31 days in South America, Central America & Mexico Itinerary

31 days in South America, Central America & Mexico Itinerary

Created using Inspirock journey planner

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1
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 5 nights
Fly
2
Sao Paulo, Brazil
— 3 nights
Fly
3
Margarita Island, Venezuela
— 2 nights
Fly
4
Bogota, Colombia
— 2 nights
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5
Cartagena, Colombia
— 1 night
Fly
6
Panama City, Panama
— 4 nights
Fly to Liberia, Shuttle to Tabacón Thermal Resort & Spa
7
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Fly to Flores, Shuttle to Tikal National Park
8
Tikal National Park, Guatemala
— 1 night
Shuttle to Flores, Fly to Guatemala City
9
Antigua, Guatemala
— 3 nights
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10
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
— 4 nights
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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

— 5 nights

Marvelous City

Bustling with samba music and all-night street parties, no city encapsulates the spirit of Brazil better than Rio de Janeiro.
Rio de Janeiro is known for beaches, nightlife, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: make a trip to Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer, admire the natural beauty at Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro, kick back and relax at Copacabana Beach, and get great views at Leblon Beach.

Start your trip to Rio de Janeiro by creating a personalized itinerary on Inspirock.

Austin, USA to Rio de Janeiro is an approximately 16.5-hour flight. Traveling from Austin to Rio de Janeiro, you'll lose 3 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Austin in January, expect Rio de Janeiro to be warmer, temps between 89°F and 76°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Sao Paulo.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Museums

Sao Paulo, Brazil

— 3 nights

Land of Drizzle

Don't let the city's nickname--"Land of Drizzle"--dampen your spirits during a trip to Sao Paulo.
On the 7th (Thu), explore the world behind art at Pinacoteca do Estado de Sao Paulo, explore the world behind art at Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo Assis Chateaubriand - MASP, and then pick up some local products at Mercado Municipal de São Paulo. On the 8th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: see the interesting displays at Latin America Memorial, then wander the streets of Paulista Avenue, then walk around Parque Ibirapuera, and finally see some colorful creatures with Cedeira Dive.

For photos, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Sao Paulo journey builder.

You can fly from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, Sao Paulo is slightly colder than Rio de Janeiro - with highs of 83°F and lows of 68°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Sat) so you can travel to Margarita Island.

Things to do in Sao Paulo

Museums · Shopping · Parks · Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Margarita Island, Venezuela

— 2 nights

Pearl of the Caribbean

A popular holiday spot for Venezuelans, sunny Margarita Island boasts an exotic Caribbean location, but at the same time is easily accessible from the mainland.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 10th (Sun): explore the wealth of natural beauty at Laguna de la Restinga and then kick back and relax at Playa El Agua.

For where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Margarita Island online attractions planner.

Traveling by flight from Sao Paulo to Margarita Island takes 14.5 hours. The time zone changes from Brasilia Standard Time to Venezuela Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Sao Paulo in January since evenings lows in Margarita Island dip to 77°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Bogota.

Things to do in Margarita Island

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Beaches

Bogota, Colombia

— 2 nights

Athens of South America

Colombia's heart and soul, Bogota has earned the nickname "Athens of South America" thanks to its abundance of universities, libraries, and lower-level schools.
On the 12th (Tue), steep yourself in history at Bolivar Square, then examine the collection at Gold Museum (Museo del Oro), and then take in the awesome beauty at Monserrate. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 13th (Wed): admire the masterpieces at Museo Botero del Banco de la Republica.

To see ratings, maps, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Bogota trip builder app.

Fly from Margarita Island to Bogota in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Margarita Island to Bogota due to the time zone difference. In January, Bogota is cooler than Margarita Island - with highs of 68°F and lows of 44°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Wed) early enough to travel to Cartagena.

Things to do in Bogota

Museums · Nature · Parks · Historic Sites

Cartagena, Colombia

— 1 night

City of Heroes

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.
On the 14th (Thu), contemplate the long history of Walled City of Cartagena and then don't miss a visit to Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Cartagena trip builder.

You can fly from Bogota to Cartagena in 4.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Bogota in January: highs in Cartagena hover around 88°F, while lows dip to 75°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Panama City.

Things to do in Cartagena

Historic Sites

Panama City, Panama

— 4 nights

Dubai of Latin America

Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Spend the 16th (Sat) exploring nature at Soberania National Park. Next up on the itinerary: make a trip to Panama Canal, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Punta Culebra Nature Center, see the interesting displays at Afro-Antillian Museum (Museo Afro Antillano de Panama ), and explore the wealth of natural beauty at Metropolitan National Park.

