52 days in Costa Rica & Mexico Itinerary

52 days in Costa Rica & Mexico Itinerary

Make it your trip
1
Mexico City, Mexico
— 3 nights
Fly
2
Cancun, Mexico
— 4 nights
Drive
3
Merida, Mexico
— 5 nights
Drive
4
Tulum, Mexico
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Merida, Mexico
Drive
6
Campeche, Mexico
— 4 nights
Drive
7
Palenque, Mexico
— 4 nights
Fly
8
Oaxaca, Mexico
— 10 nights
Drive
9
Puebla, Mexico
— 4 nights
Drive
10
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
— 1 night
Drive
11
Mexico City, Mexico
— 1 night
Fly
12
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive
13
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Bus
14
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive
15
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive
16
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Drive
17
San Jose, Costa Rica
Fly

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Mexico City, Mexico — 3 nights

City of Palaces

Breathtakingly large, Mexico City provides a home for almost 9 million people living in nearly 1,700 distinct neighborhoods.
Step out of Mexico City to go to San Juan Teotihuacan and see Zona Arqueológica de Teotihuacan Estacionamiento Puerta 5, which is approximately 1h 15 min away. And it doesn't end there: take a peaceful walk through Bosque de Chapultepec, make a trip to Murales de Diego Rivera en la Secretaria de Educacion Publica, admire the striking features of Capilla del Senor de la Humildad, and contemplate the long history of Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe.

To find reviews, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Mexico City itinerary maker site.

If you are flying in from United Kingdom, the closest major aiports are Licenciado Benito Juarez International Airport, Querétaro Intercontinental Airport and Santa Lucía Air Force Base / Felipe Angeles International Airport. In July, daily temperatures in Mexico City can reach 27°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Tue) early enough to catch the flight to Cancun.
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Tours · Historic Sites · Parks · Nature
Side Trip

Cancun, Mexico — 4 nights

Few destinations in Mexico dazzle visitors quite like Cancun, a modern resort town filled with glitzy hotels sitting on picturesque and well-developed Caribbean beaches.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Cancun: Isla Mujeres (Playa Norte & Gladys Galdamez's Isla Mujeres). There's still lots to do: buy something for everyone on your list at La Isla Shopping Village, make a trip to El Parque de las Palapas, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and get outside with Outdoor Activities.

To see reviews, photos, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Cancun online trip itinerary builder.

Fly from Mexico City to Cancun in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time to Eastern Standard Time, which is usually a 1 hour difference. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Mexico City in July; daily highs in Cancun reach 36°C and lows reach 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sat) so you can catch the flight to Merida.
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Outdoors · Tours · Beaches · Parks
Side Trip

Merida, Mexico — 5 nights

Yucatan's busy capital, Merida remains a mid-sized urban center offering an impressive list of cultural activities, eclectic nightlife, and a chance to see tropical examples of French and Italian architecture.
Explore Merida's surroundings by going to Zona Arqueologica Uxmal (in Uxmal) and Chichen Itza (Plataforma de Venus, Chichen Itza, &more). And it doesn't end there: don't miss a visit to Ruta Puuc, stop by Casa de las Artesanias del Estado de Yucatan - Tienda Matriz, sample the fine beverages at Posheria Merida, and explore the ancient world of Dzibilchaltún.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Merida itinerary planner.

You can drive from Cancun to Merida in 3.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or drive; or take a shuttle. Traveling from Cancun in July, expect nights in Merida to be about the same, around 27°C, while days are a bit warmer, around 41°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Tulum.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping · Breweries & Distilleries
Side Trips

Tulum, Mexico — 2 nights

The only Mayan site built to overlook the ocean, Tulum remains a coastal paradise preserving the last vestiges of a pre-Hispanic civilization.
Go for a jaunt from Tulum to Playa del Carmen to see Xcaret about 54 minutes away. And it doesn't end there: delve into the distant past at Tulum Archaeological Site, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, look for gifts at Amore Latino Tulum, and kick back and relax at Mayan Beach.

For other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, read our Tulum online trip builder.

