36 days in Mexico & Central America Itinerary

36 days in Mexico & Central America Itinerary

Created using Inspirock trip planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Tulum, Mexico
— 5 nights
Bus
2
Belize City, Belize
— 2 nights
Fly
3
San Pedro, Belize
— 4 nights
Fly
4
Roatan, Honduras
— 5 nights
Fly
5
San Salvador, El Salvador
— 4 nights
Fly
6
Guatemala City, Guatemala
— 3 nights
Fly
7
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive
8
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Drive
9
Granada, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
Fly
10
Panama City, Panama
— 3 nights
Fly

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Tulum, Mexico

— 5 nights
The only Mayan site built to overlook the ocean, Tulum remains a coastal paradise preserving the last vestiges of a pre-Hispanic civilization.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tulum: Playa del Carmen (Xcaret & Ambarte), Cozumel (Galo Art Studio Cozumel Art & Scuba & Snorkeling) and Chichen Itza (Temple of the Bearded Man, Chichen Itza, &more). The adventure continues: delve into the distant past at Tulum Archaeological Site, tour the pleasant surroundings at Punta Laguna Nature Reserve, view the masterpieces at Balam Art On Feathers, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find reviews, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Tulum trip itinerary maker tool.

New Orleans, USA to Tulum is an approximately 5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to Eastern Standard Time (EST) is 1 hour. When traveling from New Orleans in April, plan for a bit warmer days in Tulum, with highs around 83°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 70°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Fri) so you can catch the bus to Belize City.

Things to do in Tulum

Historic Sites · Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife

Side Trips

Belize City, Belize

— 2 nights
Belize's biggest urban center, Belize City is a culturally diverse seaside destination.
Kick off your visit on the 10th (Sat): browse the exhibits of Museum of Belize, then get to know the resident critters at The Belize Zoo, and then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports. On the next day, delve into the distant past at Altun Ha and then get a new perspective on nature at St John's Cathedral.

To see ratings, reviews, maps, and other tourist information, read our Belize City day trip planner.

You can take a bus from Tulum to Belize City in 6 hours. Another option is to drive. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 1 hour. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Tulum in April since evenings lows in Belize City dip to 76°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to San Pedro.

Things to do in Belize City

Historic Sites · Museums · Adventure · Outdoors

Side Trips

San Pedro, Belize

— 4 nights
San Pedro evolved from small fishing village and now represents one of the most visited locations in Belize.
Spend the 13th (Tue) exploring nature at Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve. Next up on the itinerary: see the vivid underwater world at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and take in the exciting artwork at Belizean Arts.

To find photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read San Pedro journey planner.

Traveling by ferry from Belize City to San Pedro takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. April in San Pedro sees daily highs of 88°F and lows of 76°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) early enough to catch the flight to Roatan.

Things to do in San Pedro

Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trip

Roatan, Honduras

— 5 nights
The largest of the Bay Islands, Roatan is the most developed and the most popular among its neighbors.
Roatan is known for wildlife, beaches, and adventure. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: see some colorful creatures with Bananarama Dive Center, head outdoors with Roatan Institute for Marine Sciences - Anthony's Key Resort, soothe aching muscles at Spa Baan Suerte, and learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Manawakie Park.

To see maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, read Roatan holiday site.

Traveling by flight from San Pedro to Roatan takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry, car, and bus; or do a combination of ferry and bus. In April, plan for daily highs up to 88°F, and evening lows to 74°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Tue) to allow time to fly to San Salvador.

Things to do in Roatan

Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks · Tours

San Salvador, El Salvador

— 4 nights
The country's capital, San Salvador sits in a scenic position surrounded by impressive volcanoes.
San Salvador is known for historic sites, nature, and shopping. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia El Rosario, explore the ancient world of Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park, get a taste of the local shopping with Mercado Nacional de Artesanias, and steep yourself in history at Hospital Divina Providencia Chapel.

To see where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the San Salvador trip itinerary planning website.

