I finished my 2023 travels with a two week trip to Costa Rica. It was my first time visiting Central America, and I loved it. From the rainforests and biodiverse reserves to the traditional food in a bar in San Jose, I loved it. Rather than trying to squash in everything about Costa Rica into one article, this is the start of a series of articles on this stunning country.

To try and get a small taste of the different types of places in the country, this trip consisted of me and my backpack, and many shuttles to get to the different regions. A VERY condensed itinerary is below. As I write up about each place in more detail, I’ll link them below so you can easily access information on a certain place you’re interested in. This will include recommendations on activities, food, transport and the best ways to make the most of each place.

Cahuita National Park

Number of Days spent in each region and links to more in depth summaries.

1 day San Jose
3 days Monteverde
3 days La Fortuna
5 days Cahuita
1 day Tortuguero
1 day San Jose

Below are the days in a little more detail of what you can do in each place.

Day 1 – Arrival in San Jose
Evening in San Jose exploring

Day 2 – Monteverde
Explored Monteverde Orchid Garden and Ranario (frog sanctuary) before a night walk in a private reserve to see wildlife.

Day 3 – Monteverde
Bat Garden, Private Sanctuary walk and coffee tour

Day 4 – Monteverde
Selvatura Park with the hanging bridges to see the cloud forest from above and sloth sanctuary

Day 5 – La Fortuna
Travel day to La Fortuna (in Arenal), boat across Arenal Lake and exploring La Fortuna. Cooking Class in the evening.

Day 6 – La Fortuna
Trip up the volcano, hike to a waterfall to swim in, visit to an indigenous tribe and evening in the hot springs

Waterfall at the Rio Celeste

Day 7 – La Fortuna
Trip to the Rio Celeste and hike there (a river chemically blue with natural reactions).

Day 8 – Cahuita
Travel day to Cahuita, exploring Cahuita and on the beach at Cahuita National Park

Day 9 – Cahuita
Walked to Cahuita Point in Cahuita National Park and beach day.

Day 10 – Cahuita
Surfing at Playa Negra

Day 11 – Cahuita
Jaguar Rescue Centre and Puerto Viejo town visit

Day 12 – Cahuita
Chocolate Tour and hike back from Puerto Vargas to Cahuita

Day 13 – Tortuguero
3 hour boat trip to Tortuguero National Park and exploring Tortuguero town

Day 14 – San Jose
Early morning canoeing in Tortuguero before travelling to San Jose

Day 15 – San Jose (and flying home)
Exploring San Jose