21 days in South America & Mexico Itinerary

21 days in South America & Mexico Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in South America & Mexico Itinerary

Start: Melbourne, Australia
Fly:  18​h 30​min
1
Santiago, Chile
— 1 night
Fly:  6​h 45​min
2
San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina
— 1 night
Fly:  5​h 15​min
3
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 1 night
Fly:  5​h 15​min
4
Ushuaia, Argentina
— 2 nights
Fly:  9​h
5
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 1 night
Fly:  13​h
6
San Andres Island, Colombia
— 1 night
Fly:  9​h
7
Arequipa, Peru
— 1 day
Fly:  1​h 15​min
8
Cusco, Peru
— 2 nights
+2
Fly + foot + bus:  9​h 45​min
9
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
— 2 nights
+2
bus + foot + Fly:  26​h
End: Melbourne, Australia

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Mon): stroll through San Cristóbal Hill. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take an in-depth tour of Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, then admire the landmark architecture of Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana), and then make a trip to Cerro Santa Lucia.

Plan my trip to Santiago with suggested itineraries provided by Inspirock.

Melbourne, Australia to Santiago is an approximately 18.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Melbourne to Santiago is minus 14 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) early enough to travel to San Carlos de Bariloche.

Things to do in Santiago

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

1
night
San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina

San Carlos de Bariloche ©
Nestled against the foothills of the Andes, scenic San Carlos de Bariloche hugs the southern shore of Nahuel Huapi Lake and ranks among Argentina's top destinations for active outdoor vacations.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Wed): enjoy breathtaking views from Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi and then trek along Circuito Chico. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: appreciate the history behind Centro Civico and then get impressive views of Cerro Tronador.

To see where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the San Carlos de Bariloche trip itinerary maker website .

Fly from Santiago to San Carlos de Bariloche in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Santiago to San Carlos de Bariloche due to the time zone difference. December in San Carlos de Bariloche sees daily highs of 24°C and lows of 6°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) early enough to travel to Buenos Aires.

Things to do in San Carlos de Bariloche

Parks Outdoors Nature
Highlights from your plan
Circuito Chico ©
Circuito Chico
Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi ©
Parque Nacional Nahuel Huapi
Ventisquero Negro ©
Ventisquero Negro

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Fri): pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral Metropolitana, then don't miss a visit to Recoleta Cemetery, then explore the world behind art at Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires, and finally take in nature's colorful creations at Parque 3 de Febrero. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire the masterpieces at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, then admire the striking features of Palacio Barolo, then make a trip to Plaza de Mayo, and finally shop like a local with Puerto Madero.

To find where to stay, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Buenos Aires online journey planner .

You can fly from San Carlos de Bariloche to Buenos Aires in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. When traveling from San Carlos de Bariloche in December, plan for somewhat warmer days and much warmer nights in Buenos Aires: temperatures range from 33°C by day to 23°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) early enough to travel to Ushuaia.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Museums Historic Sites Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Cemiterio de Recoleta ©
Cemiterio de Recoleta
Parque 3 de Febrero ©
Parque 3 de Febrero

2
nights
Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia ©
Often called the "End of the World" because of its position on the southernmost tip of South America, the expanding city of Ushuaia serves as both a busy commercial port and attractive tourist hub.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Bahia Lapataia and Faro Les Eclaireurs. There's much more to do: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Glacier Martial, examine the collection at Museo Maritimo y del Presidio de Ushuaia, grab your bike and head to Ushuaia Bay, and pause for some photo ops at Plaza Malvinas.

You can plan Ushuaia trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

You can fly from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia in 5.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and ferry; or take a bus. Traveling from Buenos Aires in December, things will get much colder in Ushuaia: highs are around 13°C and lows about 5°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Rio de Janeiro.

Things to do in Ushuaia

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Glacier Martial ©
Glacier Martial
Laguna Esmeralda ©
Laguna Esmeralda
Les Éclaireurs Lighthouse ©
Les Éclaireurs Lighthouse

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Wed): kick back and relax at Copacabana Beach, then pause for some photo ops at Corcovado Christ the Redeemer, and then take in nature's colorful creations at Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro. Keep things going the next day: take in nature's colorful creations at Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, then explore and take pictures at Maracanã, then kick back and relax at Praia de Ipanema, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Pedra do Arpoador.

