40 days in Mexico & Central America Itinerary

40 days in Mexico & Central America Itinerary

Created using Inspirock trip itinerary maker

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Route & dates

Start: Manchester, United Kingdom
+2
Fly + Foot + Bus:  12 h
1
Tulum, Mexico
— 4 nights
Drive + Fly:  14 h 30 min
2
Flores, Guatemala
— 2 nights
Shuttle:  8 h
3
Lanquin, Guatemala
— 4 nights
Bus + Taxi:  10 h 45 min
4
San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala
— 4 nights
Taxi + Bus:  2 h 15 min
5
Antigua, Guatemala
— 2 nights
+5
Bus + Foot + Bus + Foot + Fly + Bus:  13 h
6
Leon, Nicaragua
— 3 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
7
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
— 3 nights
Drive:  4 h
8
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive:  5 h
9
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
— 6 nights
Drive + Ferry:  1 h 45 min
10
Bocas Town, Panama
— 4 nights
Fly + Bus:  7 h 15 min
11
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Fly + Train:  14 h 45 min
End: London, United Kingdom

4
nights
Tulum, Mexico

Tulum ©
The only Mayan site built to overlook the ocean, Tulum remains a coastal paradise preserving the last vestiges of a pre-Hispanic civilization.
Cenote Calavera has been added to your itinerary. There's more to do: delve into the distant past at Tulum Archaeological Site.

For maps, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Tulum trip builder website.

Manchester, UK to Tulum is an approximately 15- hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and bus; or do a combination of flight, ferry, and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 5 hours traveling from Manchester to Tulum. Prepare for much warmer weather when traveling from Manchester in December: high temperatures in Tulum hover around 31°C and lows are around 23°C. On the 17th (Thu), you'll travel to Flores.

Things to do in Tulum

Historic Sites Nature Parks
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Tulum Archaeological Site ©
Tulum Archaeological Site
Cenote Calavera ©
Cenote Calavera

2
nights
Flores, Guatemala

Flores ©
An island town, capital of the landlocked region of Peten, attractive Flores features pleasant architecture that complements the shimmering appearance of the surrounding lake.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Thu): make a trip to Jorge's Rope Swing.

To see other places to visit, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Flores visit planner.

Explore your travel options from Tulum to Flores with the Route module. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time is minus 1 hour. In December, daily temperatures in Flores can reach 31°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. You will leave for Lanquin on the 19th (Sat).
Find places to stay Dec 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Jorge's Rope Swing ©
Jorge's Rope Swing

4
nights
Lanquin, Guatemala

Lanquin ©
San Agustín Lanquín, often referred to simply as Lanquín, is a municipality in the Guatemalan department of Alta Verapaz. Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Monumento Natural Semuc Champey as well as Grutas Las Marias.

For more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, read Lanquin trip planner.

Take a shuttle from Flores to Lanquin in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Flores in December: highs in Lanquin hover around 36°C, while lows dip to 24°C. On the 23rd (Wed), you'll travel to San Pedro La Laguna.

Things to do in Lanquin

Nature Parks
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Monumento Natural Semuc Champey ©
Monumento Natural Semuc Champey
Grutas Las Marias ©
Grutas Las Marias

4
nights
San Pedro La Laguna, Guatemala

San Pedro La Laguna ©
Sitting at the base of the volcano of the same name, San Pedro La Laguna has a particularly lively and international atmosphere, attracting tourists from across the world with its lakeside and volcanic scenery, nightlife, and wealth of budget accommodations.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Cojolya Museum and Store and Church of St Peter. Escape the urban bustle at Lake Atitlan and Indian Nose. Change things up with these side-trips from San Pedro La Laguna: Cerro Tzankujil Nature Reserve (in San Marcos La Laguna) and Colonial Church (in Santiago Atitlan). Next up on the itinerary: experience rural life at Cafe La Voz.

To find reviews, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the San Pedro La Laguna itinerary planner.

You can drive from Lanquin to San Pedro La Laguna in 6 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and shuttle; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Lanquin in December, expect nights in San Pedro La Laguna to be colder, around 6°C, while days are little chillier, around 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Antigua.

Things to do in San Pedro La Laguna

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

San Juan la Laguna, Santiago Atitlan, Lake Atitlan, Cerro Tzankujil Nature Reserve
Find places to stay Dec 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Atitlan ©
Lake Atitlan
Cerro Tzankujil  Nature Reserve ©
Cerro Tzankujil Nature Reserve
Cojolya Museum and Store ©
Cojolya Museum and Store

2
nights
Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua ©
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Mercado de Chichicastenango as well as Volcán Pacaya. On the 27th (Sun), browse the eclectic array of goods at Mercado de Chichicastenango. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate the geological forces at Volcán Pacaya.

For more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Antigua trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by combination of taxi and bus from San Pedro La Laguna to Antigua takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or drive. Traveling from San Pedro La Laguna in December, Antigua is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 15°C. You will leave for Leon on the 29th (Tue).

Things to do in Antigua

Nature Parks Shopping

Side Trip

Mercado de Chichicastenango
Find places to stay Dec 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Volcán Pacaya ©
Volcán Pacaya
Mercado de Chichicastenango ©
Mercado de Chichicastenango

3
nights
Leon, Nicaragua

Leon ©
A cultured and storied city, Leon attracts guests from all over the world, drawn to the second city's style, thriving intellectual life, and liveliness.
On the 30th (Wed), take an in-depth tour of Museum of Legends and Traditions (Museo de Tradiciones y Leyendas), kick back and relax at Playa Las Penitas, and then stop by Catedral de la Asunción. On the next day, examine the collection at Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian, contemplate the long history of Iglesia San Juan Bautista de Subtiava, and then stroll through Juan Venado Island Nature Reserve.

