22 days in Mexico, Central America & South America Itinerary

22 days in Mexico, Central America & South America Itinerary

Make it your trip
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1
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
— 3 nights
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2
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
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3
Panama City, Panama
— 2 nights
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4
Bogota, Colombia
— 2 nights
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5
Cusco, Peru
— 3 nights
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6
Santiago, Chile
— 3 nights
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7
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 4 nights
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Playa del Carmen, Mexico — 3 nights

The tourist hub of the popular Mayan Riviera, upscale Playa del Carmen remains the jewel of Mexico's Caribbean coastline.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Playa del Carmen: Chichen Itza (in Chichen Itza), Zona Arqueologica de Coba (in Coba) and Tulum Archaeological Site (in Tulum). There's still lots to do: find something for the whole family at Xcaret, take the plunge with a skydiving experience, and don't miss a visit to Quinta Avenida.

To find other places to visit, photos, ratings, and more tourist information, use the Playa del Carmen trip itinerary planner.

Barcelona, Spain to Playa del Carmen is an approximately 16-hour flight. You can also do a combination of train and flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Barcelona to Playa del Carmen is minus 6 hours. In July, daily temperatures in Playa del Carmen can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) so you can fly to La Fortuna de San Carlos.
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Historic Sites · Theme Parks · Adventure · Outdoors
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jul 3 — 6:

La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica — 4 nights

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, and parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs, savor the flavors at Food & Drink, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and contemplate the geological forces at Arenal Volcano.

To find where to stay, ratings, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos driving holiday planner.

You can fly from Playa del Carmen to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 5.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of bus, ferry, and taxi. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Playa del Carmen to La Fortuna de San Carlos. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Mon) to allow time to fly to Panama City.
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Parks · Nature · Tours · Outdoors
Side Trip
Find places to stay Jul 6 — 10:

Panama City, Panama — 2 nights

Dubai of Latin America

Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
On the 11th (Tue), make a trip to Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador) and then make a trip to Panama Canal. Here are some ideas for day two: take an in-depth tour of Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama, then visit Casco Viejo, and then explore the striking landscape of Metropolitan National Park.

To see reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Panama City road trip planner.

You can fly from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Panama City in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of shuttle and bus. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Eastern Standard Time (EST), which is usually a 1 hour difference. July in Panama City sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 29°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Wed) so you can fly to Bogota.
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Neighborhoods · Historic Sites · Parks · Nature
Find places to stay Jul 10 — 12:

Bogota, Colombia — 2 nights

Athens of South America

Colombia's heart and soul, Bogota has earned the nickname "Athens of South America" thanks to its abundance of universities, libraries, and lower-level schools.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Thu): stroll through Monserrate and then savor the flavors at Food & Drink. On your second day here, explore the world behind art at Museo Botero del Banco de la Republica and then contemplate the long history of Bolivar Square.

For photos, maps, reviews, and other tourist information, read Bogota online day trip planner.

You can fly from Panama City to Bogota in 5 hours. Traveling from Panama City in July, things will get colder in Bogota: highs are around 21°C and lows about 10°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Fri) early enough to catch the flight to Cusco.
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Tours · Parks · Nature · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jul 12 — 14:

Cusco, Peru — 3 nights

Imperial City

Capital of the Inca Empire for three centuries, World Heritage-listed Cusco is now a major tourist destination, drawing nearly 2 million annual tourists with its well-preserved colonial architecture and proximity to Machu Picchu.
On the 17th (Mon), spend a fun day on foot with Walking tours. There's much more to do: delve into the distant past at Sacsayhuaman, get engrossed in the history at Museo Inka, admire the landmark architecture of Centro Historico De Cusco, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Qorikancha.

To find where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Cusco holiday app.

Traveling by flight from Bogota to Cusco takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Bogota in July, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Cusco, with lows of 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Mon) early enough to fly to Santiago.
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Historic Sites · Tours · Museums · Shopping
Find places to stay Jul 14 — 17:

Santiago, Chile — 3 nights

City of the Island Hills

Santiago tourism thrives largely thanks to the city's big selection of cultural and entertainment options, including museums, theaters, restaurants, bars, and giant malls.
Santiago is known for shopping, sightseeing, and parks. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: take some stellar pictures from San Cristóbal Hill, examine the collection at La Chascona, take in the pleasant sights at Plaza de Armas, and look for gifts at Patio Bellavista.

To find ratings, where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, read Santiago trip itinerary tool.

Getting from Cusco to Santiago by flight takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Peru Standard Time to Chile Standard Time is 1 hour. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Thu) to allow enough time to fly to Buenos Aires.
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Parks · Museums · Shopping · Nature
Find places to stay Jul 17 — 20:

Buenos Aires, Argentina — 4 nights

Queen of La Plata

Cultural capital of South America, Buenos Aires remains one of the largest cities on the continent, serving as a point of departure for exploring the rest of the country.
Buenos Aires is known for historic sites, sightseeing, and nightlife. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: admire the natural beauty at Parque 3 de Febrero, explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, make a trip to Casa Rosada, and take in the history at Plaza de Mayo.

To see traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, use the Buenos Aires online route builder.

