Hubby (68 yrs old) and I (58 yrs old) are planning a trip for the end of April-early May 2018. We will either have 11 or 14 nights depending on how long I can be away from work. The preliminary plan is to fly in and out of San Jose and rent a 4WD SUV. We’d spend the first 2-3 nights near San Jose and maybe take a full day tour to Tortuguero. Then off to La Fortuna for 2 nights and on to Monteverde for another 2. Then down to Jaco (2 nights) then Manuel Antonio (3 nights)with maybe a day trip down to Uvita. Then we’d drive back to San Jose the same day of a 4:30 PM flight. We are interested in birds, animals, rainforests, hiking, beaches & volcanoes more than night life or thrill seeking. My questions:
- With May being he start of the rainy season, is this an OK time of year for these activities & driving to the various points?
- Is that too much ground to cover? I don’t mind driving and will schedule it all for daylight hours.
- Are there other locations I should substitute for what I have picked or will they provide a good overview of Costa Rica?
- If I can get a full two weeks, which locations deserve an extra night’s stay?
- Would it be better to return to San Jose the day befor our flight home rather than drive from Manuel Antonio?
- I figure on staying at Air BNB rentals unless you know of a reason to avoid those.
Thank you so much for your wonderful website and for any further advice you can provide on our specific questions.
Check out our post on the Weather in Costa Rica for more but May is generally a great time to visit. For your planned Itinerary, yes it seems pretty ambitious for 11-14 days and will have you hotel hopping and on the road quite a bit. Not much time to experience the destinations. It might be a good idea to look at the specific activities you want to do in each place and decide how much time you need there. For example, there is a lot to do in La Fortuna and it might be impossible to fit everything you might want to see into just a couple of days. Many people return to Costa Rica again so maybe you could leave some destinations for the next trip. You could also consider doing either Manuel Antonio OR Jaco and not both. They aren’t that far away from each other (about an hour) so if there are attractions you want to see, you could do them as day trips from one location or the other. Based on your other question on the forum, you should be fine getting back to the airport the same day as your flight.