48 days in Mexico & Central America Itinerary

48 days in Mexico & Central America Itinerary

Make it your trip
Fly
1
La Paz, Mexico
— 9 nights
Fly
2
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
— 2 nights
Fly to San Pedro, Ferry to Caye Caulker
3
Caye Caulker, Belize
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Livingston, Guatemala
— 2 nights
Drive
5
San Ignacio, Belize
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Flores, Guatemala
— 2 nights
Fly
7
Antigua, Guatemala
— 5 nights
Fly
8
San Salvador, El Salvador
— 4 nights
Fly
9
Leon, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Granada, Nicaragua
— 1 night
Drive
11
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
Drive
12
Liberia, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive
13
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive
14
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Shuttle
15
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Fly

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La Paz, Mexico — 9 nights

It's no coincidence that La Paz means "peace" in Spanish, as this tourist center with a small-town vibe offers a tranquil atmosphere and blissfully pleasant weather throughout the year.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Fishing Charters & Tours and Combat 360X. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around La Paz: Playa Los Cerritos (in Todos Santos) and Balandra Beach (in Los Tecolotes). There's still lots to do: step off the mainland to explore Isla Espiritu Santo, step aboard Sun Rider, get a taste of life in the country at Rancho Cactimar Desert & Sea Eco-Ranch, and play a few rounds at Paraiso del Mar Golf.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our La Paz day trip planning website.

Sydney, Australia to La Paz is an approximately 29-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and bus; or fly. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time to Mexican Pacific Standard Time, which is usually a -17 hour difference. While traveling from Sydney, expect much warmer days and a bit warmer nights in La Paz, ranging from highs of 40°C to lows of 20°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight to Playa del Carmen.
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Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Nature
Side Trips
Find places to stay May 18 — 27:

Playa del Carmen, Mexico — 2 nights

The tourist hub of the popular Mayan Riviera, upscale Playa del Carmen remains the jewel of Mexico's Caribbean coastline.
On the 27th (Sat), take in the exciting artwork at Sol Jaguar and then get in on the family fun at Xcaret. On the next day, identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas.

For maps, ratings, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Playa del Carmen journey maker tool.

Traveling by flight from La Paz to Playa del Carmen takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or drive. The time zone changes from Mexican Pacific Standard Time to Eastern Standard Time, which is usually a 2 hour difference. When traveling from La Paz in May, plan for slightly colder days and somewhat warmer nights in Playa del Carmen: temperatures range from 34°C by day to 25°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Mon) so you can travel to Caye Caulker.
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Tours · Wildlife · Outdoors · Theme Parks
Find places to stay May 27 — 29:

Caye Caulker, Belize — 2 nights

At just under 8 km (5 mi) long and 1.6 km (1 mi) wide, the limestone coral island of Caye Caulker offers a small but perfectly formed getaway 32 km (20 mi) offshore from Belize City.
On the 29th (Mon), cross one thing off your bucket list with a skydiving experience and then see what you can catch with a fishing tour. On the 30th (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers and then kick back and relax at The Split.

For ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Caye Caulker trip builder app.

You can do a combination of flight and ferry from Playa del Carmen to Caye Caulker in 7.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of bus, flight, and ferry. Traveling from Playa del Carmen to Caye Caulker, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Playa del Carmen in May, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be somewhat warmer in Caye Caulker, with lows of 30°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Wed) to allow time to drive to Livingston.
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Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Beaches
Side Trip
Find places to stay May 29 — 31:

Livingston, Guatemala — 2 nights

The largely Garifuna town of Livingston sits at the mouth of a river flowing out into the sea.
On the 1st (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Blanca and then explore the activities along Seven Altars.

To see reviews, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Livingston trip maker tool.

You can drive from Caye Caulker to Livingston in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In May, plan for daily highs up to 37°C, and evening lows to 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Fri) so you can drive to San Ignacio.
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Parks · Beaches · Nature · Outdoors
Find places to stay May 31 — Jun 2:

San Ignacio, Belize — 2 nights

The cultural hub of the district, San Ignacio neatly blends tourism and tradition, expats and indigenous peoples into a convincingly authentic, but modern and welcoming inland town.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Fri): look for gifts at Caribbean Spice Belize and then explore the fascinating underground world of ATM Cave Belize- Actun Tunichil Muknal. Keep things going the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Green Iguana Conservation Project, delve into the distant past at Cahal Pech, and then learn more about the world around you at Chaa Creek Natural History Museum.

To see ratings, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our San Ignacio tour app.

You can drive from Livingston to San Ignacio in 6 hours. Another option is to drive. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to Flores.
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Parks · Nature · Museums · Historic Sites
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jun 2 — 4:

Flores, Guatemala — 2 nights

An island town, capital of the landlocked region of Peten, attractive Flores features pleasant architecture that complements the shimmering appearance of the surrounding lake.
On the 4th (Sun), get outside with Actún Can, then look for all kinds of wild species at Ixpanpajul Nature Park, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral de Flores. Keep things going the next day: learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Petencito Zoo, then don't miss a visit to Jorge's Rope Swing, and then have fun at Reyes Tikal.

To see maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Flores trip builder site.

