17 days in Central America Itinerary

17 days in Central America Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Central America Itinerary

Start: London, United Kingdom
Fly:  16​h 15​min
1
Panama City, Panama
— 1 night
Fly:  6​h 45​min
2
San Pedro, Belize
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
3
Caye Caulker, Belize
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 30​min
4
Belmopan, Belize
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h
5
Tikal National Park, Guatemala
— 1 night
shuttle + Fly:  5​h 30​min
6
Antigua, Guatemala
— 1 night
bus:  1​h
7
Panajachel, Guatemala
— 1 night
Drive:  5​h 15​min
8
San Salvador, El Salvador
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
9
Sonsonate, El Salvador
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h
10
Perquin, El Salvador
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 30​min
11
Copan Ruinas, Honduras
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
12
Santa Cruz de Yojoa, Honduras
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h 15​min
13
Livingston, Guatemala
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 45​min
14
Hopkins, Belize
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  1​h
15
Placencia, Belize
— 2 nights
Fly:  14​h 15​min
End: London, United Kingdom

1
night
Panama City, Panama

Panama City ©
Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
On the 16th (Mon), make a trip to Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador) and then make a trip to Panama Canal.

For ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read Panama City trip website .

London, UK to Panama City is an approximately 16.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of flight and taxi. The time zone difference when traveling from London to Panama City is minus 5 hours. Prepare for much warmer weather when traveling from London in December: high temperatures in Panama City hover around 36°C and lows are around 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to travel to San Pedro.
Highlights from your plan
Panama Canal ©
Panama Canal
Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador) ©

1
night
San Pedro, Belize

San Pedro ©
San Pedro evolved from small fishing village and now represents one of the most visited locations in Belize.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Tue): explore the gorgeous colors at Hol Chan Marine Reserve and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find where to stay, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the San Pedro trip builder tool .

Fly from Panama City to San Pedro in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and shuttle; or do a combination of flight and ferry. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect a daytime high around 33°C in December, and nighttime lows around 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Tue) early enough to drive to Caye Caulker.

Things to do in San Pedro

Wildlife Parks Spas
Highlights from your plan
Hol Chan Marine Reserve ©
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Spas

1
night
Caye Caulker, Belize

At just under 8 km (5 mi) long and 1.6 km (1 mi) wide, the limestone coral island of Caye Caulker offers a small but perfectly formed getaway 32 km (20 mi) offshore from Belize City.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Wed): see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, shop like a local with Aria Kat Art, then view the masterpieces at Red Flower Gallery, and finally explore the gorgeous colors at Shark Ray Alley.

For traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Caye Caulker online holiday maker .

Traveling by car from San Pedro to Caye Caulker takes an hour. In December, plan for daily highs up to 33°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) so you can go by car to Belmopan.

Things to do in Caye Caulker

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trip

Shark Ray Alley
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Shark Ray Alley ©
Shark Ray Alley
Aria Kat Art ©
Aria Kat Art

1
night
Belmopan, Belize

Belmopan ©
Nicknamed the "Garden City" thanks to its planned urban parklands, Belmopan serves as the capital of Belize and a launching point for tours of nearby caves and Mayan ruins.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Thu): view the masterpieces at Art Box Belize arts & crafts center, get to know the resident critters at The Belize Zoo, and then explore the striking landscape of Blue Hole National Park.

For other places to visit and other tourist information, read Belmopan itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Caye Caulker to Belmopan takes 2.5 hours. In December in Belmopan, expect temperatures between 33°C during the day and 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Tikal National Park.

Things to do in Belmopan

Parks Nature Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

The Belize Zoo
Highlights from your plan
The Belize Zoo ©
The Belize Zoo
Blue Hole National Park ©
Blue Hole National Park
Art Box Belize arts & crafts center ©

1
night
Tikal National Park, Guatemala

Tikal National Park ©
Take a trip to Tikal National Park and discover an ancient city in the thick tropical jungle.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Fri): examine the collection at Centro de Conservacion e Investigaction and then delve into the distant past at Tikal.

To see maps, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Tikal National Park online trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Belmopan to Tikal National Park takes 3 hours. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Fri) early enough to travel to Antigua.

Things to do in Tikal National Park

Historic Sites Parks Nature
Highlights from your plan
Tikal ©
Tikal

1
night
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.
On the 21st (Sat), contemplate the geological forces at Volcán Pacaya, look for gifts at Nim Po't Centro de Textiles Tradicionales, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Merced.

For maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Antigua trip site .

Getting from Tikal National Park to Antigua by combination of shuttle and flight takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and flight; or drive. In December, daytime highs in Antigua are 27°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sat) early enough to take a bus to Panajachel.

Things to do in Antigua

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Volcán Pacaya ©
Volcán Pacaya
Iglesia de La Merced ©
Iglesia de La Merced

1
night
Panajachel, Guatemala

Panajachel ©
A little town with a thriving tourism industry, Panajachel sits on the northern shore of scenic Atitlan Lake, one of Guatemala's major vacation destinations.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Sun): delve into the distant past at Iximche, browse the different shops at Mayanke, Ceramica Pintada a Mano, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Santa Catarina Palopo Church, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church of St Francis.

For other places to visit, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Panajachel road trip planning website .

Traveling by bus from Antigua to Panajachel takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or drive. December in Panajachel sees daily highs of 27°C and lows of 15°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can drive to San Salvador.

