21 days in Central America & South America Itinerary

21 days in Central America & South America Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Central America & South America Itinerary

Start: New York City, United States
bus + Fly:  6​h 45​min
1
San Pedro, Belize
— 2 nights
+4
Fly + taxi + bus + foot + train:  17​h
2
Machu Picchu, Peru
— 3 nights
+4
train + foot + bus + taxi + Fly:  17​h 15​min
3
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 3 nights
Fly + bus:  1​h 30​min
4
Sao Paulo, Brazil
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 45​min
5
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 45​min
6
Santiago, Chile
— 2 nights
+3
Fly + shuttle + ferry + bus:  15​h 30​min
7
Puerto Ayora, Ecuador
— 3 nights
+2
ferry + foot + Fly:  18​h 30​min
End: New York City, United States

2
nights
San Pedro, Belize

San Pedro ©
San Pedro evolved from small fishing village and now represents one of the most visited locations in Belize.
San Pedro is known for wildlife, adventure, nightlife, spas, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: see the vivid underwater world at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, view the masterpieces at The Gallery of San Pedro, explore the striking landscape of Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve, and get a taste of the local shopping with Belizean Arts.

To see reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the San Pedro trip itinerary planning app .

New York City, USA to San Pedro is an approximately 7-hour combination of bus and flight. You can also do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle. Traveling from New York City to San Pedro, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from New York City in August, expect a bit warmer with lows of 78°F in San Pedro. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Tue) early enough to travel to Machu Picchu.

Things to do in San Pedro

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve
Highlights from your plan
Hol Chan Marine Reserve ©
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
12 Belize ©
12 Belize
Belizean Arts ©
Belizean Arts

3
nights
Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu ©
A symbol of the Incan civilization, the abandoned city of Machu Picchu represents a must-see on a Peru vacation.
Machu Picchu is known for historic sites, nature, spas, parks, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the ancient world of Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu, admire the natural beauty at Los Jardines de Mandor, stop by Mapi Art, and get great views at Intipuncu.

For traveler tips, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Machu Picchu vacation builder website .

You can do a combination of flight, bus, and train from San Pedro to Machu Picchu in 17 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and car. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from San Pedro to Machu Picchu. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Rio de Janeiro.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu ©
Winay Wayna ©
Winay Wayna
Intipuncu ©
Intipuncu

3
nights
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro ©
Bustling with samba music and all-night street parties, no city encapsulates the spirit of Brazil better than Rio de Janeiro.
Rio de Janeiro is known for beaches, nature, parks, museums, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: stroll through Pao de Acucar, enjoy the sand and surf at Barra da Tijuca Beach, appreciate the history behind Corcovado Christ the Redeemer, and walk around Parque Lage.

To see traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Rio de Janeiro road trip planner.

Do a combination of train, bus, and flight from Machu Picchu to Rio de Janeiro in 17.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. You'll lose 2 hours traveling from Machu Picchu to Rio de Janeiro due to the time zone difference. Expect a daytime high around 79°F in August, and nighttime lows around 66°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 20th (Tue) early enough to travel to Sao Paulo.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Bondinho  Pao de Acucar ©
Bondinho Pao de Acucar
Corcovado Christ the Redeemer ©
Corcovado Christ the Redeemer
Copacabana Beach ©
Copacabana Beach

3
nights
Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo ©
Don't let the city's nickname--"Land of Drizzle"--dampen your spirits during a trip to Sao Paulo.
Sao Paulo is known for museums, shopping, parks, nightlife, and historic sites. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: stroll around Parque Ibirapuera, admire the masterpieces at Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP, take a stroll through Paulista Avenue, and examine the collection at Museu de Arte Brasileira - FAAP.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Sao Paulo visit planner .

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo in 1.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or drive. Traveling from Rio de Janeiro in August, Sao Paulo is a bit cooler at night with lows of 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Fri) to allow time to travel to Buenos Aires.

Things to do in Sao Paulo

Museums Shopping Parks
Highlights from your plan
Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo ©
Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo
Parque Ibirapuera ©
Parque Ibirapuera
Paulista Avenue ©
Paulista Avenue

2
nights
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires ©
Cultural capital of South America, Buenos Aires remains one of the largest cities on the continent, serving as a point of departure for exploring the rest of the country.
On the 24th (Sat), make a trip to Cemiterio de Recoleta, admire the natural beauty at Parque 3 de Febrero, then snap pictures at Puente de la Mujer, and finally wander the streets of Puerto Madero. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 25th (Sun): admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, admire the masterpieces at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, then look for gifts at El Ateneo Grand Splendid, and finally admire the architecture and history at Plaza de Mayo.

For photos, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Buenos Aires travel route planner.

Getting from Sao Paulo to Buenos Aires by flight takes about 7 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. In August, Buenos Aires is slightly colder than Sao Paulo - with highs of 63°F and lows of 51°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 25th (Sun) early enough to travel to Santiago.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Museums Shopping Parks
Highlights from your plan
Puerto Madero ©
Puerto Madero
Cemiterio de Recoleta ©
Cemiterio de Recoleta
Parque 3 de Febrero ©
Parque 3 de Febrero

2
nights
Santiago, Chile

Santiago ©
Santiago tourism thrives largely thanks to the city's big selection of cultural and entertainment options, including museums, theaters, restaurants, bars, and giant malls.
On the 26th (Mon), admire the striking features of Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana), then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at San Cristóbal Hill, and then steep yourself in history at Centro Cultural Palacio de la Moneda y Plaza de la Ciudadania. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take some stellar pictures from Sky Costanera, examine the collection at La Chascona, then don't miss a visit to Santa Lucia Hill, and finally explore the historical opulence of Castillo Hidalgo.

For ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Santiago journey maker tool .

Traveling by flight from Buenos Aires to Santiago takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Argentine Time (ART) to Chile Time (CLT) is minus 1 hour. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Tue) so you can travel to Puerto Ayora.

Things to do in Santiago

Parks Nature Museums
Highlights from your plan
San Cristóbal Hill ©
San Cristóbal Hill
Cerro Santa Lucia ©
Cerro Santa Lucia
La Chascona ©
La Chascona

3
nights
Puerto Ayora, Ecuador

Puerto Ayora ©
The largest settlement in the Galapagos, Puerto Ayora offers visitors to the islands an array of facilities and things to do.
Go for a jaunt from Puerto Ayora to Baltra to see North Seymour Island about 1h 20 min away. There's still lots to do: identify plant and animal life at Reserva El Chato, don't miss a visit to Malecon de Puerto Ayora, take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Aymara, and explore the striking landscape at Las Grietas.

To find ratings, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read our Puerto Ayora route website .

You can do a combination of flight, ferry, and bus from Santiago to Puerto Ayora in 15.5 hours. The time zone changes from Chile Time to Ecuador Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. In August, plan for daily highs up to 79°F, and evening lows to 69°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Puerto Ayora

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

North Seymour Island, Columpio Magico
Highlights from your plan
El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve ©
El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve
North Seymour Island ©
North Seymour Island
Galeria Aymara ©
Galeria Aymara

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