21 days in Nicaragua Itinerary

21 days in Nicaragua Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Nicaragua itinerary planner
Make it your trip
— 3 nights
— 2 nights
— 2 nights
Bus to Managua, Bus to San Jorge, Ferry to Isla de Ometepe
Isla de Ometepe
— 3 nights
Ferry to San Jorge, Bus to San Juan del Sur
San Juan del Sur
— 3 nights
— 6 nights


Leon — 3 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.
Get some cultural insight at Catedral de la Asunción and Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian. There's lots more to do: get impressive views of Cerro Negro Volcano, see the interesting displays at Museo de la Revolucion, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia San Juan Bautista de Subtiava, and push the limits with an extreme tour.

To find reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Leon travel route planning website.

San Jose, Costa Rica to Leon is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from San Jose in January, things will get somewhat warmer in Leon: highs are around 39°C and lows about 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Esteli.
Museums · Parks · Nature · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 21:

Esteli — 2 nights

Sitting up in the north central highlands, Esteli enjoys a fairly mild climate throughout the year.
On the 22nd (Sat), admire the sheer force of Esteli Waterfall and then hike along El Jalacate. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Reserva Natural Miraflor and then explore the galleries of Museo de Historia y Arqueologia Alejandro Davila Bolanos.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Esteli day trip planning site.

Traveling by car from Leon to Esteli takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Leon in January; daily highs in Esteli reach 27°C and lows reach 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sun) to allow time to drive to Matagalpa.
Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 21 — 23:

Matagalpa — 2 nights

Nicaragua's second city, Matagalpa offers an authentic window into the country's cultural and natural heritage.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Mon): examine the collection at El Castillo del cacao and then make a trip to Mirador El Calvario. On your second day here, examine the collection at National Coffee Museum.

To find photos, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Matagalpa trip planner.

You can drive from Esteli to Matagalpa in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In January in Matagalpa, expect temperatures between 27°C during the day and 20°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Tue) to allow time for travel to Isla de Ometepe.
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 25:

Isla de Ometepe — 3 nights

Isla de Ometepe may be small in size, but it boasts two large volcanoes that dominate its landscape and influence the local lifestyle.
Get a sense of the local culture at El Ceibo Museums and Museo Ometepe. There's lots more to do: admire the local landmark of Ojo de Agua, explore the activities along Laguna Charco Verde, step off the mainland to explore Isla Ometepe, and contemplate the geological forces at Volcan Concepcion.

To find reviews, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Isla de Ometepe trip planner.

Getting from Matagalpa to Isla de Ometepe by combination of bus and ferry takes about 8.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Fri) early enough to travel to San Juan del Sur.
Parks · Nature · Museums
Find places to stay Jan 25 — 28:

San Juan del Sur — 3 nights

Set in a crescent-shaped bay, San Juan del Sur has become known as a popular surfing spot and coastal holiday destination for Nicaraguan families and international visitors alike.
San Juan del Sur is known for adventure, beaches, and sightseeing. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: kick back and relax at San Juan del Sur Beach, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, view the masterpieces at The Art Warehouse, and see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To see more things to do, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the San Juan del Sur trip itinerary site.

Getting from Isla de Ometepe to San Juan del Sur by combination of ferry and bus takes about 3 hours. In January, plan for daily highs up to 35°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Mon) to allow time to drive to Granada.
Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks
Find places to stay Jan 28 — 31:

Granada — 6 nights

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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like ChocoMuseo Granada and Centro Cultural Antiguo Convento San Francisco. Explore Granada's surroundings by going to Masaya Volcano (in Masaya) and Apoyo (in La Laguna de Apoyo). There's lots more to do: head off the coast to Islets of Granada, explore the activities along Centro de Visitantes Reserva natural Laguna de Apoyo, see the interesting displays at Mi Museo, and pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Merced.

To find maps, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Granada trip planning app.

Drive from San Juan del Sur to Granada in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Sun) early enough to catch the flight back home.
Parks · Nature · Museums · Historic Sites
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jan 31 — Feb 6:

Nicaragua travel guide

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.