54 days in Central America & South America Itinerary

54 days in Central America & South America Itinerary

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Route & dates

54 days in Central America & South America Itinerary

Start: Paris, France
Fly + shuttle:  24​h
1
San Pedro, Belize
— 4 nights
+3
Fly + shuttle + foot + bus:  6​h 45​min
2
Panajachel, Guatemala
— 5 nights
bus:  1​h 30​min
3
Antigua, Guatemala
— 1 night
Fly:  8​h 45​min
4
Lake Nicaragua, Nicaragua
— 5 nights
Drive:  8​h
5
Puntarenas, Costa Rica
— 13 nights
Fly:  11​h 45​min
6
Bocas Town, Panama
— 5 nights
Fly:  2​h 45​min
7
Panama City, Panama
— 6 nights
bus:  3​h 15​min
8
San Blas Islands, Panama
— 1 night
Fly:  7​h 15​min
9
Cartagena, Colombia
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 30​min
10
Santa Marta, Colombia
— 5 nights
Fly:  25​h
End: Paris, France

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.
You've now added The Great Blue Hole at Lighthouse Reef to your itinerary. Step out of the city life by going to Scuba & Snorkeling and The Estuary of Caye Caulker. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Belize Chocolate Company and Marco Gonzalez Maya Site. Next up on the itinerary: soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers.

To find where to stay, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, you can read our San Pedro online trip builder .

Paris, France to San Pedro is an approximately 24-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 7 hours traveling from Paris to San Pedro. In August, San Pedro is somewhat warmer than Paris - with highs of 37°C and lows of 29°C. You will leave for Panajachel on the 6th (Mon).

Things to do in San Pedro

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Great Blue Hole, The Estuary of Caye Caulker
Find places to stay Aug 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Great Blue Hole ©
Great Blue Hole
Scuba & Snorkeling
The Estuary of Caye Caulker ©
The Estuary of Caye Caulker

5
nights
Panajachel, Guatemala

Panajachel ©
A little town with a thriving tourism industry, Panajachel sits on the northern shore of scenic Atitlan Lake, one of Guatemala's major vacation destinations.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Lake Atitlan. Escape the urban bustle at Reserva Natural Atitlán and Indian Nose. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Santa Cruz Spanish School and Casa Cakchiquel. Change things up with a short trip to Tzantizotz Nature Reserve in Santa Cruz La Laguna (about 40 minutes away). There's more to do: see the interesting displays at Museo Arqueologico Azul Maya.

For other places to visit, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Panajachel trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by combination of flight, shuttle, and bus from San Pedro to Panajachel takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle, flight, and bus; or do a combination of flight and shuttle. While traveling from San Pedro, expect slightly colder days and much colder nights in Panajachel, ranging from highs of 26°C to lows of 11°C. On the 11th (Sat), you'll travel to Antigua.

Things to do in Panajachel

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trips

Santa Cruz La Laguna, Lake Atitlan, Indian Nose
Find places to stay Aug 6 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Lake Atitlan ©
Lake Atitlan
Reserva Natural Atitlán ©
Reserva Natural Atitlán
Indian Nose ©
Indian Nose

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Mon): stop by Casa del Jade, look for gifts at La Casa del Algodon, and then grab your bike and head to La Ruta del Yalu. On your second day here, look for gifts at Jade Maya - The Original Jade factory and Museum and then contemplate the geological forces at Volcán Pacaya.

To see traveler tips, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Antigua route planner .

Traveling by bus from Panajachel to Antigua takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or drive. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Panajachel in August, with highs in Antigua at 30°C and lows at 19°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Lake Nicaragua.

Things to do in Antigua

Parks Trails Tours

Side Trip

La Ruta del Yalu
Find places to stay Aug 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
La Ruta del Yalu ©
La Ruta del Yalu
Volcán Pacaya ©
Volcán Pacaya
La Casa del Algodon ©
La Casa del Algodon

5
nights
Lake Nicaragua, Nicaragua

Lake Nicaragua
Step out of Lake Nicaragua to go to San Ramon and see San Ramon Waterfall, which is approximately 56 minutes away.

To see reviews, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, read our Lake Nicaragua trip app .

Explore your travel options from Antigua to Lake Nicaragua with the Route module. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Antigua in August, with highs in Lake Nicaragua at 36°C and lows at 29°C. You'll set off for Punta Arenas on the 20th (Mon).

