31 days in Central America Itinerary

31 days in Central America Itinerary

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Route & dates

31 days in Central America Itinerary

Start: Toronto, Canada
Fly:  8​h 15​min
1
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
bus:  3​h
2
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
3
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
5
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
6
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
7
Granada, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
shuttle + Fly:  5​h 15​min
8
Roatan, Honduras
— 4 nights
Fly:  2​h 15​min
9
San Pedro, Belize
— 4 nights
+2
Fly + Drive + bus:  3​h 15​min
10
San Ignacio, Belize
— 2 nights
+2
bus + Drive + Fly:  2​h
11
Belize City, Belize
— 3 nights
Fly:  6​h 15​min
End: Toronto, Canada

3
nights
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.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near San Jose: Toucan Rescue Ranch (in San Isidro), Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park) and Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca). Next up on the itinerary: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, explore the striking landscape of Irazu Volcano National Park, and contemplate the long history of Teatro Nacional Costa Rica.

For traveler tips, maps, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our San Jose online tour planner .

Toronto, Canada to San Jose is an approximately 8.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of ferry and flight; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Toronto to San Jose is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Toronto in January, things will get much warmer in San Jose: highs are around 30°C and lows about 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) to allow time to take a bus to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Poas Volcano, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz, Toucan Rescue Ranch, Irazu Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Jan 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Toucan Rescue Ranch ©
Toucan Rescue Ranch
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Irazu Volcano National Park ©
Irazu Volcano National Park

3
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.
Get out of town with these interesting Manuel Antonio side-trips: Zipline (in Jaco) and Parasailing & Paragliding (in Dominical). There's still lots to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Manuel Antonio, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and explore the wealth of natural beauty at Manuel Antonio National Park.

To see ratings, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Manuel Antonio trip planner .

Traveling by bus from San Jose to Manuel Antonio takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) so you can drive to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Parks Adventure

Side Trips

Quepos, Parasailing & Paragliding, Zipline
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Zipline
River Rafting & Tubing

1
night
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.
On the 8th (Wed), paddle through the water with a kayaking and canoeing tour and then explore the striking landscape of Tortuguero National Park.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Tortuguero trip itinerary planning site .

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Tortuguero takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. Expect a daytime high around 33°C in January, and nighttime lows around 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Wed) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Nature Parks Outdoors
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing

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, parks, trails, and wildlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, scramble along the landscape with a canyoning and rapelling tour, stroll through La Fortuna Arenal Volcano Rain Forest Reserve, and trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park.

To see where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, read La Fortuna de San Carlos trip planner .

Getting from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sun) so you can drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Jan 8 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

2
nights
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde ©
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Mon): tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then look for gifts at Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: view the masterpieces at Alas y Raices, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, then relax in the rural setting at El Trapiche Tour, and finally get to know the resident critters at The Bat Jungle.

To see photos, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Monteverde sightseeing planner.

Getting from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde by car takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Adventure
Find places to stay Jan 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
El Trapiche Tour ©
El Trapiche Tour

2
nights
Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Surfing remains the main reason to take a trip to Tamarindo, as the beachside town is mostly known for its excellent waves.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Wed): find your balance on the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, then kick back and relax at Tamarindo Beach, and then soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers. On your second day here, get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura and then kick back and relax at Playa Conchal.

To find reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Tamarindo trip planner .

Traveling by car from Monteverde to Tamarindo takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can go by car to Granada.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trips

Playa Conchal, Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach
Pura Aventura ©
Pura Aventura

2
nights
Granada, Nicaragua

Granada ©
The lakeside city of Granada has the look and feel of a historically important economic and political center, with grand colonial architecture, a unified look, and many cultural attractions.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Fri): pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Merced, then head off the coast to Islets of Granada, and then see the interesting displays at Centro Cultural Antiguo Convento San Francisco. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 18th (Sat): contemplate the geological forces at Masaya Volcano, then explore the activities along Apoyo, and then look for gifts at Tio Antonio Hamaca.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Granada holiday planning website .

You can drive from Tamarindo to Granada in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of bus and shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) so you can travel to Roatan.

Things to do in Granada

Nature Parks Historic Sites

Side Trip

Masaya
Find places to stay Jan 16 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Islets of Granada ©
Islets of Granada
Iglesia de La Merced ©
Iglesia de La Merced
Apoyo
Apoyo

4
nights
Roatan, Honduras

The largest of the Bay Islands, Roatan is the most developed and the most popular among its neighbors.
Roatan is known for wildlife, beaches, adventure, shopping, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, stroll around Gumbalimba Park, enjoy breathtaking views from El Faro, and stroll through West Bay Beach.

For ratings, where to stay, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Roatan trip tool .

You can do a combination of shuttle and flight from Granada to Roatan in 5.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of bus and flight. In January, daily temperatures in Roatan can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 24°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) early enough to catch the flight to San Pedro.

Things to do in Roatan

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Jan 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Little French Key ©
Little French Key
West Bay Beach ©
West Bay Beach

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.
Take a break from San Pedro with a short trip to The Estuary of Caye Caulker in Caye Caulker, about 30 minutes away. Spend the 25th (Sat) exploring nature at Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve. The adventure continues: explore the gorgeous colors at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, make a trip to Shark Ray Alley, take a memorable tour with Tours, and see what you can catch with a fishing tour.

For photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our San Pedro tour itinerary site .

You can fly from Roatan to San Pedro in 2.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of ferry and bus. In January, daytime highs in San Pedro are 32°C, while nighttime lows are 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Sun) early enough to travel to San Ignacio.

Things to do in San Pedro

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Ambergris Caye, The Estuary of Caye Caulker
Find places to stay Jan 22 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Hol Chan Marine Reserve ©
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Scuba & Snorkeling
Fishing Charters & Tours

2
nights
San Ignacio, Belize

San Ignacio ©
The cultural hub of the district, San Ignacio neatly blends tourism and tradition, expats and indigenous peoples into a convincingly authentic, but modern and welcoming inland town.
On the 27th (Mon), stroll through Green Iguana Conservation Project and then explore the fascinating underground world of ATM Cave Belize- Actun Tunichil Muknal. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate the long history of Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, explore the galleries of Cappello's Art Gallery, and then Head underground at Barton Creek Cave.

For maps, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the San Ignacio trip itinerary website .

Do a combination of flight and bus from San Pedro to San Ignacio in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Belize City.

Things to do in San Ignacio

Parks Nature Historic Sites

Side Trip

Cayo
Find places to stay Jan 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
ATM Cave Belize- Actun Tunichil Muknal ©
Xunantunich Mayan Ruins ©
Xunantunich Mayan Ruins
Barton Creek Cave ©
Barton Creek Cave

3
nights
Belize City, Belize

Belize's biggest urban center, Belize City is a culturally diverse seaside destination.
Go for a jaunt from Belize City to La Democracia to see The Belize Zoo about 42 minutes away. The adventure continues: explore the ancient world of Altun Ha, take in the spiritual surroundings of St John's Cathedral, stop by Caribbean Spice Belize, and appreciate the history behind The Belize Sign Monument.

To find photos, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Belize City trip planner.

Do a combination of bus and flight from San Ignacio to Belize City in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. January in Belize City sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 24°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Belize City

Parks Historic Sites Wildlife

Side Trips

Belize District, The Belize Zoo
Find places to stay Jan 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
The Belize Zoo ©
The Belize Zoo
Altun Ha ©
Altun Ha

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