38 days in South America, Central America & Mexico Itinerary

38 days in South America, Central America & Mexico Itinerary

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Route & dates

1
Lima, Peru
— 1 night
2
Cusco, Peru
— 3 nights
3
Machu Picchu, Peru
— 3 nights
4
La Paz, Bolivia
— 4 nights
5
Uyuni, Bolivia
— 1 night
6
Bogota, Colombia
— 3 nights
7
Medellin, Colombia
— 2 nights
8
Cartagena, Colombia
— 1 night
9
Panama City, Panama
— 2 nights
10
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
11
Antigua, Guatemala
— 1 night
12
Tikal National Park, Guatemala
— 1 day
13
Roatan, Honduras
— 5 nights
14
Cancun, Mexico
— 3 nights

1
night
Lima, Peru

Founded in 1535 by Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro, Lima represents an interesting blend of modern attractions and preserved colonial architecture, much of it clustered in the World Heritage-listed city center.
On the 17th (Wed), surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, take an in-depth tour of Museo Larco, and then ponder the design of Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor). Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Thu): get engrossed in the history at Museo Convento San Francisco y Catacumbas, thentake a stroll through Miraflores, thencontemplate the long history of Huaca Pucllana, and finally don't miss a visit to Circuito Magico Del Agua.

For where to stay, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Lima journey builder tool.

London, UK to Lima is an approximately 16-hour flight. Traveling from London to Lima, you'll gain 5 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from London in July: highs in Lima hover around °C, while lows dip to °C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Lima

Tours Historic Sites Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor) ©
Plaza de Armas (Plaza Mayor)
Museo Larco ©
Museo Larco

3
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.
Visiting Salinas de Maras and Inca Jungle will get you outdoors. Go for a jaunt from Cusco to Oropesa to see Huasao Bosque de los Ents, del Senor de los Anillos about 54 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: steep yourself in history at Sacsayhuaman, explore the ancient world of Centro Historico De Cusco, stroll through Santuario Animal de Cochahuasi, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Qorikancha.

For traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Cusco trip itinerary planning site.

Fly from Lima to Cusco in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Lima in July, expect colder with lows of °C in Cusco. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sun) so you can travel to Machu Picchu.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Huasao Bosque de los Ents, del Senor de los Anillos, Salinas de Maras
Highlights from your plan
Salinas de Maras ©
Salinas de Maras
Inca Jungle ©
Inca Jungle

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.
On the 22nd (Mon), take in nature's colorful creations at Mandor, thenget great views at Intipuncu, and then explore the ancient world of Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu. On your second day here, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, thendon't miss a visit to Plaza Manco Capac, and then take in the natural beauty of Hot Springs (Aguas Calientes).

For other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, refer to the Machu Picchu trip planner.

Traveling by combination of bus and train from Cusco to Machu Picchu takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Wed) early enough to travel to La Paz.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Historic Sites Parks Tours

Side Trip

Zipline
Highlights from your plan
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu ©
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu
Zipline
Mandor ©
Mandor

4
nights
La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz ©
Take a moment to catch your breath as you commence your holiday in La Paz.
Escape the urban bustle at WMDR Yungas Road and Adrenaline & Extreme Tours. And it doesn't end there: take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Huayna Potosi, admire the landmark architecture of Iglesia de San Francisco, walk around Valley of the Moon, and don't miss a visit to Mi Teleferico.

For other places to visit, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our La Paz route planner.

Getting from Machu Picchu to La Paz by flight takes about 8.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of train and bus. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Machu Picchu to La Paz due to the time zone difference. In July, daily temperatures in La Paz can reach °C, while at night they dip to °C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sun) early enough to travel to Uyuni.

Things to do in La Paz

Outdoors Nature Parks
Highlights from your plan
WMDR Yungas Road ©
WMDR Yungas Road
Huayna Potosi ©
Huayna Potosi
Adrenaline & Extreme Tours

1
night
Uyuni, Bolivia

Uyuni ©
Emptiness surrounds the desert outpost of Uyuni, the gateway to the world's largest salt flats.
Kick off your visit on the 28th (Sun): step off the mainland to explore Isla Incahuasi and then take in the dramatic natural features at Salar de Uyuni.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Uyuni vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

You can fly from La Paz to Uyuni in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. When traveling from La Paz in July, plan for slightly colder days and somewhat warmer nights in Uyuni: temperatures range from °C by day to °C at night. On the 29th (Mon), you're off to Bogota.

Things to do in Uyuni

Nature Parks
Highlights from your plan
Salar de Uyuni ©
Salar de Uyuni
Isla Incahuasi ©
Isla Incahuasi

3
nights
Bogota, Colombia

Colombia's heart and soul, Bogota has earned the nickname "Athens of South America" thanks to its abundance of universities, libraries, and lower-level schools.
Take a break from the city and head to Laguna de Guatavita and Monserrate. Step out of Bogota to go to Choachi and see Cascada La Chorrera, which is approximately 48 minutes away. Spend the 1st (Thu) wandering through the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Next up on the itinerary: see the interesting displays at Gold Museum (Museo del Oro), look for all kinds of wild species at Parque Ecologico Matarredonda, and stop by Vitrina Guayca.

For photos, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, read Bogota trip itinerary maker website.

Getting from Uyuni to Bogota by flight takes about 11.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Uyuni to Bogota. When traveling from Uyuni in July, plan for much hotter days in Bogota, with highs around °C, while nights are a bit warmer with lows around °C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Medellin.

