31 days in Caribbean, Central America & Mexico Itinerary

31 days in Caribbean, Central America & Mexico Itinerary

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Route & dates

31 days in Caribbean, Central America & Mexico Itinerary

Start: Manchester, United Kingdom
+2
Fly + Taxi + Bus:  13 h 15 min
1
Cayo Guillermo, Cuba
— 1 night
+6
Bus + Taxi + Fly + Foot + Bus + Foot + Bus:  7 h 15 min
2
Vinales, Cuba
— 1 day
Drive:  4 h 30 min
3
Varadero, Cuba
— 1 night
Fly:  2 h 45 min
4
Cayo Largo, Cuba
— 2 nights
Fly + Taxi:  1 h 15 min
5
Havana, Cuba
— 4 nights
Fly:  3 h 30 min
6
Panama City, Panama
— 4 nights
Fly:  6 h 30 min
7
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  5 h 30 min
8
Tortuguero, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  3 h 15 min
9
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 4 nights
Drive:  3 h 30 min
10
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
+2
Taxi + Bus + Fly:  8 h 15 min
11
Cancun, Mexico
— 5 nights
Fly:  12 h
End: Manchester, United Kingdom

1
night
Cayo Guillermo, Cuba

Cayo Guillermo
A kay of the Jardines del Rey archipelago, Cayo Guillermo has become a popular international tourist destination, buoyed by the construction of luxury all inclusive resorts that dot the paradisal island.
On the 2nd (Wed), step off the mainland to explore Cayo Media Luna, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Cayo Guillermo, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Pilar.

For photos, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, read Cayo Guillermo trip planner.

Manchester, UK to Cayo Guillermo is an approximately 13.5- hour combination of flight and bus. You can also do a combination of train, flight, and bus. Traveling from Manchester to Cayo Guillermo, you'll gain 5 hours due to the time zone difference. Prepare for much warmer weather when traveling from Manchester in September: high temperatures in Cayo Guillermo hover around 37°C and lows are around 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Vinales.

Things to do in Cayo Guillermo

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Sep 1 — 2:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Pilar
Playa Pilar
Cayo Guillermo ©
Cayo Guillermo
Cayo Media Luna ©
Cayo Media Luna

1
day
Vinales, Cuba

Vinales ©
Offering a taste of authentic rural life, Vinales remains a small agricultural town, dominated by surrounding low mountain ranges.
Kick off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): Head underground at Cuevas de Santo Tomas, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia del Sagrado Corazon de Jesus, and then admire the verdant scenery at Valle de Vinales.

To find where to stay, photos, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Vinales online travel route builder.

Getting from Cayo Guillermo to Vinales by combination of bus and flight takes about 7.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of taxi, train, and bus. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in September, and nighttime lows around 27°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) early enough to drive to Varadero.

Things to do in Vinales

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Find places to stay Sep 2 — 3:
Highlights from your plan
Valle de Vinales ©
Valle de Vinales
Cuevas de Santo Tomas ©
Cuevas de Santo Tomas

1
night
Varadero, Cuba

Varadero ©
One of the largest resort towns in the Caribbean, Varadero boasts a 20 km (12 mi) long stretch of sand, lined with hotels and all-inclusive resorts.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Fri): get a taste of the local shopping with Artecru, then kick back and relax at Varadero Beach, then stroll around Josone Park, and finally explore the world behind art at Mi Casa Beatles.

To find reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read our Varadero trip itinerary maker site.

Traveling by car from Vinales to Varadero takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In September, daytime highs in Varadero are 37°C, while nighttime lows are 25°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Cayo Largo.

Things to do in Varadero

Parks Museums Shopping
Find places to stay Sep 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Varadero Beach ©
Varadero Beach
Josone Park ©
Josone Park

2
nights
Cayo Largo, Cuba

Cayo Largo ©
The stress of modern life feels a million miles away when you holiday on Cayo Largo, a small and unspoiled resort island off the coast of Cuba.
On the 5th (Sat), enjoy the sand and surf at Sirena Beach and then stroll through Playa Paraiso. Here are some ideas for day two: look for all kinds of wild species at Sea Turtle Hatchery, then head off the coast to Cayo Rico, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Mal Tiempo.

To see photos, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Cayo Largo trip planning tool.

You can fly from Varadero to Cayo Largo in 3 hours. Expect a daytime high around 37°C in September, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 6th (Sun) so you can travel to Havana.

