40 days in Central America Itinerary

40 days in Central America Itinerary

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1
San Blas Islands, Panama
— 3 nights
2
Panama City, Panama
— 2 nights
3
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
4
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
5
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
6
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
7
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
8
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
9
Leon, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
10
Roatan, Honduras
— 4 nights
11
San Pedro, Belize
— 3 nights
12
San Ignacio, Belize
— 3 nights
13
Copan Ruinas, Honduras
— 2 nights
14
Chichicastenango, Guatemala
— 2 nights
15
Antigua, Guatemala
— 2 nights

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3
nights
San Blas Islands, Panama

San Blas Islands ©
San Blas Islands represent the offshore area of the indigenous province of Guna Yala.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like San Blas Wild and Isla Pelicano. There's still lots to do: step off the mainland to explore Isla Chichime and soothe aching muscles at Carpe Diem Sailing and Yoga.

To see other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, use the San Blas Islands trip builder.

Melbourne, Australia to San Blas Islands is an approximately 28-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time to Eastern Standard Time, which is usually a -15 hour difference. When traveling from Melbourne in November, plan for a bit warmer days in San Blas Islands, with highs around 36°C, while nights are much warmer with lows around 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) so you can take a subway to Panama City.

Things to do in San Blas Islands

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Tours
Highlights from your trip
©
Island
Isla Pelicano
4.2
©
Speed Boats Tour
San Blas Wild
4.3
©
Island
Isla Chichime
4.1

2
nights
Panama City, Panama

Dubai of Latin America

Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Get in touch with nature at Nature & Wildlife Tours and Adventures Panama. Step off the beaten path and head to Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama and Bahai Temple. There's much more to do: don't miss a visit to Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador), delve into the distant past at El Arco Chato, and pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de la Merced.

For photos, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Panama City online travel planner.

Take a subway from San Blas Islands to Panama City in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In November, daily temperatures in Panama City can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sat) so you can travel to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Panama City

Highlights from your trip
©
Nature / Wildlife Tour
Nature & Wildlife Tours
4.7
©
River Rafting / Tubing
Adventures Panama
4.7

2
nights

Walaba

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a wealth of entertainment by the sea, attracting a lively international crowd of revelers while maintaining a bright and breezy coastal charm with a local feel.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Sun): get outside with Nature Riders, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Kekoldi Indigenous Reserve, and then take in the exciting artwork at Luluberlu Art Gallery. Keep things going the next day: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour and then get to know the fascinating history of Nature Park Walk.

For traveler tips, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca planning website.

Getting from Panama City to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca by combination of flight, car, and bus takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and car. The time zone difference when traveling from Panama City to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is minus 1 hour. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 8th (Mon) so you can go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Wildlife · Outdoors · Parks · Shopping

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip
©
Nature / Wildlife Tour
Nature & Wildlife Tours
4.8
©
Art Gallery
Luluberlu Art Gallery
4.1

2
nights
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Tue): tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio, take a memorable tour with Tours, then whizz through the canopy at Zip Coaster, and finally look for gifts at The Captain's Booty. Keep things going the next day: take the plunge with Skydive Costa Rica, then get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, and then stroll around Manuel Antonio National Park.

For traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio trip planning website.

Drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Manuel Antonio in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to San Jose.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Tours · Parks · Adventure

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip
©
Skydiving
Skydive Costa Rica
4.9

2
nights
San Jose, Costa Rica

San Jose ©
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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Thu): explore the engaging exhibits at Museo de Ciencias Naturales La Salle, then cruise along Top Travel Costa Rica, and then take in the spiritual surroundings of Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral. Here are some ideas for day two: examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, then get engrossed in the history at Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, then take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, and finally explore the galleries of Galeria Namu.

To find traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our San Jose tour builder tool.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to San Jose by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or take a shuttle; or take a bus. November in San Jose sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 22°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) so you can take a shuttle to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums · Scenic Drive · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip
©
Specialty Museum
Pre-Columbian Gold Museum
4.4

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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Arenal Natura Ecological Park and Venado Caves. Get in touch with nature at Bogarin Trail and Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge. And it doesn't end there: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, take an in-depth tour of ChocoMuseo La Fortuna, take in the natural beauty of Paradise Hot Springs, and stroll through La Fortuna Waterfall.

For ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip maker site.

You can drive from San Jose to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or drive; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Tue) to allow time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip

2
nights
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde ©
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
On the 17th (Wed), appreciate the extensive heritage of Ecological Sanctuary, stroll through Valle Escondido Preserve, then indulge in some personalized pampering at Monteverde Massage Center, and finally view the masterpieces at Alas y Raices. On your second day here, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, then explore the world behind art at Chorotega Arts & Crafts, and then take a pleasant ride with Equus Monteverde.

To see ratings, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Monteverde sightseeing planner.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 18th (Thu) so you can go by car to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Monteverde

Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours · Parks

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip
©
Historic Walking Area
Ecological Sanctuary
4.2
©
Nature / Wildlife Tour
Nature & Wildlife Tours
4.9
©
Nature / Park
Valle Escondido Preserve
4.4

2
nights
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica

Coco Beach

A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
On the 19th (Fri), whizz through the canopy at Witch's Rock Canopy Tour, have unforgettable encounters with a shark diving experience, and then stop by Cata Chocolate. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 20th (Sat): get outside with Crazy Alex CR, then take in the exciting artwork at Rojas Bros Boruca Indigenous Arts, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read our Playas del Coco road trip planning app.

