54 days in South America, Central America & Mexico Itinerary

54 days in South America, Central America & Mexico Itinerary

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Route & dates

54 days in South America, Central America & Mexico Itinerary

Start: Sydney, Australia
Fly:  30​h
1
Cartagena, Colombia
— 6 nights
Fly + Drive:  9​h 15​min
2
San Blas Islands, Panama
— 6 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
3
Panama City, Panama
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h 15​min
4
Bocas Town, Panama
— 2 nights
+3
ferry + Drive + bus + Drive:  14​h 15​min
5
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
6
Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua
— 3 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  10​h 30​min
7
San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
8
Antigua, Guatemala
— 1 night
shuttle + Fly:  3​h
9
Flores, Guatemala
— 3 nights
Fly + Drive:  5​h 45​min
10
Caye Caulker, Belize
— 4 nights
bus:  5​h
11
Tulum, Mexico
— 6 nights
+3
bus + foot + Fly + bus:  6​h 30​min
12
San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico
— 3 nights
bus + Fly:  5​h 30​min
13
Oaxaca, Mexico
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h
14
Mexico City, Mexico
— 3 nights
Fly:  22​h 45​min
End: Sydney, Australia

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.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Playa Puntilla and Isla Grande. Step out of the city life by going to Aviario Nacional de Colombia and Playa de Bocagrande. Step out of Cartagena with an excursion to Castillo de Salgar in Puerto Colombia--about 1h 55 min away. Next up on the itinerary: take a stroll through Barrio Getsemani, get outside with Bomba Beach Club, contemplate the long history of Centro Historico, and pause for some photo ops at La Gorda Gertrudis.

To find other places to visit, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Cartagena vacation builder .

Sydney, Australia to Cartagena is an approximately 30-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 15 hours traveling from Sydney to Cartagena. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Sydney in January: high temperatures in Cartagena hover around 36°C and lows are around 28°C. You'll have a few hours on the 23rd (Thu) to wrap things up before traveling to San Blas Islands.

Things to do in Cartagena

Historic Sites Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Isla Baru, Castillo de Salgar
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Barrio Getsemani ©
Barrio Getsemani
Bomba Beach Club ©
Bomba Beach Club
Playa de Bocagrande ©
Playa de Bocagrande

6
nights
San Blas Islands, Panama

San Blas Islands ©
San Blas Islands represent the offshore area of the indigenous province of Guna Yala.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Isla Chichime and Isla Pelicano. Next up on the itinerary: stroll through Isla Perro.

For reviews, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the San Blas Islands road trip app .

Explore your travel options from Cartagena to San Blas Islands with the Route module. In January in San Blas Islands, expect temperatures between 38°C during the day and 26°C at night. You will leave for Panama City on the 29th (Wed).

Things to do in San Blas Islands

Parks Nature Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Isla Chichime ©
Isla Chichime
Isla Perro ©
Isla Perro

2
nights
Panama City, Panama

Panama City ©
Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Wed): pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de San Francisco de Asis and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de la Merced, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Veracruz, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Bahai Temple.

Plan my Panama City trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Getting from San Blas Islands to Panama City by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus; or do a combination of ferry and bus. In January in Panama City, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 28°C at night. You'll have a few hours on the 31st (Fri) to wrap things up before traveling to Bocas Town.

Things to do in Panama City

Historic Sites Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Bahai Temple ©
Bahai Temple
El Arco Chato ©
El Arco Chato
Iglesia de la Merced ©
Iglesia de la Merced

2
nights
Bocas Town, Panama

Bocas Town ©
The colorful and relaxed Bocas Town has a welcoming atmosphere, with the modestly sized urban area showcasing typical Caribbean clapboard houses and home to a mixed community from across the world.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Fri): indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: explore the striking landscape of Bastimentos National Park and then stroll through Wizard Beach.

To see ratings, maps, photos, and other tourist information, read our Bocas Town trip itinerary builder .

Traveling by flight from Panama City to Bocas Town takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, bus, and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Plan for much colder temperatures traveling from Panama City in January, with highs in Bocas Town at 13°C and lows at 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Sun) early enough to travel to San Juan del Sur.

Things to do in Bocas Town

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Bastimentos National Park, Wizard Beach
Find places to stay Jan 31 — Feb 2:
Highlights from your plan
Bastimentos National Park ©
Bastimentos National Park
Wizard Beach ©
Wizard Beach
Fishing Charters & Tours

3
nights
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

San Juan del Sur ©
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.
Visiting Playa el Coco and Bordport will get you outdoors. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Popoyo Beach and La Flor Beach Natural Reserve. Explore San Juan del Sur's surroundings by going to Granada (Iglesia de Xalteva & Zipline). The adventure continues: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, view the masterpieces at The Art Warehouse, and don't miss a visit to Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia.

To find where to stay, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the San Juan del Sur route maker tool .