To find ratings, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Leon visit planning site.

Traveling by combination of bus and flight from Antigua to Leon takes 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, flight, and bus; or drive. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Antigua in December, with highs in Leon at 38°C and lows at 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Fri) early enough to drive to San Juan del Sur.

Things to do in Leon

Parks Museums Beaches

Side Trip

Juan Venado Island Nature Reserve
Find places to stay Dec 29 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Las Penitas ©
Playa Las Penitas
Juan Venado Island Nature Reserve ©
Juan Venado Island Nature Reserve
Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian ©
Museo de Arte Fundacion Ortiz-Gurdian

3
nights
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

San Juan del Sur ©
Set in a crescent-shaped bay, San Juan del Sur has become known as a popular surfing spot and coastal holiday destination for Nicaraguan families and international visitors alike.
Step out of the city life by going to La Flor Beach Natural Reserve and Playa el Coco. Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Popoyo Beach and San Juan del Sur Beach. Take a break from San Juan del Sur with a short trip to Bordport in Tola, about 46 minutes away. There's much more to do: look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, take in the exciting artwork at The Art Warehouse, and make a trip to Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read San Juan del Sur trip planner.

Traveling by car from Leon to San Juan del Sur takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Traveling from Leon in January, expect nights in San Juan del Sur to be about the same, around 28°C, while days are a bit cooler, around 35°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Mon) to allow time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in San Juan del Sur

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trip

Tola
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
La Flor Beach Natural Reserve ©
La Flor Beach Natural Reserve
Popoyo Beach ©
Popoyo Beach
Zipline

4
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.
Wood & Art Gallery and Galeria Estudio are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Get outdoors at Tabacon Hot Springs and La Fortuna Waterfall. The adventure continues: get impressive views of Arenal Volcano, take an in-depth tour of ChocoMuseo La Fortuna, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and view the masterpieces at Onirica Art Gallery.

For maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary builder site.

Getting from San Juan del Sur to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 8th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Nature Parks Spas

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano
River Rafting & Tubing

6
nights
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a wealth of entertainment by the sea, attracting a lively international crowd of revelers while maintaining a bright and breezy coastal charm with a local feel.
You'll enjoy a bit of beach vacationing at Puerto Viejo Beach and Playa Cocles. Take a break from the city and head to Nature Observatorio and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Step out of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca with an excursion to Veragua Rainforest Park in Puerto Limon--about 1h 25 min away. Next up on the itinerary: explore the striking landscape of Cahuita National Park, take in nature's colorful creations at Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, tour the pleasant surroundings at Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, and take in the dramatic scenery at Cataratas Bribri Talamanca.

To see ratings, reviews, photos, and tourist information, you can read our Puerto Viejo de Talamanca online trip planner.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and bus; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Thu) so you can travel to Bocas Town.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Cahuita, Veragua Rainforest Park, Gandoca - Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, Nature Observatorio, Cataratas Bribri Talamanca
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Nature Observatorio ©
Nature Observatorio
Cahuita National Park ©
Cahuita National Park
Puerto Viejo Beach ©
Puerto Viejo Beach

4
nights
Bocas Town, Panama

Bocas Town
The colorful and relaxed Bocas Town has a welcoming atmosphere, with the modestly sized urban area showcasing typical Caribbean clapboard houses and home to a mixed community from across the world.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at Boca del Drago and Starfish Beach. Take a break from the city and head to Scuba & Snorkeling and Dolphin Bay Preserve. Step out of Bocas Town with an excursion to Playa Bluff in Bluff Beach--about 30 minutes away. There's still lots to do: admire the natural beauty at Finca Los Monos Botanical Garden, admire the masterpieces at Plastic Bottle Village, examine the collection at Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Bocas Town trip maker tool.

Traveling by combination of car and ferry from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to Bocas Town takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Eastern Standard Time (EST), which is usually a 1 hour difference. January in Bocas Town sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 13°C at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Tue) early enough to travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Bocas Town

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trips

Finca Los Monos Botanical Garden, Playa Bluff
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Starfish Beach
Starfish Beach
Scuba & Snorkeling
Boca del Drago ©
Boca del Drago

1
night
San Jose, Costa Rica

San Jose ©
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 19th (Tue): examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica, then take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, and finally browse the exhibits of Galeria Namu. Here are some ideas for day two: admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Costarricense, then tour in harmony with nature at Top Travel Costa Rica, and then shop like a local with Multiplaza.

To plan San Jose vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Bocas Town to San Jose takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry, car, and bus; or do a combination of ferry, bus, and car. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Bocas Town to San Jose. Traveling from Bocas Town in January, you will find days in San Jose are warmer (30°C), and nights are somewhat warmer (21°C). Finish up your sightseeing early on the 20th (Wed) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Shopping Tours

Side Trip

Multiplaza
Find places to stay Jan 19 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Top Travel Costa Rica ©
Top Travel Costa Rica
Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu
Museo de Arte Costarricense ©
Museo de Arte Costarricense

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