28 days in Central America & Mexico Itinerary

28 days in Central America & Mexico Itinerary

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Route & dates

Start: Cancun, Mexico
Fly + Shuttle:  13 h
1
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 30 min
2
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h
3
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Bus + Fly:  8 h 30 min
4
Panama City, Panama
— 2 nights
+4
Fly + Foot + Bus + Foot + Bus:  7 h 30 min
5
Antigua, Guatemala
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h
6
San Salvador, El Salvador
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  3 h
7
Roatan, Honduras
— 3 nights
Fly:  2 h 30 min
8
San Pedro, Belize
— 3 nights
Fly + Drive:  3 h 30 min
9
Cayo, Belize
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  7 h 30 min
10
Cancun, Mexico
— 2 nights
Fly + Shuttle:  6 h
End: Panama City, Panama

1
night
Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
On the 29th (Mon), kick back and relax at Playa Avellana and then kick back and relax at Playa Conchal. Here are some ideas for day two: cast your line with a fishing tour and then get interesting insight from Tours.

For maps, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Tamarindo trip planner.

Cancun, Mexico to Tamarindo is an approximately 10.5- hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also fly; or drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Cancun to Tamarindo due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Tue) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Dolphin & Whale Watching
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

2
nights
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde ©
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
On the 31st (Wed), see the interesting displays at Chorotega Arts & Crafts and then stroll through Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: surround yourself with nature on Monteverde Wild Hikes, then get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle, and then stroll through Curi Cancha Reserve.

To find reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Monteverde holiday planner.

You can drive from Tamarindo to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife Parks Tours
Highlights from your plan
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve ©
Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve
Monteverde Wild Hikes ©
Monteverde Wild Hikes

2
nights
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
On the 2nd (Fri), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz, and then view the masterpieces at The Captain's Booty. On the 3rd (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: cast your line with a fishing tour.

To find reviews, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Manuel Antonio takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat) early enough to travel to Panama City.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

Side Trip

Quepos
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz

2
nights
Panama City, Panama

Panama City ©
Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Panama La Vieja and Avenida Balboa. Discover out-of-the-way places like Iglesia de San José and Bahai Temple. The adventure continues: get to know the fascinating history of Casco Viejo, make a trip to Panama Canal, examine the collection at Biomuseo, and stop by Cinta Costera.

For where to stay, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Panama City trip planner.

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Manuel Antonio to Panama City takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. Traveling from Manuel Antonio to Panama City, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In August in Panama City, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 29°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Antigua.

Things to do in Panama City

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums
Highlights from your plan
Panama Canal ©
Panama Canal
Avenida Balboa ©
Avenida Balboa
Panama La Vieja ©
Panama La Vieja

2
nights
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to ChocoMuseo and Arco de Santa Catalina. Iglesia de La Merced and Convento de las Capuchinas will appeal to history buffs. There's much more to do: see the interesting displays at Casa Santo Domingo Museums, pick up some new knowledge with Casa del Jade, contemplate the geological forces at Volcan de Agua, and don't miss a visit to San Jose El Viejo.

For maps, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Antigua tour itinerary app.

Getting from Panama City to Antigua by combination of flight and bus takes about 7.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Panama City to Antigua is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Panama City in August, expect Antigua to be slightly colder, temps between 30°C and 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) early enough to drive to San Salvador.

Things to do in Antigua

Museums Historic Sites Nature
Highlights from your plan
Casa Santo Domingo Museums ©
Casa Santo Domingo Museums
Arco de Santa Catalina ©
Arco de Santa Catalina
ChocoMuseo ©
ChocoMuseo

3
nights
San Salvador, El Salvador

San Salvador ©
The country's capital, San Salvador sits in a scenic position surrounded by impressive volcanoes.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park and Iglesia El Rosario. Your inner history buff will appreciate Hospital Divina Providencia Chapel and Cementerio de Los Ilustres. And it doesn't end there: admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte de El Salvador, see the interesting displays at Museo Nacional de Antropología Dr. David J. Guzman, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Catedral Metropolitana, and look for gifts at Mercado Nacional de Artesanias.

