52 days in Europe & Central America Itinerary

52 days in Europe & Central America Itinerary

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Madrid, Spain
— 5 nights
Fly to San Jose, Shuttle to Manuel Antonio
2
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Ferry
3
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
— 9 nights
Drive
4
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Drive
5
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive
6
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive
7
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive to Almirante, Ferry to Bocas Town
8
Bocas Town, Panama
— 10 nights
Ferry to Almirante, Taxi to Boquete
9
Boquete, Panama
— 3 nights
Fly
10
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Fly
11
Zurich, Switzerland
— 1 night
Drive
12
Munich, Germany
— 3 nights
Drive
13
Berlin, Germany
— 4 nights
Fly

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Madrid, Spain — 5 nights

Cultural Capital of Spain

Madrid is known for its cultural and artistic heritage, lively nightlife, and a dynamic culinary scene.
Explore hidden gems such as Wine Tours & Tastings and Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas. Popular historic sites such as Royal Palace of Madrid and Catedral Primada are in your itinerary. Get out of town with these interesting Madrid side-trips: Toledo (Casco Historico de Toledo & Monastery of San Juan de los Reyes). The adventure continues: explore the world behind art at Prado National Museum, contemplate the long history of Plaza Mayor, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and stop by La Latina.

For where to stay, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Madrid trip planner.

Jerusalem, Israel to Madrid is an approximately 8-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Jerusalem to Madrid. In September, Madrid is slightly colder than Jerusalem - with highs of 32°C and lows of 17°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) so you can travel to Manuel Antonio.
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Side Trip
Find places to stay Sep 30 — Oct 5:

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica — 2 nights

The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
On the 5th (Wed), stroll through Playas Gemelas and then kick back and relax at La Playita. On the 6th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the waterfront at Marina Pez Vela, see what you can catch with Sharefishing, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To see traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio online trip itinerary builder.

You can do a combination of flight and shuttle from Madrid to Manuel Antonio in 16.5 hours. The time zone difference when traveling from Madrid to Manuel Antonio is minus 7 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Santa Teresa.
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Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Tours
Side Trip
Find places to stay Oct 5 — 7:

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica — 9 nights

A coastal getaway popular with surfers and young travelers, Santa Teresa spreads out from the beach and the main coastal road to a ring of newer developments on the surrounding hills.
We've included these beaches for you: Playa Santa Teresa and Playa Islita. Discover out-of-the-way places like Playa Carmen and Playa Corozalito. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Santa Teresa: Paquera (Bahia Rica Adventures, Playa Quesera, &more), Cabuya (Wild Sun Rescue Center, La Selva Cerveza Artesanal, &more) and Refugio Nacional Mixto de Vida Silvestre Romelia (in Montezuma). The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Hermosa, look for gifts at Denga, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and kick back and relax at Puerto Carrillo.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Santa Teresa road trip planning app.

Ride a ferry from Manuel Antonio to Santa Teresa in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.
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Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 7 — 16:

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.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Playa Conchal and Potrero Beach. Do some cultural sightseeing at Lydia Beech Art Boutique and La Galeria Centro de Arte. Change things up with these side-trips from Tamarindo: Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste) and Ohana Photo Shop (in Playa Flamingo). And it doesn't end there: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, and stroll through Playa Langosta.

For reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Tamarindo trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Santa Teresa to Tamarindo takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Fri) early enough to drive to Monteverde.
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Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 16 — 21:

Monteverde, Costa Rica — 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Fri): hike along Monteverde Tours, admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden, and then admire the masterpieces at Chorotega Arts & Crafts. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat): meet the residents at The Bat Jungle, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, then stroll through Valle Escondido Nature Reserve, and finally view the masterpieces at Arte Jaguar Gallery.

To find traveler tips, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Monteverde trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Monteverde takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or take a shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.
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Parks · Wildlife · Trails · Nature
Find places to stay Oct 21 — 23:

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica — 1 night

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.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, stroll through Bogarin Trail, then explore the galleries of Galeria Estudio, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de La Fortuna de San Carlos, and finally take an in-depth tour of ChocoMuseo La Fortuna.

For reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

Getting from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Mon) early enough to go by car to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.
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Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors · Parks
Find places to stay Oct 23 — 24:

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica — 3 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.
You'll get in some beach time at Playa Punta Uva and Playa Manzanillo. Do some cultural sightseeing at Luluberlu Art Gallery and Nature Park Walk. There's lots more to do: discover the deep blue sea with The Biologist from Cahuita, stroll through Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, get outside with Nature Riders, and take in nature's colorful creations at Finca La Isla.

To see reviews, photos, ratings, and tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca route builder app.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) early enough to travel to Bocas Town.
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Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife · Beaches
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 24 — 27:

Bocas Town, Panama — 10 nights

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.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Playa Bluff and Boca del Drago. Step off the beaten path and head to Scuba & Snorkeling and Wizard Beach. And it doesn't end there: examine the collection at Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, explore the world behind art at Plastic Bottle Village, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and take in nature's colorful creations at Finca Los Monos Botanical Garden.