Traveling by flight from Roatan to San Salvador takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry, bus, and taxi; or do a combination of ferry and bus. In April, daytime highs in San Salvador are 90°F, while nighttime lows are 71°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight to Guatemala City.

Things to do in San Salvador

Historic Sites · Museums · Wildlife · Parks

Guatemala City, Guatemala

— 3 nights

Guate

The largest city in Central America and the country's capital, Guatemala City contains historic sights and modern businesses.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Guatemala City: Antigua (Volcán Pacaya, Casa Santo Domingo Museums, &more). There's still lots to do: meet the residents at La Aurora Zoo, take in the spiritual surroundings of La Merced, examine the collection at Museo Ixchel del Traje Indigena, and admire the masterpieces at Palacio Nacional.

To find photos, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Guatemala City sightseeing planner.

You can fly from San Salvador to Guatemala City in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from San Salvador in April, with highs in Guatemala City at 81°F and lows at 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Tue) so you can fly to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Guatemala City

Parks · Historic Sites · Museums · Nature

Side Trip

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

— 2 nights
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Wed): kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, then find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, and then stroll around Parque Nahomi. On your second day here, see Off-Road Tours, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and then relax and rejuvenate at Yoga con Cyn.

For traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read Manuel Antonio tour itinerary planning website.

You can fly from Guatemala City to Manuel Antonio in 6.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Thu) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Beaches

Side Trip

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

— 5 nights
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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: get impressive views of Arenal Volcano, stroll around Bogarin Trail, take in the natural beauty of Ecotermales Fortuna, and get outside with Outdoor Activities.

To find out how to plan a trip to La Fortuna de San Carlos, use our trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Granada.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Granada, Nicaragua

— 2 nights

La Gran Sultana

The lakeside city of Granada has the look and feel of a historically important economic and political center, with grand colonial architecture, a unified look, and many cultural attractions.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Wed): shop like a local with Galeria Mi Camara Mi Mundo, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Merced, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral de Granada, then admire the landmark architecture of Palacio Episcopal, and finally examine the collection at Centro Cultural Antiguo Convento San Francisco. Keep things going the next day: admire the local landmark of Parque Colon de Granada, step off the mainland to explore Islets of Granada, then contemplate the geological forces at Mombacho, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at La Capilla Maria Auxiliadora.

For where to stay, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Granada trip maker app.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Granada in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) to allow enough time to fly to Panama City.

Things to do in Granada

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks · Museums

Panama City, Panama

— 3 nights

Dubai of Latin America

Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Panama City is known for historic sites, shopping, and museums. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: don't miss a visit to Panama Canal, hunt for treasures at Mercado de Mariscos, wander the streets of Casco Viejo, and look for gifts at PTYlocal.

To see traveler tips, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Panama City trip itinerary planning site.

You can fly from Granada to Panama City in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive; or do a combination of car and bus. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Granada to Panama City due to the time zone difference. May in Panama City sees daily highs of 88°F and lows of 77°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) so you can fly back home.

Things to do in Panama City

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Shopping · Nature

Mexico travel guide

4.5
Ruins · Beaches · Landmarks
Tailor-made for anyone seeking that traditional sun-and-sand experience, Mexico vacations allow visitors to explore nearly 10,000 km (6,200 mi) of picturesque coastlines. Idyllic beaches and favorable year-round weather aside, this diverse country with a rich pre-Colombian history allows tourists a chance to discover a fascinating cuisine, numerous archaeological sites, state-of-the-art museums, colonial-era haciendas, and outstanding examples of 21st-century architecture. Most visitors get to know the country by its cities, but if you want a well-rounded Mexico tour, spend some time exploring its jungles, cloud forests, Caribbean reefs, snowcapped volcanoes, vast deserts, and tranquil lagoons. Life is lived outdoors in Mexico, so wherever you go, don't forget to dine alfresco and stroll the country's colonial streets.

