17 days in Central America, South America & Africa Itinerary

17 days in Central America, South America & Africa Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Central America, South America & Africa Itinerary

Start: Los Angeles, United States
Fly:  9​h 45​min
1
Panama City, Panama
— 2 nights
+2
Fly + bus + shuttle:  8​h 15​min
2
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  10​h 30​min
3
Barranquilla, Colombia
— 1 night
Fly:  33​h
4
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h
5
Johannesburg, South Africa
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
6
Vilanculos, Mozambique
— 2 nights
Fly:  31​h
End: Los Angeles, United States

2
nights
Panama City, Panama

Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Tue): see what you can catch with a fishing tour, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Bahai Temple, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia del Carmen. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Iglesia de San José and then get to know the fascinating history of Casco Viejo.

To find more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Panama City day trip planning website .

Los Angeles, USA to Panama City is an approximately 10-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Los Angeles to Panama City is 3 hours. Traveling from Los Angeles in July, Panama City is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 77°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Panama City

Historic Sites Tours Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Bahai Temple ©
Bahai Temple
Casco Viejo ©
Casco Viejo

2
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.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): admire the natural beauty at Arenal Natura Ecological Park, then identify plant and animal life at Butterfly Conservatory, and then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: identify plant and animal life at La Fortuna Waterfall, view the masterpieces at Wood & Art Gallery, and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

For traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos online trip planner .

You can do a combination of flight and shuttle from Panama City to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car; or drive. Traveling from Panama City to La Fortuna de San Carlos, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can travel to Barranquilla.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Butterfly Conservatory
Highlights from your plan
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
River Rafting & Tubing

1
night
Barranquilla, Colombia

Barranquilla ©
An industrial port city on Colombia's Caribbean coast, Barranquilla represents the fourth-most populous city in the country.
Start off your visit on the 25th (Sat): steep yourself in history at Castillo de Salgar and then take in the exciting artwork at Bojanini Art Gallery. Here are some ideas for day two: make a trip to Plaza de la Paz - John Paul II, pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral Metropolitana Maria Reina, then examine the collection at Museo del Caribe, and finally browse the different shops at Centro Comercial Buenavista.

To find where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Barranquilla driving holiday planner.

Explore your travel options from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Barranquilla with the Route module. Traveling from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Barranquilla, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In July, plan for daily highs up to 92°F, and evening lows to 77°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can travel to Victoria Falls.

Things to do in Barranquilla

Historic Sites Shopping Museums

Side Trip

Castillo de Salgar
Highlights from your plan
Castillo de Salgar ©
Castillo de Salgar
Museo del Caribe ©
Museo del Caribe
Catedral Metropolitana Maria Reina ©
Catedral Metropolitana Maria Reina

2
nights
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls ©
Victoria Falls, a Zimbabwean town near the eponymous waterfall, serves as one of two prime gateway points to the majestic cascade and its surrounding national park.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at River Rafting & Tubing and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Head to Cultural Vibes Music Shop and Prime Art Galleryfor some retail therapy. And it doesn't end there: see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Victoria Falls Snake Park, take in the dramatic scenery at Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls National Park, and kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For other places to visit, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Victoria Falls trip planning tool .

Explore your travel options from Barranquilla to Victoria Falls with the Route module. The time zone changes from Colombia Time to Central African Time, which is usually a 7 hour difference. Traveling from Barranquilla in July, expect nights in Victoria Falls to be colder, around 48°F, while days are little chillier, around 76°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 30th (Thu) so you can travel to Johannesburg.

Things to do in Victoria Falls

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
River Rafting & Tubing

3
nights
Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg ©
Founded when gold was discovered in the area in the late 19th century, Johannesburg quickly grew into a bustling metropolis, South Africa's largest city and the region's economic hub.
Museum-lovers will appreciate Lesedi Cultural Village and Hector Pieterson Museum. Get some cultural insight at Liliesleaf and I was shot in Joburg. Explore Johannesburg's surroundings by going to Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre (in Brits) and Safaris (in Pretoria). Next up on the itinerary: surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find reviews, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Johannesburg trip maker .

Traveling by flight from Victoria Falls to Johannesburg takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight; or drive. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Victoria Falls in July; daily highs in Johannesburg reach 67°F and lows reach 40°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) early enough to travel to Vilanculos.

Things to do in Johannesburg

Wildlife Museums Tours

Side Trips

Lesedi Cultural Village, Liliesleaf, Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre
Highlights from your plan
Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre ©
Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre
Liliesleaf ©
Liliesleaf
Lesedi Cultural Village ©
Lesedi Cultural Village

2
nights
Vilanculos, Mozambique

Tourism in Vilanculos, a small town on the coast of Mozambique, owes much to its convenient location as a base for exploring the Bazaruto Archipelago, a national park.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Mon): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour and then take in the exciting artwork at Machilla Magic.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Vilanculos road trip website .

Traveling by flight from Johannesburg to Vilanculos takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Traveling from Johannesburg in August, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Vilanculos, with lows of 61°F. On the 4th (Tue), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in Vilanculos

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Highlights from your plan
Kayaking & Canoeing

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