21 days in Costa Rica, Havana & Antigua Itinerary

21 days in Costa Rica, Havana & Antigua Itinerary

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Route & dates

Start: Dublin, Ireland
Fly:  15 h
1
Havana, Cuba
— 5 nights
+4
Fly + Foot + Bus + Foot + Bus:  8 h
2
Antigua, Guatemala
— 3 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  13 h
3
Carate, Costa Rica
— 1 day
Drive:  9 h 15 min
4
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  2 h 45 min
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
+3
Shuttle + Foot + Shuttle + Fly:  18 h 45 min
End: Dublin, Ireland

5
nights
Havana, Cuba

Havana ©
Cuba's capital and major commercial center, Havana manages to be very old and very modern at the same time.
Escape the urban bustle at Santa Maria del Mar and Coral Beach - Playa Coral. Get some cultural insight at Malecón of Havana and Old Square (Plaza Vieja). There's much more to do: make a trip to Plaza de la Catedral, steep yourself in history at Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana, visit Callejon de Hamel, and wander the streets of Christopher Columbus Cemetery (Cemetario de Colon).

To see maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Havana route maker.

Dublin, Ireland to Havana is an approximately 15.5- hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight, bus, and train; or do a combination of flight and train. The time zone difference when traveling from Dublin to Havana is minus 5 hours. Prepare for much hotter weather when traveling from Dublin in August: high temperatures in Havana hover around 38°C and lows are around 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Fri) so you can travel to Antigua.

Things to do in Havana

Historic Sites Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Coral Beach - Playa Coral
Find places to stay Aug 4 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Plaza de la Catedral ©
Plaza de la Catedral
Malecón of Havana ©
Malecón of Havana
Old Havana ©
Old Havana

3
nights
Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua ©
The former capital of Guatemala and a World Heritage Site, Antigua retains its colonial charm and remains one of the most visited destinations in the country.
Get in touch with nature at Volcán Pacaya and Volcan de Agua. Get a sense of the local culture at Casa Santo Domingo Museums and Arco de Santa Catalina. Explore Antigua's surroundings by going to Guatemala City (Palacio Nacional & Catedral Metropolitana). Next up on the itinerary: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de La Merced, steep yourself in history at Casa Popenoe, look for gifts at Nim Po't Centro de Textiles Tradicionales, and see the interesting displays at ChocoMuseo.

To find reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Antigua trip itinerary builder app.

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Havana to Antigua takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and shuttle; or do a combination of train, bus, and flight. The time zone difference moving from Cuba Standard Time (CST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Havana in August; daily highs in Antigua reach 30°C and lows reach 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Carate.

Things to do in Antigua

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trip

Guatemala City
Find places to stay Aug 9 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Iglesia de La Merced ©
Iglesia de La Merced
Volcán Pacaya ©
Volcán Pacaya
Casa Santo Domingo Museums ©
Casa Santo Domingo Museums

1
day
Carate, Costa Rica

Carate
Start off your visit on the 14th (Wed): get to know the resident critters at Ave Azul de la Osa.

To see reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Carate trip maker.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Antigua to Carate. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) so you can travel to Monteverde.

Things to do in Carate

Zoos & Aquariums Nature Parks
Find places to stay Aug 14 — 15:

2
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and Monteverde Frog Pond. Ecological Sanctuary and Alas y Raices are good opportunities to explore the local culture. There's lots more to do: kick your exploration up a notch at categoryPhrases.alias.some_of_the_top_local_zipline_courses_and_adventure_parks, get a dose of the wild on Monteverde Wild Hikes, delve into the lush surroundings at Curi Cancha Reserve, and explore the world behind art at Chorotega Arts & Crafts.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Monteverde road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Carate to Monteverde takes 7.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sat) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Tours
Find places to stay Aug 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Zipline
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve

5
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.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Onirica Art Gallery and Wood & Art Gallery. Take a break from the city and head to Tabacon Hot Springs and Ecotermales Fortuna. And it doesn't end there: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, get impressive views of Arenal Volcano, take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, and stroll through Proyecto Asis.

To see reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner.

Drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Aug 17 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

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