Combining Tortuguero, Puerto Viejo, and Río Pacuare makes for a perfect trip to Costa Rica. To make the most of your trip, maximizing time between travel days at each stop, you'll want to plan your trip for about 10 to 11 days. Even with a tight schedule, travelers can see the classic highlights in as few as 8 or 9 days. See our best-loved Tortuguero, Puerto Viejo, and Río Pacuare itineraries below to start planning your Costa Rica trip.

How many days do you need?

  • Most travelers spend 10-11 days in Tortuguero, Puerto Viejo, and Río Pacuare combined
  • Visiting Tortuguero, Puerto Viejo, and Río Pacuare in 8 or 9 days is possible but will feel rushed
  • With 12 or more days, most travelers choose to add more stops to their trip

How Many Days Should You Spend in Costa Rica?

Recommended Itineraries for Tortuguero, Puerto Viejo, and Río Pacuare

Recommended Itinerary for 10 Days

A beach near Puerto Viejo on Costa Rica's Caribbean side
A beach near Puerto Viejo on Costa Rica's Caribbean side
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in San José San José
Day 2 San Jose to Río Pacuare - Whitewater Rafting Río Pacuare
Day 3 Río Pacuare Whitewater Rafting Day 2, Transfer to Tortuguero Tortuguero
Day 4 Turtle Tour in Tortuguero Tortuguero
Day 5 Tortuguero -> Transfer to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Day 6 Sloths, Monkeys & Chocolate Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Day 7 Hiking and Snorkeling in Cahuita National Park Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Day 8 Puerto Viejo Free Day Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Day 9 Puerto Viejo Free Day Transfer back to San Jose San José
Day 10 Depart San José  


Experience the best of Costa Rica's tropical flora and fauna on this 10-day trip. Spend a fun-filled week hiking in the rainforest, snorkeling in coral reefs, rafting the world-class rapids of Río Pacuare, and more. This itinerary is ideal for travelers heading to Costa Rica during the "green season" (May - November), as the Caribbean coast stays relatively dry during rainy months—and it's also the best time to see turtles nesting in Tortuguero National Park. Read more

Recommended Itinerary for 11 Days

Bicycle by the beach in Puerto Viejo
Bicycle by the beach in Puerto Viejo
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in San José San José
Day 2 San Jose to Río Pacuare - Whitewater Rafting Río Pacuare
Day 3 Pacuare Adventure - Free Day in Pacuare Valley Río Pacuare
Day 4 Río Pacuare Whitewater Rafting Day 2, Transfer to Tortuguero Tortuguero
Day 5 Turtle Tour in Tortuguero Tortuguero
Day 6 Tortuguero -> Transfer to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Day 7 Sloths, Monkeys & Chocolate Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Day 8 Hiking and Snorkeling in Cahuita National Park Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Day 9 Puerto Viejo Free Day Puerto Viejo de Talamanca
Day 10 Puerto Viejo Free Day Transfer back to San Jose San José
Day 11 Depart San José  


On this 11-day trip, you will experience the best of the country's tropical flora and fauna. From rainforest hikes to snorkeling in coral reefs.  This itinerary is ideal for travelers going to Costa Rica during the "green season" (May - November), as the Caribbean coast stays relatively dry during these rainy months. It's also the best time to see turtles nesting on the beaches in Tortuguero National Park (July-October). Read more

How to travel between Tortuguero, Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, and Río Pacuare

Because they're both on the Caribean coast, the 129-mile (208 km) trip between Tortuguero and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a bit more challenging than you might expect. Since there are no roads or airports in Tortuguero, you'll have to take a boat out. Read more

Map

Map of Tortuguero, Puerto Viejo, & Río Pacuare: Best Itinerary Ideas
Map of Tortuguero, Puerto Viejo, & Río Pacuare: Best Itinerary Ideas