40 days in Mexico & South Padre Island Itinerary

40 days in Mexico & South Padre Island Itinerary

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Drive to Washington Dulles International Airport, Fly to Cancun
1
Cancun, Mexico
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
— 3 nights
Drive
3
Tulum, Mexico
— 2 nights
Drive to Calica, Ferry to Cozumel
4
Cozumel, Mexico
— 3 nights
Ferry to Playa del Carmen, Fly to Oaxaca
5
Oaxaca, Mexico
— 3 nights
Drive
6
Puebla, Mexico
— 3 nights
Shuttle
7
Mexico City, Mexico
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Celaya, Mexico
— 1 day
Drive
9
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
— 2 nights
Drive
10
Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico
— 1 night
Drive
11
Guanajuato, Mexico
— 2 nights
Fly
12
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
— 3 nights
Drive
13
Punta de Mita, Mexico
— 3 nights
Drive to Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport, Fly to Cabo San Lucas
14
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
— 4 nights
Fly
15
South Padre Island, United States
— 3 nights
Drive

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Cancun, Mexico — 2 nights

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.
Kick off your visit on the 1st (Thu): get around town with CARM Tours & Transfers and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: buy something for everyone on your list at La Isla Shopping Village, enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Delfines, then see the interesting displays at Mayan Museum of Cancun, and finally go for a walk through Av Kukulkan.

To see where to stay, ratings, reviews, and tourist information, read our Cancun holiday app.

Aldie, USA to Cancun is an approximately 11-hour combination of car and flight. Traveling from Aldie in September, things will get a bit warmer in Cancun: highs are around 36°C and lows about 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Playa del Carmen.
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Tours · Outdoors · Transportation · Adventure
Find places to stay Sep 1 — 3:

Playa del Carmen, Mexico — 3 nights

The tourist hub of the popular Mayan Riviera, upscale Playa del Carmen remains the jewel of Mexico's Caribbean coastline.
Attractions like Xcaret and Skydiving make great kid-friendly stops. And it doesn't end there: see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, get outside with PDC Kiteboarding School and Water Sports Center, and look for gifts at Vidrio Soplado Mexicano.

To see ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Playa del Carmen day trip planning website.

Drive from Cancun to Playa del Carmen in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In September in Playa del Carmen, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Tue) so you can drive to Tulum.
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Outdoors · Tours · Theme Parks · Wildlife
Find places to stay Sep 3 — 6:

Tulum, Mexico — 2 nights

The only Mayan site built to overlook the ocean, Tulum remains a coastal paradise preserving the last vestiges of a pre-Hispanic civilization.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Wed): explore the fascinating underground world of Gran Cenote, then stroll through Paradise Beach, and then delve into the distant past at Tulum Archaeological Site. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 8th (Thu): explore the ancient world of Zona Arqueologica de Coba and then see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

To find photos, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Tulum trip planner.

Traveling by car from Playa del Carmen to Tulum takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. In September in Tulum, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Thu) early enough to travel to Cozumel.
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Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife
Side Trip
Find places to stay Sep 6 — 8:

Cozumel, Mexico — 3 nights

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.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Fri): head outdoors with Paradise Beach Cozumel, explore the gorgeous colors at Palancar Reef, and then partake in some friendly competition at The Amazing Cozumel Race. Keep things going the next day: get outside with Mr Sanchos Beach Club Cozumel, see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and then relax in the rural setting at Rancho Universo Heal a Horse Cozumel Horse Sanctuary Non-Profit Organization.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Cozumel online trip itinerary builder.

Do a combination of car and ferry from Tulum to Cozumel in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry. In September in Cozumel, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 26°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Oaxaca.
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Outdoors · Wildlife · Tours · Parks
Find places to stay Sep 8 — 11:

Oaxaca, Mexico — 3 nights

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.
Oaxaca is known for museums, sightseeing, and historic sites. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: take in the architecture and atmosphere at Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman, examine the collection at Oaxaca Textile Museum, admire the landmark architecture of Basilica de Nuestra Senora de la Soledad, and don't miss a visit to Zocalo.

To see traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Oaxaca trip itinerary builder website.

Traveling by combination of ferry and flight from Cozumel to Oaxaca takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and car; or do a combination of ferry and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Cozumel to Oaxaca. Traveling from Cozumel in September, expect slightly colder with lows of 18°C in Oaxaca. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 14th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to Puebla.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Shopping · Parks
Side Trip
Find places to stay Sep 11 — 14:

Puebla, Mexico — 3 nights

Recognized as a World Heritage Site thanks to its photogenic colonial buildings, Puebla remains one of Mexico's top destinations for architecture enthusiasts.
Attractions like Puebla Cathedra and Zocalo make great kid-friendly stops. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Puebla: Tonantzintla (in San Andres Cholula), Palacio de Gobierno del Estado de Tlaxcala (in Tlaxcala) and Zona Arqueológica de Cholula (in San Pedro Cholula). And it doesn't end there: examine the collection at Museo Amparo, tour the pleasant surroundings at Museo Viviente, pause for some serene contemplation at Ex-convento de San Francisco de Puebla, and have fun at Estrella De Puebla.