Traveling by combination of ferry, car, and bus from Bocas Town to San Juan del Sur takes 14.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and shuttle; or do a combination of flight, bus, and shuttle. The time zone difference when traveling from Bocas Town to San Juan del Sur is minus 1 hour. When traveling from Bocas Town in February, plan for somewhat warmer days in San Juan del Sur, with highs around 36°C, while nights are a bit cooler with lows around 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) early enough to drive to Isla de Ometepe.

Things to do in San Juan del Sur

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Granada, Bordport, Popoyo Beach
Find places to stay Feb 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Popoyo Beach ©
Popoyo Beach
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Zipline

3
nights
Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

Isla de Ometepe ©
Isla de Ometepe may be small in size, but it boasts two large volcanoes that dominate its landscape and influence the local lifestyle.
On the 7th (Fri), wander the streets of Los Ramos, laugh and play at Chico Largo Adventure, and then kick back and relax at Punta Jesus Maria. Keep things going the next day: examine the collection at Museo Ometepe, then explore the activities along Rio Istian, then admire the sheer force of Cascada de San Ramon, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at San Ramon Waterfall.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Isla de Ometepe trip website .

You can drive from San Juan del Sur to Isla de Ometepe in 2.5 hours. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sun) so you can travel to San Lucas Toliman.

Things to do in Isla de Ometepe

Parks Nature Neighborhoods

Side Trip

San Ramon Waterfall
Find places to stay Feb 6 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Punta Jesus Maria ©
Punta Jesus Maria
Cascada de San Ramon ©
Cascada de San Ramon
Los Ramos ©
Los Ramos

5
nights
San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala

San Lucas Toliman ©
San Lucas Tolimán is a municipality in the Sololá department of Guatemala. Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Colonial Church and Museo Lacustre de Atitlan. Visiting Tarrales Natural Reserve and Tzantizotz Nature Reserve will get you outdoors. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around San Lucas Toliman: Cojolya Museum and Store (in Santiago Atitlan), Cerro de Oro (in Solola) and Panajachel (Church of St Francis, Museo Arqueologico Azul Maya, & more). There's lots more to do: stroll through El Pico de Cielo, contemplate the geological forces at Volcano Toliman, head outdoors with Parque Ecologico Chuiraxamolo, and make a trip to The Mesoamerican Permaculture Institute.

To see where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our San Lucas Toliman trip itinerary maker tool .

Explore your travel options from Isla de Ometepe to San Lucas Toliman with the Route module. In February, daytime highs in San Lucas Toliman are 28°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 14th (Fri) early enough to travel to Antigua.

Things to do in San Lucas Toliman

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trips

Panajachel, San Juan la Laguna, Santiago Atitlan, Santa Cruz La Laguna, Parque Ecologico Chuiraxamolo
Find places to stay Feb 9 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Volcan Atitlan ©
Volcan Atitlan
Volcano Toliman ©
Volcano Toliman
Cerro de Oro ©
Cerro de Oro

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.
For photos, where to stay, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our Antigua trip site .

You can drive from San Lucas Toliman to Antigua in 2.5 hours. In February, daytime highs in Antigua are 28°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. On the 15th (Sat), you'll travel to Flores.

Things to do in Antigua

Tours Outdoors Shopping
Find places to stay Feb 14 — 15:

3
nights
Flores, Guatemala

Flores ©
An island town, capital of the landlocked region of Peten, attractive Flores features pleasant architecture that complements the shimmering appearance of the surrounding lake.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Cultural Triangle Yaxha-Nakum-Naranjo National Park and Parque arqueologico uaxactun. Explore hidden gems such as Actún Can and Actún Can. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Flores: Cerro Biotope Cahui (in El Remate), Centro de Conservacion e Investigaction (in Tikal National Park) and Dos Pilas (in Peten). There's still lots to do: get outside with Mirador del Rey Canek, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral de Flores, explore the ancient world of Sitio Arqueologico Tayazal, and see the interesting displays at Museo del Islote Santa Barbara.

To find traveler tips, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Flores trip planner .

Getting from Antigua to Flores by combination of shuttle and flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or drive. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Flores when traveling from Antigua in February, with lows around 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Tue) so you can travel to Caye Caulker.

Things to do in Flores

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Peten, Cerro Biotope Cahui, Cultural Triangle Yaxha-Nakum-Naranjo National Park, Actún Can, Centro de Conservacion e Investigaction
Find places to stay Feb 15 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Parque arqueologico uaxactun ©
Parque arqueologico uaxactun
Cerro Biotope Cahui ©
Cerro Biotope Cahui
Actún Can ©
Actún Can

4
nights
Caye Caulker, Belize

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.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Museum of Belize and The Gallery of San Pedro. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Fishing Charters & Tours and Spas. Explore Caye Caulker's surroundings by going to San Pedro (Belizean Arts, Belize Chocolate Company, & more). And it doesn't end there: stroll through Shark Ray Alley, browse the exhibits of Aria Kat Art, take in the exciting artwork at Cooper's Art Gallery, and kick back and relax at Secret Beach Belize.

