45 days in Nicaragua & Costa Rica Itinerary

45 days in Nicaragua & Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America travel route builder

This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

Start: Orlando, United States
Fly + Drive:  10 h
1
Esteli, Nicaragua
— 4 nights
Drive:  3 h
2
Diriamba, Nicaragua
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h 30 min
3
Tola, Nicaragua
— 3 nights
Drive:  1 h
4
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
— 6 nights
Drive:  2 h 30 min
5
Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
— 5 nights
+4
Bus + Foot + Bus + Foot + Bus:  8 h 30 min
6
El Castillo, Nicaragua
— 3 nights
Drive:  7 h
7
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h
8
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Drive:  3 h
9
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h
10
Quepos, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  30 min
11
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive:  6 h 30 min
12
Cahuita, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
End: Cahuita, Costa Rica

4
nights
Esteli, Nicaragua

Esteli ©
Sitting up in the north central highlands, Esteli enjoys a fairly mild climate throughout the year.
Go for a jaunt from Esteli to Somoto to see Cañón de Somoto about 1h 30 min away. There's much more to do: stroll through Reserva Natural Miraflor, take in the dramatic scenery at Esteli Waterfall, and hike along El Jalacate.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Esteli tour planner.

Orlando, USA to Esteli is an approximately 10- hour combination of flight and car. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Orlando in September; daily highs in Esteli reach 80°F and lows reach 67°F. You'll set off for Diriamba on the 24th (Fri).

Things to do in Esteli

Parks Nature Trails

Side Trip

Cañón de Somoto
Find places to stay Sep 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Reserva Natural Miraflor ©
Reserva Natural Miraflor
El Jalacate ©
El Jalacate
Cañón de Somoto ©
Cañón de Somoto

3
nights
Diriamba, Nicaragua

Diriamba ©
Diriamba is a municipality in the Carazo department of Nicaragua, with a population of 57,542 (2005). Kids will enjoy Playa de Pochomil and Playa La Boquita. Step out of Diriamba to go to Ticuantepe and see Chocoyero-El Brujo Natural Reserve, which is approximately 40 minutes away. It doesn't end there: witness a stunning natural landmark at Hervideros de San Jacinto and tour the pleasant surroundings at Gaia Estate.

For where to stay, photos, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Diriamba trip planner.

Drive from Esteli to Diriamba in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. On the 27th (Mon), you'll travel to Tola.

Things to do in Diriamba

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Chocoyero-El Brujo Natural Reserve, Playa de Pochomil
Find places to stay Sep 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Chocoyero-El Brujo Natural Reserve ©
Chocoyero-El Brujo Natural Reserve
Hervideros de San Jacinto ©
Hervideros de San Jacinto
Playa La Boquita ©
Playa La Boquita

3
nights
Tola, Nicaragua

Tola ©
Tola is a municipality in the Rivas department of Nicaragua. You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Popoyo Beach and Playa Redonda. Get out of town with these interesting Tola side-trips: Playa y Cuevas Punta de Piedra (in Cardenas) and Museo de Antropologia e Historia (in Rivas). There's still lots to do: look for gifts at Bordport.

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

Traveling by car from Diriamba to Tola takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to San Juan del Sur.

Things to do in Tola

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Playa y Cuevas Punta de Piedra, Museo de Antropologia e Historia, Playa Redonda
Find places to stay Sep 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Popoyo Beach ©
Popoyo Beach
Museo de Antropologia e Historia ©
Museo de Antropologia e Historia

6
nights
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.
Nica Sail & Surf The Catamaran has been added to your itinerary. Kids will enjoy La Flor Beach Natural Reserve and Playa Hermosa. And it doesn't end there: enjoy the sand and surf at San Juan del Sur Beach, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa el Coco, and make a trip to Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia.

You can plan San Juan del Sur trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

Traveling by car from Tola to San Juan del Sur takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In September, daytime highs in San Juan del Sur are 87°F, while nighttime lows are 77°F. You will leave for Isla de Ometepe on the 6th (Wed).

Things to do in San Juan del Sur

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Sep 30 — Oct 6:
Highlights from your plan
La Flor Beach Natural Reserve ©
La Flor Beach Natural Reserve
Nica Sail & Surf The Catamaran ©
Nica Sail & Surf The Catamaran
San Juan del Sur Beach ©
San Juan del Sur Beach

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.
Kids will enjoy Chico Largo Adventure and Punta Jesus Maria. There's much more to do: contemplate the geological forces at Volcan Concepcion, see the interesting displays at Museo Ometepe, contemplate the waterfront views at Laguna Charco Verde, and head off the coast to Isla Ometepe.

For other places to visit, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, read Isla de Ometepe travel route planner.

You can drive from San Juan del Sur to Isla de Ometepe in 2.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to El Castillo.