You can drive from San Ignacio to Flores in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. In June, daily temperatures in Flores can reach 37°C, while at night they dip to 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) so you can fly to Antigua.
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Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Tours · Classes
Find places to stay Jun 4 — 6:

Antigua, Guatemala — 5 nights

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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Sunrise Travel Antigua. You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like La Aurora Zoo and Mundo Petapa Irtra. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Antigua: Guatemala City (Museo Ixchel del Traje Indigena, Museo Popol Vuh, &more). There's lots more to do: contemplate the geological forces at Volcán Pacaya, examine the collection at Museo Casa del Tejido Antiguo, delve into the distant past at Convento de las Capuchinas, and contemplate the long history of Iglesia de San Francisco El Grande.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Antigua holiday planning app.

Fly from Flores to Antigua in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or drive. Traveling from Flores in June, expect Antigua to be slightly colder, temps between 29°C and 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) to allow enough time to fly to San Salvador.
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Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Nature
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jun 6 — 11:

San Salvador, El Salvador — 4 nights

The country's capital, San Salvador sits in a scenic position surrounded by impressive volcanoes.
Family-friendly places like Cinquera Rain Forest Park and Iglesia El Rosario will thrill your kids. Change things up with a short trip to Playa El Tunco in El Tunco (about 52 minutes away). Spend the 12th (Mon) exploring nature at Parque Nacional El Boqueron. The adventure continues: explore the ancient world of Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park, take in the spiritual surroundings of Catedral Metropolitana, get impressive views of Volcan San Salvador, and examine the collection at Museo Nacional de Antropología Dr. David J. Guzman.

For traveler tips, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, read San Salvador trip maker website.

Traveling by flight from Antigua to San Salvador takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Antigua in June, things will get a bit warmer in San Salvador: highs are around 35°C and lows about 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Thu) to allow time to fly to Leon.
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Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Wildlife
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jun 11 — 15:

Leon, Nicaragua — 2 nights

A cultured and storied city, Leon attracts guests from all over the world, drawn to the second city's style, thriving intellectual life, and liveliness.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Fri): see the interesting displays at Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian and then get engrossed in the history at Museum of Legends and Traditions (Museo de Tradiciones y Leyendas). Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral de la Asunción.

To find ratings, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Leon day trip tool.

Traveling by flight from San Salvador to Leon takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and car. Plan for a bit warmer nights when traveling from San Salvador in June since evenings lows in Leon dip to 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 17th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Granada.
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Museums · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jun 15 — 17:

Granada, Nicaragua — 1 night

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 18th (Sun): tour the pleasant surroundings at Islets of Granada, pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Merced, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral de Granada.

To see maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Granada trip planner.

Traveling by car from Leon to Granada takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) to allow enough time to drive to San Juan del Sur.
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Historic Sites · Parks · Nature · Wildlife
Find places to stay Jun 17 — 18:

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua — 2 nights

Set in a crescent-shaped bay, San Juan del Sur has become known as a popular surfing spot and coastal holiday destination for Nicaraguan families and international visitors alike.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Mon): make a trip to Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia and then tour the pleasant surroundings at San Juan del Sur Beach. Keep things going the next day: get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour and then kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

To see traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the San Juan del Sur journey planner.

You can drive from Granada to San Juan del Sur in 2 hours. Other options are to do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. June in San Juan del Sur sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 30°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Liberia.
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Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Beaches
Find places to stay Jun 18 — 20:

Liberia, Costa Rica — 3 nights

Tourism in Liberia has been growing since the opening of its airport, with more and more international visitors using the city as a starting point for explorations of the country's northwest.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Tio Leo Coffee Tour,a real cultural experience and Parque Nacional Rincon de la Vieja. Change things up with these side-trips from Liberia: Shark Diving (in Playas del Coco), Playa Hermosa (in Playa Hermosa) and Playas del coco (in Playa Matapalo).

For more things to do, maps, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Liberia trip itinerary app.

Traveling by car from San Juan del Sur to Liberia takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of car and bus; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.
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Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Beaches
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jun 20 — 23:

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 24th (Sat): experience rural life at El Trapiche Tour and then whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks. Here are some ideas for day two: tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then stroll through Ranario Monteverde Frog Pond.

Before you visit Monteverde, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

You can drive from Liberia to Monteverde in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.
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Parks · Wildlife · Tours · Adventure
Find places to stay Jun 23 — 25:

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica — 4 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.
Attractions like Adrenaline & Extreme Tours and Canyoning & Rappelling Tours make great kid-friendly stops. Next up on the itinerary: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, get engrossed in the history at ChocoMuseo La Fortuna, and relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour.

For maps, where to stay, and tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos journey maker.

Drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Thu) so you can catch the shuttle to San Jose.
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Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jun 25 — 29:

San Jose, Costa Rica — 3 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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Photography Tours and Jade Museum. You'll find plenty of places to visit near San Jose: Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca) and monument of Tomas Guardia (in Alajuela). There's much more to do: take in the exciting artwork at Galeria Namu, stroll around Parque La Sabana, take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, and see the interesting displays at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum.

To find maps, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read San Jose trip maker tool.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to San Jose by shuttle takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in June, and nighttime lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) early enough to fly back home.
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Museums · Parks · Tours · Nature
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jun 29 — Jul 2:

Mexico travel guide

4.5
Ruins · Zipline · Beaches
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.
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Rio Dulce travel guide

3.9
Bodies of Water · Beaches · Castles
An attractive and culturally interesting region, Rio Dulce centers around the river of the same name, and the communities that have grown on its banks. The river supports a rich ecosystem, offering some of the region's most popular natural sights, with boat trips on the river chief among the most popular things to do in Rio Dulce. The Garifuna town at the point where the river flows out into the Caribbean represents Rio Dulce's main urban area, with a relaxed vibe, impressive cultural and historical sites, and popular local cuisine.
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