29 days in South America, Mexico & Central America Itinerary

29 days in South America, Mexico & Central America Itinerary

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Route & dates

29 days in South America, Mexico & Central America Itinerary

Start: Wellington, New Zealand
Fly:  29​h
1
La Paz, Bolivia
— 2 nights
Fly + taxi:  3​h 45​min
2
Uyuni, Bolivia
— 3 nights
Drive + Fly:  11​h 15​min
3
Lima, Peru
— 2 nights
4
Cusco, Peru
— 2 nights
+2
bus + foot + train:  3​h
5
Machu Picchu, Peru
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  13​h
6
Lima, Peru
— 1 night
Fly:  10​h
7
Cancun, Mexico
— Few hours
+3
Fly + shuttle + foot + ferry:  6​h 45​min
8
Caye Caulker, Belize
— 3 nights
ferry + bus:  16​h 15​min
9
Guatemala City, Guatemala
— 3 nights
+2
Fly + shuttle + bus:  11​h 15​min
10
Tulum, Mexico
— 3 nights
+2
bus + foot + Fly:  28​h
End: Wellington, New Zealand

2
nights
La Paz, Bolivia

La Paz
Take a moment to catch your breath as you commence your holiday in La Paz.
To see more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, read La Paz driving holiday planner.

Wellington, New Zealand to La Paz is an approximately 29-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Wellington to La Paz is minus 16 hours. Traveling from Wellington in November, expect slightly colder with lows of 2°C in La Paz. On the 20th (Wed), you're off toUyuni.

Things to do in La Paz

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Nov 18 — 20:

3
nights
Uyuni, Bolivia

Uyuni ©
Emptiness surrounds the desert outpost of Uyuni, the gateway to the world's largest salt flats.
Take a break from the city and head to Isla Incahuasi and Tunupa Volcano. You'll discover tucked-away gems like Nature & Wildlife Tours and Plaza Arce. Step out of Uyuni with an excursion to Museo de la Llama y la Sal in Colchani--about 1h 15 min away. The adventure continues: take in the dramatic natural features at Salar de Uyuni, get a new perspective on nature at Museo Arquecologia y Antropologico de los Andes Meridionales, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia San Cristobal Lipez.

To see other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Uyuni travel route planner .

Getting from La Paz to Uyuni by combination of flight and taxi takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from La Paz in November, you will find days in Uyuni are little chillier (12°C), and nights are somewhat warmer (11°C). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 24th (Sun) early enough to travel to Puerto Maldonado.

Things to do in Uyuni

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Museo de la Llama y la Sal
Find places to stay Nov 20 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Salar de Uyuni ©
Salar de Uyuni
Isla Incahuasi ©
Isla Incahuasi
Nature & Wildlife Tours

2
nights
Lima, Peru

Lima ©
Founded in 1535 by Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro, Lima represents an interesting blend of modern attractions and preserved colonial architecture, much of it clustered in the World Heritage-listed city center.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Mon): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Church and Sanctuary of Saint Rose of Lima, fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Marcahuasi. Keep things going the next day: contemplate in the serene atmosphere at San Pedro Church (Iglesia de San Pedro), explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte de Lima - MALI, then admire the masterpieces at Museo MATE, then take a stroll through San Isidro, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the top local wellness centers.

For ratings, photos, maps, and other tourist information, read Lima trip builder site .

Do a combination of car and flight from Uyuni to Lima in 11.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of car and bus. The time zone difference moving from Bolivia Time to Peru Time is minus 1 hour. When traveling from Uyuni in November, plan for warmer days and somewhat warmer nights in Lima: temperatures range from 26°C by day to 20°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Wed) early enough to travel to Cusco.

Things to do in Lima

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Find places to stay Nov 24 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Marcahuasi ©
Marcahuasi
Parasailing & Paragliding
MALI - Museo de Arte de Lima ©
MALI - Museo de Arte de Lima

2
nights
Cusco, Peru

Capital of the Inca Empire for three centuries, World Heritage-listed Cusco is now a major tourist destination, drawing nearly 2 million annual tourists with its well-preserved colonial architecture and proximity to Machu Picchu.
On the 27th (Wed), hunt for treasures at Mercado Central de San Pedro, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, then pause for some serene contemplation at The Company of Jesus Church, and finally explore the world behind art at Museo Maximo Laura. On the 28th (Thu), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, then delve into the distant past at Q'enqo, then look for all kinds of wild species at Santuario Animal de Cochahuasi, and finally delve into the distant past at Tambomachay.

To find ratings, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, refer to the Cusco attractions planner .

You can fly from Lima to Cusco in 3.5 hours. Other options are to take a bus; or drive. Traveling from Lima in November, Cusco is a bit cooler at night with lows of 8°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 29th (Fri) to allow time to travel to Machu Picchu.

Things to do in Cusco

Tours Outdoors Adventure
Find places to stay Nov 27 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Horseback Riding Tours
Q'enqo ©
Q'enqo

1
night
Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu Picchu ©
A symbol of the Incan civilization, the abandoned city of Machu Picchu represents a must-see on a Peru vacation.
On the 29th (Fri), take in the natural beauty of Banos Termales de Cocalmayo. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the awesome beauty at Phutuq K'usi, admire the natural beauty at Los Jardines de Mandor, and then snap pictures at Inca Bridge.

