56 days in Central America & South America Itinerary

56 days in Central America & South America Itinerary

Created using Inspirock trip itinerary builder

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Fly to Liberia, Shuttle to La Fortuna de San Carlos
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La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Drive
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Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Unknown
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Puerto Villamil, Ecuador
— 5 nights
Ferry
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Puerto Ayora, Ecuador
— 5 nights
Ferry
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Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Ecuador
— 4 nights
Fly
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Cusco, Peru
— 4 nights
Bus to Ollantaytambo, Train to Machu Picchu
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Machu Picchu, Peru
— 1 night
Fly
8
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
— 3 nights
Fly
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Santiago, Chile
— 6 nights
Fly
10
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 5 nights
Fly
11
Iguazu National Park, Argentina
— 2 nights
Fly
12
El Calafate, Argentina
— 3 nights
Bus
13
El Chalten, Argentina
— 2 nights
Bus to El Calafate, Fly to Sydney

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5
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.
Escape the urban bustle at Tabacon Hot Springs and Cerro Chato (Chato Volcano). Do some cultural sightseeing at ChocoMuseo La Fortuna and Onirica Art Gallery. Take a break from La Fortuna de San Carlos with a short trip to Butterfly Conservatory in El Castillo, about 38 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: witness a stunning natural landmark at Ecotermales Fortuna, stroll around Bogarin Trail, tour the pleasant surroundings at Arenal Oasis Wildlife Refuge, and hike along Arenal 1968 Trail.

To see ratings, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos tour itinerary app.

Sydney, Australia to La Fortuna de San Carlos is an approximately 29-hour combination of flight and shuttle. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -16 hour difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) early enough to go by car to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

5
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.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Horseback Riding Tours and Playa Ventanas. Get in touch with nature at Playa Manuel Antonio and Parasailing & Paragliding. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Manuel Antonio: Pura Vida Gardens and Waterfalls (in Jaco), Vista Los Suenos Horseback Riding (in Herradura) and Dominical (Parque Reptilandia & Mama Toucan's Natural and Organic Food Store). The adventure continues: indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas and see Off-Road Tours.

To find ratings, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio vacation planner.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) so you can travel to Puerto Villamil.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Wildlife

Side Trips

5
nights
Puerto Villamil, Ecuador

Located in the southeast of Isla Isabela, Puerto Villamil is home to the majority of the island's 2,200 inhabitants.
Get outdoors at Los Tuneles and Sierra Negra. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Concha de Perla and El Tunel del Estero. And it doesn't end there: head off the coast to Las Tintoreras, stroll through Playa Puerto Villamil, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and get outside with Cueva de Sucre.

For other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Puerto Villamil trip planner.

Explore your travel options from Manuel Antonio to Puerto Villamil with the Route module. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Wed) early enough to catch the ferry to Puerto Ayora.

Things to do in Puerto Villamil

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Wildlife

Side Trip

5
nights
Puerto Ayora, Ecuador

The largest settlement in the Galapagos, Puerto Ayora offers visitors to the islands an array of facilities and things to do.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Galapagos Beach at Tortuga Bay and Laguna las Ninfas. Get outdoors at El Chato - Giant Tortoise Reserve and Fishing Charters & Tours. Change things up with a short trip to North Seymour Island in Baltra (about 1h 20 min away). There's much more to do: stroll through Charles Darwin Research Station, make a trip to Santa Cruz Fish Market, explore the world behind art at Maprae, and Head underground at Tunel de Lava Bellavista.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Puerto Ayora tour itinerary planner.

Ride a ferry from Puerto Villamil to Puerto Ayora in 3.5 hours. Traveling from Puerto Villamil to Puerto Ayora, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In January, plan for daily highs up to 34°C, and evening lows to 27°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Mon) so you can catch the ferry to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.

Things to do in Puerto Ayora

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Outdoors

Side Trips

4
nights
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Ecuador

The capital of the Galapagos Islands, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is located on easternmost island of the archipelago, San Cristobal.
Step out of the city life by going to La Loberia and Puerto Chino Beach. Discover out-of-the-way places like Cerro Tijeretas and Playa Punta Carola. And it doesn't end there: take in the dramatic natural features at Punta Pitt, don't miss a visit to Segunda Zona Naval de la Armada del Ecuador, admire the local landmark of Swordfish Fountain, and pause for some photo ops at Estatua de Charles Darwin.

To see reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Puerto Baquerizo Moreno sightseeing planner.