Getting from Merida to Tulum by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a shuttle; or take a bus. When traveling from Merida in August, plan for little chillier days in Tulum, with highs around 35°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Merida.
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Outdoors · Theme Parks · Tours · Adventure
Side Trip

Merida, Mexico

To find more things to do, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read our Merida trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from Tulum to Merida takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle; or take a bus. While traveling from Tulum, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Merida, ranging from highs of 41°C to lows of 27°C. On the 5th (Sat), you're off to Campeche.
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Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks

Campeche, Mexico — 4 nights

Campeche holidays draw a growing number of visitors interested in discovering a historical fairyland that stands in stark contrast with Cancun and the Maya Rivera on the opposite side of the Peninsula.
Campeche is known for historic sites, sightseeing, and museums. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: take in the spiritual surroundings of Zona Arquelogica Edzna, don't miss a visit to Vive La Leyenda, look for gifts at Plaza Liverpool, and see the interesting displays at Museo de Arqueologia Subacuatica Fuerte de San Jose.

To see traveler tips, reviews, maps, and tourist information, use the Campeche trip planner.

You can drive from Merida to Campeche in 2.5 hours. Another option is to drive. Expect a daytime high around 41°C in August, and nighttime lows around 27°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Wed) to allow time to drive to Palenque.
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Museums · Historic Sites · Parks · Neighborhoods
Side Trips

Palenque, Mexico — 4 nights

Palenque remains best known for the nearby ruins of an ancient Mayan city, which probably flourished around the 7th century CE. The World Heritage-listed remnants of this settlement seem little changed by the passage of time and represent one of Mexico's finest examples of Mayan architecture.
Change things up with a short trip to Parque Museo La Venta in Villahermosa (about 2h 15 min away). The adventure continues: explore the ancient world of Zona Arqueologica de Palenque, see the interesting displays at Museo de Sitio de Palenque "Alberto Ruz Lhuillier", explore the activities along Agua Clara, and admire the sheer force of Cascadas de Misol-Ha.

To see ratings, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Palenque trip itinerary builder.

Getting from Campeche to Palenque by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: drive. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Sun) to allow enough time to fly to Oaxaca.
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Parks · Nature · Museums · Historic Sites
Side Trip

Oaxaca, Mexico — 10 nights

Capital city of the eponymous state, Oaxaca relies heavily on its colonial charm, its core a maze of tree-shaded alleys flanked by photogenic mansions, government buildings, and old churches.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Oaxaca: Zona Arqueologica de Mitla (in San Pablo Villa de Mitla) and Capilla Del Senor De Tlacolula (in Tlacolula). There's much more to do: pause for some serene contemplation at Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman, pedal to the sights with Coyote Aventuras, admire the landmark architecture of Basilica de Nuestra Senora de la Soledad, and delve into the distant past at Zona Arqueologica de Monte Alban.

To see ratings, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Oaxaca itinerary maker website.

Traveling by flight from Palenque to Oaxaca takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In August, daily temperatures in Oaxaca can reach 34°C, while at night they dip to 17°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) early enough to go by car to Puebla.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Tours · Parks
Side Trips

Puebla, Mexico — 4 nights

City of Angels

Recognized as a World Heritage Site thanks to its photogenic colonial buildings, Puebla remains one of Mexico's top destinations for architecture enthusiasts.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Puebla: San Pedro Cholula (Parroquia de San Andres Cholula, Zona Arqueológica de Cholula, &more) and Tonantzintla (in San Andres Cholula). There's much more to do: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Puebla Cathedra, admire nature's wide array of creatures at Africam Safari, examine the collection at Museo Amparo, and stroll around Zocalo.

To find photos and more tourist information, read Puebla road trip site.

Getting from Oaxaca to Puebla by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or take a shuttle; or take a bus. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Oaxaca in August, with highs in Puebla at 29°C and lows at 12°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sun) so you can fly to San Miguel de Allende.
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Historic Sites · Parks · Museums · Neighborhoods
Side Trips

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico — 1 night

A relatively small town in central Mexico, relaxed San Miguel de Allede offers an ideal setting for visitors in search of a bit of history and a great deal of photogenic architecture.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Sun): admire the striking features of Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, explore the galleries of Marquesa de Mancera, then examine the collection at Museo La Esquina, then walk around El Charco del Ingenio, and finally go for a walk through El Mirador.

