30 days in Costa Rica & Nicaragua Itinerary

30 days in Costa Rica & Nicaragua Itinerary

Make it your trip
Fly
1
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Drive
2
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive
3
Cahuita, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive
5
Jaco, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Fly
8
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Fly
9
Leon, Nicaragua
— 7 nights
Fly

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La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica — 5 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: skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, take in the natural beauty of Ecotermales Fortuna, stroll through La Fortuna Waterfall, and stroll around Bogarin Trail.

To see more things to do, where to stay, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos online route planner.

London, UK to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. You'll gain 6 hours traveling from London to La Fortuna de San Carlos due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Tortuguero.
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Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors
Side Trip
Find places to stay Nov 1 — 6:

Tortuguero, Costa Rica — 1 night

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 7th (Mon), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Tortuguero travel planner.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In November, daily temperatures in Tortuguero can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Cahuita.
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Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Nov 6 — 7:
Highlights from your trip

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.
On the 8th (Tue), tour the pleasant surroundings at Tarantulas Way and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. On your second day here, explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park.

Find out how to plan Cahuita trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

You can drive from Tortuguero to Cahuita in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or do a combination of taxi and bus. November in Cahuita sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.
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Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Tours
Side Trip
Find places to stay Nov 7 — 9:

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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Dominical (Tico Roots Souvenir Shop & Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary) and Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge (in Uvita). There's lots more to do: kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, see Off-Road Tours, get outside with Jackpot Sport Fishing, and take in the local highlights with Walking tours.

For reviews, ratings, photos, and other tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio road trip planning tool.

Getting from Cahuita to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Jaco.
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Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Wildlife
Side Trips
Find places to stay Nov 9 — 13:

Jaco, Costa Rica — 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 14th (Mon): get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour and then get outside with Outdoor Activities. On your second day here, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For maps, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Jaco day trip tool.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Jaco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Tue) so you can drive to Monteverde.
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Tours · Outdoors · Adventure · Spas
Find places to stay Nov 13 — 15:

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.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Wed): tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then relax and rejuvenate at Monteverde Massage Center. On the next day, experience the excitement of El Trapiche Tour and then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To see traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Monteverde travel planning tool.

Traveling by car from Jaco to Monteverde takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Tamarindo.
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Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Fun & Games
Find places to stay Nov 15 — 17:

Tamarindo, Costa Rica — 3 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: Sea Star Souvenir (in Brasilito), Tio Leo Coffee Tour,a real cultural experience (in Liberia) and Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste). There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, and find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates.

For photos, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo trip maker website.

You can drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sun) early enough to fly to San Jose.
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Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Beaches
Side Trips
Find places to stay Nov 17 — 20:

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.
Explore San Jose's surroundings by going to Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca) and Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center (in Alajuela). The adventure continues: get impressive views of Irazu Volcano National Park, explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, get engrossed in the history at Jade Museum, and capture your vacation like a pro with an inspiring photography tour.

To find maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the San Jose trip planner.

You can fly from Tamarindo to San Jose in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. In November in San Jose, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 22°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Wed) so you can fly to Leon.
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Parks · Nature · Museums · Tours
Side Trips
Find places to stay Nov 20 — 23:

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.
Leon is known for nature, museums, and historic sites. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: get impressive views of Cerro Negro Volcano, delve into the distant past at Ruins of Leon Viejo, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral de la Asunción, and take a memorable excursion with Day Trips.

To find maps, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Leon road trip planning app.

Fly from San Jose to Leon in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from San Jose in November, things will get somewhat warmer in Leon: highs are around 37°C and lows about 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Wed) to allow enough time to fly back home.
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Tours · Outdoors · Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Nov 23 — 30:

Costa Rica travel guide

4.4
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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Nicaragua travel guide

4.3
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.
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