12 days in United States, Cancun & Playa del Carmen Itinerary

12 days in United States, Cancun & Playa del Carmen Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in United States, Cancun & Playa del Carmen Itinerary

Start: Washington DC, United States
Fly:  4​h 30​min
1
Miami, United States
— 2 nights
Fly:  2​h 30​min
2
Key West, United States
— 3 nights
3
Miami Beach, United States
— 1 night
Fly:  5​h 30​min
4
Cancun, Mexico
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
5
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  10​h 15​min
6
Fort Lauderdale, United States
— 1 night
Fly:  4​h 30​min
End: Washington DC, United States

2
nights
Miami, United States

Miami ©
Florida’s mecca of fun in the sun, the lively tropical metropolis of Miami is one of the world’s top vacation spots.
Kick off your visit on the 26th (Mon): admire the masterpieces at Wynwood Walls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: steep yourself in history at Olympia Theater, then take a stroll through Wynwood, and then contemplate the long history of Coral Castle Museum.

To find maps, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, read our Miami online itinerary creator.

Washington DC to Miami is an approximately 4.5-hour combination of subway, flight, tram, and train. You can also drive; or take a bus. In December, Miami is warmer than Washington DC - with highs of 80°F and lows of 67°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Wed) early enough to travel to Key West.

Things to do in Miami

Museums Parks Nightlife

Side Trip

Coral Castle
Find places to stay Dec 26 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens ©
Vizcaya Museum and Gardens
Wynwood ©
Wynwood
Coral Castle ©
Coral Castle

3
nights
Key West, United States

Key West ©
Located just 140 km (90 mi) from Cuba, Key West is an island only about 6.4 km (4 mi) long and 1.6 km (1 mi) wide.
Kick off your visit on the 29th (Thu): look for all kinds of wild species at Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory, see the interesting displays at The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, then kick back and relax at Fort Zachary Taylor, and finally stroll the grounds of Key West Cemetery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Fri): look for all kinds of wild species at Key West Wildlife Center and then add some adventure to your tour with a kayaking and canoeing tour.

To see maps, other places to visit, photos, and tourist information, go to the Key West vacation builder.

Getting from Miami to Key West by combination of train, tram, flight, and bus takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of train, tram, and shuttle. December in Key West sees daily highs of 79°F and lows of 71°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 31st (Sat) to allow enough time to travel to Miami Beach.

Things to do in Key West

Outdoors Parks Tours
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Fort Zachary Taylor ©
Fort Zachary Taylor
Kayaking & Canoeing
The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum ©

1
night
Miami Beach, United States

Miami Beach ©
Separated by water from the neighboring city of Miami, Miami Beach sits on a barrier island between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
To find traveler tips, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, use the Miami Beach trip planner.

You can do a combination of bus, flight, and tram from Key West to Miami Beach in 3 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of shuttle, tram, and bus. In December in Miami Beach, expect temperatures between 80°F during the day and 67°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Cancun.

Things to do in Miami Beach

Shopping Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 1:
Highlights from your plan
Collins Avenue ©
Collins Avenue

2
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.
On the 1st (Sun), fulfill a lifelong dream with a swim-with-the-dolphins experience, tour the pleasant surroundings at Playa Delfines, then explore the ancient world of El Rey Ruins (Zona Arqueologica El Rey), and finally stop by La Isla Shopping Mall. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To find maps, photos, traveler tips, and tourist information, refer to the Cancun itinerary maker.

You can do a combination of car and flight from Miami Beach to Cancun in 5.5 hours. In January, plan for daily highs up to 80°F, and evening lows to 66°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Tue) early enough to go by car to Playa del Carmen.

Things to do in Cancun

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Swim with Dolphins
La Isla Shopping Village ©
La Isla Shopping Village
Scuba & Snorkeling

1
night
Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Playa del Carmen ©
The tourist hub of the popular Mayan Riviera, upscale Playa del Carmen remains the jewel of Mexico's Caribbean coastline.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Tue): view the masterpieces at Art Gallery Casa Tzutuhil, pause for some serene contemplation at Nuestra Senora del Carmen Catholic Church, and then enjoy the sand and surf at Akumal Beach. On your second day here, whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read Playa del Carmen holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Cancun to Playa del Carmen takes an hour. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. January in Playa del Carmen sees daily highs of 76°F and lows of 63°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) so you can travel to Fort Lauderdale.

Things to do in Playa del Carmen

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Akumal Beach
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Akumal Beach ©
Akumal Beach
Zipline

1
night
Fort Lauderdale, United States

Fort Lauderdale ©
Known as the "Venice of America" because of its extensive network of navigable waterways, Fort Lauderdale welcomes over 10 million annual visitors, most of them attracted by the city's popular beaches and marinas.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Thu): examine the collection at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, examine the collection at Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, and then stroll through Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park.

To see other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read Fort Lauderdale vacation trip planner.

Getting from Playa del Carmen to Fort Lauderdale by combination of car and flight takes about 10.5 hours. In January in Fort Lauderdale, expect temperatures between 75°F during the day and 60°F at night. You will have some time to spend on the 6th (Fri) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Fort Lauderdale

Museums Nature Historic Sites

Side Trips

Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park, Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens
Find places to stay Jan 5 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens ©
Bonnet House Museum and Gardens ©
Bonnet House Museum and Gardens

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