48 days in Central America & South America Itinerary

48 days in Central America & South America Itinerary

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Route & dates

48 days in Central America & South America Itinerary

Start: Toronto, Canada
Fly + Drive:  28​h
1
Colon, Panama
— 1 night
Bus:  1​h 15​min
2
Panama City, Panama
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h
3
Quito, Ecuador
— 2 nights
Taxi + Fly:  1​h 45​min
4
Guayaquil, Ecuador
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h 30​min
5
Lima, Peru
— 2 nights
Fly:  1​h 45​min
6
Cusco, Peru
— 3 nights
+2
Bus + Foot + Train:  3​h 15​min
7
Machu Picchu, Peru
— 3 nights
+4
Train + Foot + Bus + Taxi + Fly:  17​h 15​min
8
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 3 nights
Fly + Bus:  1​h 30​min
9
Sao Paulo, Brazil
— 3 nights
Fly + Bus:  4​h
10
Belo Horizonte, Brazil
— 3 nights
Bus + Fly:  8​h 45​min
11
Manaus, Brazil
— 1 night
Drive:  15​h 30​min
12
Leticia, Colombia
— 1 night
Fly:  2​h 30​min
13
Bogota, Colombia
— 2 nights
Fly:  1​h 15​min
14
Medellin, Colombia
— 6 nights
Fly + Taxi:  3​h 15​min
15
Barichara, Colombia
— 4 nights
Taxi + Fly:  5​h 15​min
16
Cartagena, Colombia
— 6 nights
Fly:  8​h 15​min
End: Toronto, Canada

1
night
Colon, Panama

Colon ©
Founded in the 1850s by Americans building the country's first railroad, Colon is now one of the largest duty-free ports in the world.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral Inmaculada Concepcion. Here are some ideas for day two: kick back and relax at Playa La Angosta and then steep yourself in history at Fort San Lorenzo.

To find traveler tips, photos, ratings, and tourist information, use the Colon planning website .

Toronto, Canada to Colon is an approximately 28-hour combination of flight and car. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) to allow enough time to take a bus to Panama City.

Things to do in Colon

Historic Sites Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Fort San Lorenzo ©
Fort San Lorenzo
Catedral Inmaculada Concepcion ©
Catedral Inmaculada Concepcion
Playa La Angosta ©
Playa La Angosta

3
nights
Panama City, Panama

Panama City ©
Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Appreciate the collections at Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama and Weil Art Gallery. Casco Viejo and Iglesia de San Francisco de Asis will appeal to history buffs. There's still lots to do: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de la Merced, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Bahai Temple.

To find reviews, maps, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Panama City travel planner.

You can take a bus from Colon to Panama City in 1.5 hours. Another option is to drive. In July, daytime highs in Panama City are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 29°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can travel to Quito.

Things to do in Panama City

Historic Sites Tours Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Bahai Temple ©
Bahai Temple
Casco Viejo ©
Casco Viejo

2
nights
Quito, Ecuador

Quito ©
High in the Andean foothills, Quito remains one of the world's most photogenic capital cities, featuring two dramatic mountain ranges as its backdrop.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Tue): take an in-depth tour of Museo Templo del Sol Pintor Ortega Maila, see the interesting displays at Casa del Alabado, then take an in-depth tour of Museo de la Ciudad, and finally admire the striking features of Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania. On the 8th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: test your team's savvy at popular escape rooms and then delve into the lush surroundings at Maquipucuna Reserve.

Use Inspirock's suggestions to plan your Quito trip and find the best activities and attractions for your vacation.

Traveling by flight from Panama City to Quito takes 3 hours. In July, Quito is slightly colder than Panama City - with highs of 26°C and lows of 17°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to travel to Guayaquil.

Things to do in Quito

Museums Outdoors Parks
Highlights from your plan
Casa del Alabado ©
Casa del Alabado
Fundacion Iglesia de la Compania ©
Room Escape Games

2
nights
Guayaquil, Ecuador

Guayaquil ©
Hills dotted with colorful houses and waterfront promenades typify Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city and commercial center.
On the 9th (Thu), get to know the fascinating history of Guayaquil Historical Park, wander the streets of Cerro Santa Ana, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Merced. On the 10th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get outside with Outdoor Activities, look for gifts at Ecua-Andino Hats, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Schoenstatt Sanctuary.

