21 days in Panama, Costa Rica & Nicaragua Itinerary

21 days in Panama, Costa Rica & Nicaragua Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America trip itinerary planner

This plan was created by another user. Make it your plan

Route & dates

21 days in Panama, Costa Rica & Nicaragua Itinerary

Start: London, United Kingdom
Fly:  16 h 15 min
1
Panama City, Panama
— 3 nights
+2
Fly + Taxi + Bus:  2 h 45 min
2
Boquete, Panama
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h 45 min
3
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive:  3 h 45 min
4
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive:  4 h 45 min
6
Granada, Nicaragua
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h 15 min
7
Leon, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
Bus + Fly:  18 h 15 min
End: London, United Kingdom

3
nights
Panama City, Panama

Panama City ©
Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Visit Casco Viejo and Iglesia de San José for their historical value. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Iglesia del Carmen and Iglesia de la Compania de Jesus. There's lots more to do: head outdoors with Ancon Hill, delve into the distant past at Panama La Vieja, get engrossed in the history at Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama, and explore the striking landscape of Metropolitan National Park.

To see photos, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Panama City holiday planner.

London, UK to Panama City is an approximately 16.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 5 hours traveling from London to Panama City. Prepare for warmer weather when traveling from London in December: high temperatures in Panama City hover around 36°C and lows are around 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Wed) early enough to travel to Boquete.

Things to do in Panama City

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Casco Viejo ©
Casco Viejo
Panama La Vieja ©
Panama La Vieja
Iglesia del Carmen ©
Iglesia del Carmen

2
nights
Boquete, Panama

Boquete ©
Now known internationally for its fresh mountain air, year-round pleasant temperatures, and large community of North American expats, Boquete has changed rapidly since the start of the century, changing from a humble mountain town, into a humble mountain surrounded by gated communities and estates.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Thu): indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, then explore the striking landscape at Los Ladrillos, then take in the dramatic scenery at The Lost Waterfalls-Boquete, and finally stroll through Eco Horqueta. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, get impressive views of Volcan Baru National Park, and then have fun at Boquete Buggies.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Boquete trip itinerary planning app.

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Panama City to Boquete takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Boquete

Parks Nature Spas
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
The Lost Waterfalls-Boquete ©
The Lost Waterfalls-Boquete
Volcan Baru National Park ©
Volcan Baru National Park
Horseback Riding Tours

4
nights
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio ©
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Playa Manuel Antonio and Uvita Beach. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and Parasailing & Paragliding. Change things up with these side-trips from Manuel Antonio: Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge (in Uvita) and Nauyaca Waterfalls (in Dominical). Next up on the itinerary: get the lay of the land with Walking tours, stop by Altair Souvenir & Gallery Shop, walk around Parque Nahomi, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To see where to stay and tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio driving holiday planner.

You can drive from Boquete to Manuel Antonio in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Boquete to Manuel Antonio is minus 1 hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Quepos, Uvita, Dominical
Find places to stay Dec 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach

3
nights
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde ©
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Escape the urban bustle at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Zipline. Discover out-of-the-way places like Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena and Monteverde Frog Pond. There's still lots to do: take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, view the masterpieces at Alas y Raices, relax in the rural setting at El Trapiche Tour, and get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Monteverde planner.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. In December in Monteverde, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 32°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Fri) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena ©
Reserva Bosque Nuboso Santa Elena
Horseback Riding Tours

4
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Bogarin Trail and ChocoMuseo La Fortuna. Get in touch with nature at Tabacon Hot Springs and River Rafting & Tubing. There's much more to do: take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, explore the galleries of Wood & Art Gallery, and scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour.

To find other places to visit, reviews, maps, and tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos online trip planner.

Drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Granada.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Wildlife Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

1
night
Granada, Nicaragua

Granada ©
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.
On the 30th (Wed), view the masterpieces at Galeria Mi Camara Mi Mundo, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Merced, pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral de Granada, then admire the striking features of Palacio Episcopal, and finally examine the collection at Centro Cultural Antiguo Convento San Francisco.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Granada trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

You can 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. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Wed) so you can go by car to Leon.

Things to do in Granada

Historic Sites Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Iglesia de La Merced ©
Iglesia de La Merced
Catedral de Granada ©
Catedral de Granada

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Thu): see the interesting displays at Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church The Recollection, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Las Penitas, and finally steep yourself in history at Iglesia San Juan Bautista de Subtiava. On the 1st (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get impressive views of Telica Volcano, then get a new perspective on nature at Museo Entomologico de Leon, and then stop by Catedral de la Asunción.

For other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Leon trip planning app.

You can drive from Granada to Leon in 2.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. In December, plan for daily highs up to 38°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Leon

Parks Museums Nature
Find places to stay Dec 30 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Las Penitas ©
Playa Las Penitas
Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian ©
Catedral de la Asunción ©
Catedral de la Asunción

Similar Plans

24 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM ISRAEL August, teens, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: August, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA July, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 23 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM November, popular sights PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 23 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA March, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: March, kids, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA February, popular sights PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in Panama BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM ARGENTINA April, popular sights PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 23 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA March, popular sights PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM CANADA March, popular sights PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in Panama BY A USER FROM CZECH REPUBLIC March, popular sights PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 22 days in Central America BY A USER FROM CANADA March, outdoors, beaches, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, outdoors, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 24 days in Costa Rica BY A USER FROM SWITZERLAND June, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
See more plans