25 days in San Francisco, Nicaragua & Costa Rica Itinerary

25 days in San Francisco, Nicaragua & Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

25 days in San Francisco, Nicaragua & Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: New York City, United States
bus + Fly:  8​h 45​min
San Francisco, United States
— 5 nights
Fly + bus:  13​h
Leon, Nicaragua
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
Granada, Nicaragua
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
— Few hours
Drive:  3​h 30​min
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  1​h 30​min
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + bus:  1​h 15​min
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Fly + bus:  8​h 45​min
End: New York City, United States

5
nights
San Francisco, United States

San Francisco ©
San Francisco is a top holiday destination featuring scenic beauty and great ethnic and cultural diversity.
Visit Fort Funston National Park and Montara State Beach for some beach relaxation. Get outdoors at Alcatraz Island and Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve. Take a break from San Francisco with a short trip to Muir Woods National Monument in Mill Valley, about 38 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: snap pictures at Golden Gate Bridge, tour the pleasant surroundings at Golden Gate Park, take in the waterfront at Fisherman's Wharf, and make a trip to Lombard Street.

To find photos, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, read our San Francisco journey app .

New York City to San Francisco is an approximately 9-hour combination of bus and flight. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and subway; or drive. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Pacific Standard Time, which is usually a -3 hour difference. In February, San Francisco is somewhat warmer than New York City - with highs of 62°F and lows of 48°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Thu) so you can travel to Leon.

Things to do in San Francisco

#Parks, #Beaches, #Outdoors

Side Trips

Muir Woods National Monument, Fitzgerald J V Marine Reserve
Accommodations
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Alcatraz Island ©
Alcatraz Island
Muir Woods National Monument ©
Muir Woods National Monument
Fort Funston National Park ©
Fort Funston National Park

1
night
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.
On the 23rd (Fri), take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church The Recollection, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Poneloya, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Las Penitas.

Discover how to plan a Leon trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

You can do a combination of flight and shuttle from San Francisco to Leon in 13 hours. Another option is to drive. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a 2 hour difference. Prepare for much hotter weather when traveling from San Francisco in February: high temperatures in Leon hover around 94°F and lows are around 71°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Granada.

Things to do in Leon

#Beaches, #Parks, #Outdoors
Accommodations
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Playa Las Penitas ©
Playa Las Penitas
Playa Poneloya ©
Playa Poneloya
Church The Recollection ©
Church The Recollection

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Sat): pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Merced, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral de Granada, then head off the coast to Islets of Granada, and finally stop by Soy Nica.

To see photos, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Granada trip maker tool .

Getting from Leon to Granada by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. February in Granada sees daily highs of 91°F and lows of 71°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sun) to allow time to drive to San Juan del Sur.

Things to do in Granada

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

few
hours
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 25th (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at La Flor Beach Natural Reserve.

For where to stay, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our San Juan del Sur trip itinerary site .

Getting from Granada to San Juan del Sur by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Traveling from Granada in February, you will find days in San Juan del Sur are a bit cooler (86°F), and nights are about the same (76°F). Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in San Juan del Sur

#Wildlife, #Beaches, #Parks
Accommodations
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La Flor Beach Natural Reserve ©
La Flor Beach Natural Reserve

2
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Mon): kick back and relax at Playa Conchal and then kick back and relax at Playa Avellana. Keep things going the next day: look for gifts at Azul Profundo Boutique, then look for gifts at Diamante Boutique, and then kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach.

To see traveler tips, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, read Tamarindo travel itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from San Juan del Sur to Tamarindo takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. Traveling from San Juan del Sur in February, expect nights in Tamarindo to be slightly colder, around 71°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 93°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Tue) so you can go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Beaches, #Parks, #Outdoors

Side Trip

Playa Conchal
Accommodations
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Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Monteverde Frog Pond. Next up on the itinerary: identify plant and animal life at Curi Cancha Reserve, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and tour the pleasant surroundings at The Bat Jungle.

For reviews, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, go to the Monteverde visit planner.

Getting from Tamarindo to Monteverde by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Fri) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Tours
Accommodations
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Zipline
Monteverde Frog Pond ©
Monteverde Frog Pond

5
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

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.
Get in touch with nature at Tabacon Hot Springs and Arenal Natura Ecological Park. Step out of La Fortuna de San Carlos to go to El Castillo and see Butterfly Conservatory, which is approximately 42 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, stroll through Ecocentro Danaus, and contemplate the waterfront views at Lake Arenal.

To find other places to visit, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos planning tool .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Wed) so you can 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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River Rafting & Tubing
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs

4
nights
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.
Get outdoors at Playa Manuel Antonio and MidWorld Costa Rica. You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Playa Biesanz and Palo Seco Beach. It doesn't end there: kick back and relax at La Playita and relax in the rural setting at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices.

Plan my trip to Manuel Antonio with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

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. Expect a daytime high around 80°F in March, and nighttime lows around 66°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) so you can travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Beaches, #Parks

Side Trips

La Playita, Palo Seco Beach
Accommodations
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Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz

2
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sun): stop by J.LANG Atelier & Showroom and then identify plant and animal life at La Paz Waterfall Gardens. Keep things going the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Zoo Ave and then get impressive views of Poas Volcano.

For traveler tips, maps, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the San Jose tour itinerary planner .

Do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus from Manuel Antonio to San Jose in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. March in San Jose sees daily highs of 80°F and lows of 66°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Tue) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

#Parks, #Nature, #Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Poas Volcano, Zoo Ave, La Paz Waterfall Gardens, J.LANG Atelier & Showroom
Accommodations
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La Paz Waterfall Gardens ©
La Paz Waterfall Gardens
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Zoo Ave ©
Zoo Ave

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