To find photos, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our San Salvador trip builder app.

You can drive from Antigua to San Salvador in 4 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and flight. Traveling from Antigua in August, expect San Salvador to be somewhat warmer, temps between 36°C and 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Mon) early enough to travel to Roatan.

Things to do in San Salvador

Historic Sites Museums Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Iglesia El Rosario ©
Iglesia El Rosario
Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park
Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park
Hospital Divina Providencia Chapel ©
Hospital Divina Providencia Chapel

3
nights
Roatan, Honduras

The largest of the Bay Islands, Roatan is the most developed and the most popular among its neighbors.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Waves of Art and Shawn Jackson Gallery. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Scuba & Snorkeling and Shark Diving. The adventure continues: head outdoors with Outdoor Activities and enjoy the sand and surf at Tabyana Beach.

To find ratings, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Roatan trip itinerary tool.

Getting from San Salvador to Roatan by combination of car and flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Traveling from San Salvador in August, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Roatan, with lows of 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) early enough to fly to San Pedro.

Things to do in Roatan

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Tabyana Beach ©
Tabyana Beach

3
nights
San Pedro, Belize

San Pedro ©
San Pedro evolved from small fishing village and now represents one of the most visited locations in Belize.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Shark Ray Alley and Belizean Breezes Soap Co. and More. There's still lots to do: see the vivid underwater world at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, cast your line with a fishing tour, discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and browse the exhibits of Belizean Arts.

For more things to do, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the San Pedro trip itinerary planning app.

You can fly from Roatan to San Pedro in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry, bus, and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Expect a daytime high around 37°C in August, and nighttime lows around 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sun) early enough to travel to Cayo.

Things to do in San Pedro

Wildlife Parks Tours

Side Trip

Shark Ray Alley
Highlights from your plan
Hol Chan Marine Reserve ©
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Fishing Charters & Tours
Shark Ray Alley ©
Shark Ray Alley

2
nights
Cayo, Belize

Cayo ©
Holidays in Cayo offer adventure and history in equal measure, with a wealth of ancient sites and unspoiled environment to explore.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Mon): stroll through Green Iguana Conservation Project, delve into the distant past at Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins & Museum, and then steep yourself in history at Xunantunich Mayan Ruins. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire the masterpieces at Tanah Mayan Art Museum, then browse the exhibits of Sak Tunich Art Gallery, and then don't miss a visit to Caracol.

For more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, use the Cayo trip planning site.

You can do a combination of flight and car from San Pedro to Cayo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and car; or do a combination of ferry, bus, and car. In August, daytime highs in Cayo are 37°C, while nighttime lows are 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Tue) early enough to travel to Cancun.

Things to do in Cayo

Historic Sites Museums Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Xunantunich Mayan Ruins ©
Xunantunich Mayan Ruins
Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins & Museum ©
Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins & Museum
Caracol ©
Caracol

2
nights
Cancun, Mexico

Few destinations in Mexico dazzle visitors quite like Cancun, a modern resort town filled with glitzy hotels sitting on picturesque and well-developed Caribbean beaches.
Deepen your sense of the past at sights like Parroquia de Cristo Resucitado and Nuestra Senora del Carmen Catholic Church. Discover out-of-the-way places like Dolphin & Whale Watching and Shark Diving. Next up on the itinerary: see the interesting displays at Mayan Museum of Cancun and relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, read Cancun day trip tool.

Traveling by combination of car and flight from Cayo to Cancun takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, bus, shuttle, and flight; or drive. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time to Eastern Standard Time, which is usually a 1 hour difference. In August, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Cancun

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Nuestra Senora del Carmen Catholic Church
Highlights from your plan
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Parroquia de Cristo Resucitado ©
Parroquia de Cristo Resucitado
Nuestra Senora del Carmen Catholic Church ©
Nuestra Senora del Carmen Catholic Church

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