38 days in Central America Itinerary

38 days in Central America Itinerary

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38 days in Central America Itinerary

Start: Orlando, United States
Fly:  7​h 15​min
1
Panama City, Panama
— 2 nights
2
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Fly + taxi:  3​h
3
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
4
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 1 night
bus:  6​h
5
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
6
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
7
Granada, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
shuttle + Fly:  5​h
8
Antigua, Guatemala
— 4 nights
9
San Salvador, El Salvador
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  2​h
10
Roatan, Honduras
— 4 nights
Fly:  2​h 45​min
11
Belize City, Belize
— 4 nights
Fly + Drive:  2​h
12
Cayo, Belize
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  3​h 30​min
13
San Pedro, Belize
— 4 nights
Fly:  9​h
End: Orlando, United States

2
nights
Panama City, Panama

Panama City ©
Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
On the 20th (Tue), get to know the fascinating history of Casco Viejo and then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de la Merced. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 21st (Wed): look for all kinds of wild species at Panama Rainforest Discovery Center, take an in-depth tour of Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama, and then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Bahai Temple.

For ratings, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Panama City vacation planner.

Orlando, USA to Panama City is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also drive. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Orlando in April; daily highs in Panama City reach 91°F and lows reach 78°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 22nd (Thu) to allow time for travel to San Jose.

Things to do in Panama City

Historic Sites Parks Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Panama Rainforest Discovery Center
Find places to stay Apr 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Bahai Temple ©
Bahai Temple
Casco Viejo ©
Casco Viejo
Panama Rainforest Discovery Center ©

2
nights
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.
For photos, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, read San Jose online trip itinerary planner .

Traveling by flight from Panama City to San Jose takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Panama City in April; daily highs in San Jose reach 83°F and lows reach 67°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 24th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Santa Teresa.

Things to do in San Jose

Museums Historic Sites

Side Trip

Ruinas de Ujarras
Find places to stay Apr 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica ©
Museo Nacional De Costa Rica
Ruinas de Ujarras ©
Ruinas de Ujarras

3
nights
Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Santa Teresa ©
A coastal getaway popular with surfers and young travelers, Santa Teresa spreads out from the beach and the main coastal road to a ring of newer developments on the surrounding hills.
Explore hidden gems such as Playa Carmen and Spas & Wellness.

For other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Santa Teresa trip itinerary planning site .

Getting from San Jose to Santa Teresa by combination of flight and taxi takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and car; or drive. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 27th (Tue) so you can catch the ferry to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Santa Teresa

Beaches Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Apr 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Carmen ©
Playa Carmen
Spas & Wellness

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.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Tue): identify plant and animal life at Wildlife Areas and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio. On the 28th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stroll through Playas Gemelas.

To find other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio tour site .

Traveling by ferry from Santa Teresa to Manuel Antonio takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 28th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Beaches Parks
Find places to stay Apr 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Nature & Wildlife Tours

3
nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 29th (Thu): kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach and then look for all kinds of wild species at Monkey Park. Keep things going the next day: get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour and then kick back and relax at Playa Avellana.

For maps, reviews, photos, and tourist information, go to the Tamarindo tour itinerary planner .

You can drive from Manuel Antonio to Tamarindo in 6 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or take a bus. On the 1st (Sat), you'll travel to San Juan del Sur.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Apr 28 — May 1:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Monkey Park ©
Monkey Park

2
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.
Keep things going the next day: make a trip to Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia and then look for all kinds of wild species at Marsella Valley Nature Center.

To find where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our San Juan del Sur road trip app .

Getting from Tamarindo to San Juan del Sur by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and car; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. In May, daily temperatures in San Juan del Sur can reach 90°F, while at night they dip to 79°F. On the 3rd (Mon), you'll travel to Granada.

Things to do in San Juan del Sur

Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay May 1 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Marsella Valley Nature Center ©
Marsella Valley Nature Center
Mirador del Cristo de la Misericordia ©

2
nights
Granada, Nicaragua

Granada ©
The lakeside city of Granada has the look and feel of a historically important economic and political center, with grand colonial architecture, a unified look, and many cultural attractions.
On the next day, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de La Merced and then pause for some serene contemplation at La Capilla Maria Auxiliadora.

To find traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Granada sightseeing planning site .

Traveling by car from San Juan del Sur to Granada takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a shuttle. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 5th (Wed) to allow time for travel to Antigua.

Things to do in Granada

Historic Sites

Side Trip

Iglesia Parroquial de Santiago
Find places to stay May 3 — 5:
Highlights from your plan
Iglesia de La Merced ©
Iglesia de La Merced
Iglesia Parroquial de Santiago ©
Iglesia Parroquial de Santiago
La Capilla Maria Auxiliadora ©
La Capilla Maria Auxiliadora

4
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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Arco de Santa Catalina and Casa Santo Domingo Museums. Discover out-of-the-way places like Iglesia de La Merced and Catedral de San Jose. There's more to do: explore the ancient world of Convento Santa Clara and admire the striking features of Iglesia Escuela de Cristo.

To find photos, where to stay, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Antigua trip itinerary builder tool .