For photos, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Panama City travel itinerary planner.

Getting from Cartagena to Panama City by flight takes about 5.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 88°F in January, and nighttime lows around 76°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Mon) early enough to travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Panama City

Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

— 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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, take a memorable tour with Tours, browse the exhibits of Onirica Art Gallery, and explore the wealth of natural beauty at Arenal Volcano.

To see ratings, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos day trip planning website.

You can do a combination of flight and shuttle from Panama City to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 7.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Panama City to La Fortuna de San Carlos, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. You'll have a few hours on the 23rd (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling to Tikal National Park.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Nature · Parks · Tours · Outdoors

Side Trip

Tikal National Park, Guatemala

— 1 night
Take a trip to Tikal National Park and discover an ancient city in the thick tropical jungle.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Sun): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Tikal.

For where to stay, traveler tips, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Tikal National Park trip planning app.

Do a combination of flight and shuttle from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tikal National Park in 13 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and car. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Sun) early enough to travel to Antigua.

Things to do in Tikal National Park

Historic Sites
Highlights from your 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.
Explore Antigua's surroundings by going to Guatemala City (La Aurora Zoo, Palacio Nacional, &more). Next up on the itinerary: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de La Merced, contemplate the geological forces at Volcan de Agua, steep yourself in history at Casa Popenoe, and delve into the distant past at Arco de Santa Catalina.

To see maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Antigua trip planner.

Traveling by combination of shuttle and flight from Tikal National Park to Antigua takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. January in Antigua sees daily highs of 74°F and lows of 53°F at night. On the 27th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Playa del Carmen.

Things to do in Antigua

Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trip

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

— 4 nights
The tourist hub of the popular Mayan Riviera, upscale Playa del Carmen remains the jewel of Mexico's Caribbean coastline.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Playa del Carmen: Cobá Zona Arqueológica Cobá (in Coba) and Tulum (Spas, Tulum Archaeological Site, &more). Spend the 31st (Sun) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. There's more to do: get in on the family fun at Xcaret and learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Xaman Ha Aviary.

To see other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Playa del Carmen sightseeing planning site.

Traveling by flight from Antigua to Playa del Carmen takes 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Eastern Standard Time is 1 hour. Traveling from Antigua in January, Playa del Carmen is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 66°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sun) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Playa del Carmen

Wildlife · Tours · Outdoors · Theme Parks

Side Trips

Brazil travel guide

4.4
Beaches · Landmarks · Specialty Museums
Land of Brazilwood
The largest country in South America and the biggest Portuguese-speaking nation in the world, Brazil remains best known for its soccer tradition and annual Carnaval. Most visitors on holiday in Brazil come for the country's outstanding beaches, music, wildlife, and diverse neighborhoods, each one boasting its own distinct character, atmosphere, and way of life. A tour of Brazil reveals a vast land of great natural and human diversity, from its sprawling rainforest wildernesses, to its busy urban centers. There are plenty of things to do in Brazil, from basking on its coastline to chasing the samba scene or catching a picturesque sunset from one of the country's lush mountaintops.

Venezuela travel guide

4.2
Beaches · Landmarks · Gift & Specialty Shops
Land of Grace
A vacation in Venezuela, one of the most biodiverse countries on the planet, can be both affordable and highly rewarding. From snowcapped mountains and vast grassland, to tropical islands and lush rainforests, Venezuela's varied landscapes are a paradise for nature lovers. Whether you're looking to laze on the Caribbean beaches, trek through the verdant jungles, or immerse yourself in the vibrant city culture, a Venezuela holiday offers something for everyone. Admire the world's highest waterfalls, go island hopping, discover tasty local delicacies, and witness the sheer abundance of wildlife and endemic species in Venezuela.

Colombia travel guide

4
Historic Sites · Landmarks · Specialty Museums
Diverse in terms of landscapes, climates, and cultures, Colombia remains one of South America's least explored tourist destinations, overshadowed by its more popular southern neighbors. Combining the best of what the continent has to offer, a vacation in Colombia allows you to blend outdoor adventures with tours of picture-perfect cobblestoned towns dating back to the colonial era. Tourists on a Colombia holiday can easily hop from sun-kissed coastal spots to the hilly coffee-growing region, where thriving plantations quickly give way to a landscape of snow-covered volcanic peaks and the paramo--alpine ecosystems sheltering some of the rarest plants growing above the continuous forest line.

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.

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.

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.

Mexico travel guide

4.5
Ruins · Beaches · Landmarks
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.