. In fact, most people should be able to live relatively well on just $2,000 a month in Costa Rica.
The best times to visit Costa Rica are late fall to early spring months when heavy rains ease. The best months during this dry season are November through April because of a lower risk of rain. The worst months are May through October because of a much higher risk.How far out should you book a flight to Costa Rica? ›
Top tips for finding cheap flights to Costa Rica. Book at least 2 weeks before departure in order to get a below-average price. High season is considered to be January, November and December. The cheapest month to fly from the United States is May.What airlines fly nonstop to Costa Rica? ›
Which airlines offer direct flights to Costa Rica? American Airlines, United, KLM, jetBlue, Delta, Iberia, Spirit Airlines and Air Canada all fly non-stop to Costa Rica.Is 10 days enough time in Costa Rica? ›
10 days in Costa Rica is the perfect amount of time to get a real feel for the country. You'll have time enough to get deep into the jungle, get up close with the wildlife, soak up the beaches and get active with zip lining and white water rafting.Is there a bad time of year to go to Costa Rica? ›
The best times to visit Costa Rica are late fall to early spring months when heavy rains ease. The best months during this dry season are November through April because of a lower risk of rain. The worst months are May through October because of a much higher risk.