40 days in Houston & Central America Itinerary

40 days in Houston & Central America Itinerary

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40 days in Houston & Central America Itinerary

Calgary, Canada
Fly:  8​h
Houston, United States
— 1 night
Fly:  14​h 30​min
Bocas Town, Panama
— 4 nights
Fly + shuttle:  2​h 45​min
Panama City, Panama
— 4 nights
Drive:  13​h 15​min
Quepos, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
bus + foot + shuttle:  4​h
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
shuttle + Fly:  4​h
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Fly:  2​h 15​min
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  16​h 15​min
Dangriga, Belize
— 8 nights
Fly:  2​h 30​min
San Pedro, Belize
— 4 nights
Fly:  15​min
Belize City, Belize
— 2 nights
bus + Fly:  11​h 30​min
Calgary, Canada

1
day
Houston, United States

Houston ©
Although urban sprawl remains synonymous with Houston, most of the city's tourist attractions lie within the relatively small downtown area, surrounded by diverse neighborhoods housing the nation's biggest African-American, Asian-American, and Latino communities.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Tue): don't miss a visit to Water Wall, then admire the masterpieces at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and then stroll the grounds of Glenwood Cemetery.

For where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Houston trip itinerary builder.

Calgary, Canada to Houston is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Calgary to Houston is 1 hour. Prepare for much hotter weather when traveling from Calgary in December: high temperatures in Houston hover around 22°C and lows are around 11°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Bocas Town.

Things to do in Houston

#Museums, #Historic Sites, #Nature
Accommodations
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Museum of Fine Arts, Houston ©
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Water Wall ©
Water Wall
Glenwood Cemetery ©
Glenwood Cemetery

3
days
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Playa Estrella and Scuba & Snorkeling. Step out of the city life by going to Boca del Drago and Bastimentos National Park. The adventure continues: soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers and see the interesting displays at Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

To see photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Bocas Town day trip app

Fly from Houston to Bocas Town in 8.5 hours. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Houston to Bocas Town due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Houston in December, expect nights in Bocas Town to be much hotter, around 28°C, while days are somewhat warmer, around 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 24th (Sun) early enough to travel to Panama City.

Things to do in Bocas Town

#Outdoors, #Parks, #Beaches
Accommodations
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Scuba & Snorkeling
Boca del Drago ©
Boca del Drago
Spas & Wellness

4
days
Panama City, Panama

Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Take a break from the city and head to Soberania National Park and Nature & Wildlife Tours. Casco Viejo and Iglesia del Carmen are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Step out of Panama City to go to Gamboa and see Panama Rainforest Discovery Center, which is approximately 1h 05 min away. Next up on the itinerary: pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de San Francisco de Asis.

For photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Panama City day trip planner.

Fly from Bocas Town to Panama City in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry, taxi, and flight; or do a combination of ferry, shuttle, and train. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Bocas Town in December: highs in Panama City hover around 37°C, while lows dip to 27°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Quepos.

Things to do in Panama City

#Wildlife, #Parks, #Tours

Side Trip

Gamboa
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Nature & Wildlife Tours
Casco Viejo ©
Casco Viejo
Panama Rainforest Discovery Center ©
Panama Rainforest Discovery Center

3
days
Quepos, Costa Rica

Quepos ©
The tourist-oriented town of Quepos marks the entrance for many travelers looking to explore the nearby national park.
You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at MidWorld Costa Rica and Playa Matapalo. Take a break from the city and head to Naturalist Michael Araya Flores and Parque Reptilandia. The adventure continues: soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To see more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Quepos online holiday planner .

Drive from Panama City to Quepos in 10 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Panama City to Quepos. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Panama City in December, with highs in Quepos at 30°C and lows at 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Mon) early enough to travel to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Quepos

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Nature

Side Trips

Manuel Antonio, Parque Reptilandia
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MidWorld Costa Rica ©
MidWorld Costa Rica
Playa Matapalo ©
Playa Matapalo
Parque Reptilandia ©
Parque Reptilandia

4
days
Tortuguero, Costa Rica

Tortuguero ©
One of Costa Rica's least accessible destinations, Tortuguero sits within an eponymous national park and remains accessible only by plane or boat.
Escape the urban bustle at Tortuguero National Park and Tortuguero Adventures. There's more to do: examine the collection at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

For more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, use the Tortuguero online itinerary planner .

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Quepos to Tortuguero in 4 hours. Another option is to take a bus. January in Tortuguero sees daily highs of 30°C and lows of 22°C at night. You will leave for Tamarindo on the 5th (Fri).

Things to do in Tortuguero

#Wildlife, #Nature, #Parks
Accommodations
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Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

3
days
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.
Visiting Playa Avellana and Playa Conchal will get you outdoors. Visit Samara Beach and Tamarindo Beach for some beach relaxation. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Tamarindo: Potrero Beach (in Playa Potrero) and Koss Art Gallery (in Playa Samara). Next up on the itinerary: stop by EK Art Jewelry.