To see ratings, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our San Miguel de Allende visit planner.

Traveling by car from Puebla to San Miguel de Allende takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Puebla in August: highs in San Miguel de Allende hover around 33°C, while lows dip to 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Mexico City.
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Parks · Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping

Mexico City, Mexico — 1 night

City of Palaces

Kick off your visit on the 28th (Mon): make a trip to Paseo de la Reforma, then take a stroll through Historic Center (Centro Historico), and then explore the galleries of Yawi Arte Tradicional. On your second day here, admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Popular and then explore the historical opulence of Chapultepec Castle.

For ratings, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, read Mexico City route builder tool.

Traveling by car from San Miguel de Allende to Mexico City takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Traveling from San Miguel de Allende in August, expect nights in Mexico City to be about the same, around 16°C, while days are slightly colder, around 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 29th (Tue) so you can catch the flight to San Jose.
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Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Museums · Shopping

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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Wed): stop by Chieton Moren, then admire the natural beauty at Jardin Botanico Lankester, then pause for some serene contemplation at Santuario Nacional Nuestra Senora de Los Angeles, and finally contemplate the long history of Ruins of the Church of Carthage. On your second day here, have fun and explore at Museo de los Ninos, get some fabulous bargains at Mercado Municipal De Artesanias, and then hunt for treasures at Central Market (Mercado Central).

For other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, use the San Jose trip itinerary planning tool.

You can fly from Mexico City to San Jose in 6.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Mexico City in August: high temperatures in San Jose hover around 32°C and lows are around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Thu) early enough to drive to Manuel Antonio.
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Shopping · Childrens Museums · Historic Sites · Museums
Side Trip

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica — 2 nights

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 1st (Fri): stroll through Playa Manuel Antonio and then surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

Plan my Manuel Antonio trip by asking Inspirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

Getting from San Jose to Manuel Antonio by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. You will have some time to spend on the 2nd (Sat) before leaving for Monteverde.
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Outdoors · Tours · Beaches · Parks

Monteverde, Costa Rica — 2 nights

Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Sun): take in the exciting artwork at Arte Jaguar Gallery, tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, and then admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Bat Jungle. Keep things going the next day: admire the natural beauty at Monteverde Orchid Garden and then take a peaceful walk through Curi Cancha Reserve.

For maps and tourist information, read Monteverde tour itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.
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Parks · Wildlife · Nature · Shopping

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica — 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 5th (Tue): stroll through La Fortuna Waterfall, skim along the rocks with a canyoning and rapelling tour, and then take an in-depth tour of ChocoMuseo La Fortuna. On your second day here, view the masterpieces at Onirica Art Gallery and then relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs.

For photos, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary app.

You can drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Wed) so you can go by car to Tortuguero.
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Parks · Nature · Spas · Tours

Tortuguero, Costa Rica — 5 nights

Costa Rica's Amazon

One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Venture out of the city with trips to Caribbean Botanical Garden (in Guacimo), Zipline (in Puerto Limon) and Blue Day Family Club (in Guapiles). Spend the 7th (Thu) exploring nature at Tortuguero National Park. There's still lots to do: examine the collection at Sea Turtle Conservancy and take an exotic tour of Jungle Tom Safaris Day Tours.

For ratings, maps, and other tourist information, read our Tortuguero trip itinerary website.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tortuguero in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In September, plan for daily highs up to 35°C, and evening lows to 26°C. You will have some time to spend on the 11th (Mon) before leaving for San Jose.
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Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors
Side Trips

San Jose, Costa Rica

To see other places to visit, reviews, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the San Jose sightseeing planner.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to San Jose takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Tortuguero in September, with highs in San Jose at 32°C and lows at 21°C. You will leave for home on the 11th (Mon).
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Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks

Mexico travel guide

4.5
Ruins · Zipline · Beaches
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.
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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.
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