21 days in Central America Itinerary

21 days in Central America Itinerary

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Route & dates

21 days in Central America Itinerary

Start: Lisbon, Portugal
Fly + shuttle:  15​h 45​min
Belize City, Belize
— 2 nights
Fly:  15​min
San Pedro, Belize
— 3 nights
Fly + Drive:  3​h 15​min
Cayo, Belize
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
Tikal National Park, Guatemala
— 1 night
+2
shuttle + Fly + shuttle:  5​h 30​min
Antigua, Guatemala
— 2 nights
+4
shuttle + Fly + shuttle + foot + bus:  6​h 30​min
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
+2
taxi + Fly + taxi:  1​h 30​min
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
+2
shuttle + bus + Fly:  6​h 30​min
Panama City, Panama
— 2 nights
Fly:  14​h 30​min
End: Lisbon, Portugal

2
nights
Belize City, Belize

Belize's biggest urban center, Belize City is a culturally diverse seaside destination.
On the 28th (Wed), relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 29th (Thu): explore the ancient world of Altun Ha Ruins and then admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Belize Zoo.

To find reviews, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, refer to the Belize City trip planning app .

Lisbon, Portugal to Belize City is an approximately 16-hour combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference moving from Western European Time to Central Standard Time is minus 6 hours. While traveling from Lisbon, expect somewhat warmer days and much warmer nights in Belize City, ranging from highs of 33°C to lows of 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Thu) early enough to catch the flight to San Pedro.

Things to do in Belize City

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Adventure

Side Trips

The Belize Zoo, Altun Ha
Accommodations
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River Rafting & Tubing
The Belize Zoo ©
The Belize Zoo
Altun Ha ©
Altun Ha

3
nights
San Pedro, Belize

San Pedro ©
San Pedro evolved from small fishing village and now represents one of the most visited locations in Belize.
San Pedro is known for adventure, nature, nightlife, shopping, and outdoors. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: see the vivid underwater world at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, take a memorable tour with Tours, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and don't miss a visit to Shark Ray Alley.

To see reviews, maps, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the San Pedro trip builder .

San Pedro is very close to Belize City. In November, daily temperatures in San Pedro can reach 33°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 2nd (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Cayo.

Things to do in San Pedro

#Wildlife, #Nature, #Parks

Side Trip

Shark Ray Alley
Accommodations
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Hol Chan Marine Reserve ©
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Scuba & Snorkeling
Fishing Charters & Tours

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.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Mon): Head underground at Barton Creek Cave and then Head underground at Actun Tunichil Muknal. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: delve into the distant past at Xunantunich and then delve into the distant past at Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins & Museum.

To find maps, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Cayo trip planner .

You can do a combination of flight and car from San Pedro to Cayo in 3.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and shuttle; or take a shuttle. In December in Cayo, expect temperatures between 33°C during the day and 25°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) so you can drive to Tikal National Park.

Things to do in Cayo

#Historic Sites, #Nature, #Parks
Accommodations
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Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins & Museum ©
Cahal Pech Mayan Ruins & Museum
Barton Creek Cave ©
Barton Creek Cave

1
night
Tikal National Park, Guatemala

Tikal National Park ©
Take a trip to Tikal National Park and discover an ancient city in the thick tropical jungle.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Wed): delve into the distant past at Tikal.

To find where to stay, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, read our Tikal National Park travel site .

Getting from Cayo to Tikal National Park by car takes about 3.5 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Antigua.

Things to do in Tikal National Park

#Historic Sites, #Nature, #Parks
Accommodations
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Tikal ©
Tikal

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.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Thu): look for gifts at Nim Po't Centro de Textiles Tradicionales and then pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Merced. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the ancient world of Convento de las Capuchinas and then get impressive views of Volcán Pacaya.

To see where to stay, maps, reviews, and tourist information, read our Antigua trip planning tool .

Do a combination of shuttle and flight from Tikal National Park to Antigua in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, flight, and shuttle; or drive. In December, daytime highs in Antigua are 27°C, while nighttime lows are 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 8th (Sat) to allow time for travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Antigua

#Historic Sites, #Nature, #Parks
Accommodations
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Convento de las Capuchinas ©
Convento de las Capuchinas
Volcán Pacaya ©
Volcán Pacaya
Iglesia de La Merced ©
Iglesia de La Merced

2
nights
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 9th (Sun), look for gifts at Super Joseth, take in breathtaking views at MidWorld Costa Rica, and then look for gifts at Beso Loco Boutique de Playa. On your second day here, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers and then kick back and relax at Playa Manuel Antonio.

To find photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio travel route planning website .

Getting from Antigua to Manuel Antonio by combination of bus, flight, and taxi takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Antigua in December, Manuel Antonio is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Mon) early enough to travel to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

#Outdoors, #Tours, #Parks
Accommodations
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Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica
Beso Loco Boutique de Playa ©
Beso Loco Boutique de Playa

4
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

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.
La Fortuna de San Carlos is known for nature, adventure, trails, wildlife, and theme parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: witness a stunning natural landmark at Tabacon Hot Springs, take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and take in nature's colorful creations at Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

To find reviews, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos planner .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. On the 14th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Panama City.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

#Parks, #Nature, #Spas

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Accommodations
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River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)
Arenal Volcano (Volcan Arenal)

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 15th (Sat), make a trip to Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador) and then make a trip to Panama Canal. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 16th (Sun): hunt for treasures at Mercado de Mariscos, get to know the fascinating history of Casco Viejo, and then take an in-depth tour of Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Panama City trip itinerary planner .

You can do a combination of bus and flight from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Panama City in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight; or drive. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Eastern Standard Time is 1 hour. Expect a daytime high around 37°C in December, and nighttime lows around 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Panama City

#Historic Sites, #Neighborhoods, #Shopping
Accommodations
Get expert advice on where to stay in Panama City.
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Highlights from your plan
Panama Canal ©
Panama Canal
Casco Viejo ©
Casco Viejo
Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador) ©

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