42 days in Central America Itinerary

42 days in Central America Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America trip itinerary planner

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Route & dates

42 days in Central America Itinerary

Start: Melbourne, Australia
Fly:  30​h
1
Panama City, Panama
— 4 nights
Fly:  6​h 30​min
2
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
3
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 15​min
4
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
5
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h 45​min
6
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
7
Roatan, Honduras
— 5 nights
Fly:  2​h 15​min
8
San Pedro, Belize
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
9
Belize City, Belize
— 2 nights
+4
Fly + Foot + Bus + Foot + Bus:  4​h 30​min
10
Antigua, Guatemala
— 6 nights
+4
Bus + Foot + Bus + Foot + Fly:  26​h
End: Melbourne, Australia

4
nights
Panama City, Panama

Panama City ©
Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
When in Panama City, make a side trip to see Safarick's Zoologico - Animal Rescue & Rehabilitation in Portobelo, approximately 1h 45 min away. And it doesn't end there: don't miss a visit to Panama Canal, snap pictures at Bridge of the Americas, wander the streets of Cinta Costera, and explore the striking landscape of Metropolitan National Park.

For reviews, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Panama City online travel planner .

Melbourne, Australia to Panama City is an approximately 30-hour flight. You can also do a combination of shuttle and flight; or do a combination of train and flight. The time zone changes from Australian Eastern Standard Time (Victoria) to Eastern Standard Time, which is usually a -15 hour difference. Prepare for much hotter weather when traveling from Melbourne in August: high temperatures in Panama City hover around 36°C and lows are around 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Sun) so you can travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Panama City

Parks Neighborhoods Historic Sites

Side Trip

Safarick's Zoologico - Animal Rescue & Rehabilitation
Find places to stay Aug 20 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Panama Canal ©
Panama Canal
Casco Viejo ©
Casco Viejo

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.
Attractions like Playa Manuel Antonio and Playa Biesanz make great kid-friendly stops. Get out of town with these interesting Manuel Antonio side-trips: Jaco (Costa Rica SUP'ers & Zipline). And it doesn't end there: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, take a memorable tour with Tours, and stop by Beso Loco Boutique de Playa.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Manuel Antonio attractions planner .

Getting from Panama City to Manuel Antonio by flight takes about 6.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Panama City to Manuel Antonio. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Wed) early enough to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trips

Jaco, River Rafting & Tubing
Find places to stay Aug 25 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz
Zipline

3
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.
Monteverde is known for adventure, wildlife, nightlife, fun & games, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: identify plant and animal life at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, relax in the rural setting at El Trapiche Tour, and learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Bat Jungle.

To see ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, you can read our Monteverde driving holiday planning tool .

Traveling by car from Manuel Antonio to Monteverde takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Sat) to allow time to drive to Tamarindo.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Adventure
Find places to stay Aug 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
The Bat Jungle ©
The Bat Jungle
Zipline

3
nights
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.
Kids will enjoy Playa Conchal and Playa Nacascolo. Step out of Tamarindo with an excursion to Playa Hermosa in Playa Hermosa--about 1h 20 min away. There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Tamarindo Beach, stop by EK Art Jewelry, get a taste of life in the country at Pura Aventura, and find something for the whole family at Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates.

To find where to stay, ratings, photos, and more tourist information, you can read our Tamarindo trip planning tool .

Drive from Monteverde to Tamarindo in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Tue) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tamarindo

Beaches Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Playa Hermosa, Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates, Playa Nacascolo, Playa Conchal
Find places to stay Aug 31 — Sep 3:
Highlights from your plan
Black Stallion Eco Park & Estates ©
Playa Conchal ©
Playa Conchal
Tamarindo Beach ©
Tamarindo Beach

5
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

La Fortuna de San Carlos ©
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, wildlife, trails, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs, get interesting insight from Tours, explore the fascinating underground world of Venado Caves, and explore the striking landscape of Arenal Volcano.

To find reviews, more things to do, photos, and tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos online driving holiday planner .

Traveling by car from Tamarindo to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 8th (Sun) so you can drive to San Jose.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Sep 3 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
River Rafting & Tubing

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: Zoo Ave (in Alajuela), Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca) and Poas Volcano (in Poas Volcano National Park). There's more to do: relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour and take an in-depth tour of Museo Nacional De Costa Rica.

To see ratings, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, read our San Jose trip planning website .

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to San Jose in 3 hours. Other options are to take a shuttle; or take a bus. In September, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Roatan.

Things to do in San Jose

Parks Nature Adventure

Side Trips

Poas Volcano, Zoo Ave, Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz
Find places to stay Sep 8 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Zoo Ave ©
Zoo Ave
Jade Museum ©
Jade Museum

5
nights
Roatan, Honduras

Roatan ©
The largest of the Bay Islands, Roatan is the most developed and the most popular among its neighbors.
Kids will appreciate attractions like West Bay Beach and Mayan Day Passes. There's much more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Little French Key, stop by Pies Bonitos, kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, and see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read Roatan trip maker website .

Traveling by flight from San Jose to Roatan takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from San Jose in September; daily highs in Roatan reach 38°C and lows reach 28°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to fly to San Pedro.

Things to do in Roatan

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Sep 11 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
West Bay Beach ©
West Bay Beach
Little French Key ©
Little French Key
Manawakie Park ©
Manawakie Park

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.
San Pedro is known for wildlife, adventure, nightlife, spas, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: explore the gorgeous colors at Hol Chan Marine Reserve, let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports, and explore the wealth of natural beauty at Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve.

To see other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, you can read our San Pedro holiday app .

Traveling by flight from Roatan to San Pedro takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and bus. In September, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 29°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Belize City.

Things to do in San Pedro

Wildlife Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Ambergris Caye
Find places to stay Sep 16 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Hol Chan Marine Reserve ©
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Scuba & Snorkeling
Fishing Charters & Tours

2
nights
Belize City, Belize

Belize City ©
Belize's biggest urban center, Belize City is a culturally diverse seaside destination.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Sat): explore the ancient world of Altun Ha, then learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at The Belize Zoo, and then make a trip to The Belize Sign Monument. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stop by Diamonds International and then look for all kinds of wild species at Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary.

To find where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Belize City trip maker site .

Traveling by car from San Pedro to Belize City takes 2.5 hours. In September, plan for daily highs up to 36°C, and evening lows to 29°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Sun) to allow time to travel to Antigua.

Things to do in Belize City

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites

Side Trips

Belize District, The Belize Zoo
Find places to stay Sep 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
The Belize Zoo ©
The Belize Zoo
Altun Ha ©
Altun Ha
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary ©
Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary

6
nights
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.
Attractions like La Aurora Zoo and Mundo Petapa Irtra make great kid-friendly stops. Venture out of the city with trips to Iximche (in Panajachel), Santo Tomas Church (in Chichicastenango) and Guatemala City (Iglesia Santo domingo, Relief Map, & more). There's still lots to do: get impressive views of Volcán Pacaya, stop by Nim Po't Centro de Textiles Tradicionales, take in the spiritual surroundings of Cathedral de Santiago, and pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia de La Merced.

You can plan Antigua trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

You can do a combination of flight and shuttle from Belize City to Antigua in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Plan for a bit cooler temperatures traveling from Belize City in September, with highs in Antigua at 28°C and lows at 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sat) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Antigua

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trips

Guatemala City, Santo Tomas Church, Iximche
Find places to stay Sep 22 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Iglesia de La Merced ©
Iglesia de La Merced
La Aurora Zoo ©
La Aurora Zoo
Mundo Petapa Irtra ©
Mundo Petapa Irtra

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