50 days in Costa Rica & Nicaragua Itinerary

50 days in Costa Rica & Nicaragua Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Jaco, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Quepos, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Bus
3
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Drive
4
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Drive
5
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive
6
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 7 nights
Drive
7
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Drive
8
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Drive
9
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
— 5 nights
Drive
10
Leon, Nicaragua
— 7 nights
Fly

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Jaco, Costa Rica

— 4 nights
A seaside resort town with plenty of entertaining distractions along its attractive coastline, Jaco has long been a major tourist destination on the central Pacific coast.
Jaco is known for adventure, beaches, and classes. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: get outside with Outdoor Activities, see Off-Road Tours, push the limits with an extreme tour, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To find ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Jaco route planner.

Dublin, Ireland to Jaco is an approximately 17-hour flight. Traveling from Dublin to Jaco, you'll gain 6 hours due to the time zone difference. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) to allow time to drive to Quepos.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure

Side Trip

Find places to stay Nov 27 — Dec 1:
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Quepos, Costa Rica

— 4 nights
The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Quepos: Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge (in Uvita) and Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary (in Dominical). Spend the 3rd (Fri) on the water with a fishing tour. There's much more to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and head outdoors with Outdoor Activities.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Quepos online day trip planner.

Traveling by car from Jaco to Quepos takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) to allow time to take a bus to San Jose.

Things to do in Quepos

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 1 — 5:
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San Jose, Costa Rica

— 5 nights
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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near San Jose: Cartago (Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles & Jardin Botanico Lankester), Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca) and Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center (in Alajuela). And it doesn't end there: get impressive views of Irazu Volcano National Park, look for gifts at Chieton Moren, take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, and view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu.

To find ratings, maps, photos, and tourist information, read San Jose trip itinerary website.

Take a bus from Quepos to San Jose in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In December, daytime highs in San Jose are 30°C, while nighttime lows are 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) early enough to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks · Museums · Nature · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 5 — 10:
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Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

— 5 nights

Walaba

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.
Spend the 12th (Sun) exploring nature at Cahuita National Park. The adventure continues: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, tour the pleasant surroundings at Nature Observatorio, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Puerto Viejo, and admire the natural beauty at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens.

To see photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca travel tool.

Drive from San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 10 — 15:
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Tortuguero, Costa Rica

— 1 night

Costa Rica's Amazon

One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
On the 16th (Thu), explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

For reviews, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Tortuguero trip planner.

You can drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Tortuguero in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. In December, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 25°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature
Find places to stay Dec 15 — 16:
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Highlights from your trip

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

— 7 nights
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, and parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, stroll around Bogarin Trail, take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, and take in the natural beauty of Ecotermales Fortuna.

Find out how to plan La Fortuna de San Carlos trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Thu) early enough to go by car to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay Dec 16 — 23:
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Monteverde, Costa Rica

— 5 nights
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, parks, and nightlife. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle, experience rural life at El Trapiche Tour, and kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To find ratings, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Monteverde trip planner.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) early enough to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 28:
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Tamarindo, Costa Rica

— 5 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Change things up with these side-trips from Tamarindo: Playa Conchal (Garra de Leon Golf Course & Playa Conchal), Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste) and Hidden Garden Art Gallery (in Liberia). Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, get outside with Outdoor Activities, get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, and stroll through Samara Beach.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo online tour itinerary planner.

Getting from Monteverde to Tamarindo by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. In December, daytime highs in Tamarindo are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) to allow time to drive to San Juan del Sur.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trips

Find places to stay Dec 28 — Jan 2:
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San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

— 5 nights
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.
San Juan del Sur is known for adventure, beaches, and spas. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: enjoy the sand and surf at La Flor Beach Natural Reserve, stroll through San Juan del Sur Beach, relax and rejuvenate at Pranamaya Yoga & Thai Massage Studio Playa Maderas, and head outdoors with Costa Dulce Beach.

To see traveler tips and more tourist information, you can read our San Juan del Sur attractions app.

Drive from Tamarindo to San Juan del Sur in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car; or take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in San Juan del Sur can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) so you can go by car to Leon.

Things to do in San Juan del Sur

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 7:
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Leon, Nicaragua

— 7 nights
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 Leon with an excursion to Juan Venado Island Nature Reserve in Las Penitas--about 38 minutes away. There's still lots to do: contemplate the geological forces at Cerro Negro Volcano, pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral de la Asunción, examine the collection at Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian, and contemplate the long history of Iglesia San Juan Bautista de Subtiava.

To find reviews, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Leon trip planning website.

Getting from San Juan del Sur to Leon by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. When traveling from San Juan del Sur in January, plan for somewhat warmer days in Leon, with highs around 39°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Fri) so you can fly back home.

Things to do in Leon

Parks · Outdoors · Tours · Historic Sites

Side Trip

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Costa Rica travel guide

4.5
Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.

Nicaragua travel guide

4.2
Churches · Volcanos · Specialty Museums
Still emerging as a major tourist destination, Nicaragua, the largest country in Central America, entices travelers with its rich history and remarkable natural beauty just waiting to be discovered. A holiday in Nicaragua allows you to explore a vibrant culture, scenic beaches, and plenty of spots off the beaten path. Majestic volcanoes, lakes, and forests offer numerous chances for exploration and exciting adventures, while major cities boast splendid colonial architecture. With access to coastlines on both the Pacific and the Caribbean, a vacation in Nicaragua appeals to those looking for thrilling surfing experiences, dramatic views, or a chance to spread out on a deserted tropical beach.