For maps, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Rio de Janeiro driving holiday planning website .

Getting from Ushuaia to Rio de Janeiro by combination of flight and bus takes about 9 hours. Other options: fly; or do a combination of car and ferry. Plan for much hotter temperatures traveling from Ushuaia in December, with highs in Rio de Janeiro at 36°C and lows at 27°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Thu) early enough to fly to San Andres Island.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Highlights from your plan
Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer ©
Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer
Copacabana Beach ©
Copacabana Beach
Praia de Ipanema
Praia de Ipanema

1
night
San Andres Island, Colombia

San Andres Island ©
The coral San Andres Island boasts a rich colonial history, exotic beaches, and a laidback, tropical lifestyle.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Fri): kick back and relax at Playa de San Luis and then look for all kinds of wild species at La Piscinita. On the next day, step off the mainland to explore Cayo Bolivar and then look for all kinds of wild species at Cayo El Acuario.

For where to stay and tourist information, use the San Andres Island attractions planner .

You can fly from Rio de Janeiro to San Andres Island in 13 hours. You'll gain 2 hours traveling from Rio de Janeiro to San Andres Island due to the time zone difference. December in San Andres Island sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 29°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 15th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Arequipa.

Things to do in San Andres Island

Parks Wildlife Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
La Piscinita ©
La Piscinita
Cayo El Acuario ©
Cayo El Acuario
Cayo Bolivar ©
Cayo Bolivar

1
day
Arequipa, Peru

Arequipa ©
In an area dominated three imposing volcanoes, Arequipa vacations allow visitors to admire well-preserved colonial architecture in a dramatic setting.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Sun): don't miss a visit to Plaza de Armas, steep yourself in history at Historic Centre of Arequipa, and then examine the collection at Monasterio de Santa Catalina.

To see where to stay, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read Arequipa sightseeing planning website .

Traveling by flight from San Andres Island to Arequipa takes 9 hours. When traveling from San Andres Island in December, plan for a bit cooler days in Arequipa, with highs around 24°C, while nights are much colder with lows around 12°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) early enough to travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Arequipa

Museums Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Santa Catalina Monastery ©
Santa Catalina Monastery
Historic Centre of Arequipa ©
Historic Centre of Arequipa
Plaza de Armas ©
Plaza de Armas

2
nights
Cusco, Peru

Cusco ©
Capital of the Inca Empire for three centuries, World Heritage-listed Cusco is now a major tourist destination, drawing nearly 2 million annual tourists with its well-preserved colonial architecture and proximity to Machu Picchu.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Mon): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Convento de Santo Domingo, get to know the fascinating history of San Blas, and then contemplate the long history of Sacsayhuaman. On the 18th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the spiritual surroundings of Catedral del Cuzco o Catedral Basilica de la Virgen de la Asuncion and then make a trip to Pisac.

To find other places to visit, photos, maps, and tourist information, read our Cusco online sightseeing planner .

You can fly from Arequipa to Cusco in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Arequipa in December, Cusco is a bit cooler at night with lows of 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Tue) early enough to travel to Playa del Carmen.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Pisac
Highlights from your plan
Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
Pisac ©
Pisac
San Blas ©
San Blas

2
nights
Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Playa del Carmen ©
The tourist hub of the popular Mayan Riviera, upscale Playa del Carmen remains the jewel of Mexico's Caribbean coastline.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Scuba & Snorkeling and Swim with Dolphins. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Playa del Carmen: Tulum (Ruins of Tulum & Cenotes Dos Ojos) and Mr Sanchos Beach Club Cozumel (in Cozumel).

For where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Playa del Carmen day trip planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Cusco to Playa del Carmen takes 10 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, taxi, and ferry. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Cusco in December: highs in Playa del Carmen hover around 31°C, while lows dip to 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Playa del Carmen

Outdoors Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Tulum, Cozumel
Highlights from your plan
Tulum Archaeological Site ©
Tulum Archaeological Site
Scuba & Snorkeling
Swim with Dolphins

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