21 days in Nicaragua Itinerary

21 days in Nicaragua Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Nicaragua journey planner

©
Make it your trip
Drive
1
Granada
— 2 nights
Drive
2
San Juan del Sur
— 4 nights
Bus to San Jorge, Ferry to Moyogalpa
3
Isla de Ometepe
— 4 nights
+2
Ferry to San Jorge, Bus to El Panal, Bus to Matagalpa
4
Matagalpa
— 1 night
Drive
5
Jinotega
— 1 night
Drive
6
Esteli
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Leon
— 4 nights
Bus to Managua, Fly to Little Corn Island
8
Little Corn Island
— 2 nights
Fly

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Granada

— 2 nights

La Gran Sultana

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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Mi Museo and Guadalupe Church. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Cathedral San Francisco and Centro Cultural Antiguo Convento San Francisco. And it doesn't end there: revel in the low prices at Mombacho Cigars, explore the world behind art at Casa de Los Tres Mundos, stroll through Nicaragua Butterfly Reserve, and make a trip to Parque Colon de Granada.

For photos, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Granada trip itinerary planning website.

Managua to Granada is an approximately 1-hour car ride. You can also take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to San Juan del Sur.

Things to do in Granada

Museums · Parks · Wildlife · Shopping
Find places to stay May 8 — 10:

San Juan del Sur

— 4 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.
Take a break from the city and head to Popoyo Beach and Marsella Valley Nature Center. Visit Playa el Coco and La Flor Beach Natural Reserve for some beach relaxation. Next up on the itinerary: take in the exciting artwork at The Art Warehouse, go for a charming ride with a horse-drawn carriage tour, deepen your understanding at Spanish School House Rosa Silva, and stroll through Playa Hermosa.

For ratings, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our San Juan del Sur route planning tool.

Drive from Granada to San Juan del Sur in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in May, and nighttime lows around 30°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Mon) early enough to travel to Isla de Ometepe.

Things to do in San Juan del Sur

Outdoors · Parks · Wildlife · Beaches

Side Trip

Find places to stay May 10 — 14:

Isla de Ometepe

— 4 nights
Isla de Ometepe may be small in size, but it boasts two large volcanoes that dominate its landscape and influence the local lifestyle.
El Ceibo Museums and Museo Ometepe are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Visiting Punta Jesus Maria and Isla Ometepe will get you outdoors. There's much more to do: get your bearings at Los Ramos, find something for the whole family at Chico Largo Adventure, take in the dramatic scenery at Cascada de San Ramon, and contemplate the waterfront views at Rio Istian.

Start your trip to Isla de Ometepe by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Traveling by combination of bus and ferry from San Juan del Sur to Isla de Ometepe takes 3.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Matagalpa.

Things to do in Isla de Ometepe

Parks · Nature · Theme Parks · Beaches
Find places to stay May 14 — 18:

Matagalpa

— 1 night

Pearl of the North

Nicaragua's second city, Matagalpa offers an authentic window into the country's cultural and natural heritage.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Fri): explore the striking landscape of Cerro Apante.

For maps, photos, and tourist information, go to the Matagalpa day trip planner.

Traveling by combination of ferry and bus from Isla de Ometepe to Matagalpa takes 9 hours. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in May, and nighttime lows around 23°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Sat) early enough to drive to Jinotega.

Things to do in Matagalpa

Nature · Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors
Find places to stay May 18 — 19:

Jinotega

— 1 night
The city of Jinotega is the capital of the department of Jinotega in the north central region of Nicaragua.The city is located in a long valley surrounded by the cool climate and Dariense Isabelia ridge located 142km north of the capital Managua. Planning Jinotega trip won't be overwhelming when you use Inspirock's itinerary maker.

You can drive from Matagalpa to Jinotega in an hour. Another option is to take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in May, and nighttime lows around 23°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Esteli.

Things to do in Jinotega

Historic Sites · Outdoors

Side Trip

Find places to stay May 19 — 20:
Highlights from your trip

Esteli

— 2 nights
Sitting up in the north central highlands, Esteli enjoys a fairly mild climate throughout the year.
On the 21st (Mon), tour the pleasant surroundings at El Jalacate and then get engrossed in the history at Museo de Historia y Arqueologia Alejandro Davila Bolanos.

To find reviews, ratings, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Esteli day trip app.

Getting from Jinotega to Esteli by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. In May in Esteli, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 23°C at night. You'll have a few hours on the 22nd (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling to Leon.

Things to do in Esteli

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Shopping
Find places to stay May 20 — 22:

Leon

— 4 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.
Visit Playa Poneloya and Playa Las Penitas for some beach relaxation. Get some cultural insight at Calvary Church - Sweet Name of Jesus and Museo Ruben Dario. When in Leon, make a side trip to see Flor de Cana Tour in Chinandega, approximately Chinandega away. There's much more to do: contemplate the geological forces at Telica Volcano, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church The Recollection, stop by Juanmarcos Design, and contemplate the long history of Iglesia San Juan Bautista de Subtiava.

To see other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Leon route builder app.

Getting from Esteli to Leon by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Traveling from Esteli in May, things will get somewhat warmer in Leon: highs are around 39°C and lows about 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sat) early enough to travel to Little Corn Island.

Things to do in Leon

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Find places to stay May 22 — 26:

Little Corn Island

— 2 nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Sat): soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour and then cast your line with a fishing tour.

To see reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Little Corn Island trip builder website.

You can do a combination of bus and flight from Leon to Little Corn Island in 6 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of car, bus, and ferry. Traveling from Leon in May, expect nights in Little Corn Island to be about the same, around 30°C, while days are slightly colder, around 36°C. On the 28th (Mon), you're off to home.

Things to do in Little Corn Island

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Spas
Find places to stay May 26 — 28:

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.