22 days in Nicaragua & Costa Rica Itinerary

22 days in Nicaragua & Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

22 days in Nicaragua & Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Calgary, Canada
Fly calgary SJO:  10​h
1
San Jose, Costa Rica
— Few hours
Drive:  2​h 30​min
2
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
3
Tenorio Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
4
Bagaces, Costa Rica
— Few hours
Drive:  5​h 30​min
5
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
+2
bus + ferry + taxi:  1​h 30​min
6
Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
+3
ferry + bus + foot + shuttle:  5​h
7
Granada, Nicaragua
— 3 nights
bus:  2​h 30​min
8
Leon, Nicaragua
— 3 nights
bus + Fly:  9​h 30​min
9
Little Corn Island, Nicaragua
— 6 nights
Fly:  7​h
10
Managua, Nicaragua
— 1 night
Fly:  10​h 30​min
End: Calgary, Canada

few
hours
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.
To find where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the San Jose travel route planner .

Calgary, Canada to San Jose is an approximately 18-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Calgary to San Jose is 1 hour. Traveling from Calgary in January, things will get warmer in San Jose: highs are around 30°C and lows about 22°C. You'll set off for Monteverde on the 25th (Thu).

Things to do in San Jose

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 25 — 26:

3
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.
You've now added Coffee'N Jungle Night Tour to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 25th (Thu): look for all kinds of wild species at Coffee'N Jungle Night Tour. Keep things going the next day: stop by Hummingbird Gallery and then identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve.

For maps, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read Monteverde trip planner .

You can drive from San Jose to Monteverde in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and taxi; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Tenorio Volcano National Park.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Nightlife
Find places to stay Jan 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve
Coffee'N Jungle Night Tour ©
Coffee'N Jungle Night Tour

1
night
Tenorio Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Tenorio Volcano National Park ©
On the 28th (Sun), contemplate the waterfront views at Rio Celeste.

To find photos, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read our Tenorio Volcano National Park day trip planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Monteverde to Tenorio Volcano National Park. In January, plan for daily highs up to 38°C, and evening lows to 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Mon) to allow time for travel to Bagaces.

Things to do in Tenorio Volcano National Park

Nature Parks
Find places to stay Jan 28 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Rio Celeste ©
Rio Celeste

few
hours
Bagaces, Costa Rica

Bagaces
For ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Bagaces driving holiday website .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Tenorio Volcano National Park to Bagaces. In January, plan for daily highs up to 38°C, and evening lows to 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 29th (Mon) to allow time for travel to San Juan del Sur.

Things to do in Bagaces

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 29 — 30:

2
nights
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.
For reviews, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read San Juan del Sur trip maker app .

Traveling by car from Bagaces to San Juan del Sur takes 2.5 hours. When traveling from Bagaces in January, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in San Juan del Sur: temperatures range from 34°C by day to 28°C at night. You'll set off for Isla de Ometepe on the 31st (Wed).

Things to do in San Juan del Sur

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Jan 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
San Juan del Sur Beach ©
San Juan del Sur Beach
La Flor Beach Natural Reserve ©
La Flor Beach Natural Reserve
Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia ©

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.
On the 31st (Wed), step off the mainland to explore Isla Ometepe. On the 1st (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate the waterfront views at Laguna Charco Verde, then stroll through Punta Jesus Maria, and then wander the streets of Los Ramos.

To find more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Isla de Ometepe travel route planning website .

Take a bus from San Juan del Sur to Isla de Ometepe in 1.5 hours. In January, daily temperatures in Isla de Ometepe can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Fri) early enough to travel to Granada.

Things to do in Isla de Ometepe

Parks Outdoors Nature
Find places to stay Jan 31 — Feb 2:
Highlights from your plan
Isla Ometepe
Isla Ometepe
Punta Jesus Maria ©
Punta Jesus Maria
Laguna Charco Verde ©
Laguna Charco Verde

3
nights
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.
Here are some ideas for day two: see the interesting displays at ChocoMuseo, then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Merced, then pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral de Granada, and finally explore the activities along Laguna de Apoyo.

For maps, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, read Granada itinerary planning website .

Getting from Isla de Ometepe to Granada by ferry takes about 5 hours. Traveling from Isla de Ometepe in February, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Granada, with lows of 25°C. On the 5th (Mon), you'll travel to Leon.

Things to do in Granada

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Apoyo
Find places to stay Feb 2 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Islets of Granada ©
Islets of Granada
Apoyo
Apoyo
Mombacho Volcano National Preserve ©

3
nights
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Playa Las Penitas and Juan Venado Island Nature Reserve. There's much more to do: get impressive views of Volcan cerro negro, see the interesting displays at Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian, look for gifts at Buho Books, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia San Juan Bautista de Subtiava.

To find photos, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Leon trip planner.

You can drive from Granada to Leon in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. February in Leon sees daily highs of 40°C and lows of 25°C at night. You will have some time to spend on the 8th (Thu) before leaving for Little Corn Island.

Things to do in Leon

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Juan Venado Island Nature Reserve
Find places to stay Feb 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Volcan cerro negro ©
Volcan cerro negro
Playa Las Penitas ©
Playa Las Penitas
Juan Venado Island Nature Reserve ©

6
nights
Little Corn Island, Nicaragua

Little Corn Island
The smaller of two islands, Little Corn Island has become more popular than its larger neighbor, with international visitors seeing it as the more authentic, wilder, and more scenic landmass.
Step out of the city life by going to Scuba & Snorkeling and Fishing Charters & Tours.

To find maps, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Little Corn Island visit planner.

You can do a combination of shuttle and flight from Leon to Little Corn Island in 9.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry. While traveling from Leon, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Little Corn Island, ranging from highs of 34°C to lows of 26°C. You'll set off for Managua on the 14th (Wed).
Find places to stay Feb 8 — 14:

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.
For traveler tips, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Managua online itinerary planner .

Getting from Little Corn Island to Managua by flight takes about 7 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and bus. When traveling from Little Corn Island in February, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Managua: temperatures range from 38°C by day to 25°C at night. On the 15th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Managua

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Feb 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Santiago of Managua Cathedral ©
Santiago of Managua Cathedral
Puerto Salvador Allende ©
Puerto Salvador Allende

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