For reviews, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Guayaquil online tour itinerary planner .

Getting from Quito to Guayaquil by combination of taxi and flight takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Quito in July; daily highs in Guayaquil reach 34°C and lows reach 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can travel to Lima.

Things to do in Guayaquil

Wildlife Historic Sites Parks
Highlights from your plan
Guayaquil Historical Park ©
Guayaquil Historical Park
Cerro Santa Ana ©
Cerro Santa Ana
Iglesia de La Merced ©
Iglesia de La Merced

2
nights
Lima, Peru

Lima ©
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 11th (Sat), contemplate the long history of Huaca Pucllana, get a taste of the local shopping with Shopping Center Larcomar (Centro Comercial Larcomar), then admire the masterpieces at MALI - Museo de Arte de Lima, and finally steep yourself in history at Basilica y Monasterio de Santo Domingo. Here are some ideas for day two: get outside with Outdoor Activities and then view the masterpieces at Galeria Indigo.

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

Getting from Guayaquil to Lima by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Guayaquil in July; daily highs in Lima reach 22°C and lows reach 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Lima

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Huaca Pucllana ©
Huaca Pucllana
Nature & Wildlife Tours

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.
Visit Sacsayhuaman and Q'enqo for their historical value. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Spas and San Pedro Apostol de Andahuaylillas. Step out of Cusco to go to Chinchero and see Complejo Arqueologico Chinchero, which is approximately 50 minutes away. The adventure continues: contemplate the long history of Tipon, tour the pleasant surroundings at Santuario Animal de Cochahuasi, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Convento santa Teresa, and look for gifts at Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, read our Cusco trip maker site .

Fly from Lima to Cusco in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect cooler evenings in Cusco when traveling from Lima in July, with lows around 1°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to travel to Machu Picchu.

Things to do in Cusco

Historic Sites Shopping Museums

Side Trips

Complejo Arqueologico Chinchero, San Pedro Apostol de Andahuaylillas
Highlights from your plan
exploor ©
exploor
Sacsayhuaman ©
Sacsayhuaman
Tipon ©
Tipon

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.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Thu): contemplate the long history of Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu, then stop by Artesanias, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia Virgen Del Carmen. Keep things going the next day: examine the collection at Museo de Sitio Manuel Chavez Ballon, tour the pleasant surroundings at Los Jardines de Mandor, and then experience the excitement of Samay Spa.

For traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Machu Picchu road trip website .

Traveling by combination of bus and train from Cusco to Machu Picchu takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a train; or drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) so you can travel to Rio de Janeiro.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Historic Sites Museums Fun & Games
Highlights from your plan
Santuario Historico de Machu Picchu ©
Los Jardines de Mandor ©
Los Jardines de Mandor
Iglesia Virgen Del Carmen ©
Iglesia Virgen Del Carmen

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.
Visiting Copacabana Beach and Reserva Beach will get you outdoors. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Camboinhas Beach and Recreio dos Bandeirantes Beach. And it doesn't end there: see the interesting displays at Instituto Moreira Salles, contemplate the long history of Sao Luis Fortress, view the masterpieces at Centro Cultural Municipal Parque das Ruinas, and kick back and relax at Praia do Leme.

For reviews, ratings, maps, and tourist information, go to the Rio de Janeiro attractions planner .

You can do a combination of train, bus, and flight from Machu Picchu to Rio de Janeiro in 17.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of train and bus. The time zone changes from Peru Time to Brasilia Time, which is usually a 2 hour difference. In July, daily temperatures in Rio de Janeiro can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) to allow time to travel to Sao Paulo.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Beaches Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Niteroi
Highlights from your plan
Instituto Moreira Salles ©
Instituto Moreira Salles
Copacabana Beach ©
Copacabana Beach
Reserva Beach ©
Reserva 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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Fo Guang Shan Brazil - Zu Lai Temple and Museu do Som e Imagem - MIS. Paróquia Nossa Senhora do Brasil and Igreja Chagas do Serafico Pai Francisco will appeal to history buffs. Next up on the itinerary: take in the exciting artwork at Instituto Tomie Ohtake, wander the streets of Batman Alley, examine the collection at Museu da Imigração do Estado de São Paulo, and admire the masterpieces at Estacao Pinacoteca.

For traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Sao Paulo day trip planning tool .

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Rio de Janeiro in July; daily highs in Sao Paulo reach 26°C and lows reach 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can travel to Belo Horizonte.

Things to do in Sao Paulo

Museums Historic Sites Shopping

Side Trip

Fo Guang Shan Brazil - Zu Lai Temple
Highlights from your plan
Fo Guang Shan Brazil - Zu Lai Temple ©
Museu do Som e Imagem - MIS ©
Museu do Som e Imagem - MIS

3
nights
Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Belo Horizonte ©
Named for its spectacular mountain views, and known locally as the "Garden City," Belo Horizonte has historically fostered a connection with nature since its inauguration in 1897.
Appreciate the collections at MM Gerdau - Museu das Minas e do Metal and Museu de Congonhas. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas and Palacio da Liberdade. Go for a jaunt from Belo Horizonte to Caete to see Santuario de Nossa Senhora da Piedade about 1h 05 min away. The adventure continues: examine the collection at Arts and Crafts Museum, don't miss a visit to Praca Israel Pinheiro, take in the spiritual surroundings of Igreja Sao Jose, and brush up on your military savvy at Museu Historico dos Militares Mineiros.

Plan my day in Belo Horizonte using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Sao Paulo to Belo Horizonte takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Sao Paulo in July; daily highs in Belo Horizonte reach 30°C and lows reach 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Mon) so you can travel to Manaus.

Things to do in Belo Horizonte

Museums Historic Sites

Side Trips

Congonhas, Santuario de Nossa Senhora da Piedade
Highlights from your plan
Arts and Crafts Museum ©
Arts and Crafts Museum
Santuario de Nossa Senhora da Piedade ©

1
night
Manaus, Brazil

Manaus ©
It's hard not to get excited when planning a trip to Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas, and the largest city on the mighty Amazon River.
On the 28th (Tue), get engrossed in the history at Palacio da Justica, take an in-depth tour of Palacete Provincial, then explore the galleries of Galeria Amazonica, and finally kick back and relax at Praia do Tupe.

To see where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, read Manaus trip maker website .

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Belo Horizonte to Manaus takes 9 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Brasilia Time to Amazon Time is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Belo Horizonte in July, things will get a bit warmer in Manaus: highs are around 36°C and lows about 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Leticia.

Things to do in Manaus

Museums Beaches Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Palacio da Justica ©
Palacio da Justica
Palacete Provincial ©
Palacete Provincial
Galeria Amazonica ©
Galeria Amazonica

1
night
Leticia, Colombia

Leticia ©
Leticia represents a large urban area and one of the best places from which to commence exploring areas along the Amazon.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Wed): examine the collection at Museo Etnografico and then stroll around Parque Santander. On the next day, look for all kinds of wild species at Isla de Los Micos, look for all kinds of wild species at Reserva Natural Tanimboca, and then observe the fascinating underwater world at Bioparque Etuena.

For ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Leticia attractions planner .

Explore your travel options from Manaus to Leticia with the Route module. The time zone difference moving from Amazon Time (AMT) to Colombia Time (COT) is minus 1 hour. In July, daytime highs in Leticia are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Bogota.

Things to do in Leticia

Parks Wildlife Museums
Highlights from your plan
Isla de Los Micos ©
Isla de Los Micos
Reserva Natural Tanimboca ©
Reserva Natural Tanimboca
Museo Etnografico ©
Museo Etnografico

2
nights
Bogota, Colombia

Bogota ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Fri): admire the masterpieces at Museo Botero del Banco de la Republica, take an in-depth tour of Museo Santa Clara, and then see the interesting displays at Museo Nacional de Colombia. On the next day, get engrossed in the history at Casa Museo Quinta de Bolivar, make a trip to Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao, and then see the interesting displays at Gold Museum (Museo del Oro).

