31 days in Nicaragua, Panama & Costa Rica Itinerary

31 days in Nicaragua, Panama & Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America Trip Planner

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Route & dates

31 days in Nicaragua, Panama & Costa Rica Itinerary

Start: Paris, France
Fly:  11​h
1
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 1 night
bus:  4​h
2
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
shuttle:  5​h
3
Bocas Town, Panama
— 2 nights
shuttle:  6​h
4
Boquete, Panama
— 2 nights
+3
taxi + bus + foot + bus:  9​h 45​min
5
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
shuttle:  3​h 45​min
6
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Fly:  12​h
7
Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
— 5 nights
+3
ferry + bus + foot + shuttle:  5​h
8
Granada, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
Drive:  45​min
9
Managua, Nicaragua
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
10
Leon, Nicaragua
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
11
Matagalpa, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
bus + Fly:  6​h 30​min
12
Bluefields, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
Drive:  7​h 45​min
13
Cano Negro, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 45​min
14
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Fly:  14​h 30​min
End: Paris, France

1
night
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.
For maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read our San Jose trip itinerary planning tool .

Paris, France to San Jose is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You'll gain 7 hours traveling from Paris to San Jose due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Paris in January, things will get much hotter in San Jose: highs are around 30°C and lows about 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can go by car to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
Mercado Nacional de Artesanias ©
Mercado Nacional de Artesanias

2
nights
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a wealth of entertainment by the sea, attracting a lively international crowd of revelers while maintaining a bright and breezy coastal charm with a local feel.
On the 15th (Mon), explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park. On the next day, identify plant and animal life at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens and then enjoy the sand and surf at Puerto Viejo Beach.

To find maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip itinerary planning site .

You can drive from San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4 hours. Another option is to take a bus. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Eastern Standard Time (EST), which is usually a 1 hour difference. When traveling from San Jose in January, plan for cooler days and slightly colder nights in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca: temperatures range from 10°C by day to 10°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Wed) early enough to travel to Bocas Town.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Cahuita
Find places to stay Jan 15 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park

2
nights
Bocas Town, Panama

Bocas Town ©
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.
On the 17th (Wed), examine the collection at Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Thu): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Estrella and then admire the natural beauty at Finca Los Monos Botanical Garden.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Bocas Town trip itinerary planning site .

Traveling by combination of car and ferry from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Bocas Town takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, car, and ferry; or take a shuttle. In January in Bocas Town, expect temperatures between 10°C during the day and 10°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Fri) so you can travel to Boquete.

Things to do in Bocas Town

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Finca Los Monos Botanical Garden
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Finca Los Monos Botanical Garden ©
Finca Los Monos Botanical Garden
Scuba & Snorkeling
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute ©

2
nights
Boquete, Panama

Boquete ©
Now known internationally for its fresh mountain air, year-round pleasant temperatures, and large community of North American expats, Boquete has changed rapidly since the start of the century, changing from a humble mountain town, into a humble mountain surrounded by gated communities and estates.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Fri): relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers and then indulge in your favorite hot beverage with a coffee and tea tour. On the 20th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: hike along Sendero Los Quetzales (The Quetzales Trail) and then take in the dramatic scenery at The Lost Waterfalls-Boquete.

To find photos, maps, reviews, and tourist information, use the Boquete sightseeing planner.

You can do a combination of ferry and car from Bocas Town to Boquete in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Traveling from Bocas Town in January, things will get warmer in Boquete: highs are around 38°C and lows about 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) early enough to go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Boquete

Parks Trails Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
The Lost Waterfalls-Boquete ©
The Lost Waterfalls-Boquete
Coffee & Tea Tours

3
nights
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Spend the 22nd (Mon) on the water with a fishing tour. There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, experience rural life at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Biesanz.

For where to stay, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio vacation website .

Drive from Boquete to Manuel Antonio in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Boquete to Manuel Antonio, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Boquete in January; daily highs in Manuel Antonio reach 30°C and lows reach 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 24th (Wed) to allow time for the car ride to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Fishing Charters & Tours
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica
Fishing Charters & Tours

4
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.
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, look for gifts at Hummingbird Gallery, and kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

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

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde in 4 hours. Another option is to take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Isla de Ometepe.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 24 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

5
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from Isla de Ometepe: San Juan del Sur (Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia & San Juan del Sur Beach). There's still lots to do: ponder the design of Ojo de Agua, see the interesting displays at Museo Ometepe, stroll through Punta Jesus Maria, and head off the coast to Isla Ometepe.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Isla de Ometepe trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Explore your travel options from Monteverde to Isla de Ometepe with the Route module. January in Isla de Ometepe sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 28°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Fri) so you can travel to Granada.

