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3 weeks in Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama -- ideas?

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3 weeks in Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama -- ideas?

My husband & I plan three weeks traveling through Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama. We're simple but fun travelers, speak some Spanish, and hope to track down some families I knew in Jinotepe Nicaragua in 1968 as an exchange student. (I'm 58 now and haven't had a chance to go back until now).

We plan to ride busses, perhaps rent a car a bit, stay in simple places, maybe some homestays/B&Bs, visit beaches, jungles and towns. We don't want to rush, we're open to suggestions!

We'll fly into Managua in late October and return in mid-November.

Panama City, Panama
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1. Re: 3 weeks in Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama -- ideas?

Well . . . . I would limit my trip to a single country, in your case it appears Nicaragua is the logical choice. Sounds like you have the possibility of a unique experience, visiting local families, why worry about a schedule and rushing to the next destination. Trying to visit all three countries is way more time traveling, and a lot less time enjoying the experience than I would want.

Whatever you decide, have a great trip.

Steve www.panamanotes.com

Atlanta
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2. Re: 3 weeks in Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama -- ideas?

I agree that is a lot to try and see in 3 weeks and trying to take it slow at the same time. Are you flying into and out of Managua? If you can fly into Managua and out of Panama City then maybe a bit easier, but you will still be in each place only a few days at a time. For me taking it slow is about 1 week in a place at a time.

Here are some suggestions on places to visit that would keep you going in the right direction.

Granada, Nica

San Juan Del Sur, Nica

Arenal, CR

Puerto Viejo, CR

Bocas Del Toro, Panam

Panama City, Panama

I think Nature Air is starting to fly to Managua from San Jose CR. Nature Air also flies Bocas to San Jose. So if you need to get back to Managua and want to do all 3 countries you could try and fly from Bocas to San Jose then on to Managua. Tica Bus is a great affordable option for travel as well.

3. Re: 3 weeks in Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama -- ideas?

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Nicaragua
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4. Re: 3 weeks in Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama -- ideas?

If your flying into managua and returning to managua is abit too much to go all the way to panama city,

You can easily visit in Nicaragua Leon, Granada and Ometepe island,

In Costa Rica Rincon de la vieja volcano, Monteverde, La fortuna, Sarapiqui river.

And then going to Bocas del toro, David or Boquete and then Back to managua.

But if leaving from Panama city, you can go from David to panama city and spend a couple of days visiting panama city.

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5. Re: 3 weeks in Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama -- ideas?

Thanks everyone. We are coming into Managua and out of Panama, still too rushed, but a week in each country for a taste! I like the "Gringo Trail" comments.

Can we rent a car for the whole trip or should we do some car and some bussing and flying?

We leave tomorrow, but I'm taking my new Kindle Fire, so we can stay in touch. Love more comments and ideas!

Nicaragua
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6. Re: 3 weeks in Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama -- ideas?

There is no way to rent a car for the whole trip, they do not allow you to go from one country to the other with the same car but you can get in touch with companies that has offices all around Central America as Alamo http://www.alamonicaragua.com/central.htm

Lincoln, United...
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7. Re: 3 weeks in Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama -- ideas?

Hi cliffcath

My partner and I (similiar in age to yourselves) are planning a 4 week trip from Managua to Panama City in May.

I'd love to hear how you got on, and if you have any tips to pass on. In particular what places you felt needed a car, and those where public transport sufficed.

Atlanta
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8. Re: 3 weeks in Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama -- ideas?

I have never rented a car over the past 7+ years traveling around Central America. I much prefer using privated drivers, shuttles, buses, ferrys and puddle jumpers. We meet so many people this way and learn a lot more about the places we visit vs renting a car. It takes a lot of stress off us as well. I don't like to drive anyway, and then having to worry about getting lost, theft and damage to the car would not be a good combo for me. Plus renting a car in CR is expensive.

This is how I would get from point Ato B. A taxi from SJSD to the border is cheap. Once over the border from Nica into CR you could have a private driver pick you up and bring you to Arenal. Arenal to PV either a shuttle or private driver OR you could white water raft to PV, they bring your luggage for you. From PV to Bocas use Caribe Shuttle. They take you and walk you thru the whole process. It makes the border crossing really easy. Then from Bocas to PC either fly or take the overnight bus.

LN
Panama City, Panama
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9. Re: 3 weeks in Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama -- ideas?

anonymous, I suggest you post your own thread instead of putting your questions on a thread a year old. OR send a private message to the poster directly in case they are no longer watching this forum.

Please note travelers; as the original thread is over a year old, the data

on here is outdated; and might not be applicable at all at this time.

10. Re: 3 weeks in Nicaragua, Costa Rica & Panama -- ideas?

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