For photos, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the Caye Caulker driving holiday planner.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Flores to Caye Caulker. Traveling from Flores in February, Caye Caulker is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 25°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sat) to allow time to take a bus to Tulum.

Things to do in Caye Caulker

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, Museum of Belize
Find places to stay Feb 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Shark Ray Alley ©
Shark Ray Alley
Secret Beach Belize ©
Secret Beach Belize

6
nights
Tulum, Mexico

The only Mayan site built to overlook the ocean, Tulum remains a coastal paradise preserving the last vestiges of a pre-Hispanic civilization.
Get in touch with nature at Paradise Beach and Fishing Charters & Tours. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Punta Sur Eco Beach Park and Stand-Up Paddleboarding. Get out of town with these interesting Tulum side-trips: Scuba & Snorkeling (in Puerto Aventuras), Skydiving (in Playa del Carmen) and La Playa Xpuha (in Xpu-Ha). The adventure continues: shake up your sightseeing with a climbing tour, enjoy the sand and surf at Mayan Beach, explore the fascinating underground world of Cenotes Sac Actun, and head outdoors with Ziggy Beach.

To find where to stay, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read our Tulum trip planner .

You can take a bus from Caye Caulker to Tulum in 5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time to Eastern Standard Time, which is usually a 1 hour difference. Traveling from Caye Caulker in February, plan for a bit cooler nights in Tulum, with lows around 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to San Cristobal de las Casas.

Things to do in Tulum

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Cozumel, Skydiving, La Playa Xpuha, Scuba & Snorkeling
Find places to stay Feb 22 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
La Playa Xpuha ©
La Playa Xpuha
Scuba & Snorkeling

3
nights
San Cristobal de las Casas, Mexico

San Cristobal de las Casas ©
San Cristóbal de las Casas, also known by its native Tzotzil name, Jovel, is a town and municipality located in the Central Highlands region of the Mexican state of Chiapas. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Mirador Manos Que Imploran and Historic Center. Take a break from the city and head to El Rancho Evergreen Guest Ranch and Grutas de Rancho Nuevo. The adventure continues: examine the collection at Museo Centro Cultural Altos de Chiapas, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, make a trip to El Arcotete Parque Ecoturístico, and take an in-depth tour of Museo Jtatik Samuel.

To see ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the San Cristobal de las Casas travel itinerary planner .

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Tulum to San Cristobal de las Casas takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Tulum to San Cristobal de las Casas is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Tulum in February, you will find days in San Cristobal de las Casas are a bit warmer (38°C), and nights are about the same (20°C). Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Mon) early enough to travel to Oaxaca.

Things to do in San Cristobal de las Casas

Museums Outdoors Parks

Side Trip

Mirador Manos Que Imploran
Find places to stay Feb 28 — Mar 2:
Highlights from your plan
Steps in San Cristobal ©
Steps in San Cristobal
Museo Jtatik Samuel ©
Museo Jtatik Samuel

2
nights
Oaxaca, Mexico

Oaxaca ©
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.
On the 2nd (Mon), hike along Coyote Aventuras, then take in the exciting artwork at Voces de Copal, then explore the world behind art at Alvarez Bravo Photographic Center, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Del Amor. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: Head underground at Yagul, then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and then trot along with a tour on horseback.

To see maps, reviews, ratings, and more tourist information, read Oaxaca vacation planner .

You can do a combination of bus and flight from San Cristobal de las Casas to Oaxaca in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Traveling from San Cristobal de las Casas in March, expect little chillier with lows of 15°C in Oaxaca. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Wed) early enough to travel to Mexico City.

Things to do in Oaxaca

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trips

Yagul, Playa Del Amor
Find places to stay Mar 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Coyote Aventuras ©
Coyote Aventuras
Playa Del Amor ©
Playa Del Amor
Yagul ©
Yagul

3
nights
Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City ©
Breathtakingly large, Mexico City provides a home for almost 9 million people living in nearly 1,700 distinct neighborhoods.
Museo Trick Eye and Lago del Bosque de Chapultepec are good opportunities to explore the local culture. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Iztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl National Park and Colonia Roma. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Mexico City: Playa La Virgen (in Tequesquitengo), Grutas La Estrella (in Ixtapan de la Sal) and Paso de Cortes (in Amecameca). There's still lots to do: wander the streets of Tlalpan and make a trip to San Jacinto Plaza.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Mexico City tour planner.

Fly from Oaxaca to Mexico City in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Traveling from Oaxaca in March, you will find days in Mexico City are a bit cooler (28°C), and nights are about the same (12°C). On the 7th (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Mexico City

Parks Nature Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Central Mexico and Gulf Coast, Playa La Virgen, Paso de Cortes, Grutas La Estrella
Find places to stay Mar 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Lago del Bosque de Chapultepec ©
Lago del Bosque de Chapultepec
Tlalpan ©
Tlalpan
Colonia Roma ©
Colonia Roma

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