13 days in Costa Rica, Bocas Town & San Juan del Sur Itinerary

13 days in Costa Rica, Bocas Town & San Juan del Sur Itinerary

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Route & dates

13 days in Costa Rica, Bocas Town & San Juan del Sur Itinerary

Start: New Orleans, United States
Fly + Drive:  13​h 15​min
1
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
— 1 day
taxi + ferry:  3​h 45​min
2
Uvita, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  7​h 15​min
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
— 1 day
Drive + ferry:  1​h 45​min
4
Bocas Town, Panama
— 2 nights
+3
ferry + Drive + bus + Drive:  7​h 45​min
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
6
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
— 3 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  20​h
End: Maho, St. Maarten-St. Martin

1
day
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 7th (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Santa Teresa, then relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa.

Discover how to plan a Santa Teresa trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Melbourne, Australia to Santa Teresa is an approximately 31-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Melbourne to Santa Teresa is minus 16 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) early enough to travel to Uvita.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay May 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
Spas & Wellness
Playa Santa Teresa ©
Playa Santa Teresa

2
nights
Uvita, Costa Rica

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.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Wed): get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour and then stroll through Rancho La Merced National Wildlife Refuge. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Uvita Beach, then look for all kinds of wild species at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, then admire the sheer force of Uvita Waterfall, and finally stop by Discount Liquor Wine & Cigars.

Discover how to plan a Uvita trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

You can do a combination of taxi and ferry from Santa Teresa to Uvita in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Thu) early enough to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Uvita

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Find places to stay May 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary
Uvita Beach ©
Uvita Beach

1
day
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 10th (Fri): enjoy the sand and surf at Puerto Viejo Beach and then take in nature's colorful creations at Finca La Isla.

To find reviews, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca trip builder website .

You can drive from Uvita to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Bocas Town.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay May 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach

2
nights
Bocas Town, Panama

The colorful and relaxed Bocas Town has a welcoming atmosphere, with the modestly sized urban area showcasing typical Caribbean clapboard houses and home to a mixed community from across the world.
Start off your visit on the 11th (Sat): look and learn at Plastic Bottle Village, then kick back and relax at Boca del Drago, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Starfish Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To see ratings, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Bocas Town road trip planning tool .

Getting from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Bocas Town by combination of car and ferry takes about 2 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and ferry. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Eastern Standard Time (EST), which is usually a 1 hour difference. May in Bocas Town sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Bocas Town

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay May 10 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Boca del Drago ©
Boca del Drago
Plastic Bottle Village ©
Plastic Bottle Village

2
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

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.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Ecocentro Danaus, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Paradise Hot Springs. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Tue): take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs and then stroll through Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

To find traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos online visit planner .

Do a combination of ferry, car, and bus from Bocas Town to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry, car, and bus; or do a combination of ferry, bus, and car. The time zone difference when traveling from Bocas Town to La Fortuna de San Carlos is minus 1 hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can drive to San Juan del Sur.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors
Find places to stay May 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Ecocentro Danaus ©
Ecocentro Danaus

3
nights
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

San Juan del Sur ©
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.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa el Coco, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Hermosa, and then see the interesting displays at ChocoMuseo San Juan del Sur. Here are some ideas for day two: identify plant and animal life at Marsella Valley Nature Center, then look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, and then don't miss a visit to Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia.

To see photos, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, use the San Juan del Sur trip itinerary maker app .

Drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to San Juan del Sur in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car; or take a bus. In May, plan for daily highs up to 38°C, and evening lows to 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Fri) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in San Juan del Sur

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay May 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa
San Juan del Sur Beach ©
San Juan del Sur Beach
Marsella Valley Nature Center ©
Marsella Valley Nature Center

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