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Playas del Coco takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sat) so you can go by car to Leon.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip

2
nights
Leon, Nicaragua

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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Sun): see Off-Road Tours, then pause for some serene contemplation at Church The Recollection, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Calvary Church - Sweet Name of Jesus. On the 22nd (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area.

To see where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Leon holiday maker website.

Getting from Playas del Coco to Leon by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. In November in Leon, expect temperatures between 37°C during the day and 27°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Roatan.

Things to do in Leon

Outdoors · Tours · Adventure · Historic Sites
Highlights from your trip
©
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
5.0
©
Off-Road Tour
Off-Road Tours
5.0

4
nights
Roatan, Honduras

Roatan ©
The largest of the Bay Islands, Roatan is the most developed and the most popular among its neighbors.
Get outdoors at Bodden Tours and Mayan Eden. Discover out-of-the-way places like Roatan Underwater Museum and Off-Road Tours. There's still lots to do: stroll through Little French Key, head outdoors with Mahogany Bay, relax and rejuvenate at Caribbean Fish Therapy, and view the masterpieces at Waves of Art.

To find other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Roatan trip itinerary website.

Traveling by combination of bus, car, taxi, and flight from Leon to Roatan takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, taxi, and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. November in Roatan sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 25°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) early enough to catch the flight to San Pedro.

Things to do in Roatan

Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks · Tours
Highlights from your trip
©
Zipline
Bodden Tours
4.7
©
Nature / Park
Mayan Eden
4.6

3
nights
San Pedro, Belize

San Pedro ©
San Pedro evolved from small fishing village and now represents one of the most visited locations in Belize.
Get some cultural insight at Belizean Arts and The Gallery of San Pedro. Escape the urban bustle at Shark Ray Alley and Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Explore San Pedro's surroundings by going to Caye Caulker (Osprey Silver Jewelry & Boutique & Turneffe Reef). There's still lots to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, see the world from above with C & S Golf Cart Rental, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, and cross one thing off your bucket list with a skydiving experience.

To find ratings, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, go to the San Pedro trip itinerary website.

Fly from Roatan to San Pedro in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry, bus, and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. In November, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to San Ignacio.

Things to do in San Pedro

Wildlife · Parks · Tours · Shopping

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip
©
Must see
Shark Ray Alley
4.5
©
Scuba / Snorkeling
Scuba & Snorkeling
4.3

3
nights
San Ignacio, Belize

San Ignacio ©

Cayo Town

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Calico Jack's Belize Jungle Canopy and Zip Lining and Big Rock Falls. Get a sense of the local culture at Xunantunich Mayan Ruins and El Pilar. Next up on the itinerary: get a new perspective on nature at Chaa Creek Natural History Museum, deepen your understanding at Green Hills Butterfly Ranch, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and take in the exciting artwork at Cappello's Art Gallery.

For other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our San Ignacio travel route planner.

Fly from San Pedro to San Ignacio in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Copan Ruinas.

Things to do in San Ignacio

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks · Museums

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip
©
Historic Site
Xunantunich Mayan Ruins
4.9
©
Waterfall
Big Rock Falls
4.7

2
nights
Copan Ruinas, Honduras

Copan Ruinas ©
The colorful, cultural town of Copan boasts attractions old and new, manmade and natural.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Fri): explore the ancient world of Copan Ruinas, stroll through Macaw Mountain Bird Park & Nature Reserve, and then see the interesting displays at Museo de Arqueologia. Here are some ideas for day two: steep yourself in history at Pyramid over Rosalila Temple, then steep yourself in history at Mayan Ball Court, and then examine the collection at Museo Escolar Casa K'Inich.

For ratings, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Copan Ruinas road trip planner.

Traveling by car from San Ignacio to Copan Ruinas takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Expect a daytime high around 28°C in December, and nighttime lows around 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) to allow time to travel to Chichicastenango.

Things to do in Copan Ruinas

Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Wildlife
Highlights from your trip
©
Historic Site
Mayan Ball Court
4.7
©
World heritage site
Copan Ruinas
4.8

2
nights
Chichicastenango, Guatemala

Chichicastenango ©

Chichi

Sitting in a scenic spot among towering mountains, Chichicastenango has a large indigenous population and displays its cultural heritage in a burst of color when hosting its long-established market.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Sun): stroll through Laguna Lemoa, then steep yourself in history at Pascual Abaj, and then browse the eclectic array of goods at Solola Market. On your second day here, explore the different monuments and memorials at Chichi Cemetery, see the interesting displays at Museo de Mascaras Ceremoniales, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Santo Tomas Church.

For more things to do, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Chichicastenango online vacation planner.

You can drive from Copan Ruinas to Chichicastenango in 7 hours. Another option is to drive. When traveling from Copan Ruinas in December, plan for little chillier days in Chichicastenango, with highs around 24°C, while nights are colder with lows around 7°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Mon) to allow time to take a shuttle to Antigua.

Things to do in Chichicastenango

Historic Sites · Nature · Shopping · Parks

Side Trips

Highlights from your trip
©
Historic Walking Area
Laguna Lemoa
3.3
Cemetery
Chichi Cemetery
4.4

2
nights
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.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Tue): get engrossed in the history at La Azotea, then get engrossed in the history at Centro Cultural La Azotea, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral de San Jose, and finally don't miss a visit to The Plaza Central Park. On the 8th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the ancient world of Convento Santa Clara, stop by La Casa del Algodon, get engrossed in the history at Casa Santo Domingo Museums, then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Merced, and finally explore the ancient world of Arco de Santa Catalina.

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

Traveling by shuttle from Chichicastenango to Antigua takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Chichicastenango in December, Antigua is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Antigua

Side Trip

Highlights from your trip

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