Things to do in Cayo Largo

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Sep 4 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Paraiso ©
Playa Paraiso
Sirena Beach ©
Sirena Beach
Cayo Rico ©
Cayo Rico

4
nights
Havana, Cuba

Cuba's capital and major commercial center, Havana manages to be very old and very modern at the same time.
Havana is known for historic sites, nightlife, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: don't miss a visit to Malecón of Havana, contemplate the long history of Old Square (Plaza Vieja), take in the local highlights with Walking tours, and take a stroll through Christopher Columbus Cemetery (Cemetario de Colon).

For where to stay, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Havana trip itinerary planning website.

Traveling by combination of flight and taxi from Cayo Largo to Havana takes 1.5 hours. In September, daily temperatures in Havana can reach 36°C, while at night they dip to 26°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) so you can travel to Panama City.

Things to do in Havana

Historic Sites Museums Tours
Find places to stay Sep 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Walking tours
Malecón of Havana ©
Malecón of Havana
Plaza de la Catedral ©
Plaza de la Catedral

4
nights
Panama City, Panama

Panama City ©
Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Explore Panama City's surroundings by going to Portobelo (Museo de La Real Aduana de Portobelo & Nature & Wildlife Tours). And it doesn't end there: don't miss a visit to Panama Canal, appreciate the extensive heritage of Casco Viejo, steep yourself in history at Iglesia de San José, and get engrossed in the history at Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama.

For reviews, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Panama City trip planner.

You can fly from Havana to Panama City in 3.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in September, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Mon) early enough to travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Panama City

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trip

Portobelo
Find places to stay Sep 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Panama Canal ©
Panama Canal
Casco Viejo ©
Casco Viejo
Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador) ©

3
nights
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Manuel Antonio: Jaco (Costa Rica SUP'ers & Canyoning & Rappelling Tours). There's still lots to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio, walk around Parque Nahomi, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Manuel Antonio National Park, and get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour.

For other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Manuel Antonio travel route planner.

Fly from Panama City to Manuel Antonio in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Tortuguero.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Quepos, Jaco
Find places to stay Sep 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
Canyoning & Rappelling Tours
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
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.
Start off your visit on the 18th (Fri): add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour, then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Tortuguero National Park, and then get a new perspective on nature at Sea Turtle Conservancy.

To see other places to visit, reviews, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Tortuguero tour builder tool.

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. In September in Tortuguero, expect temperatures between 35°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Fri) so you can drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Tortuguero

Parks Nature Tours
Find places to stay Sep 17 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Tortuguero National Park ©
Tortuguero National Park
Kayaking & Canoeing
Sea Turtle Conservancy ©
Sea Turtle Conservancy

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, and parks. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: relax and rejuvenate at Tabacon Hot Springs, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, take in the exciting artwork at Onirica Art Gallery, and take in the dramatic scenery at La Fortuna Waterfall.

For where to stay, more things to do, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the La Fortuna de San Carlos visit planning tool.

Traveling by car from Tortuguero to La Fortuna de San Carlos takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Monteverde.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano National Park
Find places to stay Sep 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano

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.
Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Wed): tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Monteverde Frog Pond. On the next day, look for gifts at Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery, snap pictures at Santa Elena Skywalk, and then experience rural life at El Trapiche Tour.

Take the guesswork out of planning a Monteverde vacation by using our trip itinerary maker.

You can drive from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Monteverde in 3.5 hours. Another option is to take a shuttle. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Cancun.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Historic Sites
Find places to stay Sep 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
El Trapiche Tour ©
El Trapiche Tour
Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery ©
Monteverde Hummingbird Gallery

5
nights
Cancun, Mexico

Few destinations in Mexico dazzle visitors quite like Cancun, a modern resort town filled with glitzy hotels sitting on picturesque and well-developed Caribbean beaches.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Cancun: Choco-Story Valladolid (in Valladolid), Cobá Zona Arqueológica Cobá (in Coba) and Playa del Carmen (Scuba & Snorkeling, Zipline, &more). There's lots more to do: browse the different shops at La Isla Shopping Village, delve into the distant past at El Rey Archaeological Zone, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Catedral de la Santisima Trinidad, and kick back and relax at Playa Delfines.

To find reviews, other places to visit, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Cancun trip maker tool.

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Monteverde to Cancun takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Monteverde to Cancun. September in Cancun sees daily highs of 36°C and lows of 28°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Cancun

Outdoors Tours Parks

Side Trips

Playa del Carmen, Choco-Story Valladolid, Cobá Zona Arqueológica Cobá
Find places to stay Sep 24 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Scuba & Snorkeling
Cobá Zona Arqueológica Cobá ©
Cobá Zona Arqueológica Cobá

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