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Bogota online travel planner .

Traveling by flight from Leticia to Bogota takes 2.5 hours. Traveling from Leticia in July, things will get much colder in Bogota: highs are around 21°C and lows about 10°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sat) early enough to travel to Medellin.

Things to do in Bogota

Museums Historic Sites Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) ©
Gold Museum (Museo del Oro)
Museo Nacional de Colombia ©
Museo Nacional de Colombia
Casa Museo Quinta de Bolivar ©
Casa Museo Quinta de Bolivar

6
nights
Medellin, Colombia

Medellin ©
Nestled between rising hills in a narrow valley, Medellin serves as an energetic melting pot of people from all socio-economic classes.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Mayorca Mega Plaza and H by HDC. Visit Iglesia de Nuestra Senora del Carmen and Parroquia la Nina Maria for their historical value. Explore Medellin's surroundings by going to Guatape (ALTITUDE & Guatape Dam), Cementerio Jardines Montesacro (in Itagui) and Parque Tematico Replica del Viejo Penol (in Penol). There's much more to do: get the adrenaline pumping with 2000m Descent and more, see the interesting displays at Museo Casa de la Memoria, take in the exciting artwork at Arte Loft Galeria, and buy something for everyone on your list at Centro Comercial Santafé.

To find ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Medellin online day trip planner .

Fly from Bogota to Medellin in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. In August, Medellin is a bit warmer than Bogota - with highs of 33°C and lows of 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Barichara.

Things to do in Medellin

Shopping Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Guatape, Cementerio Jardines Montesacro, Mayorca Mega Plaza, Parroquia la Nina Maria, Parque Tematico Replica del Viejo Penol
Highlights from your plan
Mayorca Mega Plaza ©
Mayorca Mega Plaza
Museum Pablo Escobar ©
Museum Pablo Escobar

4
nights
Barichara, Colombia

A charming town of just over 7,000 people, Barichara displays rustic, dusty orange-colored architecture, protected by the Colombian People's Heritage Network.
Popular historic sites such as Iglesia de Santa Lucia de Guane and Iglesia Nuestra Senora de Chiquinquira El Socorro are in your itinerary. Let the collections at Museo del Algodon y el Lienzo de la Tierra and Fundacion San Lorenzo De Barichara capture your imagination. Explore Barichara's surroundings by going to San Gil (River Rafting & Tubing, Parasailing & Paragliding, & more) and Capilla Inmaculada Concepcion, El Socorro (in Socorro). The adventure continues: pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepcion.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Barichara road trip app .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Medellin to Barichara in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In August, daytime highs in Barichara are 31°C, while nighttime lows are 21°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Tue) so you can travel to Cartagena.

Things to do in Barichara

Tours Outdoors Adventure

Side Trips

San Gil, Socorro, Museo del Algodon y el Lienzo de la Tierra
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Parasailing & Paragliding

6
nights
Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena ©
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.
Take a break from the city and head to Aviario Nacional de Colombia and Playa Puntilla. Get a sense of the local culture at Convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa and Templo de Santo Domingo. Explore Cartagena's surroundings by going to Playa Blanca (in Isla Baru) and Castillo de Salgar (in Puerto Colombia). The adventure continues: wander the streets of Barrio Getsemani, explore the historical opulence of Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas, contemplate the long history of Centro Historico, and see the interesting displays at Casa Museo Rafael Nunez.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, read Cartagena sightseeing tool .

Getting from Barichara to Cartagena by combination of taxi and flight takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus; or drive. Traveling from Barichara in August, expect Cartagena to be somewhat warmer, temps between 38°C and 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Cartagena

Historic Sites Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Isla Baru, Castillo de Salgar
Highlights from your plan
Aviario Nacional de Colombia ©
Aviario Nacional de Colombia
Convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa ©
Convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa
Barrio Getsemani ©
Barrio Getsemani

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