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Costa Rica itinerary (2-3 weeks)

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Costa Rica itinerary (2-3 weeks)

Hi all,

My boyfriend and I are going to Costa Rica for around 2.5 weeks in August.

Our current itinerary is as follows:

Day 1: flight lands at 9pm so stay in San Jose

Day 2-4: Manuel Antonio

Day 5-7: Monteverde

Day 8-11: La Fortuna/Arenal

Day 12-14: Tortuguero

Day 15-17: Puerto Viejo

Day 18: San Jose

Day 19: Fly home in the morning

Is there anything anyone would add to this? I'm aware that if we took a day off each stop we could stop somewhere else, but am not sure where.

Also - we are planning on using mainly public buses, is this feasible?

Final thing: will the weather in August affect any of these stops and make them not worth going to?

Any comments at all are welcome! This is only a very rough itinerary.

Thanks a lot,

Georgia :)

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Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Central America
San Jose
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San Jose Metro, Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio
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5 replies to this topic
Ontario, Canada
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1. Re: Costa Rica itinerary (2-3 weeks)

I like your itinerary. I would not add more destinations.

We were in some of your destinations mid to end August. last summer (MA, Arenal, S. Caribbean, though we do not stay in PV itself and prefer Cahuita or Manzanillo, or possibly Punta Uva). We were able to get a clear view of Arenal volcano for 1 full day out of 3 days/4 nights there, but Arenal gets rainy a lot in general. We thought it was a beautiful area and would not say that August is the time not to go there.

August is a turtle season in Tortuguero. For transportation options to the village see http://casamarbella.tripod.com/id6.html , for ex. It gives ideas for public transportation, too.

On the way from Tortuguero, you will need to go via Moin dock, not La Pavona as at the beginning, I.e. a much longer boat transfer portion. Followed by a taxi to Limon, then a bus Limon to...wherever south you will be staying - PV, etc.

Great site for planning your S. Caribbean portion- https:/…transport-to-puerto-viejo.php .

Not sure what days of the week your Manuel Antonio days are, but remember that it is closed on Mondays.

Have a good trip!

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Arenal Lodge
Arenal Lodge
901 Reviews
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Caribbean
Caribbean
North America
Cahuita
Cahuita
Province of Limon, Costa Rica
Manzanillo
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Province of Limon, Costa Rica
Punta Uva
Punta Uva
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
Arenal Volcano National Park
Arenal Volcano National...
Province of Alajuela, Costa Rica
Tortuguero
Tortuguero
Province of Limon, Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio
Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Tampa, Florida
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2,626 posts
51 reviews
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2. Re: Costa Rica itinerary (2-3 weeks)

You definitely don't want to add any other locations. I would say that this is the absolute maximum. Taking the buses is a great idea but it will add a lot of time to the traveling from place to place. You will barely have two days in each spot. In fact, it may be best if you eliminate one.

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
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6,457 posts
148 reviews
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3. Re: Costa Rica itinerary (2-3 weeks)

Public bus from Arenal to Tortuguero would be a huge pain. Would recommend splurging for a direct shuttle--about $60/person.

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Arenal Lodge
Arenal Lodge
901 Reviews
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
Tortuguero
Tortuguero
Province of Limon, Costa Rica
Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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17,494 posts
60 reviews
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4. Re: Costa Rica itinerary (2-3 weeks)

Yours is a good itinerary for 3 weeks (as it is).Personally, as it will be August and weather should be a bit drier on the Caribbean side, and if wildlife is important to you (it is to me), I would skip Manuel Antonio and would add Sarapiqui between La Fortuna and Tortuguero.

Mentioned in this post
Caribbean
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North America
Manuel Antonio
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Province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Sarapiqui
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Hotel La Fortuna
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547 Reviews
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Tortuguero
Tortuguero
Province of Limon, Costa Rica
Paris, Canada
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6,161 posts
20 reviews
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5. Re: Costa Rica itinerary (2-3 weeks)

The public bus from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde will take 6-7 hours (via Puntarenas). And, as mentioned above, Arenal to Tortuguero will take 5 bus changes and take more than 10 hours. You might want to splurge on a shuttle or break the trip up by staying in Sarapiqui. You might indeed want to skip Manuel Antonio. I would stop in Cahuita on the way from Tortuguero to Puerto Viejo. It is a nice town and the Cahuita National Park is amazing. Lots of wildlife and less people than Manuel Antonio. If you decide not to stay in Cahuita make sure you go to the National Park for the day. I would also not stay in Puerto Viejo but on one of the beaches south of PV. If you can afford it consider the rafting trip on the Rio Pacuare on day 18 ($99 per person) with drop-off in San Jose.

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