11 days in Nicaragua, Monteverde & El Castillo Itinerary

11 days in Nicaragua, Monteverde & El Castillo Itinerary

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Route & dates

11 days in Nicaragua, Monteverde & El Castillo Itinerary

Start: Brussels, Belgium
Fly:  21​h 30​min
1
Managua, Nicaragua
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Catarina, Nicaragua
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 15​min
3
Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
+2
taxi + ferry + bus:  1​h 30​min
4
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 45​min
5
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
6
El Castillo, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Fly:  23​h 15​min
End: Brussels, Belgium

1
night
Managua, Nicaragua

Managua
Nicaragua's largest and capital city, Managua remains relatively unknown as a tourist destination, though it boasts a scenic location on the southwestern shore of the Xolotlan Lake.
To find maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Managua sightseeing planner.

Brussels, Belgium to Managua is an approximately 21.5-hour flight. The time zone changes from Central European Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -7 hour difference. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Brussels in July: high temperatures in Managua hover around 38°C and lows are around 28°C. You'll set off for Catarina on the 12th (Wed).

Things to do in Managua

#Tours, #Outdoors, #Wildlife
Find places to stay Jul 11 — 12:

1
night
Catarina, Nicaragua

Catarina
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Wed): look for all kinds of wild species at Gaia Estate, then witness a stunning natural landmark at Hervideros de San Jacinto, and then contemplate the waterfront views at Laguna de Apoyo. On your second day here, step off the mainland to explore Las Isletas.

For photos, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, use the Catarina trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Managua to Catarina takes an hour. In July, daytime highs in Catarina are 38°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Isla de Ometepe.

Things to do in Catarina

#Parks, #Nature, #Wildlife

Side Trips

Diriamba, Apoyo, Las Isletas
Find places to stay Jul 12 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Apoyo
Apoyo
Las Isletas ©
Las Isletas
Hervideros de San Jacinto ©
Hervideros de San Jacinto

2
nights
Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

Isla de Ometepe
Isla de Ometepe may be small in size, but it boasts two large volcanoes that dominate its landscape and influence the local lifestyle.
You've now added Haris'horses to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 14th (Fri): head off the coast to Isla Ometepe and then take a pleasant ride with Haris'horses.

For traveler tips, photos, maps, and tourist information, read Isla de Ometepe vacation trip planner.

You can drive from Catarina to Isla de Ometepe in 2.5 hours. In July in Isla de Ometepe, expect temperatures between 35°C during the day and 29°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) early enough to take a bus to San Juan del Sur.

Things to do in Isla de Ometepe

#Nature, #Parks, #Tours
Find places to stay Jul 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Isla Ometepe
Isla Ometepe
Haris'horses ©
Haris'horses

1
night
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

San Juan del Sur ©
Set in a crescent-shaped bay, San Juan del Sur has become known as a popular surfing spot and coastal holiday destination for Nicaraguan families and international visitors alike.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Sat): make a trip to Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia, then push the limits with an extreme tour, and then enjoy the sand and surf at San Juan del Sur Beach.

For where to stay, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our San Juan del Sur itinerary planner.

Take a bus from Isla de Ometepe to San Juan del Sur in 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 35°C in July, and nighttime lows around 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in San Juan del Sur

#Beaches, #Parks, #Outdoors
Find places to stay Jul 15 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
San Juan del Sur Beach ©
San Juan del Sur Beach
Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia ©

2
nights
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde ©
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Sun): identify plant and animal life at Curi Cancha Reserve and then admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then stop by Hummingbird Gallery.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Monteverde tour planner.

Traveling by car from San Juan del Sur to Monteverde takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 18th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to El Castillo.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Tours
Find places to stay Jul 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

2
nights
El Castillo, Costa Rica

El Castillo
Start off your visit on the 18th (Tue): admire nature's wide array of creatures at Arenal Eco Zoo.

For maps, reviews, and tourist information, go to the El Castillo trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to El Castillo takes 3 hours. On the 20th (Thu), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in El Castillo

#Parks, #Nature, #Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Find places to stay Jul 18 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Eco Zoo ©
Arenal Eco Zoo

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