18 days in Nicaragua & Costa Rica Itinerary

18 days in Nicaragua & Costa Rica Itinerary

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18 days in Nicaragua & Costa Rica Itinerary

London, United Kingdom
Fly:  16​h
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Fly:  10​h
Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
— 3 nights
Drive + ferry:  5​h
Granada, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
Leon, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Managua, Nicaragua
— Few hours
Fly:  19​h 30​min
London, United Kingdom

1
day
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.
On the 21st (Sat), admire the masterpieces at Precolumbian Gold Museum, take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, then get engrossed in the history at National Museum (Museo Nacional), and finally take a memorable tour with Tours.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our San Jose road trip planner.

London, UK to San Jose is an approximately 15-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone changes from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -6 hour difference. Expect much hotter temperatures when traveling from London in April; daily highs in San Jose reach 32°C and lows reach 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

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
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum

3
days
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Monteverde is known for adventure, wildlife, nightlife, parks, and zoos & aquariums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: look for all kinds of wild species at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, take in the views from Santa Elena Skywalk, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For photos, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Monteverde travel route planning website .

You can drive from San Jose to Monteverde in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Tue) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Adventure
Accommodations
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Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

3
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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, trails, wildlife, and theme parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, tour the pleasant surroundings at Ecocentro Danaus, and take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To see maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip builder website .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) early enough to travel to Isla de Ometepe.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Accommodations
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Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours

3
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.
Isla de Ometepe is known for nature, museums, beaches, adventure, and theme parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: step off the mainland to explore Isla Ometepe, contemplate the geological forces at Volcan Concepcion, ponder the design of Ojo de Agua, and wander the streets of Los Ramos.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Isla de Ometepe day trip planner.

Explore your travel options from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Isla de Ometepe with the Route module. In April, daily temperatures in Isla de Ometepe can reach 38°C, while at night they dip to 30°C. On the 1st (Tue), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Granada.

Things to do in Isla de Ometepe

#Nature, #Parks, #Museums
Accommodations
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Isla Ometepe
Isla Ometepe
Laguna Charco Verde ©
Laguna Charco Verde
Ojo de Agua ©
Ojo de Agua

2
days
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 1st (Tue): look for gifts at Masaya Crafts Market. On your second day here, contemplate the waterfront views at Laguna de Apoyo, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral de Granada, head off the coast to Islets of Granada, then see the interesting displays at Centro Cultural Antiguo Convento San Francisco, and finally see the interesting displays at ChocoMuseo.

To find reviews, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Granada trip website .

Traveling by combination of car and ferry from Isla de Ometepe to Granada takes 5 hours. In May, daytime highs in Granada are 40°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Leon.

Things to do in Granada

#Nature, #Parks, #Museums

Side Trips

Apoyo, Masaya Crafts Market
Accommodations
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Islets of Granada ©
Islets of Granada
Apoyo
Apoyo
Iglesia de La Merced ©
Iglesia de La Merced

2
days
Leon, Nicaragua

Leon ©
A cultured and storied city, Leon attracts guests from all over the world, drawn to the second city's style, thriving intellectual life, and liveliness.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Fri): contemplate the geological forces at Volcan cerro negro, pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral de la Asunción, then see the interesting displays at Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian, and finally see the interesting displays at Museo de la Revolucion. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 5th (Sat): look for all kinds of wild species at Juan Venado Island Nature Reserve, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Las Penitas, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Church The Recollection.

For reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Leon driving holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Granada to Leon takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. In May, daily temperatures in Leon can reach 39°C, while at night they dip to 30°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Managua.

Things to do in Leon

#Parks, #Nature, #Wildlife

Side Trip

Juan Venado Island Nature Reserve
Accommodations
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Volcan cerro negro ©
Volcan cerro negro
Catedral de la Asunción ©
Catedral de la Asunción

few
hours
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.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Sun): make a trip to Loma de Tiscapa, then make a trip to Puerto Salvador Allende, then pause for some serene contemplation at Santiago of Managua Cathedral, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

To find ratings, photos, maps, and more tourist information, read Managua trip itinerary maker site .

Traveling by car from Leon to Managua takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In May, daily temperatures in Managua can reach 40°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Managua

#Historic Sites
Accommodations
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Santiago of Managua Cathedral ©
Santiago of Managua Cathedral
Puerto Salvador Allende ©
Puerto Salvador Allende

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