52 days in Costa Rica & Mexico Itinerary

52 days in Costa Rica & Mexico Itinerary

Created using Inspirock attractions planner

Make it your trip
1
Mexico City, Mexico
— 3 nights
Fly
2
Cancun, Mexico
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Merida, Mexico
— 5 nights
Drive
4
Tulum, Mexico
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Merida, Mexico
Drive
6
Campeche, Mexico
— 4 nights
Drive
7
Palenque, Mexico
— 4 nights
Fly
8
Oaxaca, Mexico
— 10 nights
Drive
9
Puebla, Mexico
— 4 nights
Drive
10
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
— 1 night
Drive
11
Mexico City, Mexico
— 1 night
Fly
12
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive
13
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Bus
14
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive
15
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive
16
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Drive
17
San Jose, Costa Rica
Fly

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Mexico City, Mexico

— 3 nights

City of Palaces

Breathtakingly large, Mexico City provides a home for almost 9 million people living in nearly 1,700 distinct neighborhoods.
Step out of Mexico City to go to San Juan Teotihuacan and see Zona Arqueológica de Teotihuacan Estacionamiento Puerta 5, which is approximately 1h 15 min away. There's still lots to do: contemplate the long history of Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe, admire the striking features of Capilla del Senor de la Humildad, don't miss a visit to Murales de Diego Rivera en la Secretaria de Educacion Publica, and examine the collection at Museo Soumaya.

To see photos, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Mexico City day trip planner.

If you are flying in from Germany, the closest major aiports are Licenciado Benito Juarez International Airport, Querétaro Intercontinental Airport and Felipe Angeles International Airport. In December, daily temperatures in Mexico City can reach 26°C, while at night they dip to 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Cancun.

Things to do in Mexico City

Tours · Historic Sites · Parks · Nature

Side Trip

Cancun, Mexico

— 4 nights
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.
Get out of town with these interesting Cancun side-trips: Isla Mujeres (Playa Norte & Gladys Galdamez's Isla Mujeres). There's lots more to do: buy something for everyone on your list at La Isla Shopping Village, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, don't miss a visit to El Parque de las Palapas, and kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Cancun online trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Mexico City to Cancun takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Eastern Standard Time is 1 hour. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Mexico City in December: highs in Cancun hover around 32°C, while lows dip to 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sat) early enough to travel to Merida.

Things to do in Cancun

Outdoors · Tours · Beaches · Parks

Side Trip

Merida, Mexico

— 5 nights
Yucatan's busy capital, Merida remains a mid-sized urban center offering an impressive list of cultural activities, eclectic nightlife, and a chance to see tropical examples of French and Italian architecture.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Merida: Uxmal (in Uxmal) and Chichen Itza (Plataforma de Venus, Chichen Itza, &more). There's still lots to do: make a trip to Ruta Puuc, admire the landmark architecture of Plaza Grande, brush up on your knowledge of spirits at Posheria Merida, and explore the ancient world of Dzibilchaltún.

To see photos, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Merida day trip planning tool.

Getting from Cancun to Merida by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: fly; or drive; or take a shuttle. In January in Merida, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 21°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Tulum.

Things to do in Merida

Historic Sites · Museums · Breweries & Distilleries · Shopping

Side Trips

Tulum, Mexico

— 2 nights
The only Mayan site built to overlook the ocean, Tulum remains a coastal paradise preserving the last vestiges of a pre-Hispanic civilization.
Step out of Tulum to go to Playa del Carmen and see Xcaret, which is approximately 56 minutes away. There's lots more to do: explore the ancient world of Tulum Archaeological Site, stroll through Mayan Beach, look for gifts at Amore Latino Tulum, and see the sights as you ascend with a climbing tour.

For where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read Tulum day trip planning tool.

Traveling by car from Merida to Tulum takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle; or take a bus. While traveling from Merida, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Tulum, ranging from highs of 30°C to lows of 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Merida.

Things to do in Tulum

Outdoors · Theme Parks · Adventure · Tours

Side Trip

Merida, Mexico

To find photos, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Merida trip itinerary website.

You can drive from Tulum to Merida in 3.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a shuttle; or take a bus. While traveling from Tulum, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Merida, ranging from highs of 34°C to lows of 21°C. You will leave for Campeche on the 9th (Sat).

Things to do in Merida

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks

Campeche, Mexico

— 4 nights
Campeche holidays draw a growing number of visitors interested in discovering a historical fairyland that stands in stark contrast with Cancun and the Maya Rivera on the opposite side of the Peninsula.
Campeche is known for historic sites, museums, and nature. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Zona Arquelogica Edzna, don't miss a visit to Plaza de la Independencia, get engrossed in the history at Centro Cultural "El Palacio" (Museo de Fortificaciones, Comercio y Navegación), and stop by Centro Historico de San Francisco de Campeche.

To find more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read our Campeche tour itinerary app.

Getting from Merida to Campeche by car takes about 2.5 hours. In January, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to travel to Palenque.

Things to do in Campeche

Museums · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Nature

Side Trips

Palenque, Mexico

— 4 nights
Palenque remains best known for the nearby ruins of an ancient Mayan city, which probably flourished around the 7th century CE. The World Heritage-listed remnants of this settlement seem little changed by the passage of time and represent one of Mexico's finest examples of Mayan architecture.
Change things up with a short trip to Parque Museo La Venta in Villahermosa (about 1h 55 min away). The adventure continues: don't miss a visit to Zona Arqueologica de Palenque, explore the activities along Agua Clara, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia Santo Domingo, and admire the sheer force of Welib Ja Waterfalls.