For more things to do, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Tamarindo itinerary maker app .

Getting from Tortuguero to Tamarindo by combination of bus and flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. When traveling from Tortuguero in January, plan for somewhat warmer days in Tamarindo, with highs around 38°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 25°C. You'll have a few hours on the 9th (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling to San Jose.

Things to do in Tamarindo

#Parks, #Beaches, #Outdoors

Side Trips

Playa Samara, Potrero Beach, Playa Conchal
Accommodations
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Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Playa Avellana ©
Playa Avellana
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal

3
days
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.
Precolumbian Gold Museum and National Museum (Museo Nacional) are good opportunities to explore the local culture. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Chieton Moren and Costa Rica's Craft Brewing Co.. There's still lots to do: view the masterpieces at Galeria Namu, explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, and play a few rounds at Tee Times Costa Rica Golf Tours.

To find where to stay, ratings, and other tourist information, use the San Jose online attractions planner .

You can fly from Tamarindo to San Jose in 2.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. In January, San Jose is little chillier than Tamarindo - with highs of 30°C and lows of 22°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 11th (Thu) so you can travel to Dangriga.

Things to do in San Jose

#Museums, #Breweries, #Tours

Side Trip

Tee Times Costa Rica Golf Tours
Accommodations
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Galeria Namu ©
Galeria Namu
Precolumbian Gold Museum ©
Precolumbian Gold Museum
National Museum (Museo Nacional) ©

8
days
Dangriga, Belize

Dangriga ©
Dangriga, formerly known as Stann Creek Town, is a town in southern Belize, located on the Caribbean coast at the mouth of the North Stann Creek River. Step out of the city life by going to Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve and St Herman's Cave. Get a sense of the local culture at Studio Gallery Cayetano and Maya Center Mayan Museum. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Dangriga: Armenia (Belize True Adventures & Lamanai Chocolate Company), Outback Trails (in Kendal) and Blue Hole National Park (in Belmopan). Next up on the itinerary: see the vivid underwater world at Mesoamerican Reef (Belize Barrier Reef), indulge your taste buds at Marie Sharp's Fine Foods Limited, admire the sheer force of Davis Falls, and take an in-depth tour of Gulisi Garifuna Museum.

To see ratings, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Dangriga online trip planner .

The Route module can help you plan travel from San Jose to Dangriga. In January, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 24°C. You'll set off for San Pedro on the 20th (Sat).

Things to do in Dangriga

#Parks, #Outdoors, #Nature

Side Trips

Belmopan, Armenia, Mesoamerican Reef (Belize Barrier Reef), Outback Trails
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Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve ©
Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Preserve
Blue Hole National Park ©
Blue Hole National Park

4
days
San Pedro, Belize

San Pedro evolved from small fishing village and now represents one of the most visited locations in Belize.
Step off the beaten path and head to River Rafting & Tubing and The Estuary. Get some cultural insight at The Gallery of San Pedro and Belizean Arts. On the 23rd (Tue), enjoy an adventurous day among the treetops at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks. Spend the 21st (Sun) among aquatic life with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Next up on the itinerary: explore the gorgeous colors at Shark Ray Alley and admire the striking features of Ocean Essence Day Spa.

For where to stay, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, go to the San Pedro road trip planning tool .

Traveling by combination of car and flight from Dangriga to San Pedro takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, car, and ferry; or do a combination of car and ferry. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in January, and nighttime lows around 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Wed) so you can catch the flight to Belize City.

Things to do in San Pedro

#Wildlife, #Outdoors, #Adventure

Side Trips

The Estuary of Caye Caulker, Shark Ray Alley
Accommodations
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River Rafting & Tubing
Scuba & Snorkeling
The Estuary of Caye Caulker ©
The Estuary of Caye Caulker

2
days
Belize City, Belize

Belize City ©
Belize's biggest urban center, Belize City is a culturally diverse seaside destination.
Kick off your visit on the 24th (Wed): enjoy the sea views from Baron Bliss Lighthouse. On the next day, look for gifts at Caribbean Spice Belize, get a sense of history and politics at Government House, then get a new perspective on nature at St John's Cathedral, and finally admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Belize Zoo.

To see where to stay, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Belize City day trip planner

Belize City is just a stone's throw from San Pedro. In January in Belize City, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 24°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Belize City

#Historic Sites, #Parks, #Outdoors

Side Trip

The Belize Zoo
Accommodations
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St John's Cathedral ©
St John's Cathedral
The Belize Zoo ©
The Belize Zoo
Splash Wave Private Tours ©
Splash Wave Private Tours

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