21 days in Nicaragua & Costa Rica Itinerary

21 days in Nicaragua & Costa Rica Itinerary

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21 days in Nicaragua & Costa Rica Itinerary

Vancouver, Canada
Fly + shuttle:  14​h 45​min
Leon, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 15​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  1​h 30​min
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Uvita, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
bus + shuttle:  3​h 45​min
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
+3
bus + foot + shuttle + Fly:  14​h
Vancouver, Canada

1
day
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.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Las Penitas, then see the interesting displays at Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian, then examine the collection at Museo de la Revolucion, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church The Recollection.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, use the Leon trip planner.

Vancouver, Canada to Leon is an approximately 15-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. You'll lose 2 hours traveling from Vancouver to Leon due to the time zone difference. In April, Leon is warmer than Vancouver - with highs of 41°C and lows of 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 27th (Fri) to allow time for the car ride to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Leon

#Parks, #Museums, #Outdoors
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Playa Las Penitas ©
Playa Las Penitas
Catedral de la Asunción ©
Catedral de la Asunción
Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian ©

4
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.
Explore hidden gems such as Butterfly Conservatory and Ecocentro Danaus. Get outdoors at Tabacon Hot Springs and River Rafting & Tubing. The adventure continues: hike along Arenal Natura Ecological Park, take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs, admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, and Head underground at Venado Caves.

To see other places to visit and tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner .

Traveling by car from Leon to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) early enough to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Outdoors

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano National Park, Butterfly Conservatory
Accommodations
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Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
River Rafting & Tubing

3
days
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Nature & Wildlife Tours and Playa Manuel Antonio. Head to Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices and Beso Loco Boutique de Playafor plenty of shopping. There's still lots to do: stroll through Playa Biesanz, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio route website .

Do a combination of taxi and flight from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In May, daily temperatures in Manuel Antonio can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Parks

Side Trip

Zipline
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Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Zipline
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz

2
days
Uvita, Costa Rica

Uvita ©
Ideal for visitors looking to escape Costa Rica's busy beaches, Uvita offers a serene atmosphere and plenty of uncrowded sand for a leisurely vacation.
On the 5th (Sat), look for all kinds of wild species at Hacienda Baru, then look for all kinds of wild species at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, then stop by Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store, and finally stop by Discount Liquor Wine & Cigars. Here are some ideas for day two: scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour and then enjoy the sand and surf at Uvita Beach.

For traveler tips, reviews, photos, and tourist information, read Uvita visit app .

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Uvita in 1.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Monteverde.

Things to do in Uvita

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Wildlife

Side Trip

Dominical
Accommodations
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Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach
Hacienda Baru ©
Hacienda Baru

3
days
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena and Viento Fresco Waterfall. Visiting Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and The Bat Jungle will get you outdoors. The adventure continues: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks and stop by Hummingbird Gallery.

To see traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Monteverde online tour itinerary maker .

Do a combination of bus and shuttle from Uvita to Monteverde in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus, flight, and car. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Thu) to allow time to drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Tours

Side Trip

Viento Fresco Waterfall
Accommodations
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Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena ©
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena
Zipline

3
days
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica

Playas del Coco ©
A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
Explore hidden gems such as Zipline and Shark Diving. Step out of the city life by going to Playa Hermosa and Playa Ocotal. There's still lots to do: take in the exciting artwork at Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts and stop by Sea Hag Clothing.

To see where to stay, ratings, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Playas del Coco tour planner .

Getting from Monteverde to Playas del Coco by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. May in Playas del Coco sees daily highs of 39°C and lows of 26°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 13th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

#Outdoors, #Wildlife, #Tours

Side Trips

Playa Ocotal, Zipline, Playa Hermosa
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Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Zipline
Playa Ocotal ©
Playa Ocotal

2
days
Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Sun): soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, then stop by Papaya Con Leche, and then kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach. On the 14th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: push the limits with an extreme tour and then stroll through Playa Conchal.

For other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Tamarindo day trip tool .

Getting from Playas del Coco to Tamarindo by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. May in Tamarindo sees daily highs of 39°C and lows of 26°C at night. You will leave for home on the 15th (Tue).

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Accommodations
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Adrenaline & Extreme Tours
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

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