18 days in Central America & South America Itinerary

18 days in Central America & South America Itinerary

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18 days in Central America & South America Itinerary

Lima, Peru
Fly:  8​h
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 1 night
bus + Fly + taxi:  1​h 15​min
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 45​min
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— Few hours
Drive:  2​h 15​min
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 15​min
Granada, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
ferry + Drive:  5​h
Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
Fly:  9​h 45​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive + bus:  3​h 45​min
Puerto Limon, Costa Rica
— Few hours
Fly:  16​h 15​min
Bocas Town, Panama
— 2 nights
Fly + shuttle:  2​h 45​min
Panama City, Panama
— 3 nights
Fly:  2​h 15​min
Bogota, Colombia
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 30​min
Lima, Peru

2
days
San Jose, Costa Rica

San Jose ©
A trip to San Jose, the capital, commercial center, and cultural hub of Costa Rica, gives you a chance to experience the lively atmosphere and rich cultural past of this vibrant country.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Sat): get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, then get engrossed in the history at National Museum (Museo Nacional), and then take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Sun): look for gifts at Chieton Moren, get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and then explore the world behind art at Precolumbian Gold Museum.

To find ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our San Jose trip site .

Lima, Peru to San Jose is an approximately 8-hour flight. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Lima to San Jose due to the time zone difference. Expect a daytime high around 30°C in January, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sun) so you can travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

#Museums, #Adventure, #Tours
Accommodations
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National Museum (Museo Nacional) ©
National Museum (Museo Nacional)
River Rafting & Tubing
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu

few
hours
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
To see other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio planner .

Traveling by combination of bus, flight, and taxi from San Jose to Manuel Antonio takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Manuel Antonio can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. You'll have a few hours on the 15th (Mon) to wrap things up before traveling to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Shopping
Accommodations
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few
hours
Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Tamarindo
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Plan my Tamarindo trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to Tamarindo by car takes about 6 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of bus and flight. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Manuel Antonio in January: highs in Tamarindo hover around 38°C, while lows dip to 25°C. You'll set off for Area de Conservacion Guanacaste on the 15th (Mon).

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Tours, #Outdoors, #Adventure
Accommodations
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2
days
Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Kick off your visit on the 16th (Tue): take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 17th (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Copal.

For where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Area de Conservacion Guanacaste tour planner.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Area de Conservacion Guanacaste takes 2 hours. In January, daytime highs in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste are 38°C, while nighttime lows are 25°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Wed) early enough to travel to Granada.

Things to do in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Beaches

Side Trips

Horseback Riding Tours, Playa Copal
Accommodations
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Horseback Riding Tours

1
day
Granada, Nicaragua

Granada ©
The lakeside city of Granada has the look and feel of a historically important economic and political center, with grand colonial architecture, a unified look, and many cultural attractions.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Thu): see the interesting displays at ChocoMuseo, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Merced, then pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral de Granada, then step off the mainland to explore Islets of Granada, and finally stop by Soy Nica.

To find ratings, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Granada trip planner .

Traveling by car from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste to Granada takes 3 hours. In January, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Fri) early enough to travel to Isla de Ometepe.

Things to do in Granada

#Historic Sites, #Museums, #Nature
Accommodations
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Iglesia de La Merced ©
Iglesia de La Merced
Islets of Granada ©
Islets of Granada
Soy Nica ©
Soy Nica

2
days
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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Fri): admire the local landmark of Ojo de Agua, take a stroll through Los Ramos, and then head off the coast to Isla Ometepe. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the activities along Laguna Charco Verde, then contemplate the geological forces at Volcan Concepcion, and then examine the collection at Museo Ometepe.

To see photos, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Isla de Ometepe trip itinerary planning site .

