16 days in Central America Itinerary

16 days in Central America Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in Central America Itinerary

Start: Phoenix, United States
+2
Fly + shuttle + Drive:  12​h
1
Cayo, Belize
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  3​h 30​min
2
San Pedro, Belize
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h 15​min
3
Roatan, Honduras
— 3 nights
+3
Fly + shuttle + foot + bus:  9​h
4
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 15​min
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
6
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
7
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Fly:  8​h 45​min
End: Phoenix, United States

1
night
Cayo, Belize

Cayo ©
Holidays in Cayo offer adventure and history in equal measure, with a wealth of ancient sites and unspoiled environment to explore.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Tue): stop by Rubba Dub Soap Shop, delve into the distant past at Xunantunich, and then take in the exciting artwork at Cappello's Art Gallery. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the fascinating underground world of Barton Creek Cave, then delve into the distant past at Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins & Museum, then identify plant and animal life at Green Iguana Conservation Project, and finally get a taste of the local shopping with Sak Tunich Art Gallery.

To see other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, read Cayo trip planner .

Phoenix, USA to Cayo is an approximately 12-hour combination of flight and shuttle. You can also do a combination of bus, flight, and shuttle; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Phoenix to Cayo is 1 hour. When traveling from Phoenix in September, plan for little chillier days and about the same nights in Cayo: temperatures range from 88°F by day to 77°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to San Pedro.

Things to do in Cayo

Historic Sites Shopping Parks
Find places to stay Sep 24 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins & Museum ©
Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins & Museum
Xunantunich Mayan Ruins ©
Xunantunich Mayan Ruins
Barton Creek Cave ©
Barton Creek Cave

2
nights
San Pedro, Belize

San Pedro evolved from small fishing village and now represents one of the most visited locations in Belize.
Start off your visit on the 26th (Thu): take in the exciting artwork at Belizean Arts, then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas. On your second day here, look for gifts at Belize Chocolate Company, look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, and then see the vivid underwater world at Shark Ray Alley.

To find reviews, other places to visit, more things to do, and tourist information, read our San Pedro trip builder tool .

Getting from Cayo to San Pedro by combination of car and flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of car, bus, and ferry. In September, plan for daily highs up to 88°F, and evening lows to 77°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Fri) to allow enough time to fly to Roatan.

Things to do in San Pedro

Wildlife Tours Outdoors

Side Trip

Shark Ray Alley
Find places to stay Sep 25 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Shark Ray Alley ©
Shark Ray Alley
Spas

3
nights
Roatan, Honduras

The largest of the Bay Islands, Roatan is the most developed and the most popular among its neighbors.
Popular historic sites such as Nature & Wildlife Tours and West Bay Beach are in your itinerary. Relax by the water at Scuba & Snorkeling and Diamonds International. The adventure continues: enjoy the sand and surf at Tabyana Beach, meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience, and admire the natural beauty at Carambola Botanical Gardens & Trails.

To find photos, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Roatan trip builder .

Traveling by flight from San Pedro to Roatan takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus. In September, daytime highs in Roatan are 90°F, while nighttime lows are 75°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Roatan

Outdoors Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Sep 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Scuba & Snorkeling
Tabyana Beach ©
Tabyana Beach

1
night
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio ©
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
On the 1st (Tue), kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Biesanz, and then stroll around Parque Nahomi. On the 2nd (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour, and then view the masterpieces at The Captain's Booty.

For ratings, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio planner .

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Roatan to Manuel Antonio in 9 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or do a combination of flight and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Tours

Side Trip

Quepos
Find places to stay Sep 30 — Oct 2:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Nature & Wildlife Tours

2
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

La Fortuna de San Carlos ©
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.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): identify plant and animal life at Proyecto Asis, then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then view the masterpieces at Wood & Art Gallery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 4th (Fri): take in nature's colorful creations at Arenal Natura Ecological Park and then witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs.

To see more things to do, where to stay, photos, and other tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos road trip planner.

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Spas Nature
Find places to stay Oct 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park
River Rafting & Tubing

1
night
Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Tamarindo ©
Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
On the 5th (Sat), take a memorable tour with Tours and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Avellana.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Tamarindo trip planner.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Tamarindo takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) so you can drive to Playas del Coco.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Oct 4 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana
Scuba & Snorkeling

3
nights
Playas del Coco, Costa Rica

Playas del Coco ©
A long-established beach community, Playas del Coco has developed a reputation as a favored spot for young travelers and locals to let loose by the sea.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Shark Diving and Playa Hermosa. Visit Playa Conchal and Souvenirs La gran Nicoya for their historical value. Venture out of the city with trips to Llanos de Cortez Waterfall (in Area de Conservacion Guanacaste) and Horseback Riding Tours (in Playa Conchal). There's more to do: pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia Catolica de Playas del Coco.

To find maps, other places to visit, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Playas del Coco online road trip planner .

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to Playas del Coco takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Playas del Coco

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Playa Hermosa, Playa Conchal, Souvenirs La gran Nicoya, Llanos de Cortez Waterfall
Find places to stay Oct 5 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Shark Diving
Playa Hermosa ©
Playa Hermosa

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