Belize travel guide

4.5
Scuba & Snorkeling · River Rafting & Tubing · Reefs
Belize boasts a long coastline along the Caribbean Sea and serves as one of the world's top destinations for snorkeling and scuba diving. In a country providing a home for many different ethnic communities, a holiday in Belize ensures visitors experience a blend of cultures sharing a small land endowed with grand natural beauty. As you tour Belize, you'll see dense broadleaf forests sheltering a staggering variety of birds, ancient Maya ruins providing a palpable history lesson, and tiny coastal villages making up in hospitality what they lack in tourist infrastructure. Still relatively unexplored by foreigners, the country offers travelers a chance to experience pristine scenery free of big crowds and pushy souvenir vendors.

Honduras travel guide

4.5
Scuba & Snorkeling · Beaches · Zipline
A vacation in Honduras can be an affordable and exciting addition to your Central American itinerary. Often undeservedly overlooked because of the high crime rate in a few of its cities, the country boasts pristine natural wonders, a rich history, and a vibrant atmosphere. From the vivacious Afro-Caribbean culture of the north shore, to the vast mountains and cloud forests of its national parks, Honduras has a lot to offer to the adventurous tourist. Visiting the ancient Mayan ruins of Copan, diving on Bay Islands, and admiring the colonial architecture in the capital remain just some of the things to do in Honduras.

El Salvador travel guide

4.3
National Parks · Churches · Ruins
El Salvador, the smallest country in Central America, has plenty of historical and natural attractions to explore on a rich and varied itinerary. The coastal beaches attract surfers and sunbathers, while the main towns showcase colonial and indigenous cultures in their traditions, architecture, cuisine, and historical sites. Tourism in El Salvador has been stuttering for decades, first because of the Salvadoran Civil War, and now because of gang-related activities and a high crime rate. The vast majority of the country, however, remains unspoiled by the narrative that dominates international headlines. Travelers looking for an off-the-beaten-track destination, with natural and manmade highlights uncluttered by tourists and overdevelopment, find such a place in El Salvador.

Guatemala travel guide

4.5
Landmarks · Volcanos · Ruins
Land of Eternal Spring
Offering a chance to discover a rich history, remarkable landscapes, and a vibrant culture, a holiday in Guatemala remains a great choice for a wide range of travelers. The heart of the Maya civilization, Guatemala boasts stunning ancient ruins and traditional villages that blend with the Spanish heritage of the colonial-era and its stately cathedrals and town halls. While the cities boast splendid architecture and cultural heritage, they make up a small percentage of the mountainous Guatemalan landscape. Adventurous travelers and nature lovers will have plenty of things to do in Guatemala, from boating on the rushing rivers and scenic lakes, to exploring caves, picturesque beaches, and lush national parks.

Costa Rica travel guide

4.5
Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.

Nicaragua travel guide

4.2
Churches · Volcanos · Specialty Museums
Still emerging as a major tourist destination, Nicaragua, the largest country in Central America, entices travelers with its rich history and remarkable natural beauty just waiting to be discovered. A holiday in Nicaragua allows you to explore a vibrant culture, scenic beaches, and plenty of spots off the beaten path. Majestic volcanoes, lakes, and forests offer numerous chances for exploration and exciting adventures, while major cities boast splendid colonial architecture. With access to coastlines on both the Pacific and the Caribbean, a vacation in Nicaragua appeals to those looking for thrilling surfing experiences, dramatic views, or a chance to spread out on a deserted tropical beach.

Panama travel guide

4.2
Landmarks · Historic Walking Areas · Shopping Malls
With a lively banking sector and a booming tourism industry, Panama remains one of the most powerful nations in the Americas, though it's also one of the smallest by land area. The country boasts coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, so it's not surprising most Panama holidays include some form of seaside entertainment. With outstanding beaches all over the country, it's easy to find an ideal spot to swim, snorkel, dive, fish, sail, or simply kick back on the sand with a few cold drinks. The country's best-known landmark and one of the world's most significant shipping routes, Panama Canal tops most tourist itineraries--many choose to see this engineering wonder by traveling the length of it by train.