24 days in Colombia, Panama & Belize Itinerary

24 days in Colombia, Panama & Belize Itinerary

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Route & dates

24 days in Colombia, Panama & Belize Itinerary

Start: Washington DC, United States
Fly:  9​h 45​min
1
Cartagena, Colombia
— 4 nights
Fly:  4​h
2
Medellin, Colombia
— 3 nights
Fly + taxi:  4​h 15​min
3
Panama City, Panama
— 3 nights
ferry:  1​h
4
Contadora Island, Panama
— 2 nights
+3
ferry + shuttle + foot + Fly:  4​h 15​min
5
Bocas Town, Panama
— 2 nights
Fly + bus:  3​h 30​min
6
Portobelo, Panama
— 1 night
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  9​h 15​min
7
Caye Caulker, Belize
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
8
San Pedro, Belize
— 5 nights
Fly:  8​h 15​min
End: Washington DC, United States

4
nights
Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena ©
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.
Let the collections at NH Galeria and Museo Historico de Cartagena de Indias capture your imagination. Visit Playa Blanca and Miramar Beach Club for some beach relaxation. And it doesn't end there: make a trip to Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, take in the spiritual surroundings of Convent of Santa Cruz de la Popa, pick up a one of a kind souvenir at Anticuario El Arcon, and get engrossed in the history at Museo del Oro Zenu.

To see maps, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Cartagena travel route builder tool .

Washington DC, USA to Cartagena is an approximately 10-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of subway, bus, and flight. Traveling from Washington DC in August, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Cartagena, with lows around 78°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Medellin.

Things to do in Cartagena

Beaches Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Playa Blanca
Find places to stay Aug 9 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas ©
Castillo de San Felipe de Barajas
Walled City of Cartagena ©
Walled City of Cartagena
Playa Blanca ©
Playa Blanca

3
nights
Medellin, Colombia

Medellin ©
Nestled between rising hills in a narrow valley, Medellin serves as an energetic melting pot of people from all socio-economic classes.
You'll explore and learn at Museo de Antioquia and El Castillo Museo y Jardines. Head to Mayorca Mega Plaza and Duna Storefor plenty of shopping. The adventure continues: browse the different shops at El Tesoro Parque Comercial, cruise along 2000m Descent and more, admire the masterpieces at H by HDC, and view the masterpieces at Arte Loft Galeria.

To find other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Medellin attractions tool .

You can fly from Cartagena to Medellin in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from Cartagena in August: high temperatures in Medellin hover around 83°F and lows are around 64°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Fri) early enough to travel to Panama City.

Things to do in Medellin

Shopping Museums Trails

Side Trips

Viva Envigado, Mayorca Mega Plaza
Find places to stay Aug 13 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Mayorca Mega Plaza ©
Mayorca Mega Plaza
Museo de Antioquia ©
Museo de Antioquia
El Castillo Museo y Jardines ©
El Castillo Museo y Jardines

3
nights
Panama City, Panama

Panama City ©
Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Give yourself a bit of retail therapy at Albrook Mall and PTYlocal. Get outdoors at Isla Santa Catalina and Metropolitan National Park. Spend the 19th (Mon) exploring nature at Parque Nacional de Soberania. There's more to do: get engrossed in the history at Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama and get to know the fascinating history of Casco Viejo.

To find more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Panama City day trip app .

You can do a combination of flight and taxi from Medellin to Panama City in 4.5 hours. Other options are to fly; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and taxi. Traveling from Medellin in August, plan for a bit warmer nights in Panama City, with lows around 77°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 19th (Mon) early enough to catch the ferry to Contadora Island.

Things to do in Panama City

Parks Nature Shopping

Side Trip

Isla Santa Catalina
Find places to stay Aug 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama ©
Casco Viejo ©
Casco Viejo
Metropolitan National Park ©
Metropolitan National Park

2
nights
Contadora Island, Panama

Contadora Island ©
The most visited of the islands in the archipelago, Contadora Island benefits from having the area's only airport, linking it to the mainland and boosting tourism.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Ejecutiva. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Playa Larga, then kick back and relax at Playa de las Suecas, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Cacique.

For where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Contadora Island trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by ferry from Panama City to Contadora Island takes an hour. In August, plan for daily highs up to 88°F, and evening lows to 76°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) early enough to travel to Portobelo.

Things to do in Contadora Island

Beaches Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Aug 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Larga ©
Playa Larga
Playa Ejecutiva ©
Playa Ejecutiva
Playa de las Suecas ©
Playa de las Suecas

2
nights
Bocas Town, Panama

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.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Thu): look and learn at Plastic Bottle Village, then kick back and relax at Boca del Drago, and then stroll through Starfish Beach. On the next day, take in nature's colorful creations at Finca Los Monos Botanical Garden and then get interesting insight from Tours.

For traveler tips, reviews, photos, and tourist information, read our Bocas Town road trip planning app .

Getting from Contadora Island to Bocas Town by combination of ferry and flight takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and bus. While traveling from Contadora Island, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Bocas Town, ranging from highs of 80°F to lows of 80°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Fri) early enough to travel to Portobelo.

Things to do in Bocas Town

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trip

Finca Los Monos Botanical Garden
Find places to stay Aug 21 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Boca del Drago ©
Boca del Drago
Plastic Bottle Village ©
Plastic Bottle Village

1
night
Portobelo, Panama

Portobelo ©
The ruins of a Spanish colonial port city dot the landscape of the Caribbean fishing village of Portobelo, a reminder that this humble and relaxed place was once integral to the workings of an empire.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Sat): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Blanca, then brush up on your military savvy at Museo de La Real Aduana de Portobelo, and then appreciate the history behind Black Christ.

To see photos, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Portobelo trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Bocas Town to Portobelo takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Sat) early enough to travel to Caye Caulker.

Things to do in Portobelo

Beaches Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Aug 23 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Museo de La Real Aduana de Portobelo ©

2
nights
Caye Caulker, Belize

Caye Caulker ©
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.
Get outdoors at Caye Caulker and Shark Ray Alley. There's lots more to do: take in the exciting artwork at Aria Kat Art, kick back and relax at The Split, discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and get outside with Anglers Abroad.

For more things to do, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our Caye Caulker travel itinerary planner .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Portobelo to Caye Caulker. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. August in Caye Caulker sees daily highs of 89°F and lows of 78°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to San Pedro.

Things to do in Caye Caulker

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trip

Shark Ray Alley
Find places to stay Aug 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
The Split ©
The Split
Scuba & Snorkeling
Aria Kat Art ©
Aria Kat Art

5
nights
San Pedro, Belize

San Pedro ©
San Pedro evolved from small fishing village and now represents one of the most visited locations in Belize.
Do some cultural sightseeing at The Gallery of San Pedro and Ambergris Museum & Cultural Center. Escape the urban bustle at Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Scuba & Snorkeling. Spend the 31st (Sat) exploring nature at Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve. There's much more to do: stop by Belize Chocolate Company, enjoy the sand and surf at Secret Beach, view the masterpieces at Belizean Arts, and indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To see ratings, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read San Pedro trip itinerary website .

Traveling by car from Caye Caulker to San Pedro takes an hour. Expect a daytime high around 89°F in August, and nighttime lows around 78°F. On the 1st (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in San Pedro

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Ambergris Caye
Find places to stay Aug 27 — Sep 1:
Highlights from your plan
Hol Chan Marine Reserve ©
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Scuba & Snorkeling
Belizean Arts ©
Belizean Arts

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