20 days in Mexico Itinerary

20 days in Mexico Itinerary

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Route & dates

20 days in Mexico Itinerary

Start: New York City
bus + Fly:  9​h
1
Puerto Vallarta
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
2
Cabo San Lucas
— 4 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
3
La Paz
— 2 nights
Fly:  4​h 30​min
4
Mexico City
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h
5
Oaxaca
— 1 night
+2
Fly + foot + bus:  7​h
6
Playa del Carmen
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
7
Cozumel
— 3 nights
Fly + bus:  6​h 45​min
End: New York City

3
nights
Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta ©
Boasting a coastline made for perfectly framed photographs of romantic sunsets, Puerto Vallarta continuously ranks among the world's top tourist resorts.
Visit Old Vallarta and Zona Romantica for their historical value. Discover out-of-the-way places like Zipline and Swim with Dolphins. Venture out of the city with trips to Nuevo Vallarta Beach (in Nuevo Vallarta) and Dolphin & Whale Watching (in Sayulita). It doesn't end there: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas and take in the spiritual surroundings of Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

To find reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Puerto Vallarta journey builder site .

New York City, USA to Puerto Vallarta is an approximately 9-hour combination of bus and flight. You can also fly; or drive. Traveling from New York City to Puerto Vallarta, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from New York City in December, expect Puerto Vallarta to be much warmer, temps between 82°F and 66°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 25th (Wed) early enough to travel to Cabo San Lucas.

Things to do in Puerto Vallarta

Outdoors Tours Adventure

Side Trip

Nuevo Vallarta
Find places to stay Dec 22 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Nuevo Vallarta Beach ©
Nuevo Vallarta Beach
Swim with Dolphins
Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe ©
Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe

4
nights
Cabo San Lucas

One of Mexico's premier vacation spots, Cabo San Lucas lures pleasure seekers with its trendy restaurant scene, raucous nightlife, and, of course, picture-perfect beaches.
Step off the beaten path and head to Stand-Up Paddleboarding and Santa Maria Beach. Relax by the water at Playa del Amor and Bay of Cabo San Lucas. There's much more to do: see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, view the masterpieces at La Turquesa Jewelry and Art, relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, and pause for some serene contemplation at Church of Saint Luke.

To find maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Cabo San Lucas trip planning website .

Getting from Puerto Vallarta to Cabo San Lucas by flight takes about 6 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and bus; or drive. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Puerto Vallarta to Cabo San Lucas due to the time zone difference. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Puerto Vallarta in December: highs in Cabo San Lucas hover around 77°F, while lows dip to 65°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) so you can drive to La Paz.

Things to do in Cabo San Lucas

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Shark Diving
Dolphin & Whale Watching
Santa Maria Beach ©
Santa Maria Beach

2
nights
La Paz

It's no coincidence that La Paz means "peace" in Spanish, as this tourist center with a small-town vibe offers a tranquil atmosphere and blissfully pleasant weather throughout the year.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Mon): shop like a local with Caktu Souvenirs, then enjoy the sand and surf at Balandra Beach, and then see what you can catch with a fishing tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 31st (Tue): make a trip to Malecon and then get up close to creatures of the deep with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To find where to stay, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, use the La Paz day trip website .

Drive from Cabo San Lucas to La Paz in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Cabo San Lucas in December since evenings lows in La Paz dip to 59°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Tue) early enough to travel to Mexico City.

Things to do in La Paz

Outdoors Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Fishing Charters & Tours
Balandra Beach ©
Balandra Beach
Dolphin & Whale Watching

3
nights
Mexico City

Mexico City ©
Breathtakingly large, Mexico City provides a home for almost 9 million people living in nearly 1,700 distinct neighborhoods.
Museo Nacional de Antropologia and Palacio de Bellas Artes are good opportunities to explore the local culture. Discover out-of-the-way places like Zona Arqueológica de Teotihuacan Estacionamiento Puerta 5 and Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana). There's lots more to do: explore the ancient world of Museo del Templo Mayor, see the interesting displays at Museo Frida Kahlo, delve into the lush surroundings at Bosque de Chapultepec, and take in the exciting artwork at Arto Otra.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, read Mexico City trip itinerary planning website .

You can fly from La Paz to Mexico City in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and flight; or drive. The time zone changes from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a 1 hour difference. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from La Paz in December; daily highs in Mexico City reach 72°F and lows reach 47°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to travel to Oaxaca.

Things to do in Mexico City

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trip

Zona Arqueológica de Teotihuacan Estacionamiento Puerta 5
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 3:
Highlights from your plan
Chapultepec Castle ©
Chapultepec Castle
Palacio de Bellas Artes ©
Palacio de Bellas Artes

1
night
Oaxaca

Oaxaca ©
Capital city of the eponymous state, Oaxaca relies heavily on its colonial charm, its core a maze of tree-shaded alleys flanked by photogenic mansions, government buildings, and old churches.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Sat): explore the world behind art at Rufino Tamayo Museum of Pre-Hispanic Art, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman, then examine the collection at Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Monte Alban.

For reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Oaxaca trip itinerary planner .

You can fly from Mexico City to Oaxaca in 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a shuttle. When traveling from Mexico City in January, plan for a bit warmer days in Oaxaca, with highs around 82°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 48°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sat) early enough to travel to Playa del Carmen.

Things to do in Oaxaca

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Jan 3 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Monte Alban ©
Monte Alban
Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman ©
Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman
Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca ©
Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca

2
nights
Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen ©
The tourist hub of the popular Mayan Riviera, upscale Playa del Carmen remains the jewel of Mexico's Caribbean coastline.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Tulum Archaeological Site and Cobá Zona Arqueológica Cobá. Step out of the city life by going to Scuba & Snorkeling and LabnaHa Cenotes & Eco Park. Go for a jaunt from Playa del Carmen to Tulum to see Gran Cenote about 1 hour away. It doesn't end there: indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To see where to stay, photos, more things to do, and tourist information, read Playa del Carmen online vacation planner .

Traveling by combination of flight and bus from Oaxaca to Playa del Carmen takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and ferry; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from Oaxaca to Playa del Carmen. Traveling from Oaxaca in January, expect a bit warmer with lows of 66°F in Playa del Carmen. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) to allow enough time to drive to Cozumel.

Things to do in Playa del Carmen

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Tulum, Cobá Zona Arqueológica Cobá
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Tulum Archaeological Site ©
Tulum Archaeological Site
Scuba & Snorkeling
Cobá Zona Arqueológica Cobá ©
Cobá Zona Arqueológica Cobá

3
nights
Cozumel

Cozumel ©
Thanks to the island's outstanding scuba diving and snorkeling options, Cozumel tourism sector remains a major employer and the main source of income for this Caribbean getaway.
Escape the urban bustle at Scuba & Snorkeling and Punta Sur Eco Beach Park. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Palancar Reef and Santa Rosa Wall. The adventure continues: see what you can catch with a fishing tour, admire the masterpieces at Galo Art Studio, tour the depths of the sea with a submarine tour, and delve into the distant past at Zona Arqueológica del Cedral.

To find ratings, maps, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Cozumel day trip planning site .

Traveling by car from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel takes 2 hours. January in Cozumel sees daily highs of 78°F and lows of 66°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Cozumel

Wildlife Outdoors Tours
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Santa Rosa Wall ©
Santa Rosa Wall
Palancar Reef ©
Palancar Reef
Punta Sur Eco Beach Park ©
Punta Sur Eco Beach Park

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