19 days in Central America Itinerary

19 days in Central America Itinerary

Created using Inspirock planner

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Fly
1
San Salvador, El Salvador
— 6 nights
Fly
2
Antigua, Guatemala
— 2 nights
Shuttle
3
Copan Ruinas, Honduras
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Leon, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
Fly
5
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Fly
6
Bocas Town, Panama
— 2 nights
Fly
7
Panama City, Panama
— 2 nights
Fly

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San Salvador, El Salvador

— 6 nights
The country's capital, San Salvador sits in a scenic position surrounded by impressive volcanoes.
Visiting Playa El Tunco and Volcan San Salvador will get you outdoors. Your inner history buff will appreciate Iglesia El Rosario and Hospital Divina Providencia Chapel. You'll find plenty of places to visit near San Salvador: Tamanique Waterfalls (in Tamanique), El Sunzal (in La Libertad) and San Andres (in Santa Tecla). Next up on the itinerary: browse the different shops at Plaza Futura, discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, take an in-depth tour of Museum of the Word and Image, and pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia del Calvario.

To see photos, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our San Salvador trip itinerary planner.

Guayaquil, Ecuador to San Salvador is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also fly. The time zone difference moving from Ecuador Time (ECT) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. In October, daytime highs in San Salvador are 34°C, while nighttime lows are 24°C. You'll set off for Antigua on the 5th (Fri).

Things to do in San Salvador

Historic Sites · Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trips

Antigua, Guatemala

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Fri): take in the spiritual surroundings of Catedral Metropolitana, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de La Merced. Keep things going the next day: get a tailor-made plan with Private Tours, stop by Xibalba Joyas, then explore the ancient world of La Recoleccion, and finally explore the ancient world of Arco de Santa Catalina.

To see ratings, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Antigua day trip site.

Traveling by flight from San Salvador to Antigua takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from San Salvador in November; daily highs in Antigua reach 27°C and lows reach 17°C. On the 7th (Sun), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Copan Ruinas.

Things to do in Antigua

Historic Sites · Spas · Shopping · Classes

Side Trips

Copan Ruinas, Honduras

— 2 nights
The colorful, cultural town of Copan boasts attractions old and new, manmade and natural.
On the 8th (Mon), take in the natural beauty of Luna Jaguar Hot Spring, then stroll through Macaw Mountain Bird Park & Nature Reserve, and then explore the ancient world of Copan Ruinas.

To find more things to do, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, use the Copan Ruinas travel planner.

Take a shuttle from Antigua to Copan Ruinas in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In November, daytime highs in Copan Ruinas are 28°C, while nighttime lows are 20°C. On the 9th (Tue), you'll travel to Leon.

Things to do in Copan Ruinas

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Historic Sites

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 10th (Wed): get a dose of the wild on Summit Adventures Nicaragua, then examine the collection at Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Calvary Church - Sweet Name of Jesus.

For more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Leon online trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from Copan Ruinas to Leon in 10.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, bus, and car; or do a combination of bus, flight, taxi, and car. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Copan Ruinas in November; daily highs in Leon reach 37°C and lows reach 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Thu) to allow enough time to fly to San Jose.

Things to do in Leon

Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors · Museums

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.
On the 11th (Thu), contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Our Lady of the Pillar Cathedral, explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, and then buy something for everyone on your list at Avenida Escazu. Here are some ideas for day two: take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, experience the excitement of Butterfly Kingdom Costa Rica, soothe aching muscles at Yoga Massage Therapy, then stop by Chieton Moren, and finally take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica.

To find ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the San Jose trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Leon to San Jose takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Leon in November, expect San Jose to be slightly colder, temps between 30°C and 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Sat) to allow enough time to fly to Bocas Town.

Things to do in San Jose

Shopping · Museums · Parks · Fun & Games

Side Trips

Bocas Town, Panama

— 2 nights
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 14th (Sun): stroll through Boca del Drago, then enjoy the sand and surf at Starfish Beach, and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To find other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, use the Bocas Town driving holiday planner.

Fly from San Jose to Bocas Town in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus, car, and ferry; or do a combination of bus, car, and ferry. The time zone difference when traveling from San Jose to Bocas Town is 1 hour. Traveling from San Jose in November, Bocas Town is a bit warmer at night with lows of 30°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 15th (Mon) so you can catch the flight to Panama City.

Things to do in Bocas Town

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Panama City, Panama

— 2 nights

Dubai of Latin America

Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Mon): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Bahai Temple, then buy something for everyone on your list at AltaPlaza Mall, and then view the masterpieces at Weil Art Gallery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Tue): get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour, then appreciate the extensive heritage of Casco Viejo, and then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de la Merced.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Panama City day trip site.

Traveling by flight from Bocas Town to Panama City takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus. While traveling from Bocas Town, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Panama City, ranging from highs of 35°C to lows of 28°C. On the 17th (Wed), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.

Things to do in Panama City

Historic Sites · Shopping · Wildlife · Tours

El Salvador travel guide

4.3
National Parks · Churches · Ruins
El Salvador, the smallest country in Central America, has plenty of historical and natural attractions to explore on a rich and varied itinerary. The coastal beaches attract surfers and sunbathers, while the main towns showcase colonial and indigenous cultures in their traditions, architecture, cuisine, and historical sites. Tourism in El Salvador has been stuttering for decades, first because of the Salvadoran Civil War, and now because of gang-related activities and a high crime rate. The vast majority of the country, however, remains unspoiled by the narrative that dominates international headlines. Travelers looking for an off-the-beaten-track destination, with natural and manmade highlights uncluttered by tourists and overdevelopment, find such a place in El Salvador.

Honduras travel guide

4.5
Scuba & Snorkeling · Beaches · Zipline
A vacation in Honduras can be an affordable and exciting addition to your Central American itinerary. Often undeservedly overlooked because of the high crime rate in a few of its cities, the country boasts pristine natural wonders, a rich history, and a vibrant atmosphere. From the vivacious Afro-Caribbean culture of the north shore, to the vast mountains and cloud forests of its national parks, Honduras has a lot to offer to the adventurous tourist. Visiting the ancient Mayan ruins of Copan, diving on Bay Islands, and admiring the colonial architecture in the capital remain just some of the things to do in Honduras.

Nicaragua travel guide

4.2
Churches · Volcanos · Specialty Museums
Still emerging as a major tourist destination, Nicaragua, the largest country in Central America, entices travelers with its rich history and remarkable natural beauty just waiting to be discovered. A holiday in Nicaragua allows you to explore a vibrant culture, scenic beaches, and plenty of spots off the beaten path. Majestic volcanoes, lakes, and forests offer numerous chances for exploration and exciting adventures, while major cities boast splendid colonial architecture. With access to coastlines on both the Pacific and the Caribbean, a vacation in Nicaragua appeals to those looking for thrilling surfing experiences, dramatic views, or a chance to spread out on a deserted tropical beach.

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.

Panama travel guide

4.2
Landmarks · Historic Walking Areas · Shopping Malls
With a lively banking sector and a booming tourism industry, Panama remains one of the most powerful nations in the Americas, though it's also one of the smallest by land area. The country boasts coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, so it's not surprising most Panama holidays include some form of seaside entertainment. With outstanding beaches all over the country, it's easy to find an ideal spot to swim, snorkel, dive, fish, sail, or simply kick back on the sand with a few cold drinks. The country's best-known landmark and one of the world's most significant shipping routes, Panama Canal tops most tourist itineraries--many choose to see this engineering wonder by traveling the length of it by train.