45 days in Nicaragua & Costa Rica Itinerary

45 days in Nicaragua & Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America travel route builder

Make it your trip
Fly to Augusto C. Sandino (Managua) International Airport, Drive to Esteli
1
Esteli, Nicaragua
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Diriamba, Nicaragua
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Tola, Nicaragua
— 3 nights
Drive
4
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
— 6 nights
Bus to San Jorge, Ferry to Moyogalpa
5
Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
— 5 nights
+2
Bus to La Cruz, Bus to Upala, Bus to El Castillo
6
El Castillo, Nicaragua
— 3 nights
Drive
7
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Drive
9
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive
10
Quepos, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Taxi
11
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive
12
Cahuita, Costa Rica
— 2 nights

S M T W T F S
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6

Esteli, Nicaragua

— 4 nights
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 40 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.

For ratings, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read our Esteli tour planner.

Orlando, USA to Esteli is an approximately 11-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 · Wildlife · Trails

Side Trip

Find places to stay Sep 20 — 24:

Diriamba, Nicaragua

— 3 nights
Diriamba is a municipality in the Carazo department of Nicaragua, with a population of 57,542 (2005). Kids will enjoy Chocoyero-El Brujo Natural Reserve and Playa La Boquita. Step out of Diriamba to go to San Rafael del Sur and see Playa de Pochomil, which is approximately 1h 5 min 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 other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, 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 · Wildlife · Beaches · Outdoors

Side Trips

Find places to stay Sep 24 — 27:

Tola, Nicaragua

— 3 nights
Tola is a municipality in the Rivas department of Nicaragua. Bring the kids along to Popoyo Beach and Playa Redonda. Explore Tola's surroundings by going to Museo de Antropologia e Historia (in Rivas) and Playa y Cuevas Punta de Piedra (in Cardenas).

For traveler tips, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Tola trip planning app.

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

Things to do in Tola

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Sep 27 — 30:

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

— 6 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.
Nica Sail & Surf The Catamaran has been added to your itinerary. Kids will enjoy La Flor Beach Natural Reserve and Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia. Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at San Juan del Sur Beach, get outside with Da' Flying Frog Extreme Adventure, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa el Coco, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To see where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, use the San Juan del Sur vacation planner.

You can drive from Tola to San Juan del Sur in an hour. Another option is to do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect a daytime high around 87°F in September, and nighttime lows around 77°F. On the 6th (Wed), you'll travel to Isla de Ometepe.

Things to do in San Juan del Sur

Outdoors · Beaches · Parks · Wildlife
Find places to stay Sep 30 — Oct 6:

Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

— 5 nights
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 Volcan Concepcion and Chico Largo Adventure. There's much more to do: ponder the design of Ojo de Agua, examine the collection at Museo Ometepe, get impressive views of Volcan Maderas, and contemplate the waterfront views at Laguna Charco Verde.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, use the Isla de Ometepe trip itinerary site.

Do a combination of bus and ferry from San Juan del Sur to Isla de Ometepe in 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Mon) to allow time for travel to El Castillo.

Things to do in Isla de Ometepe

Parks · Nature · Beaches · Theme Parks
Find places to stay Oct 6 — 11:

El Castillo, Nicaragua

— 3 nights
El Castillo is known for parks and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: don't miss a visit to Castillo de la Inmaculada Concepción and stroll through Reserva Silvestre Privada Montecristo.

To find reviews, photos, and tourist information, go to the El Castillo road trip planning website.

You can take a bus from Isla de Ometepe to El Castillo in 9 hours. On the 14th (Thu), you're off to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in El Castillo

Wildlife · Parks

Side Trip

Find places to stay Oct 11 — 14:

Playas del Coco, Costa Rica

— 3 nights

Coco Beach

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 Rincon de La Vieja National Park. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Playas del Coco: Rio Negro Hot Springs (in Rincon de La Vieja) and Costa Rica'n Art Craft (in Liberia). There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, 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 · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Oct 14 — 17:

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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Free Spirit Costa Rica as well as Venado Caves. Family-friendly places like Curi Cancha Reserve and Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena will thrill your kids. The adventure continues: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, explore the galleries of Alas y Raices, stop by Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde, and learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Butterfly Garden at Selvatura Park.

To find other places to visit, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read our Monteverde sightseeing website.

You can drive from Playas del Coco to Monteverde in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Find places to stay Oct 17 — 22:

San Jose, Costa Rica

— 3 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.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Pre-Columbian Gold Museum and Museo de Arte Costarricense. You'll find plenty of places to visit near San Jose: Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center (in Alajuela) and Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca). And it doesn't end there: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Irazu Volcano National Park, view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and stroll around Parque La Sabana.

For traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the San Jose trip planner.

Drive from Monteverde to San Jose in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. In October, plan for daily highs up to 80°F, and evening lows to 65°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Mon) so you can catch the bus to Quepos.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks · Nature · Museums · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Find places to stay Oct 22 — 25:

Quepos, Costa Rica

— 2 nights
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 Fishing Charters & Tours and Jaco Beach. Step out of Quepos to go to Parrita and see Rainmaker Park, which is approximately 32 minutes away. There's still lots to do: take in the awesome beauty at Birding Spots Manuel Antonio and kick back and relax at Playa Espadilla Norte.

To find photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read Quepos journey planning website.

You can drive from San Jose to Quepos in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Wed) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Quepos

Wildlife · Parks · Outdoors · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Oct 25 — 27:

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

— 4 nights
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 Playa Biesanz 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 5 min away. And it doesn't end there: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playas Gemelas, look for gifts at Beso Loco Boutique de Playa, and witness a stunning natural landmark at Manuel Antonio Hot Springs.

For more things to do, other places to visit, 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 · Wildlife

Side Trip

Find places to stay Oct 27 — 31:

Cahuita, Costa Rica

— 2 nights
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 Cahuita National Park and Finca La Isla. There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Puerto Viejo Beach, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Cocles, and admire the natural beauty at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens.

To find other places to visit, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Cahuita trip itinerary maker website.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Cahuita in 6.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. In November, daily temperatures in Cahuita can reach 85°F, while at night they dip to 72°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Wed) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Cahuita

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Oct 31 — Nov 3:

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.

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.