To see where to stay, other places to visit, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Puebla online tour planner.

Traveling by car from Oaxaca to Puebla takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of flight and bus. Traveling from Oaxaca in September, expect Puebla to be a bit cooler, temps between 27°C and 14°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Sat) early enough to catch the shuttle to Mexico City.
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Museums · Historic Sites · Parks · Shopping
Side Trips
Find places to stay Sep 14 — 17:

Mexico City, Mexico — 3 nights

Breathtakingly large, Mexico City provides a home for almost 9 million people living in nearly 1,700 distinct neighborhoods.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Museo Nacional de Antropologia and Museo Frida Kahlo. Step out of Mexico City to go to San Juan Teotihuacan and see Zona Arqueológica de Teotihuacan Estacionamiento Puerta 5, which is approximately 1h 15 min away. There's still lots to do: explore the world behind art at Palacio de Bellas Artes, get to know the fascinating history of Zocalo, indulge in some culinary diversions at a local gastronomic tour, and get a sense of history and politics at National Palace.

For reviews, traveler tips, photos, and other tourist information, read Mexico City tour builder tool.

Traveling by shuttle from Puebla to Mexico City takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. September in Mexico City sees daily highs of 26°C and lows of 16°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Tue) so you can travel to Celaya.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Tours · Neighborhoods
Side Trip
Find places to stay Sep 17 — 20:

Celaya, Mexico — 1 day

Celaya is a city and its surrounding municipality in the state of Guanajuato, Mexico, located in the southeast quadrant of the state. On the 21st (Wed), stroll around Alameda Park, appreciate the history behind San Francisco Bola del Agua, then examine the collection at Museo de Celaya Historia Regional, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Temple of Carmen, and finally admire the natural beauty at Principal Garden.

For ratings, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, go to the Celaya trip builder tool.

Traveling by car from Mexico City to Celaya takes 3.5 hours. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Mexico City in September: highs in Celaya hover around 31°C, while lows dip to 15°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) early enough to drive to San Miguel de Allende.
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Parks · Museums · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Sep 20 — 21:

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico — 2 nights

A relatively small town in central Mexico, relaxed San Miguel de Allede offers an ideal setting for visitors in search of a bit of history and a great deal of photogenic architecture.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Thu): admire the landmark architecture of Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel, pick up a one of a kind souvenir at Fabrica La Aurora, walk around El Charco del Ingenio, then take in the pleasant sights at El Mirador, and finally get to know the fascinating history of El Jardin. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 23rd (Fri): tour the pleasant surroundings at Canada de la Virgen, then see the sky in a new way at Museo de Astronomia Prehispanica, and then get the lay of the land with Walking tours.

To find maps, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our San Miguel de Allende trip website.

You can drive from Celaya to San Miguel de Allende in 1.5 hours. In September, daily temperatures in San Miguel de Allende can reach 31°C, while at night they dip to 15°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 23rd (Fri) early enough to go by car to Dolores Hidalgo.
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Parks · Wildlife · Museums · Tours
Find places to stay Sep 21 — 23:

Dolores Hidalgo, Mexico — 1 night

Kick off your visit on the 24th (Sat): take an in-depth tour of Independence Museum, learn about winemaking at Vinedos Cuna de Tierra, then examine the collection at Casa Museo Jose Alfredo Jimenez, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Church of the Grito, and finally don't miss a visit to Plaza Principal - Jardin del Grande Hidalgo.

To find ratings, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, refer to the Dolores Hidalgo trip planner.

Traveling by car from San Miguel de Allende to Dolores Hidalgo takes an hour. In September in Dolores Hidalgo, expect temperatures between 30°C during the day and 17°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Sat) so you can drive to Guanajuato.
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Museums · Wineries · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Sep 23 — 24:

Guanajuato, Mexico — 2 nights

Recognized as a World Heritage Site, Guanajuato spills over hilly terrain in central Mexico, luring visitors with its pleasant tree-shaded plazas and friendly sidewalk cafes.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Sun): take an in-depth tour of Museo Ex-Hacienda San Gabriel de Barrera, get engrossed in the history at Museo Regional de Guanajuato Alhondiga de Granaditas, then don't miss a visit to Jardin de la Union, then catch a live performance at Teatro Juarez, and finally look for gifts at Dulceria La Catrina. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire the landmark architecture of University of Guanajuato and then appreciate the history behind Monumento al Pipila.

