18 days in Central America Itinerary

18 days in Central America Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Central America visit planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Guatemala City, Guatemala
— 3 nights
Bus
2
San Salvador, El Salvador
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Choluteca, Honduras
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Managua, Nicaragua
— 2 nights
Drive
5
San Jose, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Bus
6
Panama City, Panama
— 2 nights
Fly

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Guatemala City, Guatemala — 3 nights

Guate

The largest city in Central America and the country's capital, Guatemala City contains historic sights and modern businesses.
Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Guatemala City: Antigua (Casa Santo Domingo Museums, Arco de Santa Catalina, &more). There's still lots to do: get to know the resident critters at La Aurora Zoo, take in the spiritual surroundings of La Merced, contemplate the long history of Palacio Nacional, and hunt for treasures at Mercado Central.

To see where to stay, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Guatemala City day trip planning tool.

San Francisco, USA to Guatemala City is an approximately 10.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of subway, train, bus, and taxi. You'll lose 2 hours traveling from San Francisco to Guatemala City due to the time zone difference. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from San Francisco in November, with highs in Guatemala City at 74°F and lows at 59°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) early enough to fly to San Salvador.
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Museums · Historic Sites · Shopping · Parks
Side Trip
Find places to stay Nov 4 — 7:

San Salvador, El Salvador — 2 nights

The country's capital, San Salvador sits in a scenic position surrounded by impressive volcanoes.
Venture out of the city with trips to Lake Coatepeque (in Coatepeque) and Santa Ana Volcano (in Santa Ana). And it doesn't end there: identify plant and animal life at Cinquera Rain Forest Park, take in nature's colorful creations at Jardin Botanico La Laguna, pause for some photo ops at The Monunment of Memory and truth, and take in the spiritual surroundings of Catedral Metropolitana.

To find other places to visit, photos, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the San Salvador trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Guatemala City to San Salvador takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Guatemala City in November: high temperatures in San Salvador hover around 86°F and lows are around 67°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Thu) to allow time for the car ride to Choluteca.
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Parks · Nature · Historic Sites · Museums
Side Trips
Find places to stay Nov 6 — 9:

Choluteca, Honduras — 3 nights

Choluteca is a municipality and the capital city of the Honduran department of the same name. Choluteca is known for historic sites. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: pause for some serene contemplation at Iglesia Catedral.

For more things to do, reviews, ratings, and tourist information, use the Choluteca online itinerary planner.

Drive from San Salvador to Choluteca in 5.5 hours. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from San Salvador in November, with highs in Choluteca at 93°F and lows at 74°F. You'll set off for Managua on the 12th (Sun).
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Historic Sites
Find places to stay Nov 9 — 12:
Highlights from your trip

Managua, Nicaragua — 2 nights

Bride of Xolotlan

Nicaragua's largest and capital city, Managua remains relatively unknown as a tourist destination, though it boasts a scenic location on the southwestern shore of the Xolotlan Lake.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Mon): make a trip to Loma de Tiscapa, then pause for some serene contemplation at Santiago of Managua Cathedral, then make a trip to Puerto Salvador Allende, and finally walk around Parque Central. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Tue): pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral de Granada and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia de La Merced.

For reviews, photos, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Managua visit planner.

Getting from Choluteca to Managua by car takes about 4 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can drive to San Jose.
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Historic Sites · Parks
Side Trip
Find places to stay Nov 12 — 14:

San Jose, Costa Rica — 3 nights

A trip to San Jose, the capital, commercial center, and cultural hub of Costa Rica, gives you a chance to experience the lively atmosphere and rich cultural past of this vibrant country.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near San Jose: Jardins da Cachoeira de La Paz (in Vara Blanca) and Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center (in Alajuela). There's still lots to do: examine the collection at Pre-Columbian Gold Museum, take an in-depth tour of Jade Museum, explore the world behind art at Museo de Arte Costarricense, and hit the best photo ops around with an inspiring photography tour.

To find more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and tourist information, you can read our San Jose online road trip planner.

You can drive from Managua to San Jose in 7 hours. In November, daily temperatures in San Jose can reach 79°F, while at night they dip to 66°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) early enough to fly to Panama City.
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Museums · Parks · Tours · Nature
Side Trips
Find places to stay Nov 14 — 17:

Panama City, Panama — 2 nights

Dubai of Latin America

Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Panama City is known for sightseeing, historic sites, and shopping. Your trip includes some of its best attractions: make a trip to Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador), take a stroll through Cinta Costera, take an in-depth tour of Museo del Canal Interoceanico de Panama, and get great views at Ancon Hill.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Panama City road trip planning site.

You can fly from San Jose to Panama City in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 1 hour traveling from San Jose to Panama City. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from San Jose in November: high temperatures in Panama City hover around 86°F and lows are around 76°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Mon) to allow enough time to fly back home.
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Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Parks · Nature
Find places to stay Nov 17 — 20:

Guatemala travel guide

4.5
Landmarks · Volcanos · Ruins
Land of Eternal Spring
Offering a chance to discover a rich history, remarkable landscapes, and a vibrant culture, a holiday in Guatemala remains a great choice for a wide range of travelers. The heart of the Maya civilization, Guatemala boasts stunning ancient ruins and traditional villages that blend with the Spanish heritage of the colonial-era and its stately cathedrals and town halls. While the cities boast splendid architecture and cultural heritage, they make up a small percentage of the mountainous Guatemalan landscape. Adventurous travelers and nature lovers will have plenty of things to do in Guatemala, from boating on the rushing rivers and scenic lakes, to exploring caves, picturesque beaches, and lush national parks.
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El Salvador travel guide

4.3
National Parks · Churches · Ruins
El Salvador, the smallest country in Central America, has plenty of historical and natural attractions to explore on a rich and varied itinerary. The coastal beaches attract surfers and sunbathers, while the main towns showcase colonial and indigenous cultures in their traditions, architecture, cuisine, and historical sites. Tourism in El Salvador has been stuttering for decades, first because of the Salvadoran Civil War, and now because of gang-related activities and a high crime rate. The vast majority of the country, however, remains unspoiled by the narrative that dominates international headlines. Travelers looking for an off-the-beaten-track destination, with natural and manmade highlights uncluttered by tourists and overdevelopment, find such a place in El Salvador.
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