Things to do in Bogota

Wildlife Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Laguna de Guatavita, Cascada La Chorrera
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Laguna de Guatavita ©
Laguna de Guatavita
Monserrate ©
Monserrate

2
nights
Medellin, Colombia

Nestled between rising hills in a narrow valley, Medellin serves as an energetic melting pot of people from all socio-economic classes.
On the 2nd (Fri), take in the local highlights with Walking tours, thenget engrossed in the history at Museo de Antioquia, and then identify plant and animal life at Parque Arvi. On the 3rd (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: head outdoors with medellin 2000m DESCENT, fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, and then admire nature's wide array of creatures at Parque Explora.

For reviews, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Medellin day trip tool.

Fly from Bogota to Medellin in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Bogota in August, with highs in Medellin at °C and lows at °C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sat) so you can travel to Cartagena.

Things to do in Medellin

Tours Parks Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Parasailing & Paragliding
medellin 2000m DESCENT ©
medellin 2000m DESCENT
Parque Arvi ©
Parque Arvi

1
night
Cartagena, Colombia

The site of the continent's first Spanish colony, Cartagena retains much of its colonial flavor thanks to a World Heritage-listed old town, encircled by old walls and protected by imposing fortresses.
On the 4th (Sun), identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas.

For reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Cartagena tour itinerary planning website.

You can fly from Medellin to Cartagena in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In August, Cartagena is somewhat warmer than Medellin - with highs of °C and lows of °C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) early enough to travel to Panama City.

Things to do in Cartagena

Tours Wildlife Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling

2
nights
Panama City, Panama

Panama City ©
Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Escape the urban bustle at Soberania National Park and Metropolitan National Park. Step out of Panama City to go to Santa Catalina and see Isla Santa Catalina, which is approximately 45 hours away. There's lots more to do: don't miss a visit to Panama Canal, get engrossed in the history at Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama, get to know the fascinating history of Avenida Balboa, and head off the coast to San Blas Islands.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, read our Panama City road trip site.

You can fly from Cartagena to Panama City in 5.5 hours. In August, daytime highs in Panama City are °C, while nighttime lows are °C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Panama City

Parks Nature Beaches

Side Trips

San Blas Islands, Isla Santa Catalina
Highlights from your plan
Soberania National Park ©
Soberania National Park
Metropolitan National Park ©
Metropolitan National Park
San Blas Islands ©
San Blas Islands

3
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

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.
Take a break from the city and head to Tabacon Hot Springs and Ecotermales Fortuna. Step out of La Fortuna de San Carlos with an excursion to Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge in Cano Negro--about 2 hours away. There's lots more to do: get impressive views of Arenal Volcano, look for all kinds of wild species at Arenal Natura Ecological Park, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos attractions planner.

You can fly from Panama City to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Panama City to La Fortuna de San Carlos is minus 1 hour. Cap off your sightseeing on the 11th (Sun) early enough to travel to Antigua.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Arenal Volcano, Cano Negro Wildlife Refuge
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

1
night
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.
On the 12th (Mon), take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de La Merced, delve into the distant past at Arco de Santa Catalina, and then contemplate the geological forces at Volcán Pacaya. On the 13th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: don't miss a visit to Cerro de la Cruz, admire the masterpieces at Casa Santo Domingo Museums, thenget to know the resident critters at La Aurora Zoo, thensee the interesting displays at ChocoMuseo, and finally look for gifts at Uxibal.

To see maps, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Antigua holiday planner.

You can fly from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Antigua in 11 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In August, daily temperatures in Antigua can reach °C, while at night they dip to °C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Tikal National Park.

Things to do in Antigua

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trip

La Aurora Zoo
Highlights from your plan
Volcán Pacaya ©
Volcán Pacaya
La Aurora Zoo ©
La Aurora Zoo
Iglesia de La Merced ©
Iglesia de La Merced

1
day
Tikal National Park, Guatemala

Tikal National Park
Take a trip to Tikal National Park and discover an ancient city in the thick tropical jungle.
For photos, reviews, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Tikal National Park trip itinerary website.

Traveling by flight from Antigua to Tikal National Park takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. On the 14th (Wed), you'll travel to Roatan.

Things to do in Tikal National Park

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

5
nights
Roatan, Honduras

The largest of the Bay Islands, Roatan is the most developed and the most popular among its neighbors.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at West Bay Beach and Tabyana Beach. Take a break from the city and head to Fishing Charters & Tours and Scuba & Snorkeling. There's still lots to do: kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, stop by Diamonds International, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience.

To see more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Roatan trip itinerary maker site.

Do a combination of car and flight from Tikal National Park to Roatan in 10.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Expect a daytime high around °C in August, and nighttime lows around °C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 19th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Cancun.

Things to do in Roatan

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Scuba & Snorkeling
Fishing Charters & Tours

3
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Swim with Dolphins and Playa Delfines. Visit Playa Norte and Playa Tortugas for some beach relaxation. Step out of Cancun to go to Playa del Carmen and see Quinta Avenida, which is approximately 1h 10 min away. There's still lots to do: buy something for everyone on your list at La Isla Shopping Village, whizz through the canopy at Selvatica, go for a walk through Av Kukulkan, and glide through the air with a parasailing or paragliding tour.

To find maps, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, use the Cancun trip maker website.

Fly from Roatan to Cancun in 9 hours. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Roatan to Cancun due to the time zone difference. Expect a daytime high around °C in August, and nighttime lows around °C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Cancun

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Norte, Quinta Avenida
Highlights from your plan
Swim with Dolphins
Selvatica ©
Selvatica
La Isla Shopping Village ©
La Isla Shopping Village

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