Ride a ferry from Puerto Ayora to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno in 3.5 hours. January in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 27°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature

Side Trip

4
nights
Cusco, Peru

Imperial City

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.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Kayaking & Canoeing and Tipon. Escape the urban bustle at Horseback Riding Tours and Nature & Wildlife Tours. There's much more to do: steep yourself in history at Sacsayhuaman, admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Precolombino, delve into the distant past at Qorikancha, and take in the dramatic natural features at Cerro Colorado Vinicunca.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read our Cusco trip planner.

Explore your travel options from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno to Cusco with the Route module. When traveling from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno in January, plan for little chillier days in Cusco, with highs around 22°C, while nights are cooler with lows around 9°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) so you can travel to Machu Picchu.

Things to do in Cusco

Outdoors · Tours · Historic Sites · Wildlife

1
night
Machu Picchu, Peru

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 3rd (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Jardin Botanico en Machu Pichu, then experience the excitement of Samay Spa, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia Virgen Del Carmen, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Mandor.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Machu Picchu fast, fun, and easy.

Getting from Cusco to Machu Picchu by combination of bus and train takes about 4 hours. Other options: take a train; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) early enough to travel to San Pedro de Atacama.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Wildlife · Parks · Fun & Games · Spas

3
nights
San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Major archeological sites and a renowned museum remain the big draws in San Pedro de Atacama tourism, appealing to visitors interested in learning more about South America's pre-Columbian cultures.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Nature & Wildlife Tours and Pukara de Quitor. Escape the urban bustle at Valle Arcoiris and Valle De La Luna. Step out of San Pedro de Atacama with an excursion to Cementerio de Toconao in Toconao--about 38 minutes away. There's still lots to do: get curious at Museo del Meteorito, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, look for gifts at Libreria Del Desierto, and take in the natural beauty of Geyser del Tatio.

To see ratings, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the San Pedro de Atacama attractions tool.

You can fly from Machu Picchu to San Pedro de Atacama in 12.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of train and bus. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Machu Picchu to San Pedro de Atacama due to the time zone difference. In February, daily temperatures in San Pedro de Atacama can reach 28°C, while at night they dip to 8°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Santiago.

Things to do in San Pedro de Atacama

Wildlife · Parks · Outdoors · Tours

Side Trip

6
nights
Santiago, Chile

City of the Island Hills

Santiago tourism thrives largely thanks to the city's big selection of cultural and entertainment options, including museums, theaters, restaurants, bars, and giant malls.
Step off the beaten path and head to Santuario de la Inmaculada Concepcion and Reñaca. Get in touch with nature at San Cristóbal Hill and Santuario de la Naturaleza el Arrayan. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Santiago: Corporacion Museo de Arqueologia e Historia Francisco Fonck (in Vina del Mar), Casa de Isla Negra (in Isla Negra) and Casablanca (Kingston Family Vineyards & Bodegas RE). And it doesn't end there: wander the streets of Barrio Italia, explore the historical opulence of Castillo Hidalgo, indulge your taste buds at Food & Drink, and learn about winemaking at Vina Santa Carolina.

For more things to do, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Santiago road trip planning website.

Getting from San Pedro de Atacama to Santiago by flight takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sun) so you can travel to Buenos Aires.

Things to do in Santiago

Tours · Parks · Outdoors · Wineries

Side Trips

5
nights
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Queen of La Plata

Cultural capital of South America, Buenos Aires remains one of the largest cities on the continent, serving as a point of departure for exploring the rest of the country.
Take a break from the city and head to Parque 3 de Febrero and Horseback Riding Tours. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Fragata ARA and Basilica de Lujan. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Buenos Aires: Museo de La Plata (in La Plata), Catedral de San Isidro (in San Isidro) and Museos & Cripta Basilica Nuestra Senora De Lujan (in Lujan). There's much more to do: wander the streets of Puerto Madero, see the interesting displays at Museo River Plate, get a new perspective on nature at Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales Bernardino Rivadavia, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Basilica del Santisimo Sacramento.

To see photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Buenos Aires holiday planner.

Fly from Santiago to Buenos Aires in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Santiago to Buenos Aires, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In February, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) so you can travel to Iguazu National Park.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Neighborhoods · Historic Sites · Shopping · Museums

Side Trips

2
nights
Iguazu National Park, Argentina

Iguazu National Park contains 672 sq km (259 sq mi) of fertile subtropical forests, but its main attraction is the majestic Iguazu Falls.
On the 19th (Sat), take in the dramatic scenery at Iguazu Falls and then step off the mainland to explore Isla San Martin. On the 20th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: go deep underground at Minas Tierra Colorada, then discover the riches below the earth's surface at Wanda Mines, and then admire the sheer force of Salto Bernabe Mendez.