Things to do in Isla de Ometepe

Parks Nature Beaches
Find places to stay Oct 6 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Punta Jesus Maria ©
Punta Jesus Maria
Laguna Charco Verde ©
Laguna Charco Verde
Volcan Concepcion ©
Volcan Concepcion

3
nights
El Castillo, Nicaragua

El Castillo ©
Change things up with these side-trips from El Castillo: San Carlos (San Carlos Fortress & Zapote Island).

For where to stay, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, read our El Castillo online trip itinerary planner.

You can take a bus from Isla de Ometepe to El Castillo in 8.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Thu) early enough to travel to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in El Castillo

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

San Carlos, Reserva Silvestre Privada Montecristo
Find places to stay Oct 11 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Reserva Biologica Indio Maiz ©
Reserva Biologica Indio Maiz
Reserva Silvestre Privada Montecristo ©
Reserva Silvestre Privada Montecristo
San Carlos Fortress ©
San Carlos Fortress

3
nights
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica

Playas del Coco ©
A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
Sunquest Heli Tours has been added to your itinerary. Kids will enjoy Playa Conchal and Playa Hermosa. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Playas del Coco: Costa Rica'n Art Craft (in Liberia) and Rio Negro Hot Springs (in Rincon de La Vieja). There's much more to do: contemplate the geological forces at Rincon de La Vieja National Park, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, and look for gifts at Cata Chocolate.

Plan my trip to Playas del Coco with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from El Castillo to Playas del Coco. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sun) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Rincon de La Vieja National Park, Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica'n Art Craft, Playa Conchal, Rio Negro Hot Springs
Find places to stay Oct 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Rincon de La Vieja National Park ©
Rincon de La Vieja National Park
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

5
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Free Spirit Costa Rica as well as Venado Caves. Family-friendly places like Butterfly Garden at Selvatura Park and The Bat Jungle will thrill your kids. The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, look for gifts at Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde, view the masterpieces at Arte Jaguar Gallery, and delve into the lush surroundings at Curi Cancha Reserve.

To see other places to visit, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Monteverde trip planner.

Traveling by car from Playas del Coco to Monteverde takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Fri) to allow time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Venado Caves, Free Spirit Costa Rica
Find places to stay Oct 17 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Venado Caves ©
Venado Caves
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

3
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.
Change things up with these side-trips from San Jose: Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca) and Zoo Ave (in Alajuela). There's much more to do: explore the striking landscape of Irazu Volcano National Park, stroll around Parque La Sabana, view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, and explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense.

To see traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the San Jose vacation builder app.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to San Jose takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. October in San Jose sees daily highs of 80°F and lows of 65°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) to allow time to take a bus to Quepos.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Museums Nature

Side Trips

Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Zoo Ave, Irazu Volcano National Park, J.LANG Atelier & Showroom
Find places to stay Oct 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Zoo Ave ©
Zoo Ave
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano National Park
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum ©
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum

2
nights
Quepos, Costa Rica

Quepos ©
The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Jaco Beach and Playa Espadilla Norte. Explore Quepos' surroundings by going to Jaco (Bambu & Zukia Art Gallery) and Rainmaker Park (in Parrita). There's still lots to do: see what you can catch with a fishing tour and take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Birding Spots Manuel Antonio.

To find more things to do, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, read Quepos journey planning website.

You can take a bus from San Jose to Quepos in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Wed) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Quepos

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Jaco, Rainmaker Park
Find places to stay Oct 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Jaco Beach ©
Jaco Beach
Fishing Charters & Tours
Rainmaker Park ©
Rainmaker Park

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.
Endemic Bird Expert Costa Rica has been added to your itinerary. Family-friendly places like Playa Manuel Antonio and Playas Gemelas will thrill your kids. Take a break from Manuel Antonio with a short trip to Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge in Uvita, about 1h 05 min away. And it doesn't end there: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, stop by Beso Loco Boutique de Playa, stroll through Playa Biesanz, and witness a stunning natural landmark at Manuel Antonio Hot Springs.

To find maps, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio trip itinerary site.

Manuel Antonio is just a short distance from Quepos. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sun) so you can go by car to Cahuita.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge
Find places to stay Oct 27 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge ©
Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge

2
nights
Cahuita, Costa Rica

Cahuita ©
With its dusty streets and simple (read affordable) lodgings, Cahuita bustles as a hub of backpacker tourism in southeastern Costa Rica.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica as well as Nature Observatorio. Kids will enjoy Puerto Viejo Beach and Playa Cocles. There's lots more to do: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park, admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla, and tour the pleasant surroundings at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens.

For other places to visit, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Cahuita holiday planning site.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Cahuita in 6.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 85°F in November, and nighttime lows around 72°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Cahuita

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Nature Observatorio
Find places to stay Oct 31 — Nov 3:
Highlights from your plan
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach
Nature Observatorio ©
Nature Observatorio

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