51 days in Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama Itinerary

51 days in Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America trip planner

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
1
Leon, Nicaragua
— 3 nights
2
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
3
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 6 nights
4
Playa Samara, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
5
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
6
Jaco, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
7
Uvita, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
8
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
9
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 6 nights
10
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
11
Panama City, Panama
— 6 nights

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3
nights
Leon, Nicaragua

Leon ©
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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian and Iglesia San Juan Bautista de Subtiava. Take a break from the city and head to Cerro Negro Volcano and Playa Las Penitas. The adventure continues: stop by Catedral de la Asunción, contemplate the geological forces at Momotombo, pause for some serene contemplation at Church The Recollection, and get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour.

For other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Leon holiday planner.

London, UK to Leon is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 6 hours traveling from London to Leon. Traveling from London in December, expect Leon to be much hotter, temps between 38°C and 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Wed) so you can drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Leon

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Tours
Highlights from your trip

4
nights
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica

Playas del Coco ©

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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Rincon de La Vieja National Park and Cataratas Llanos de Cortes. Get in touch with nature at Palo Verde National Park and Scuba & Snorkeling. Get out of town with these interesting Playas del Coco side-trips: Nahua (in Liberia), Rio Negro Hot Springs (in Rincon de La Vieja) and Hacienda El Viejo Wetlands (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste). There's still lots to do: kick back and relax at Playa Hermosa and view the masterpieces at Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts.

To find ratings, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Playas del Coco trip builder website.

You can drive from Leon to Playas del Coco in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Leon in December: highs in Playas del Coco hover around 32°C, while lows dip to 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip

6
nights
Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Get in touch with nature at Playa Conchal and Playa Avellana. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Adrenaline & Extreme Tours and Pura Aventura. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tamarindo: San Juanillo Beach (in San Juanillo), Garra de Leon Golf Course (in Playa Conchal) and Playa Danta (in Las Catalinas). There's lots more to do: take a memorable tour with Tours, kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, explore the galleries of Lydia Beech Art Boutique, and get in on the family fun at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates.

For maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the Tamarindo vacation planning app.

Traveling by car from Playas del Coco to Tamarindo takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. In December in Tamarindo, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 32°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Playa Samara.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip
©
Must see
Playa Avellana
4.5
©
Must see
Playa Conchal
4.5

4
nights
Playa Samara, Costa Rica

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.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Samara Beach and Barrigona Beach. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Horseback Riding Tours and Off-Road Tours. Venture out of the city with trips to Nosara (Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary & MAEL's ABSTRACT ART GALLERY). There's lots more to do: get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, kick back and relax at Playa Carrillo, take in the dramatic scenery at Belen Waterfall, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To see more things to do, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Playa Samara travel route planner.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Playa Samara in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In December in Playa Samara, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 32°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in Playa Samara

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip
©
Beach
Samara Beach
4.4
©
Dolphin / Whale Watching
Dolphin & Whale Watching
4.7

2
nights
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Santa Teresa ©
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 31st (Thu): glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Carmen. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Playa Hermosa, then take in the exciting artwork at Bri'ah Art Gallery, and then take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

To see traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Santa Teresa attractions planner.

You can drive from Playa Samara to Santa Teresa in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Fri) to allow time to travel to Jaco.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip
©
Must see
Playa Hermosa
4.3
©
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
4.8
©
Horseback Riding Tour
Horseback Riding Tours
4.1

5
nights
Jaco, Costa Rica

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Carara National Park and Tico Pod Art House & Gifts. Get outdoors at Nature & Wildlife Tours and Zipline. Change things up with a short trip to Playa Bejuco in Esterillos Este (about 34 minutes away). Next up on the itinerary: see Off-Road Tours, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, take in the views from Tarcoles Bridge, and ride a horse along Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding.

To see ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Jaco road trip planner.

Traveling by combination of bus and ferry from Santa Teresa to Jaco takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Uvita.

Things to do in Jaco

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Adventure

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip
©
Nature / Wildlife Tour
Nature & Wildlife Tours
4.9
©
National Park
Carara National Park
4.5

4
nights
Uvita, Costa Rica

Uvita ©
Ideal for visitors looking to escape Costa Rica's busy beaches, Uvita offers a serene atmosphere and plenty of uncrowded sand for a leisurely vacation.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge and Canyoning & Rappelling Tours. Take a break from the city and head to Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and Uvita Waterfall. Step out of Uvita to go to Sierpe and see Kokopelli, which is approximately 52 minutes away. There's lots more to do: see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Ventanas, and enjoy the sand and surf at Uvita Beach.

To see photos, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Uvita tour itinerary builder tool.

Drive from Jaco to Uvita in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Wildlife

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip

4
nights
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

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 Espadilla Norte. Step out of the city life by going to River Rafting & Tubing and Horseback Riding Tours. Change things up with a short trip to Rainmaker Park in Parrita (about 46 minutes away). There's lots more to do: take in the local highlights with Walking tours, see Off-Road Tours, take in the exciting artwork at The Captain's Booty, and walk around Parque Nahomi.

For traveler tips, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio route planner.

Traveling by car from Uvita to Manuel Antonio takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip
©
Must see
Walking tours
4.7

6
nights

La Fortuna de San Carlos ©
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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like ChocoMuseo La Fortuna and Onirica Art Gallery. Get in touch with nature at Tabacon Hot Springs and Dave & Dave's Costa Rica Nature Park. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around La Fortuna de San Carlos: Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park) and Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca). There's still lots to do: trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano, and admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary maker website.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Wed) so you can go by car to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip
©
Must see
Tabacon Hot Springs
4.4

5
nights

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©

Walaba

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a wealth of entertainment by the sea, attracting a lively international crowd of revelers while maintaining a bright and breezy coastal charm with a local feel.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens and Punta Uva Beach. Escape the urban bustle at Playa Cocles and Nature Observatorio. When in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, make a side trip to see Veragua Rainforest Park in Puerto Limon, approximately Puerto Limon away. Next up on the itinerary: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Cahuita National Park, admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla, get your game on at Yesland Mini Golf, and get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To see where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca visit planning website.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Mon) early enough to travel to Panama City.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Beaches

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip
©
Beach
Playa Cocles
4.5

6
nights
Panama City, Panama

Panama City ©

Dubai of Latin America

Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Get some historical perspective at Casco Viejo and Iglesia de San José. Visiting Ancon Hill and Metropolitan National Park will get you outdoors. When in Panama City, make a side trip to see Asociacion Panamericana para la Conservacion in Gamboa, approximately Gamboa away. Next up on the itinerary: wander the streets of Cinta Costera, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia del Carmen, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Bahai Temple, and get outside with Outdoor Activities.

For where to stay, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Panama City itinerary builder tool.

You can do a combination of bus, car, and flight from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Panama City in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of car and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Panama City. In January, daily temperatures in Panama City can reach 36°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. On the 31st (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Panama City

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Neighborhoods · Wildlife

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip
©
Must see
Casco Viejo
4.4
©
Neighborhood
Cinta Costera
4.7

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