Best of Central America Itinerary

Have the ultimate Central American adventure on this classic tour from Mexico to Panama. Enjoy beaches, volcanoes, ancient ruins and have a whole stack of fun.

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    • Total price tool tip
      USD $3,710
      CAD $3,830
      AUD $3,755
      EUR €2,585
      GBP £2,170
      NZD $4,180
      ZAR R37,585
      CHF FR3,125
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belize family swimming diving beach locals

costa rica arenal volcano mountain

costa rica sloth sitting in tree wildlife local

costa rica toucan sitting tree tropical colourful

costa rica scarlet macaws parrots red sitting squark

guatemala chichistenago colourful markets fruit vegetables

guatemala tikal temple ancient structure

mexico chilon bright local market

mexico playa del carmen beach sunbaking summer

mexico snorkelling beach snorkels ocean sand palm trees tropical

Day 1 Playa del Carmen

Start off your Central American adventure in Playa del Carmen, Mexico's famous playground of surf, sun and fun. For those with a bit of extra time, consider arriving a little early to make the most of the range of activities on offer.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Days 2-3 Tulum

White powdery beaches lapped by warm blue waters and overlooked by crumbling Mayan ruins - welcome to Tulum. Choose to set out for some snorkelling in the Cenotes offshore or simply sit back beachside and take in the view, margarita in hand.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 4-6 Caye Caulker

Cross the border into Belize and cruise out to Caye Caulker - an idyllic tropical island getaway where exceptional scuba-diving outings or simply swinging the day away in a hammock are equally appealing options. Alternatively, head out on a manatee spotting excursion to learn about these curious creatures that call the lagoons of Caulker home.
ACCOM: Hotel - 3

Days 7-8 San Ignacio

Trade the blues of the Caribbean for the lush verdancy of San Ignacio in the Belize hinterlands. Perhaps venture out to the Mayan ruins of Xunantunich, embark on an tubing adventure through the jungle or a caving adventure underground and then finish up the day sharing barbecued street-side snacks with the town's friendly locals.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Day 9 Tikal

Leave Belize behind and travel by local bus to the laidback Guatemalan island town of Flores. While the nearby jungle-shrouded temples of Tikal are the town's true claim to fame, Flores' winding cobbled streets and small-town vibe make it a very pleasant place to explore by foot.
ACCOM: Camping (with facilities) - 1

Days 10-11 Rio Dulce

Continue on through dense jungle to Rio Dulce, by the banks of Lake Izabal. In spare time perhaps set out upriver to the coastal enclave of Livingstone for a final taste of Creole Caribbean culture or head out for a hike through Chocon-Machacas Natural Reserve.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Day 12 Antigua

Explore the cobblestone charms and quaint colonial architecture of Antigua, one of Central America's most captivating and cultivated cities.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Day 13 Chichicastenango/San Jorge La Laguna

Visit the picturesque mountain town of Chichicastenango and take a wander through its bustling market. Then continue on to San Jorge La Laguna and get an insight into local life on an overnight family homestay.
ACCOM: Homestay - 1

Day 14 Panajachel

Panajachel, a lovely little town on the banks of Lake Atitlan, serves as the main base for exploring the various traditional villages dotted around the lake. With a serene ambience and superb mountain panoramas, it's the perfect place to sit back with a good book or embark on any number of optional activities.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Days 15-16 Antigua

Return to the colourful handicraft stalls and leafy plazas of Antigua, Guatemala's atmospheric one-time capital. With an entire day here to spend however you see fit, perhaps book on an optional excursion to Pacaya Volcano or sign up for a salsa lesson, then gather the group for a final dinner and relive the highlights of this memorable adventure through the Mayan heartlands.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 17-18 Copan

Travel across the wild Guatemalan countryside and cross the border into Copan. Tour the World Heritage-listed Mayan ruins, with intricately carved structures dating back to 500 AD, or sample some unusual Honduran cuisine.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 19-21 Roatan Island

The reward for a bus and ferry journey today is the pristine shores of Honduras' Roatan Islands. Spend two blissful days diving into the crystal waters of the Caribbean or simply melting into the white, powdery beaches under the shade of a coconut palm.
ACCOM: Hotel - 3

Day 22 Comayagua

Pack up the bucket and spade; it's time to travel south to Comayagua. Mingle with locals in the lush central gardens or visit some of Honduras’s most impressive cathedrals.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1

Days 23-24 Granada

Cross the border and arrive at Nicaragua's oldest town. Granada city is a charming and surprising place, brimming with bubbly inhabitants and character. Sightseeing in Granada is plentiful; perhaps hop on a boat ride around Lake Nicaragua or for the adventurous, an excursion to Mombacho or Masaya Volcano National Park is a hot option. In the evenings, walk along narrow streets where locals chat to each other from their open-front living rooms.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 25-26 Ometepe Island

Spot the world's only freshwater sharks in Lake Nicaragua en route to the lush Ometepe Island. Take an optional hike to one of two towering volcanoes on the island or choose a slower pace at one of the beaches or jungle swimming holes.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 27-28 Monteverde

Costa Rica beckons across the border. Arrive in the eco-lovers paradise of Monteverde, and choose to explore the expansive Monteverde cloud forest on foot, mountain bike or on horse - or even go zip lining over the tree canopy.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 29-30 La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano National Park

From La Fortuna, discover the Arenal Volcano and perhaps enjoy a relaxing rendezvous at the La Fortuna hot springs or waterfalls.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 31-32 San Jose

Complete the Way to San Jose tour and farewell new friends in this spirited city. Join locals milling around Mercado Central for some super-cheap Costa Rican food and colourful souvenirs.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 33-35 Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Hop aboard a local bus to the mellow coastal town of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. With plenty of leisure time here, why not head out on a wildlife-spotting excursion to Cahuita National Park or sign up for some surfing lessons.
ACCOM: Hotel - 3

Days 36-38 Bocas del Toro

Drive on into Panama and catch a ferry out to the tropical archipelago of Bocas del Toro. With azure blue waters, pristine coral reefs and a rollicking nightlife, it's easy to see why Isla Bastimentos is a favourite haunt for so many of our travellers.
ACCOM: Hotel - 3

Days 39-40 Boquete

Soak up the tranquil mountains scenery and crisp mountain air of Boquete, a small town by the Caldera river in the Panamanian highlands. Head out to a local coffee plantation for an insight into coffee production or get active hiking up Baru Volcano or along the Quetzal's Path.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 41-42 Santa Catalina

Travel on to the remote fishing village of Santa Catalina. Choose to spend your time here surfing, fishing, snorkelling or diving, or simply chill out by the beach.
ACCOM: Hotel - 2

Days 43-44 Panama City

Arrive in Panama City, Central America's glitziest capital. Get a taste of old Panama on a wander through the crumbling architecture of historical Casco Viejo, join an optional tour of the Panama Canal or explore the plentiful dining and drinking hotspots. As this memorable adventure comes to a close, perhaps mark the occasion with a night on the tiles at a samba club.
ACCOM: Hotel - 1