Traveling by combination of shuttle and flight from Granada to Antigua takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. May in Antigua sees daily highs of 80°F and lows of 61°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Sun) to allow time for the car ride to San Salvador.

Things to do in Antigua

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay May 5 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Casa Santo Domingo Museums ©
Casa Santo Domingo Museums
Arco de Santa Catalina ©
Arco de Santa Catalina
Convento Santa Clara ©
Convento Santa Clara

3
nights
San Salvador, El Salvador

San Salvador ©
The country's capital, San Salvador sits in a scenic position surrounded by impressive volcanoes.
On the 10th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: tour the pleasant surroundings at El Sunzal, take in the spiritual surroundings of Basilica de la Ceiba de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, then make a trip to Hospital Divina Providencia Chapel, and finally examine the collection at Monsignor Romero Center.

For reviews, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our San Salvador trip site .

Traveling by car from Antigua to San Salvador takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or fly. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Antigua in May; daily highs in San Salvador reach 87°F and lows reach 70°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) so you can travel to Roatan.

Things to do in San Salvador

Historic Sites Museums Beaches

Side Trip

El Sunzal
Find places to stay May 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Hospital Divina Providencia Chapel ©
Iglesia El Rosario ©
Iglesia El Rosario
Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park
Joya de Ceren Archaeological Park

4
nights
Roatan, Honduras

The largest of the Bay Islands, Roatan is the most developed and the most popular among its neighbors.
Your itinerary includes some good beach time at West Bay Beach and Little French Key. Get some cultural insight at Waves of Art and Roatan Underwater Museum. And it doesn't end there: see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, take in nature's colorful creations at Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum, tour the pleasant surroundings at Grand Roatan Beach Club, and relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

For photos, where to stay, more things to do, and other tourist information, read Roatan day trip planning site .

You can do a combination of car and flight from San Salvador to Roatan in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Expect a daytime high around 89°F in May, and nighttime lows around 75°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Sun) early enough to fly to Belize City.

Things to do in Roatan

Outdoors Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay May 12 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Scuba & Snorkeling
Waves of Art ©
Waves of Art

4
nights
Belize City, Belize

Belize City ©
Belize's biggest urban center, Belize City is a culturally diverse seaside destination.
Get some historical perspective at Lamanai Archaeological Reserve and Baron Bliss Lighthouse. Let the collections at Gulisi Garifuna Museum and Studio Gallery Cayetano capture your imagination. Step out of Belize City with an excursion to The Belize Zoo in La Democracia--about 42 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: delve into the distant past at Altun Ha, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, examine the collection at Luba Garifuna Cultural Museum, and stop by Caribbean Spice Belize.

To find where to stay, maps, photos, and more tourist information, read our Belize City trip planner .

Fly from Roatan to Belize City in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus; or do a combination of ferry and bus. May in Belize City sees daily highs of 88°F and lows of 78°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Cayo.

Things to do in Belize City

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Dangriga, Belize District, The Belize Zoo, Lamanai Archaeological Reserve
Find places to stay May 16 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Lamanai Archaeological Reserve ©
Lamanai Archaeological Reserve
Altun Ha ©
Altun Ha

3
nights
Cayo, Belize

Cayo ©
Holidays in Cayo offer adventure and history in equal measure, with a wealth of ancient sites and unspoiled environment to explore.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Xunantunich and El Pilar. Museum-lovers will get to explore Sak Tunich Art Gallery and Art Box Belize arts & crafts center. There's still lots to do: explore the ancient world of Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins & Museum, identify plant and animal life at St Herman's Cave, admire all the interesting features of Green Hills Butterfly Ranch, and take in nature's colorful creations at Belize Botanic Gardens.

To see where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Cayo trip itinerary tool .

Traveling by combination of flight and car from Belize City to Cayo takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and car. Expect a daytime high around 88°F in June, and nighttime lows around 78°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) so you can travel to San Pedro.

Things to do in Cayo

Historic Sites Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay May 20 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Xunantunich Mayan Ruins ©
Xunantunich Mayan Ruins
St Herman's Cave ©
St Herman's Cave
Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins & Museum ©
Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins & Museum

4
nights
San Pedro, Belize

San Pedro ©
San Pedro evolved from small fishing village and now represents one of the most visited locations in Belize.
Let the collections at Aria Kat Art and Red Flower Gallery capture your imagination. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Shark Ray Alley and Spas. Change things up with a short trip to Turneffe Reef in Caye Caulker (about 1h 05 min away). The adventure continues: look for all kinds of wild species at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, kick back and relax at Secret Beach, view the masterpieces at The Gallery of San Pedro, and shop like a local with Belizean Arts.

For maps, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read San Pedro trip planner .

Getting from Cayo to San Pedro by combination of car and flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and shuttle; or do a combination of car, bus, and ferry. Expect a daytime high around 88°F in May, and nighttime lows around 78°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in San Pedro

Parks Wildlife Museums

Side Trips

Caye Caulker, Ambergris Caye
Find places to stay May 23 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Hol Chan Marine Reserve ©
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Turneffe Reef ©
Turneffe Reef
Belizean Arts ©
Belizean Arts

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