36 days in Mexico & Central America Itinerary

36 days in Mexico & Central America Itinerary

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Cancun, Mexico
— 4 nights
Bus
2
Valladolid, Mexico
— 4 nights
Bus
3
Merida, Mexico
— 5 nights
Bus
4
Tulum, Mexico
— 3 nights
Bus
5
Bacalar, Mexico
— 3 nights
+2
Bus to Orange Walk, Fly to San Pedro, Ferry to Caye Caulker
6
Caye Caulker, Belize
— 4 nights
Ferry to Belize City, Bus to San Ignacio
7
San Ignacio, Belize
— 4 nights
Drive
8
Flores, Guatemala
— 2 nights
Shuttle
9
Lanquin, Guatemala
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Antigua, Guatemala
— 4 nights

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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.
Venture out of the city with trips to Isla Mujeres (Playa Norte & Punta Sur). Next up on the itinerary: buy something for everyone on your list at La Isla Shopping Village, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Delfines, and fulfill a lifelong dream with a swim-with-the-dolphins experience.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Cancun trip itinerary app.

Houston, USA to Cancun is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Houston to Cancun due to the time zone difference. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Houston in November: high temperatures in Cancun hover around 33°C and lows are around 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Valladolid.
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Outdoors · Tours · Beaches · Parks
Side Trip

Valladolid, Mexico — 4 nights

Sultana of the East

One of the gateways to the ruins of Chichen Itza, Valladolid boasts plenty of historic charm and offers a range of tourist-oriented services that ensure pleasant holidays in this area.
Explore Valladolid's surroundings by going to Cenote Ik kil (in Chichen Itza) and Ek Balam (in Ek Balam Village). The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at Xkopek Parque Apicola, explore the striking landscape at Cenote Zaci, don't miss a visit to Palacio Municipal, and explore the fascinating underground world of Cenote Xkeken.

To see ratings, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Valladolid route maker tool.

You can drive from Cancun to Valladolid in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Traveling from Cancun in November, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 29°C in Valladolid. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 28th (Mon) so you can go by car to Merida.
more
Parks · Nature · Museums · Historic Sites
Side Trips

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.
Get out of town with these interesting Merida side-trips: Yucatan Snook (in Chuburna) and Zona Arqueologica Uxmal (in Uxmal). There's still lots to do: don't miss a visit to Ruta Puuc, explore the ancient world of Dzibilchaltún, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and take in the local highlights with Walking tours.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Merida vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

Drive from Valladolid to Merida in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Traveling from Valladolid in November, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Merida, with lows of 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat) early enough to drive to Tulum.
more
Historic Sites · Museums · Tours · Wildlife
Side Trips

Tulum, Mexico — 3 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. There's still lots to do: delve into the distant past at Tulum Archaeological Site, browse the exhibits of Art Gallery Miniature, enjoy the sand and surf at Paradise Beach, and explore the world behind art at Mystika Immersive.

To find ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Tulum travel route planner.

Drive from Merida to Tulum in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. When traveling from Merida in December, plan for a bit cooler days and about the same nights in Tulum: temperatures range from 31°C by day to 23°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Bacalar.
more
Parks · Beaches · Outdoors · Theme Parks
Side Trip

Bacalar, Mexico — 3 nights

Bacalar is the municipal seat and largest city in Bacalar Municipality (until 2011 a part of Othón P. Blanco Municipality) in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, about 40km north of Chetumal, at 18° 40' 37" N, 88° 23' 43" W. In the 2010 census the city had a population of 11,084 people. Kick off your visit on the 7th (Wed): contemplate the waterfront views at Cenote Cocalitos and then find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 8th (Thu): explore the activities along Lake Bacalar and then steep yourself in history at Fuerte San Felipe Bacalar.

To see reviews, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Bacalar trip tool.

You can drive from Tulum to Bacalar in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. When traveling from Tulum in December, plan for somewhat warmer days in Bacalar, with highs around 36°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 9th (Fri) early enough to travel to Caye Caulker.
more
Nature · Parks · Tours · Adventure

Caye Caulker, Belize — 4 nights

At just under 8 km (5 mi) long and 1.6 km (1 mi) wide, the limestone coral island of Caye Caulker offers a small but perfectly formed getaway 32 km (20 mi) offshore from Belize City.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Caye Caulker: San Pedro (Food Tours, Spas, &more). There's much more to do: kick back and relax at The Split, get a taste of the local shopping with Aria Kat Art, get outside with Outdoor Activities, and see the vivid underwater world at Turneffe Reef.

For traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Caye Caulker road trip planning website.

You can do a combination of bus, flight, and ferry from Bacalar to Caye Caulker in 6.5 hours. Traveling from Bacalar to Caye Caulker, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. December in Caye Caulker sees daily highs of 33°C and lows of 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Tue) so you can fly to San Ignacio.
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Tours · Parks · Outdoors · Shopping
Side Trip

San Ignacio, Belize — 4 nights

Cayo Town

The cultural hub of the district, San Ignacio neatly blends tourism and tradition, expats and indigenous peoples into a convincingly authentic, but modern and welcoming inland town.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around San Ignacio: Blue Hole National Park (in Belmopan) and The Belize Zoo (in La Democracia). Saddle up on the 17th (Sat) and explore with a tour on horseback. There's much more to do: explore the fascinating underground world of ATM Cave Belize- Actun Tunichil Muknal, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, explore the ancient world of Cahal Pech, and stop by Kaj Expressions Cayo.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the San Ignacio trip website.

Getting from Caye Caulker to San Ignacio by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 17th (Sat) so you can drive to Flores.
more
Parks · Nature · Tours · Historic Sites
Side Trips

Flores, Guatemala — 2 nights

An island town, capital of the landlocked region of Peten, attractive Flores features pleasant architecture that complements the shimmering appearance of the surrounding lake.
To find reviews, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, read our Flores online trip planner.

You can drive from San Ignacio to Flores in 2 hours. December in Flores sees daily highs of 31°C and lows of 22°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Mon) to allow enough time to take a shuttle to Lanquin.
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Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Wildlife

Lanquin, Guatemala — 2 nights

San Agustín Lanquín, often referred to simply as Lanquín, is a municipality in the Guatemalan department of Alta Verapaz. On the 19th (Mon), explore the fascinating underground world of Lanquin Caves. On the next day, get outside with Aventura Grande, then contemplate the waterfront views at Monumento Natural Semuc Champey, and then Head underground at Grutas Las Marias.

To see traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Lanquin trip maker tool.

Traveling by shuttle from Flores to Lanquin takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. While traveling from Flores, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Lanquin, ranging from highs of 36°C to lows of 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Antigua.
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Nature · Parks · Outdoors

Antigua, Guatemala — 4 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, Catedral Metropolitana, &more). And it doesn't end there: get impressive views of Volcán Pacaya, look for gifts at Jades Imperio Maya, make a trip to Cerro de la Cruz, and pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de San Francisco El Grande.

To see maps, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Antigua tour itinerary builder tool.

Traveling by car from Lanquin to Antigua takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. In December, Antigua is a bit cooler than Lanquin - with highs of 27°C and lows of 15°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can travel back home.
more
Historic Sites · Museums · Parks · Nature
Side Trip

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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