To find more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Bocas Town online tour itinerary planner.

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 and ferry. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Eastern Standard Time is 1 hour. In October, plan for daily highs up to 33°C, and evening lows to 32°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Boquete.
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Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Beaches
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 27 — Nov 6:

Boquete, Panama — 3 nights

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.
Visit Faro Panama and Catedral San Jose De David for their historical value. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Los Cangilones de Gualaca and Los Ladrillos. There's still lots to do: soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, pick up some local products at Boquete Tuesday Market, enjoy some diversion at Boquete Buggies, and stop by Casa Decor Boquete.

To see ratings, photos, reviews, and tourist information, read Boquete day trip planning app.

Do a combination of ferry and taxi from Bocas Town to Boquete in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Wed) so you can catch the flight to San Jose.
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Historic Sites · Parks · Fun & Games · Spas
Side Trips
Find places to stay Nov 6 — 9:

San Jose, Costa Rica — 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Thu): contemplate the long history of Cruz de Alajuelita, make a short side trip with Get a Local Friend, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia La Soledad.

For other places to visit, ratings, photos, and tourist information, refer to the San Jose itinerary maker site.

Traveling by flight from Boquete to San Jose takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Boquete to San Jose. In November, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 22°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Fri) so you can fly to Zurich.
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Historic Sites · Tours · Wineries · Outdoors
Find places to stay Nov 9 — 11:

Zurich, Switzerland — 1 night

Big Small Town

The financial hub of Switzerland, Zurich is most often associated with money and banks.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Sat): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Katholische Pfarrei St. Peter und Paul, then stop by Old Town, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Wasserkirche, and finally wander the streets of Niederdorf. On the next day, identify plant and animal life at Naturstation Silberweide, then see the interesting displays at Zoological Museum, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Predigerkirche, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at BirdLife-Naturzentrum Neeracherried.

To find other places to visit, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Zurich road trip planning site.

Traveling by flight from San Jose to Zurich takes 14.5 hours. You'll lose 7 hours traveling from San Jose to Zurich due to the time zone difference. In November, Zurich is much colder than San Jose - with highs of 10°C and lows of 3°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sun) early enough to fly to Munich.
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Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Parks · Wildlife
Side Trips
Find places to stay Nov 11 — 13:

Munich, Germany — 3 nights

Village of a Million People

Often described as the city of laptops and lederhosen, Munich is an international center of business, engineering, research, and medicine that still maintains a rich cultural heritage and age-old traditions.
Explore hidden gems such as Nymphenburg Palace and Deutsches Museum. Get some cultural insight at Andechs Monastery and Deutsches Museum Flugwerft Schleissheim. Go for a jaunt from Munich to Dachau to see Dachau Palace about 34 minutes away. There's still lots to do: indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink, examine the collection at FC Bayern Museum, don't miss a visit to Marienplatz, and admire the masterpieces at Staatliche Museum Agyptischer Kunst.

To find where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Munich trip itinerary maker.

Fly from Zurich to Munich in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a train. In November in Munich, expect temperatures between 9°C during the day and 1°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) to allow enough time to fly to Berlin.
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Museums · Historic Sites · Breweries & Distilleries · Childrens Museums
Side Trips
Find places to stay Nov 13 — 16:

Berlin, Germany — 4 nights

Athens of the Spree

The country's capital and largest city, Berlin is a diverse urban center boasting a lively nightlife and countless things to do.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Berlin-Hohenschonhausen Memorial and Palace of Tears. Sanssouci Palace and Neues Palais will appeal to history buffs. When in Berlin, make a side trip to see Potsdam's Gardens in Potsdam, approximately Potsdam away. And it doesn't end there: see the interesting displays at Classic Remise Berlin, savor the flavors at Food & Drink, take a stroll through Potsdamer Platz, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.

For reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Berlin travel route planner.

Traveling by flight from Munich to Berlin takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. You will have some time to spend on the 20th (Sun) before leaving for home.
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Side Trip
Find places to stay Nov 16 — 20:

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.
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Panama travel guide

4.2
Landmarks · Historic Walking Areas · Shopping Malls
With a lively banking sector and a booming tourism industry, Panama remains one of the most powerful nations in the Americas, though it's also one of the smallest by land area. The country boasts coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, so it's not surprising most Panama holidays include some form of seaside entertainment. With outstanding beaches all over the country, it's easy to find an ideal spot to swim, snorkel, dive, fish, sail, or simply kick back on the sand with a few cold drinks. The country's best-known landmark and one of the world's most significant shipping routes, Panama Canal tops most tourist itineraries--many choose to see this engineering wonder by traveling the length of it by train.
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