Things to do in Panajachel

Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trip

Santa Catarina Palopo Church
Highlights from your plan
Iximche ©
Iximche
Santa Catarina Palopo Church ©
Santa Catarina Palopo Church
Church of St Francis ©
Church of St Francis

1
night
San Salvador, El Salvador

San Salvador ©
The country's capital, San Salvador sits in a scenic position surrounded by impressive volcanoes.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Mon): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia El Rosario, examine the collection at Monsignor Romero Center, then identify plant and animal life at Cinquera Rain Forest Park, and finally delve into the distant past at Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park.

To find ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, read our San Salvador journey planner .

Traveling by car from Panajachel to San Salvador takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Traveling from Panajachel in December, things will get a bit warmer in San Salvador: highs are around 36°C and lows about 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Mon) to allow time to drive to Sonsonate.

Things to do in San Salvador

Historic Sites Wildlife Parks
Highlights from your plan
Iglesia El Rosario ©
Iglesia El Rosario
Cinquera Rain Forest Park ©
Cinquera Rain Forest Park
Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park
Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park

1
night
Sonsonate, El Salvador

Sonsonate ©
Sonsonate, the capital of the department of Sonsonate, El Salvador; on the Sensunapan River and the railway from San Salvador to the Pacific port of Acajutla, 21km south. Kick off your visit on the 24th (Tue): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral de Sonsonate.

To see more things to do, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Sonsonate online trip maker .

Traveling by car from San Salvador to Sonsonate takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from San Salvador in December, Sonsonate is a bit warmer at night with lows of 28°C. You will have some time to spend on the 24th (Tue) before leaving for Perquin.

Things to do in Sonsonate

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Catedral de Sonsonate ©
Catedral de Sonsonate

1
night
Perquin, El Salvador

Perquin ©
Perquín is a municipality in the Morazán department of El Salvador. Start off your visit on the 25th (Wed): see the interesting displays at El Mozote Monument and then brush up on your military savvy at Museo de la Revolucion Salvadorena.

To find where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Perquin trip itinerary maker tool .

Traveling by car from Sonsonate to Perquin takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 25th (Wed) to allow time for travel to Copan Ruinas.

Things to do in Perquin

Museums
Highlights from your plan
Museo de la Revolucion Salvadorena ©
Museo de la Revolucion Salvadorena
El Mozote Monument ©
El Mozote Monument

1
night
Copan Ruinas, Honduras

Copan Ruinas ©
The colorful, cultural town of Copan boasts attractions old and new, manmade and natural.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Thu): make a trip to Hieroglyphic Stairway, then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, then experience rural life at Finca el Cisne, and finally delve into the distant past at Copan Ruinas.

To find traveler tips, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Copan Ruinas route planning website .

Getting from Perquin to Copan Ruinas by car takes about 6.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 28°C in December, and nighttime lows around 20°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Santa Cruz de Yojoa.

Things to do in Copan Ruinas

Historic Sites Spas
Highlights from your plan
Copan Ruinas ©
Copan Ruinas
Hieroglyphic Stairway ©
Hieroglyphic Stairway
Spas

1
night
Santa Cruz de Yojoa, Honduras

Santa Cruz de Yojoa
Santa Cruz de Yojoa is a municipality in the Honduran department of Cortés.Santa Cruz de Yojoa is located approximately 50 miles south of San Pedro Sula on top of a large hillside on the way to the dam that supplies power to many Central American cities. Kick off your visit on the 27th (Fri): admire the sheer force of Cascata Lodge Waterfall and then admire nature's wide array of creatures at Joya Grande Zoo y Eco Parque.

For photos, maps, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Santa Cruz de Yojoa trip planning tool .

You can drive from Copan Ruinas to Santa Cruz de Yojoa in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Traveling from Copan Ruinas in December, expect nights in Santa Cruz de Yojoa to be about the same, around 20°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 32°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to travel to Livingston.

Things to do in Santa Cruz de Yojoa

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Nature

1
night
Livingston, Guatemala

Livingston ©
The largely Garifuna town of Livingston sits at the mouth of a river flowing out into the sea.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sat): admire the sheer force of Seven Altars and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Blanca.

For other places to visit, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read Livingston road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Santa Cruz de Yojoa to Livingston takes 10 hours. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in December, and nighttime lows around 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Sat) so you can travel to Hopkins.

Things to do in Livingston

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Playa Blanca ©
Playa Blanca
Seven Altars ©
Seven Altars

1
night
Hopkins, Belize

Hopkins ©
Advertised as the "Friendliest Village in Belize," Hopkins remains a small fishing settlement on a stretch of golden coastline that offers plenty of modern amenities.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Sun): view the masterpieces at Studio Gallery Cayetano, then identify plant and animal life at Glover's Reef Marine Reserve, and then stop by Golden Gifts.

For ratings, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Hopkins trip maker website .

You can drive from Livingston to Hopkins in 4 hours. In December in Hopkins, expect temperatures between 33°C during the day and 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to travel to Placencia.

Things to do in Hopkins

Wildlife Parks Shopping

Side Trip

Studio Gallery Cayetano
Highlights from your plan
Glover's Reef Marine Reserve ©
Glover's Reef Marine Reserve
Studio Gallery Cayetano ©
Studio Gallery Cayetano

2
nights
Placencia, Belize

Placencia ©
Once a humble fishing village, Placencia has been transformed into a leading tourist destination, with its focus primarily on outdoor activity and natural exploration.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Mon): head off the coast to Laughing Bird Caye National Park and then relax in the rural setting at Bunches of Fun Banana Farm Tours.

For other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Placencia online sightseeing planner .

You can do a combination of car and flight from Hopkins to Placencia in an hour. Other options are to take a bus; or drive. In December in Placencia, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 23°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Placencia

Parks Nature
Highlights from your plan
Laughing Bird Caye National Park ©
Laughing Bird Caye National Park

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