To find traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, go to the Palenque trip itinerary planning website.

Traveling by car from Campeche to Palenque takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Campeche to Palenque. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Oaxaca.

Things to do in Palenque

Parks · Nature · Museums · Historic Sites

Side Trip

Oaxaca, Mexico

— 10 nights
Capital city of the eponymous state, Oaxaca relies heavily on its colonial charm, its core a maze of tree-shaded alleys flanked by photogenic mansions, government buildings, and old churches.
Change things up with these side-trips from Oaxaca: Mitla Archaeological Zone (in San Pablo Villa de Mitla) and Capilla Del Senor De Tlacolula (in Tlacolula). Next up on the itinerary: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman, learn and have fun at Oaxaca Profundo Sessions, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, and hike along Coyote Aventuras.

To find reviews, ratings, maps, and tourist information, read Oaxaca day trip planning site.

Traveling by flight from Palenque to Oaxaca takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, daily temperatures in Oaxaca can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 10°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Puebla.

Things to do in Oaxaca

Historic Sites · Museums · Tours · Parks

Side Trips

Puebla, Mexico

— 4 nights

City of Angels

Recognized as a World Heritage Site thanks to its photogenic colonial buildings, Puebla remains one of Mexico's top destinations for architecture enthusiasts.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Puebla: San Pedro Cholula (Parroquia de San Andres Cholula, Zona Arqueológica de Cholula, &more) and Tonantzintla (in San Andres Cholula). There's still lots to do: take in the spiritual surroundings of Rosary Chapel (Capilla del Rosario), get to know the resident critters at Africam Safari, wander the streets of Zocalo, and take in nature's colorful creations at Jardin Botanico Universitario BUAP.

To find maps, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Puebla trip builder tool.

You can drive from Oaxaca to Puebla in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of flight and bus. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Oaxaca in January: high temperatures in Puebla hover around 26°C and lows are around 5°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 31st (Sun) early enough to go by car to San Miguel de Allende.

Things to do in Puebla

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

— 1 night
A relatively small town in central Mexico, relaxed San Miguel de Allede offers an ideal setting for visitors in search of a bit of history and a great deal of photogenic architecture.
Start off your visit on the 31st (Sun): admire the striking features of Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, browse for treasures at Marquesa de Mancera, examine the collection at Museo La Esquina, then stroll around El Charco del Ingenio, and finally go for a walk through El Mirador.

To find traveler tips, ratings, maps, and tourist information, you can read our San Miguel de Allende vacation planner.

Traveling by car from Puebla to San Miguel de Allende takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or fly; or take a bus. In January, plan for daily highs up to 27°C, and evening lows to 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Mexico City.

Things to do in San Miguel de Allende

Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping

Mexico City, Mexico

— 1 night

City of Palaces

Start off your visit on the 1st (Mon): don't miss a visit to Paseo de la Reforma, wander the streets of Historic Center (Centro Historico), and then browse the exhibits of Yawi Arte Tradicional. On the 2nd (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Popular and then explore the historical opulence of Chapultepec Castle.

To find where to stay, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read our Mexico City online tour planner.

You can drive from San Miguel de Allende to Mexico City in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Mexico City

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Museums · Shopping

San Jose, Costa Rica

— 2 nights
A trip to San Jose, the capital, commercial center, and cultural hub of Costa Rica, gives you a chance to experience the lively atmosphere and rich cultural past of this vibrant country.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Wed): stop by Chieton Moren, take in nature's colorful creations at Jardin Botanico Lankester, then pause for some serene contemplation at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Ruins of the Church of Carthage. On the 4th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: have fun and explore at Museo de los Ninos, then get some fabulous bargains at Mercado Municipal De Artesanias, and then browse the eclectic array of goods at Central Market (Mercado Central).

To find more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our San Jose tour planner.

Traveling by flight from Mexico City to San Jose takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Mexico City in February, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in San Jose, with lows of 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) so you can drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

Shopping · Museums · Childrens Museums · Historic Sites

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.
On the 5th (Fri), enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio and then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio day trip app.

You can drive from San Jose to Manuel Antonio in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. You will have some time to spend on the 6th (Sat) before leaving for Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Beaches · Tours · Parks

Monteverde, Costa Rica

— 2 nights
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Sun): take in the exciting artwork at Arte Jaguar Gallery, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, and then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden and then take a peaceful walk through Curi Cancha Reserve.

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

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Mon) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Museums

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Tue): stroll through La Fortuna Waterfall, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and then get engrossed in the history at ChocoMuseo La Fortuna. On your second day here, explore the galleries of Onirica Art Gallery and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs.

For where to stay, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos day trip app.

You can drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) early enough to drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Nature · Parks · Spas · Outdoors

Tortuguero, Costa Rica

— 5 nights

Costa Rica's Amazon

One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tortuguero: Blue Day Family Club (in Guapiles), Caribbean Botanical Garden (in Guacimo) and Zipline (in Puerto Limon). Spend the 11th (Thu) exploring nature at Tortuguero National Park. The adventure continues: get a new perspective on nature at Sea Turtle Conservancy and take an exotic tour of Jungle Tom Safaris Day Tours.

To find photos, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Tortuguero trip itinerary builder tool.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In February, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 24°C. On the 15th (Mon), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to San Jose.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trips

San Jose, Costa Rica

To see where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our San Jose online trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to San Jose takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Tortuguero in February: highs in San Jose hover around 30°C, while lows dip to 21°C. On the 15th (Mon), you're off to home.

Things to do in San Jose

Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks

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.

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.