15 days in Costa Rica & Nicaragua Itinerary

15 days in Costa Rica & Nicaragua Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America Trip Planner

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1
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
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2
Jaco, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
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3
Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
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4
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
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5
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
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Playa Samara, Costa Rica
— 1 night
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Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
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Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

— 2 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Spend the 29th (Sat) on the water with a fishing tour. There's lots more to do: look for gifts at Villa Vanilla / Rainforest Spices, see MidWorld Costa Rica, and get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To see photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio visit planning app.

San Jose to Manuel Antonio is an approximately 3-hour car ride. You can also take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Jaco.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Adventure

Side Trip

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 1st (Mon): trot along with a tour on horseback, then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and then skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

For maps, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Jaco trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Jaco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Tue) to allow time to travel to Isla de Ometepe.

Things to do in Jaco

Tours · Outdoors · Adventure

Side Trip

Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

— 2 nights
Isla de Ometepe may be small in size, but it boasts two large volcanoes that dominate its landscape and influence the local lifestyle.
To find other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Isla de Ometepe trip planner.

Traveling by car from Jaco to Isla de Ometepe takes 6.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Monteverde.

Things to do in Isla de Ometepe

Nature · Parks

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.
On the 5th (Fri), take a peaceful walk through Curi Cancha Reserve, then take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas), then stop by Women Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde, and finally get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle. On the 6th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

To find other places to visit, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Monteverde visit planner.

Traveling by car from Isla de Ometepe to Monteverde takes 6 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 6th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Tours · Outdoors · Zoos & Aquariums

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.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Sun): surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, then wander the wide-open spaces of Pura Aventura, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Avellana. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 8th (Mon): relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, get interesting insight from Tours, and then kick back and relax at Playa Conchal.

For where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, read Tamarindo trip itinerary planner.

You can drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Tue) so you can drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Beaches · Tours · Parks

Side Trips

Playa Samara, Costa Rica

— 1 night
A beach town with just enough development to be comfortable for families accustomed to the trappings of modern life, Playa Samara has the resorts you'd expect to find in such a scenic area, but they don't hinder the relaxing atmosphere.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Tue): stroll through Playa Guiones and then stroll through Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary. Keep things going the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Samara Beach.

To find ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Playa Samara holiday builder website.

Getting from Tamarindo to Playa Samara by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. On the 10th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trip

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

— 2 nights
A coastal getaway popular with surfers and young travelers, Santa Teresa spreads out from the beach and the main coastal road to a ring of newer developments on the surrounding hills.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Thu): kick back and relax at Playa Santa Teresa, then admire the sheer force of Montezuma Falls, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Refugio Nacional Mixto de Vida Silvestre Romelia. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, and finally get a taste of life in the country at Sunrise Ranch.

For photos, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Santa Teresa trip planner.

Traveling by car from Playa Samara to Santa Teresa takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive back home.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trips

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.

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.