29 days in Mexico & Central America Itinerary

29 days in Mexico & Central America Itinerary

Created using Inspirock holiday planner

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Fly
1
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
— 3 nights
Fly
2
Antigua, Guatemala
— 3 nights
Fly
3
San Salvador, El Salvador
— 4 nights
Fly
4
Granada, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
Drive
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive
6
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Fly
7
Panama City, Panama
— 3 nights
Fly
8
San Pedro, Belize
— 3 nights
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9
Roatan, Honduras
— 5 nights
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Playa del Carmen, Mexico

— 3 nights
The tourist hub of the popular Mayan Riviera, upscale Playa del Carmen remains the jewel of Mexico's Caribbean coastline.
Change things up with these side-trips from Playa del Carmen: Tulum (Tulum Tower & Tulum Archaeological Site). Spend the 5th (Sun) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. The adventure continues: get in on the family fun at Xcaret, get outside with Outdoor Activities, don't miss a visit to Quinta Avenida, and cross one thing off your bucket list with a skydiving experience.

To see reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Playa del Carmen trip planning app.

Washington DC, USA to Playa del Carmen is an approximately 6.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. In December, Playa del Carmen is warmer than Washington DC - with highs of 80°F and lows of 68°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) to allow enough time to fly to Antigua.

Things to do in Playa del Carmen

Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Adventure

Side Trip

Antigua, Guatemala

— 3 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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Guatemala City (Catedral Metropolitana, Palacio Nacional, &more). The adventure continues: contemplate the geological forces at Volcán Pacaya, don't miss a visit to Cerro de la Cruz, explore the ancient world of Arco de Santa Catalina, and stop by Casa del Jade.

For photos, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Antigua online road trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Playa del Carmen to Antigua takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Playa del Carmen to Antigua due to the time zone difference. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Playa del Carmen in December, with highs in Antigua at 74°F and lows at 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) to allow time to fly to San Salvador.

Things to do in Antigua

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Nature

Side Trip

San Salvador, El Salvador

— 4 nights
The country's capital, San Salvador sits in a scenic position surrounded by impressive volcanoes.
Step out of San Salvador with an excursion to Lago Suchitlán in Suchitoto--about 1h 25 min away. There's still lots to do: pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia El Rosario, get a taste of the local shopping with Mercado Nacional de Artesanias, admire the masterpieces at Art Museum of El Salvador, and see the interesting displays at Monseñor Romero Center.

To find maps, where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, go to the San Salvador road trip planning tool.

Getting from Antigua to San Salvador by flight takes about 3 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Antigua in December: high temperatures in San Salvador hover around 88°F and lows are around 66°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 15th (Wed) early enough to catch the flight to Granada.

Things to do in San Salvador

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Shopping

Side Trip

Granada, Nicaragua

— 2 nights

La Gran Sultana

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.
Start off your visit on the 16th (Thu): get impressive views of Masaya Volcano and then explore the activities along Apoyo. On the next day, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de La Merced and then see the interesting displays at Centro Cultural Antiguo Convento San Francisco.

To find more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, you can read our Granada journey builder tool.

You can fly from San Salvador to Granada in 4.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Granada

Nature · Parks · Historic Sites · Museums

Side Trip

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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and stroll around Bogarin Trail.

Discover how to plan a La Fortuna de San Carlos trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

You can drive from Granada to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Tue) to allow time to drive to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

— 1 night
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Wed): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio day trip website.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Manuel Antonio in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Wed) to allow time for the flight to Panama City.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches
Highlights from your trip

Panama City, Panama

— 3 nights

Dubai of Latin America

Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Spend the 25th (Sat) exploring nature at Soberania National Park. The adventure continues: don't miss a visit to Panama Canal, appreciate the extensive heritage of Casco Viejo, get outside with Ancon Hill, and take an in-depth tour of Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama.

To see other places to visit, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, read our Panama City road trip planning tool.

You can fly from Manuel Antonio to Panama City in 6.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Manuel Antonio to Panama City, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Expect a daytime high around 87°F in December, and nighttime lows around 76°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Sat) early enough to catch the flight to San Pedro.

Things to do in Panama City

Nature · Parks · Outdoors · Neighborhoods

San Pedro, Belize

— 3 nights
San Pedro evolved from small fishing village and now represents one of the most visited locations in Belize.
Spend the 27th (Mon) exploring nature at Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve. The adventure continues: explore the gorgeous colors at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, shop like a local with Caye Coffee Roasting Co., and cross one thing off your bucket list with a skydiving experience.

For more things to do, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our San Pedro sightseeing planner.

Traveling by flight from Panama City to San Pedro takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. The time zone difference when traveling from Panama City to San Pedro is minus 1 hour. In December, daytime highs in San Pedro are 83°F, while nighttime lows are 72°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) early enough to fly to Roatan.

Things to do in San Pedro

Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Tours

Side Trip

Roatan, Honduras

— 5 nights
The largest of the Bay Islands, Roatan is the most developed and the most popular among its neighbors.
Roatan is known for wildlife, beaches, and adventure. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: head outdoors with Mayan Divers, get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour, stroll through Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum, and enjoy the sand and surf at Little French Key.

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

Fly from San Pedro to Roatan in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry, car, and bus; or do a combination of ferry and bus. December in Roatan sees daily highs of 84°F and lows of 71°F at night. You'll set off for home on the 2nd (Sun).

Things to do in Roatan

Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks · Tours

Mexico travel guide

4.5
Ruins · Beaches · Scuba & Snorkeling
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.

Guatemala travel guide

4.5
Landmarks · Volcanos · Ruins
Land of Eternal Spring
Offering a chance to discover a rich history, remarkable landscapes, and a vibrant culture, a holiday in Guatemala remains a great choice for a wide range of travelers. The heart of the Maya civilization, Guatemala boasts stunning ancient ruins and traditional villages that blend with the Spanish heritage of the colonial-era and its stately cathedrals and town halls. While the cities boast splendid architecture and cultural heritage, they make up a small percentage of the mountainous Guatemalan landscape. Adventurous travelers and nature lovers will have plenty of things to do in Guatemala, from boating on the rushing rivers and scenic lakes, to exploring caves, picturesque beaches, and lush national parks.

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.

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.

Belize travel guide

4.5
Scuba & Snorkeling · River Rafting & Tubing · Reefs
Belize boasts a long coastline along the Caribbean Sea and serves as one of the world's top destinations for snorkeling and scuba diving. In a country providing a home for many different ethnic communities, a holiday in Belize ensures visitors experience a blend of cultures sharing a small land endowed with grand natural beauty. As you tour Belize, you'll see dense broadleaf forests sheltering a staggering variety of birds, ancient Maya ruins providing a palpable history lesson, and tiny coastal villages making up in hospitality what they lack in tourist infrastructure. Still relatively unexplored by foreigners, the country offers travelers a chance to experience pristine scenery free of big crowds and pushy souvenir vendors.

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.