24 days in Cuba & Central America Itinerary

24 days in Cuba & Central America Itinerary

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Route & dates

24 days in Cuba & Central America Itinerary

Start: Zurich, Switzerland
Fly:  14​h
1
Havana, Cuba
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
2
Varadero, Cuba
— 2 nights
Fly:  12​h 30​min
3
Belize City, Belize
— 2 nights
Drive:  15​min
4
San Pedro, Belize
— 3 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  14​h 45​min
5
Vara Blanca, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
6
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 45​min
7
Monteverde, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h
8
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
+2
shuttle + bus + Fly:  6​h
9
Panama City, Panama
— 2 nights
Fly:  20​h 45​min
End: Zurich, Switzerland


Learn more about your trip

3
nights
Havana, Cuba

Havana ©
Cuba's capital and major commercial center, Havana manages to be very old and very modern at the same time.
Havana is known for historic sites, sightseeing, nightlife, museums, and beaches. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: appreciate the extensive heritage of Old Havana, wander the streets of Callejon de Hamel, contemplate the long history of El Morro, and stroll the grounds of Christopher Columbus Cemetery (Cemetario de Colon).

To see maps, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Havana trip generator.

Zurich, Switzerland to Havana is an approximately 14-hour combination of car and flight. You'll gain 6 hours traveling from Zurich to Havana due to the time zone difference. Plan for much warmer temperatures traveling from Zurich in December, with highs in Havana at 32°C and lows at 20°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Varadero.

Things to do in Havana

Historic Sites Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 28 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
Old Havana ©
Old Havana
El Malecon ©
El Malecon
Plaza de la Catedral ©
Plaza de la Catedral

2
nights
Varadero, Cuba

Varadero ©
One of the largest resort towns in the Caribbean, Varadero boasts a 20 km (12 mi) long stretch of sand, lined with hotels and all-inclusive resorts.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Sun): meet the residents at Delfinario, then stroll through Josone Park, and then kick back and relax at Varadero Beach.

To find ratings, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, read our Varadero trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by car from Havana to Varadero takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. In December, daily temperatures in Varadero can reach 32°C, while at night they dip to 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Mon) early enough to travel to Belize City.

Things to do in Varadero

Parks Beaches Outdoors
Find places to stay Dec 31 — Jan 2:
Highlights from your plan
Varadero Beach ©
Varadero Beach
Josone Park ©
Josone Park
Delfinario ©
Delfinario

2
nights
Belize City, Belize

Belize City ©
Belize's biggest urban center, Belize City is a culturally diverse seaside destination.
On the 3rd (Tue), admire nature's wide array of creatures at The Belize Zoo, relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then stop by Diamonds International. Keep things going the next day: identify plant and animal life at Community Baboon Sanctuary and then delve into the distant past at Altun Ha Ruins.

To find photos, reviews, maps, and tourist information, read Belize City travel itinerary creator.

You can do a combination of car and flight from Varadero to Belize City in 12.5 hours. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Varadero to Belize City. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Varadero in January since evenings lows in Belize City dip to 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Wed) to allow enough time to fly to San Pedro.

Things to do in Belize City

Parks Adventure Tours

Side Trips

Belize District, The Belize Zoo
Find places to stay Jan 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
The Belize Zoo ©
The Belize Zoo
Altun Ha ©
Altun Ha
River Rafting & Tubing

3
nights
San Pedro, Belize

San Pedro ©
San Pedro evolved from small fishing village and now represents one of the most visited locations in Belize.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Thu): look for gifts at 12 Belize and then explore the gorgeous colors at Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Keep things going the next day: admire the landmark architecture of Ocean Essence Day Spa, then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and then view the masterpieces at Belizean Melody Art Gallery.

To see photos, traveler tips, maps, and tourist information, refer to the San Pedro holiday planner.

San Pedro is just a short distance from Belize City. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in January, and nighttime lows around 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Sat) so you can travel to Vara Blanca.

