15 days in Costa Rica & Nicaragua Itinerary

15 days in Costa Rica & Nicaragua Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America trip itinerary planner

Make it your trip
Fly to San Jose, Taxi to Monteverde
1
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Granada, Nicaragua
— 1 night
Drive
5
Leon, Nicaragua
— 1 night
Drive
6
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Fly

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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.
For shopping fun, head to Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery or Alas y Raices. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena and Monteverde Orchid Garden. There's still lots to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle, and experience rural life at El Trapiche Tour.

To find where to stay, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Monteverde online travel planner.

Seoul, South Korea to Monteverde is an approximately 25-hour combination of flight and taxi. The time zone difference moving from Korean Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 15 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Shopping · Zoos & Aquariums

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

— 3 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
We've included these beaches for you: Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Ventanas. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and Spas. Explore Manuel Antonio's surroundings by going to Uvita (Uvita Beach & Dolphin & Whale Watching). There's more to do: take an exotic tour of Safari Adventures.

To see ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio trip itinerary maker app.

You can drive from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Fri) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

— 2 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.
On the 13th (Sat), take an in-depth tour of ChocoMuseo La Fortuna, stroll through Butterfly Conservatory, and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at La Fortuna Waterfall, then hike along Natura Eco Park Costa Rica, and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Paradise Hot Springs.

To see maps, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos day trip tool.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Sun) early enough to drive to Granada.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Spas

Side Trip

Granada, Nicaragua

— 1 night

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.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Mon): take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Mi Camara Mi Mundo, step off the mainland to explore Islets of Granada, steep yourself in history at Palacio Episcopal, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral de Granada, then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Merced, and finally don't miss a visit to Parque Colon de Granada.

To find ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Granada day trip planning site.

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Granada in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Mon) to allow time to drive to Leon.

Things to do in Granada

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks · Museums

Leon, Nicaragua

— 1 night
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.
On the 16th (Tue), examine the collection at Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian, pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral de la Asunción, and then steep yourself in history at Iglesia San Juan Bautista de Subtiava.

For ratings, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Leon online itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Granada to Leon takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In January in Leon, expect temperatures between 39°C during the day and 25°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Tue) so you can drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Leon

Historic Sites · Museums

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.
Head to Organic Products by Coco Beauty Spa and Costa Rica'n Art Craftfor some retail therapy. Explore hidden gems such as Playa Hermosa and Off-Road Tours. When in Tamarindo, make a side trip to see Potrero Beach in Playa Potrero, approximately Playa Potrero away. There's still lots to do: meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, tour the pleasant surroundings at Monkey Park, and enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo online tour itinerary planner.

You can drive from Leon to Tamarindo in 6 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

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.

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.