You can ride a ferry from Granada to Isla de Ometepe in 5 hours. January in Isla de Ometepe sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 28°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) early enough to travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Isla de Ometepe

#Nature, #Parks, #Neighborhoods
Accommodations
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Isla Ometepe
Isla Ometepe
Laguna Charco Verde ©
Laguna Charco Verde
Volcan Concepcion ©
Volcan Concepcion

2
days
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

La Fortuna de San Carlos ©
Set against the backdrop of the imposing Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna de San Carlos offers visitors a chance to explore diverse natural landscapes and sample some delicious local produce.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Sun): trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon): take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs and then get outside with Canopy San Luis.

For reviews, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos vacation planning site .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Isla de Ometepe to La Fortuna de San Carlos. You'll have a few hours on the 23rd (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling to Nuevo Arenal.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Spas, #Nature

Side Trip

Canopy San Luis
Accommodations
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Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

few
hours
Puerto Limon, Costa Rica

Puerto Limon ©
To find photos, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Puerto Limon trip planner .

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Limon by combination of car and bus takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. January in Puerto Limon sees daily highs of 33°C and lows of 24°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Tue) so you can travel to Bocas Town.

Things to do in Puerto Limon

#Historic Sites
Accommodations
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Catedral Sagrado Corazon de Jesus ©
Catedral Sagrado Corazon de Jesus

3
days
Bocas Town, Panama

The colorful and relaxed Bocas Town has a welcoming atmosphere, with the modestly sized urban area showcasing typical Caribbean clapboard houses and home to a mixed community from across the world.
Take a break from Bocas Town with a short trip to Playa Bluff in Bluff Beach, about 30 minutes away. Spend the 24th (Wed) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's lots more to do: admire the natural beauty at Finca Los Monos Botanical Garden, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Estrella, stroll through Boca del Drago, and look for all kinds of wild species at Dolphin Bay Preserve.

For ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Bocas Town trip planner.

Explore your travel options from Puerto Limon to Bocas Town with the Route module. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Eastern Standard Time is 1 hour. Expect much colder temperatures when traveling from Puerto Limon in January; daily highs in Bocas Town reach 10°C and lows reach 10°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Panama City.

Things to do in Bocas Town

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Wildlife

Side Trips

Playa Bluff, Finca Los Monos Botanical Garden
Accommodations
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Scuba & Snorkeling
Finca Los Monos Botanical Garden ©
Finca Los Monos Botanical Garden
Boca del Drago ©
Boca del Drago

2
days
Panama City, Panama

Panama City ©
Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Sat): don't miss a visit to Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador) and then don't miss a visit to Panama Canal. Here are some ideas for day two: browse the eclectic array of goods at Mercado de Mariscos, get to know the fascinating history of Casco Viejo, and then take an in-depth tour of Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama.

To find ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Panama City trip maker app .

You can fly from Bocas Town to Panama City in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry, taxi, and flight; or do a combination of ferry, shuttle, and train. Traveling from Bocas Town in January, expect Panama City to be much warmer, temps between 38°C and 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Mon) early enough to travel to Bogota.

Things to do in Panama City

#Historic Sites, #Neighborhoods, #Shopping
Accommodations
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Casco Viejo ©
Casco Viejo
Panama Canal ©
Panama Canal
Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador) ©

1
day
Bogota, Colombia

Bogota ©
Colombia's heart and soul, Bogota has earned the nickname "Athens of South America" thanks to its abundance of universities, libraries, and lower-level schools.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Mon): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia Basilica del Senor de Monserrate, admire the masterpieces at Museo Botero del Banco de la Republica, and then don't miss a visit to Mount Monserrate.

To find where to stay, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Bogota online journey planner .

You can fly from Panama City to Bogota in 2.5 hours. Prepare for colder weather when traveling from Panama City in January: high temperatures in Bogota hover around 23°C and lows are around 8°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Tue) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in Bogota

#Museums, #Nature, #Parks
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Bogota.
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Highlights from your plan
Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) ©
Gold Museum (Museo del Oro)
Mount Monserrate ©
Mount Monserrate
Museo Botero del Banco de la Republica ©

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