Things to do in San Pedro

Wildlife Parks Tours
Find places to stay Jan 4 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Hol Chan Marine Reserve ©
Hol Chan Marine Reserve
Scuba & Snorkeling
Ocean Essence Day Spa ©
Ocean Essence Day Spa

2
nights
Vara Blanca, Costa Rica

Vara Blanca
A vacation in Vara Blanca, located in the heart of Costa Rica, offers excellent access to a number of attractions across the area.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Sun): admire nature's wide array of creatures at Zoo Ave and then get impressive views of Poas Volcano. On your second day here, stop by Souvenir Muy Tranquilo and then take in the dramatic scenery at La Paz Waterfall Gardens.

For more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Vara Blanca trip itinerary maker.

You can do a combination of car and flight from San Pedro to Vara Blanca in 15 hours. Expect slightly colder evenings in Vara Blanca when traveling from San Pedro in January, with lows around 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Mon) to allow time to travel to Manuel Antonio National Park.

Things to do in Vara Blanca

Parks Nature Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Zoo Ave, Poas Volcano, Souvenir Muy Tranquilo
Find places to stay Jan 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Poas Volcano
Poas Volcano
Zoo Ave ©
Zoo Ave
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo ©
Souvenir Muy Tranquilo

2
nights
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio ©
The rainforest meets the sea at Manuel Antonio National Park, a small but scenic natural preserve on the west coast of Costa Rica.
On the 10th (Tue), explore the striking landscape of Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio and then look for gifts at Beso Loco Boutique de Playa. Keep things going the next day: get in on the family fun at Rancho Tipico Don Juan.

For other places to visit, photos, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Manuel Antonio National Park trip generator.

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Vara Blanca to Manuel Antonio National Park in 1.5 hours. Other options are to drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. When traveling from Vara Blanca in January, plan for a bit cooler days in Manuel Antonio National Park, with highs around 30°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Wed) to allow time for the car ride to Monteverde.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Tours Outdoors Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 9 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Rancho Tipico Don Juan ©
Rancho Tipico Don Juan

3
nights
Monteverde, Costa Rica

Monteverde ©
Monteverde is all about natural attractions, not surprising for an eco-tourism hotspot known for its cloud forests and rich diversity of animal life.
You'll find plenty of places to visit near Monteverde: Monteverde Orchid Garden (in Santa Elena) and Viento Fresco Waterfall (in Tilaran).

To see more things to do, maps, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Monteverde vacation trip planner.

You can drive from Manuel Antonio National Park to Monteverde in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Sat) early enough to go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Monteverde

Parks Wildlife Nature

Side Trip

Viento Fresco Waterfall
Find places to stay Jan 11 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Zipline
Santa Elena Skywalk ©
Santa Elena Skywalk

3
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

Set against the backdrop of the imposing Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna de San Carlos offers visitors a chance to explore diverse natural landscapes and sample some delicious local produce.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Sun): take in the natural beauty of Tabacon Hot Springs and then hike along Arenal Natura Ecological Park. On your second day here, admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, and then hike along Ecocentro Danaus.

To find other places to visit, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, read our La Fortuna de San Carlos itinerary planner.

You can drive from Monteverde to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. On the 17th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Panama City.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park
Find places to stay Jan 14 — 17:
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
La Fortuna Waterfall ©
La Fortuna Waterfall

2
nights
Panama City, Panama

Panama City ©
Arguably the most modern of Central American cities, Panama City boasts a shimmering skyline of glass skyscrapers.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Wed): make a trip to Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador) and then don't miss a visit to Panama Canal. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 19th (Thu): get engrossed in the history at Panama Interoceanic Canal Museum, get to know the fascinating history of Casco Viejo, and then hunt for treasures at Mercado de Mariscos.

For where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Panama City trip itinerary builder.

Traveling by car from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Panama City takes 15 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to Eastern Standard Time (EST) is 1 hour. January in Panama City sees daily highs of 38°C and lows of 26°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Panama City

Neighborhoods Historic Sites Shopping
Find places to stay Jan 17 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Panama Canal ©
Panama Canal
Casco Viejo ©
Casco Viejo
Amador Causeway (Calzada de Amador) ©

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