28 days in Nicaragua & Costa Rica Itinerary

28 days in Nicaragua & Costa Rica Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America tour planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Leon, Nicaragua
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Drive
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Drive
4
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive
6
Drake Bay, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive
7
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive
8
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Taxi to Atenas, Fly to Tel Aviv

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Leon, Nicaragua

— 4 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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Catedral de la Asunción and Volcano Day. Step out of Leon with an excursion to Juan Venado Island Nature Reserve in Las Penitas--about 38 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: get in touch with nature with Mas Adventures, shop like a local with The Souvenir Factory, get impressive views of Momotombo, and push the limits with an extreme tour.

To find maps, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Leon trip builder site.

Tel Aviv, Israel to Leon is an approximately 23-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Tel Aviv to Leon is minus 8 hours. Traveling from Tel Aviv in July, you will find days in Leon are somewhat warmer (39°C), and nights are about the same (28°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Thu) so you can go by car to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Leon

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Nature

Side Trip

Tamarindo, Costa Rica

— 5 nights
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Pura Aventura and Off-Road Tours. Venture out of the city with trips to Nosara Escape (in Nosara), Horseback Riding Tours (in Playa Samara) and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours (in Playa Flamingo). Next up on the itinerary: get outside with Hacienda El Roble & Adventure Center, stroll through Monkey Park, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates.

To find where to stay, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Tamarindo journey planning site.

Traveling by car from Leon to Tamarindo takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Tue) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

Side Trips

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Venado Caves and Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge. When in La Fortuna de San Carlos, make a side trip to see Butterfly Conservatory in El Castillo, approximately El Castillo away. There's much more to do: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, admire the natural beauty at Natura Eco Park Costa Rica, get outside with Outdoor Activities, and admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall.

For other places to visit, photos, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our La Fortuna de San Carlos online travel route planner.

You can drive from Tamarindo to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) so you can drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trips

Tortuguero, Costa Rica

— 2 nights

Costa Rica's Amazon

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 19th (Mon), explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 20th (Tue): surround yourself with nature on Jungle Tom Safaris Day Tours and then learn more about the world around you at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To see reviews, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Tortuguero trip planning site.

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 July, daytime highs in Tortuguero are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Tue) so you can travel to Perez Zeledon.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Wildlife

Perez Zeledon, Costa Rica

— 1 night
On the 21st (Wed), surround yourself with nature on Selva Mar Tours and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Nauyaca Waterfalls Nature Park.

For where to stay, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Perez Zeledon sightseeing planner.

Drive from Tortuguero to Perez Zeledon in 5.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Wed) so you can travel to Drake Bay.

Things to do in Perez Zeledon

Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours · Parks

Drake Bay, Costa Rica

— 1 night
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Thu): get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour and then see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

For where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Drake Bay trip itinerary maker app.

You can drive from Perez Zeledon to Drake Bay in 4.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Drake Bay

Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and Spas. Venture out of the city with trips to Off-Road Tours (in Jaco) and Uvita Beach (in Uvita). The adventure continues: get the lay of the land with Walking tours, take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, head outdoors with Zip Coaster, and enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio trip builder tool.

Getting from Drake Bay to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

Side Trips

Monteverde, Costa Rica

— 4 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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at El Trapiche Tour and Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery. There's much more to do: stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, take in nature's colorful creations at Monteverde Butterfly Garden (Jardin de Mariposas), take in the exciting artwork at Arte Jaguar Gallery, and whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Monteverde tour planning tool.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Adventure

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.