To find more things to do, photos, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Machu Picchu road trip tool .

Traveling by combination of bus and train from Cusco to Machu Picchu takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Sat) so you can travel to Lima.

Things to do in Machu Picchu

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Inca Bridge, Banos Termales de Cocalmayo
Find places to stay Nov 29 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Phutuq K'usi ©
Phutuq K'usi
Los Jardines de Mandor ©
Los Jardines de Mandor
Inca Bridge ©
Inca Bridge

1
night
Lima, Peru

Start off your visit on the 1st (Sun): examine the collection at National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History, then test your problem-solving skills at popular escape rooms, and then ponder the design of Circuito Magico del Agua. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 2nd (Mon): take in the spiritual surroundings of Iglesia de Jesus, Maria y Jose and then get outside with Outdoor Activities.

For where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, refer to the Lima trip itinerary planner.

You can do a combination of car and flight from Machu Picchu to Lima in 13 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Mon) early enough to travel to Cancun.

Things to do in Lima

Wildlife Tours Outdoors
Find places to stay Nov 30 — Dec 2:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Room Escape Games
Iglesia de Jesus, Maria y Jose ©
Iglesia de Jesus, Maria y Jose

few
hours
Cancun, Mexico

Cancun
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.
To see where to stay, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Cancun trip itinerary website .

Traveling by flight from Lima to Cancun takes 10 hours. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Lima in December: highs in Cancun hover around 32°C, while lows dip to 24°C. On the 5th (Thu), you'll travel to Caye Caulker.

Things to do in Cancun

Tours Outdoors Wildlife
Find places to stay Dec 2 — 3:

3
nights
Caye Caulker, Belize

Caye Caulker ©
At just under 8 km (5 mi) long and 1.6 km (1 mi) wide, the limestone coral island of Caye Caulker offers a small but perfectly formed getaway 32 km (20 mi) offshore from Belize City.
Get outdoors at The Estuary of Caye Caulker and Fishing Charters & Tours. Discover out-of-the-way places like Turneffe Reef and Aria Kat Art. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Caye Caulker: Belize City (The Belize Sign Monument & Museum of Belize). Next up on the itinerary: look for gifts at Little Blue Gift Shop, kick back and relax at The Split, soothe aching muscles at some of the top local wellness centers, and shop like a local with Red Flower Gallery.

For more things to do, ratings, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Caye Caulker road trip app .

Traveling by combination of flight, shuttle, and ferry from Cancun to Caye Caulker takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and ferry. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect a daytime high around 33°C in December, and nighttime lows around 26°C. You'll have a few hours on the 6th (Fri) to wrap things up before traveling to Guatemala City.

Things to do in Caye Caulker

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trip

Belize City
Find places to stay Dec 3 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
The Split ©
The Split
Turneffe Reef ©
Turneffe Reef
Fishing Charters & Tours

3
nights
Guatemala City, Guatemala

Guatemala City ©
The largest city in Central America and the country's capital, Guatemala City contains historic sights and modern businesses.
Escape the urban bustle at Valhalla Experimental Station and Caoba Farms. Discover out-of-the-way places like Food Tours and Oakland Mall. Venture out of the city with trips to La Azotea (in Jocotenango) and Antigua (Convento Santa Clara, Casa del Jade, & more). The adventure continues: get a sense of history and politics at Edificio de Correos Central, see the interesting displays at Museo Ixchel del Traje Indigena, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at La Merced.

To find ratings, reviews, maps, and tourist information, read Guatemala City attractions website .

You can do a combination of ferry and bus from Caye Caulker to Guatemala City in 16.5 hours. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Caye Caulker in December, with highs in Guatemala City at 27°C and lows at 15°C. You will have some time to spend on the 10th (Tue) before leaving for Tulum.

Things to do in Guatemala City

Shopping Museums Historic Sites

Side Trips

Antigua, La Azotea, Valhalla Experimental Station
Find places to stay Dec 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Caoba Farms ©
Caoba Farms
Food Tours
Valhalla Experimental Station ©
Valhalla Experimental Station

3
nights
Tulum, Mexico

The only Mayan site built to overlook the ocean, Tulum remains a coastal paradise preserving the last vestiges of a pre-Hispanic civilization.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Mayan Beach and Aktun Chen. Get in touch with nature at Climbing Tours and Cenote Azul. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Tulum: Scuba & Snorkeling (in Akumal) and La Playa Xpuha (in Xpu-Ha). And it doesn't end there: identify plant and animal life at LabnaHa Cenotes & Eco Park, take an in-depth tour of Museo de la Prehistoria Parque Dos Ojos, head outdoors with Cenote Tak Be Ha, and stop by La Llorona.

To find where to stay, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Tulum road trip app .

You can do a combination of flight, shuttle, and bus from Guatemala City to Tulum in 11.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, car, and bus; or drive. Traveling from Guatemala City to Tulum, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Guatemala City in December, expect Tulum to be somewhat warmer, temps between 31°C and 23°C. On the 14th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Tulum

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Akumal, La Playa Xpuha, Cenote Azul
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Climbing Tours
La Playa Xpuha ©
La Playa Xpuha
Scuba & Snorkeling

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