Things to do in Lake Nicaragua

Nature Parks

Side Trip

San Ramon Waterfall
Find places to stay Aug 12 — 18:

13
nights
Puntarenas, Costa Rica

Puntarenas ©
A major port city with a busy fish market, for most tourists Puntarenas represents little more than the launching point for ferries heading to the pleasant beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula.
Get outdoors at La Fortuna Waterfall and Zipline. Discover out-of-the-way places like Jungle Butterfly Farm and El Toledo Coffee Tour. Explore Punta Arenas' surroundings by going to La Fortuna de San Carlos (Arenal Wilberth Stables, Arenal View Theme Park, & more), Monteverde (Children's Eternal Rain Forest, Monteverde Wildlife Refuge, & more) and Santa Elena (Artisans Cooperative Santa Elena and Monteverde & Ecological Sanctuary). Spend the 29th (Wed) exploring nature at Up in the Cloud Forest. The adventure continues: identify plant and animal life at Neo Fauna, relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers, and don't miss a visit to Bridge Over Rio Tarcoles.

For photos, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Punta Arenas trip planning tool .

The Route module can help you plan travel from Lake Nicaragua to Punta Arenas. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Fri) so you can travel to Bocas Town.

Things to do in Puntarenas

Parks Wildlife Tours

Side Trips

Monteverde, Santa Elena, La Fortuna de San Carlos, Bridge Over Rio Tarcoles, Curi Cancha Reserve
Find places to stay Aug 18 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Curi Cancha Reserve ©
Curi Cancha Reserve
Jungle Butterfly Farm ©
Jungle Butterfly Farm
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

5
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.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Playa Estrella and Dolphin Bay Preserve. Escape the urban bustle at Scuba & Snorkeling and Up In The Hill. Step out of Bocas Town with an excursion to Aamvecona in Changuinola--about 1h 55 min away. Next up on the itinerary: kick back and relax at Boca del Drago, head off the coast to Crawl Cay (Kraal Cay), and take in nature's colorful creations at Finca Los Monos Botanical Garden.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Bocas Town using our trip planner.

Explore your travel options from Punta Arenas to Bocas Town with the Route module. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Eastern Standard Time is 1 hour. September in Bocas Town sees daily highs of 34°C and lows of 34°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Bocas Town

Outdoors Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Bocas del Toro Province, Finca Los Monos Botanical Garden, Aamvecona
Find places to stay Aug 31 — Sep 6:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Aamvecona ©
Aamvecona
Up In The Hill ©
Up In The Hill

6
nights
Panama City, Panama

Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
On the 6th (Mon), get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour. Keep things going the next day: cast your line with a fishing tour.

To find more things to do, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, read our Panama City trip itinerary planner .

Fly from San Pedro to Panama City in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from San Pedro to Panama City. In August, daytime highs in Panama City are 36°C, while nighttime lows are 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Panajachel.

Things to do in Panama City

Tours Outdoors Wildlife

Side Trip

Nature & Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Sep 6 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Fishing Charters & Tours

1
night
San Blas Islands, Panama

San Blas Islands ©
San Blas Islands represent the offshore area of the indigenous province of Guna Yala.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Wed): step off the mainland to explore Isla Perro.

To find other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, use the San Blas Islands itinerary builder .

Do a combination of taxi and ferry from Panama City to San Blas Islands in 3.5 hours. September in San Blas Islands sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 28°C at night. On the 13th (Thu), you'll travel to Cartagena.

Things to do in San Blas Islands

Nature Parks Wildlife
Find places to stay Sep 11 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Isla Perro ©
Isla Perro

1
night
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.
On the 14th (Fri), discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: step into the grandiose world of San Felipe de Barajas Castle and then tour the water at your own pace with Boats4U.

For reviews, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Cartagena trip tool .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from San Blas Islands to Cartagena. September in Cartagena sees daily highs of 38°C and lows of 30°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 15th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Santa Marta.

Things to do in Cartagena

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Find places to stay Sep 13 — 15:
Highlights from your plan
San Felipe de Barajas Castle ©
San Felipe de Barajas Castle
Scuba & Snorkeling
Boats4U ©
Boats4U

5
nights
Santa Marta, Colombia

Santa Marta ©
Many visitors begin their Santa Marta holiday, surrounded by urban clutter and heavy traffic, expecting little from the city in terms of historical importance.
You've now added Lost City to your itinerary. Get in touch with nature at Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona and El Dorado Bird Reserve. Explore hidden gems such as Cristal Beach and Catedral de Santa Marta. When in Santa Marta, make a side trip to see Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in Minca, approximately 1h 40 min away. There's still lots to do: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, steep yourself in history at Paseo El Camellon, kick back and relax at Playa Blanca, and admire the masterpieces at Quinta de San Pedro Alejandrino.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Santa Marta trip planner .

Getting from Cartagena to Santa Marta by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 38°C in September, and nighttime lows around 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Santa Marta

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Minca, Museo del Oro Tairona - Casa de la Aduana
Find places to stay Sep 15 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona ©
Parque Nacional Natural Tayrona
Cristal Beach ©
Cristal Beach
Scuba & Snorkeling

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