Traveling by flight from Santiago to Buenos Aires takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Santiago to Buenos Aires due to the time zone difference. Expect a daytime high around 17°C in July, and nighttime lows around 10°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Mon) so you can fly back home.
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Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping · Childrens Museums
Find places to stay Jul 20 — 24:

Mexico travel guide

4.5
Ruins · Zipline · Beaches
Tailor-made for anyone seeking that traditional sun-and-sand experience, Mexico vacations allow visitors to explore nearly 10,000 km (6,200 mi) of picturesque coastlines. Idyllic beaches and favorable year-round weather aside, this diverse country with a rich pre-Colombian history allows tourists a chance to discover a fascinating cuisine, numerous archaeological sites, state-of-the-art museums, colonial-era haciendas, and outstanding examples of 21st-century architecture. Most visitors get to know the country by its cities, but if you want a well-rounded Mexico tour, spend some time exploring its jungles, cloud forests, Caribbean reefs, snowcapped volcanoes, vast deserts, and tranquil lagoons. Life is lived outdoors in Mexico, so wherever you go, don't forget to dine alfresco and stroll the country's colonial streets.
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Costa Rica travel guide

4.4
Beaches · Nature & Parks · Zipline
Tiny in terms of land area, Costa Rica is astoundingly diverse when it comes to culture and natural attractions. In a country called "Rich Coast", it's no surprise most Costa Rica vacations dedicate at least a few days to picturesque Pacific and Caribbean beaches, ideal for water sports and relaxation. Few small countries offer such a range of landscapes, allowing tourists to observe towering volcanoes while soaking away their worries in a hot spring, or hike into dense rainforests in the morning and surf at a modern resort in the afternoon. A trip to Costa Rica also lets you discover pristine national parks, ensuring plenty of chances to view wildlife from the comfort of eco-friendly lodges packed with amenities even ardent nature lovers secretly desire.
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Panama travel guide

4.2
Landmarks · Historic Walking Areas · Shopping Malls
With a lively banking sector and a booming tourism industry, Panama remains one of the most powerful nations in the Americas, though it's also one of the smallest by land area. The country boasts coastlines on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, so it's not surprising most Panama holidays include some form of seaside entertainment. With outstanding beaches all over the country, it's easy to find an ideal spot to swim, snorkel, dive, fish, sail, or simply kick back on the sand with a few cold drinks. The country's best-known landmark and one of the world's most significant shipping routes, Panama Canal tops most tourist itineraries--many choose to see this engineering wonder by traveling the length of it by train.
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Colombia travel guide

4
Historic Sites · Landmarks · Beaches
Diverse in terms of landscapes, climates, and cultures, Colombia remains one of South America's least explored tourist destinations, overshadowed by its more popular southern neighbors. Combining the best of what the continent has to offer, a vacation in Colombia allows you to blend outdoor adventures with tours of picture-perfect cobblestoned towns dating back to the colonial era. Tourists on a Colombia holiday can easily hop from sun-kissed coastal spots to the hilly coffee-growing region, where thriving plantations quickly give way to a landscape of snow-covered volcanic peaks and the paramo--alpine ecosystems sheltering some of the rarest plants growing above the continuous forest line.
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Peru travel guide

4.6
Historic Sites · Parks · Landmarks
Land of the Incas
In a country renowned for its pre-Columbian archeological sites, no Peru vacation would be complete without an adrenaline-inducing hike to Machu Picchu, World Heritage-listed symbol of the once-mighty Incan Empire. Aside from visiting these spectacular ruins set against the backdrop of photogenic mountain peaks, most holidays in Peru also include an exploration of the country's pretty cities, boasting well-preserved colonial architecture and a slew of modern buildings housing fine museums, galleries, shops, and restaurants. Ideal for active vacationers, Peru trips are also tailor-made for gourmands, as the country's eclectic cuisine blends tasty influences from Africa, Asia, and Europe.
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Chile travel guide

4.3
Landmarks · Parks · Specialty Museums
Land of Poets
Squeezed between the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, geographically diverse Chile is a long, thin stretch of land encompassing some of the world's driest deserts in the north, and some of its largest glacial fields in the south. Though most Chile holidays include some form of adventure in the vast wilderness areas, the country also contains charming cities providing plenty of urban things to do and see. Many tours of Chile include at least a brief visit to the country's lush wine regions, where backyard vineyards compete with sprawling estates producing some of the world's most respected whites and reds.
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Argentina travel guide

4.3
Landmarks · Bodies of Water · Specialty Museums
Land of Contrasts
Home to the highest and lowest points in South America, diverse Argentina enthralls visitors with its contrasting landscapes and rich cultural heritage. A tour of Argentina reveals a sprawling land of fiercely proud and hardworking gauchos, the legendary cowboys of South America's pampas. A vacation in Argentina also leads you to giant urban centers, filled with modern tourist attractions that include fine restaurants, award-winning museums, and renowned public parks, gardens, and zoos. Away from big cities, Argentina sightseeing combines visits to mighty waterfalls situated inside World Heritage-listed national parks in the north of the country, with excursions to icy glaciers in the south.
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