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Costa Rica in two weeks itinerary: The East Coast

Costa Rica is a tiny country. Nonetheless, you could spend months exploring the national parks, observing the wildlife and living the adventurous life. There is so much to do on so little space.

Most people go on a vacation for about two weeks. That is why I created two 14 days itineraries for Costa Rica. One for the west coast which is coming up soon and one for the east coast.

Go and make the most of your trip and enjoy the pura vida vibe of the country!

When to go

You can find two different seasons in Costa Rica: the dry and the rainy season. The rainy season is from May to November and the the dry season from December to April.

As you don’t want to spend your holidays inside because of rain, the most popular time to come to Costa Rica is during the dry season. Not only because there is no rain, but also because it’s winter in the US and Europe.

Nonetheless, you have to consider that temperatures can be very high during this time of the year and prices of accommodation, tours and rental cars are often increasing.

If you want to avoid being stuck in the rain but don’t want to go during high season, it’s a good idea to travel at the end or beginning of the rain season, thus: November/beginning of December or in May.

If you happen to go there during the rainiest months September and October, it is recommended to rather stay on the Caribbean (east) coast than on the Pacific coast. So follow this two week itinerary.

Costa Rica in two weeks itinerary: The East Coast

Day 1-2: San Jose

You are going to arrive at San José International (SJO) airport on your first day as most international flights arrive here. Don’t just escape Costa Rica’s capital. Give it a chance and walk around San Jose in the afternoon and during the next day.

There is a lot to discover. Go and do my San Jose self-guided walking tour to get to know the best places.

Costa Rica Itinerary: San Jose

Walking around San Jose

Did you know?
You can also get my self-guided walking tour around San Jose right on your phone to find all the places without using your mobile data.
Download the GPSMyCity App and get the article here.

Day 3-6: La Fortuna

The best way to get around Costa Rica is by rental car, but if you don’t want to drive yourself, you can choose between shared shuttle services like Interbus or the cheaper public busses. Autotransportes San Jose-Venecia are going from San Jose to La Fortuna.

La Fortuna is the adventurous town of Costa Rica, so if you love to hang on ropes, cannot get enough of waterfalls and being outdoors, you should stay a couple of days in La Fortuna. You can do almost every adventurous activity imaginable here: canopy, canyoning, rafting, ATV – you name it.

The town is also home of the famous Arenal Volcano. In its national park, you can find different hiking trails. At the end of day, do not miss to visit one of the numerous thermal baths.

Costa Rica Itinerary: La Fortuna

Arenal Volcano in La Fortuna

Day 7-8: Tortuguero National Park

To get to Tortuguero, you can again choose between a shuttle or public transportation. With public transportation, the easiest way is to go back to San Jose and continue from there, so make sure you get to San Jose the night of day 6.

The Tortuguero National Park itself can only be accessed by boat or plane. There are no cars and you will be in the middle of nature. Make the most of your short time here and do the national park hike, canoe in Tortuguero River and watch turtles at night. The nesting season is from April to October. Baby turtles can be seen from November to January.

Costa Rica Itinerary: Tortuguero National Park

Walking along the beach in Tortuguero National Park

Day 8-9: Cahuita

Cahuita is just south of Tortuguero. Reserve your spot on a boat to Limon and a shuttle to Cahuita a day prior to departure.

In Cahuita itself, you can hike through the national park or go on a snorkeling tour. During the 8km hike, you are able to spot monkeys, iguanas, butterflies and lots of birds.

Costa Rica Itinerary: Cahuita National Park

Cahuita National Park

Day 10-13: Puerto Viejo

Enjoy your last days in the laid-back beach town Puerto Viejo. It is a short bus ride away from Cahuita.

In Puerto Viejo, you can just hang out at the beach to relax during your last days, ride the bike from Puerto Viejo up to Manzanillo along the coast, visit the Jaguar Rescue Center or dance the night away as Puerto Viejo is very popular among backpackers.

Costa Rica Itinerary: Puerto Viejo

Jaguar Rescue Center in Puerto Viejo

Day 14: Departure

Depending the time of your flight, you might have to go back to San Jose the night of day 13 or just in the morning of day 14. For the ride from Puerto Viejo to San Jose, there is absolutely no need to catch an expensive shuttle bus, you can easily go by public transportation without any transfers.

Which of those places would you’d love to visit the most?

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2 week Costa Rica itinerary

Read next:
Costa Rica itinerary west coast

2 thoughts on “Costa Rica in two weeks itinerary: The East Coast

  1. Hanna

    Wow, Tortuguero national park sounds something I definitely want to experience, hopefully sooner than later.

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