To find traveler tips, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, go to the Guanajuato road trip website.

Drive from Dolores Hidalgo to Guanajuato in an hour. In September, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 17°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Mon) to allow enough time to fly to Puerto Vallarta.
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Museums · Nightlife · Shopping
Find places to stay Sep 24 — 26:

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico — 3 nights

Boasting a coastline made for perfectly framed photographs of romantic sunsets, Puerto Vallarta continuously ranks among the world's top tourist resorts.
Kids will enjoy Malecon Boardwalk and Swim with Dolphins. Go for a jaunt from Puerto Vallarta to Cabo Corrientes to see Vallarta Botanical Gardens about 58 minutes away. Next up on the itinerary: whizz through the canopy at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, take in the exciting artwork at Ro'Wo Galeria, don't miss a visit to Plaza Lazaro Cardenas, and savor the flavors at Food & Drink.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, use the Puerto Vallarta itinerary builder website.

Getting from Guanajuato to Puerto Vallarta by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Guanajuato in September, expect Puerto Vallarta to be somewhat warmer, temps between 36°C and 28°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Punta de Mita.
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Tours · Outdoors · Wildlife · Adventure
Side Trip
Find places to stay Sep 26 — 29:

Punta de Mita, Mexico — 3 nights

Kick off your visit on the 30th (Fri): tee off at Punta Mita Golf Course, play a few rounds at Litibu Golf Course, look for gifts at Art in Amber, then gain a rich perspective with Human Connections, and finally hunt for treasures at La Cruz Market. Keep things going the next day: glide peacefully along the water with some of the best stand-up paddleboarding in the area, head off the coast to Marietas Islands, and then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas.

To see reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our Punta de Mita trip planner.

You can drive from Puerto Vallarta to Punta de Mita in an hour. In September in Punta de Mita, expect temperatures between 36°C during the day and 28°C at night. On the 2nd (Sun), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Cabo San Lucas.
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Tours · Outdoors · Golf · Spas
Side Trips
Find places to stay Sep 29 — Oct 2:

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico — 4 nights

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.
Bring the kids along to Chileno Beach and Whale Shark Encounter by Cabo Adventures. Step out of Cabo San Lucas with an excursion to Adrenaline & Extreme Tours in San Jose del Cabo--about 36 minutes away. There's much more to do: see what you can catch with a fishing tour, meet some fierce fish with a shark diving experience, head outdoors with Cabo Trek, and see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

For more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Cabo San Lucas road trip planning website.

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from Punta de Mita to Cabo San Lucas. The time zone difference when traveling from Punta de Mita to Cabo San Lucas is minus 1 hour. Expect a daytime high around 36°C in October, and nighttime lows around 28°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Thu) to allow enough time to fly to South Padre Island.
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Outdoors · Tours · Wildlife · Parks
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 2 — 6:

South Padre Island, United States — 3 nights

A vibrant resort town, South Padre Island sits on a barrier island of the same name, located just off the Texas Gulf Coast.
Kids will appreciate attractions like South Padre Island Dolphin Research & Sea Life Nature Center and Sea Turtle, Inc.. Venture out of the city with trips to Iwo Jima Memorial & Museum (in Harlingen) and Gladys Porter Zoo (in Brownsville). The adventure continues: stroll through South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour, indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and make a trip to Largest Outdoor Sandcastle in the USA.

For where to stay, photos, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our South Padre Island trip itinerary website.

You can fly from Cabo San Lucas to South Padre Island in 8.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus, ferry, and car; or drive. Traveling from Cabo San Lucas to South Padre Island, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. In October in South Padre Island, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 28°C at night. You'll set off for home on the 10th (Mon).
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Parks · Wildlife · Outdoors · Tours
Side Trips
Find places to stay Oct 7 — 10:

Mexico travel guide

4.5
Ruins · Zipline · Beaches
Tailor-made for anyone seeking that traditional sun-and-sand experience, Mexico vacations allow visitors to explore nearly 10,000 km (6,200 mi) of picturesque coastlines. Idyllic beaches and favorable year-round weather aside, this diverse country with a rich pre-Colombian history allows tourists a chance to discover a fascinating cuisine, numerous archaeological sites, state-of-the-art museums, colonial-era haciendas, and outstanding examples of 21st-century architecture. Most visitors get to know the country by its cities, but if you want a well-rounded Mexico tour, spend some time exploring its jungles, cloud forests, Caribbean reefs, snowcapped volcanoes, vast deserts, and tranquil lagoons. Life is lived outdoors in Mexico, so wherever you go, don't forget to dine alfresco and stroll the country's colonial streets.
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