To see more things to do, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Iguazu National Park itinerary builder site.

You can fly from Buenos Aires to Iguazu National Park in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Buenos Aires in February: highs in Iguazu National Park hover around 37°C, while lows dip to 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sun) so you can travel to El Calafate.

Things to do in Iguazu National Park

Nature · Parks · Wildlife

Side Trip

3
nights
El Calafate, Argentina

El Calafate tourism thrives mostly thanks to the city's proximity to a World Heritage-listed national park, famed for containing over 40 large glaciers.
Explore hidden gems such as River Rafting & Tubing and Estancia 25 de Mayo. Get in touch with nature at Nature & Wildlife Tours and Enjoy!. Next up on the itinerary: see Off-Road Tours, get a new perspective on nature at Museo Regional Municipal de El Calafate, look for gifts at Vellon Negro, and pause for some serene contemplation at Santa Teresita del Nino Jesus.

To see more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read our El Calafate trip planner.

You can fly from Iguazu National Park to El Calafate in 8 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Iguazu National Park in February, expect nights in El Calafate to be a bit cooler, around 16°C, while days are much colder, around 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Wed) so you can take a bus to El Chalten.

Things to do in El Calafate

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure

2
nights
El Chalten, Argentina

Nestled up against the hills of the Los Glaciares National Park, El Chalten serves as one of the nation's most bustling hubs for hikers and backpackers heading out into the wild landscape of southern Patagonia.
On the 24th (Thu), examine the collection at Casa Madsen Museo and then hike along Patagonia Hikes. Keep things going the next day: take some stellar pictures from El Mirador De Los Condores, take in the awesome beauty at Sendero Loma del Pliegue Tumbado, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Laguna Torre, and finally take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Amanecer en El Chalten.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read El Chalten vacation planner.

Traveling by bus from El Calafate to El Chalten takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in El Chalten

Parks · Nature · Trails · Outdoors

Costa Rica travel guide

4.3
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.

Ecuador travel guide

4.5
Landmarks · Sacred & Religious Sites · History Museums
With abundant opportunities to discover fascinating World Heritage Sites, a holiday in Ecuador remains among the most culturally enriching travel experiences. Home to the world's highest active volcano, this little country packs a big punch when it comes to tourist activities. Some of the most popular things to do in Ecuador include visits to its astonishingly biodiverse wilderness areas, home to some 1,500 bird species, 840 species of amphibians and reptiles, and nearly 20,000 plant species. Of course, the highlight of many Ecuador vacations is bound to be the Galapagos Islands, made famous by naturalist Charles Darwin. Aside from the stunning nature, Ecuador also boasts many historic cities filled with photogenic colonial-era churches, mansions, and plazas.

Peru travel guide

4.6
Historic Sites · Parks · Landmarks
Land of the Incas
In a country renowned for its pre-Columbian archeological sites, no Peru vacation would be complete without an adrenaline-inducing hike to Machu Picchu, World Heritage-listed symbol of the once-mighty Incan Empire. Aside from visiting these spectacular ruins set against the backdrop of photogenic mountain peaks, most holidays in Peru also include an exploration of the country's pretty cities, boasting well-preserved colonial architecture and a slew of modern buildings housing fine museums, galleries, shops, and restaurants. Ideal for active vacationers, Peru trips are also tailor-made for gourmands, as the country's eclectic cuisine blends tasty influences from Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Chile travel guide

4.3
Landmarks · Parks · Specialty Museums
Land of Poets
Squeezed between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, geographically diverse Chile is a long, thin stretch of land encompassing some of the world's driest deserts in the north, and some of its largest glacial fields in the south. Though most Chile holidays include some form of adventure in the vast wilderness areas, the country also contains charming cities providing plenty of urban things to do and see. Many tours of Chile include at least a brief visit to the country's lush wine regions, where backyard vineyards compete with sprawling estates producing some of the world's most respected whites and reds.

Argentina travel guide

4.4
Landmarks · Specialty Museums · Bodies of Water
Land of Contrasts
Home to the highest and lowest points in South America, diverse Argentina enthralls visitors with its contrasting landscapes and rich cultural heritage. A tour of Argentina reveals a sprawling land of fiercely proud and hardworking gauchos, the legendary cowboys of South America's pampas. A vacation in Argentina also leads you to giant urban centers, filled with modern tourist attractions that include fine restaurants, award-winning museums, and renowned public parks, gardens, and zoos. Away from big cities, Argentina sightseeing combines visits to mighty waterfalls situated inside World Heritage-listed national parks in the north of the country, with excursions to icy glaciers in the south.