Things to do in Isla de Ometepe

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

San Juan del Sur
Find places to stay Jan 28 — Feb 2:
Highlights from your plan
Isla Ometepe
Isla Ometepe
San Juan del Sur Beach ©
San Juan del Sur Beach
Laguna Charco Verde ©
Laguna Charco Verde

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Fri): head off the coast to Islets of Granada and then explore the activities along Laguna de Apoyo. Here are some ideas for day two: examine the collection at ChocoMuseo, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Merced, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral de Granada, then admire the striking features of Guadalupe Church, and finally look for gifts at Soy Nica.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Granada road trip planner.

Getting from Isla de Ometepe to Granada by ferry takes about 5 hours. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Isla de Ometepe in February since evenings lows in Granada dip to 25°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Managua.

Things to do in Granada

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Apoyo
Find places to stay Feb 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Apoyo
Apoyo
Islets of Granada ©
Islets of Granada
Iglesia de La Merced ©
Iglesia de La Merced

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.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Sun): get a sense of history and politics at Museum National Palace of the Culture, make a trip to Plaza de la Revolucion, don't miss a visit to Puerto Salvador Allende, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Santiago of Managua Cathedral, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: look for gifts at Mercado Roberto Huembes, then see the interesting displays at Museo Sitio Huellas de Acahualinca, and then make a trip to Loma de Tiscapa.

For photos, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, use the Managua trip itinerary maker site .

Traveling by car from Granada to Managua takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. February in Managua sees daily highs of 38°C and lows of 25°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Leon.

Things to do in Managua

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Feb 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Santiago of Managua Cathedral ©
Santiago of Managua Cathedral
Puerto Salvador Allende ©
Puerto Salvador Allende
Loma de Tiscapa
Loma de Tiscapa

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 5th (Mon), take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia San Juan Bautista de Subtiava.

For other places to visit, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Leon road trip planning website .

You can drive from Managua to Leon in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In February, daytime highs in Leon are 40°C, while nighttime lows are 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) early enough to drive to Matagalpa.

Things to do in Leon

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Feb 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Catedral de la Asunción ©
Catedral de la Asunción
Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian ©

2
nights
Matagalpa, Nicaragua

Matagalpa ©
Nicaragua's second city, Matagalpa offers an authentic window into the country's cultural and natural heritage.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Wed): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral, make a trip to Mirador El Calvario, explore and take pictures at Matagalpa Spanish School, then examine the collection at National Coffee Museum, and finally see the interesting displays at El Castillo del cacao. On the 8th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the striking landscape of Cerro Apante.

For traveler tips, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Matagalpa trip planner .

Drive from Leon to Matagalpa in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Leon in February, with highs in Matagalpa at 28°C and lows at 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Thu) so you can travel to Bluefields.

Things to do in Matagalpa

Nature Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Feb 6 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Cerro Apante ©
Cerro Apante
Escuela de Espanol Colibri ©
Escuela de Espanol Colibri
Catedral ©
Catedral

2
nights
Bluefields, Nicaragua

Bluefields ©
Bluefields is the capital of the South Caribbean Autonomous Region (RACS) in Nicaragua. On the 9th (Fri), kick back and relax at El Bluff Beach.

To find ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Bluefields holiday app .

You can drive from Matagalpa to Bluefields in 7.5 hours. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Matagalpa in February; daily highs in Bluefields reach 34°C and lows reach 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 10th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Cano Negro.

Things to do in Bluefields

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Feb 8 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
El Bluff Beach ©
El Bluff Beach

1
night
Cano Negro, Costa Rica

Cano Negro ©
On the 10th (Sat), witness a stunning natural landmark at Bio Thermales Hot Springs.

To find maps, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, read Cano Negro journey builder app .

You can drive from Bluefields to Cano Negro in 7 hours. Traveling from Bluefields in February, plan for little chillier nights in Cano Negro, with lows around 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Sun) to allow time for travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Cano Negro

Nature Parks Theme Parks

Side Trips

Termales Agua hermosa, Bio Thermales Hot Springs
Find places to stay Feb 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Bio Thermales Hot Springs ©
Bio Thermales Hot Springs
Termales Agua hermosa ©
Termales Agua hermosa

1
night
San Jose, Costa Rica

Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sun): view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu.

Plan my day in San Jose using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Drive from Cano Negro to San Jose in 3 hours. When traveling from Cano Negro in February, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in San Jose: temperatures range from 30°C by day to 21°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Adventure Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Feb 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu
Chieton Moren ©
Chieton Moren

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