24 days in Cuba, Mexico & Costa Rica Itinerary

24 days in Cuba, Mexico & Costa Rica Itinerary

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Route & dates

Start: Zurich, Switzerland
Fly:  15 h
1
Varadero, Cuba
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h
2
Havana, Cuba
— 3 nights
Fly:  4 h 30 min
3
Chichen Itza, Mexico
— 1 night
Drive:  2 h
4
Tulum, Mexico
— 3 nights
+2
Bus + Ferry + Taxi:  2 h 30 min
5
Cozumel, Mexico
— 2 nights
Fly:  5 h 30 min
6
Mexico City, Mexico
— 3 nights
Fly:  4 h 30 min
7
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
— 4 nights
Fly:  20 h
8
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
— 1 night
Drive:  1 h 30 min
9
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 3 nights
Fly:  18 h 30 min
End: Zurich, Switzerland

1
night
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.
To find reviews, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, use the Varadero trip site.

Zurich, Switzerland to Varadero is an approximately 13.5-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 6 hours traveling from Zurich to Varadero. Prepare for much warmer weather when traveling from Zurich in January: high temperatures in Varadero hover around 30°C and lows are around 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Sat) to allow time to drive to Havana.

Things to do in Varadero

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Cayos Blancos
Find places to stay Jan 22 — 23:
Highlights from your plan
Varadero Beach ©
Varadero Beach
Cayos Blancos ©
Cayos Blancos
Delfinario ©
Delfinario

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.
Get a sense of the local culture at Malecón of Havana and Old Havana. Visit Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana and Castillo de la Real Fuerza for their historical value. The adventure continues: take an in-depth tour of Museum of the Revolution (Museo de la Revolucion), don't miss a visit to Plaza de Armas, see the interesting displays at Wifredo Lam Center, and steep yourself in history at El Morro.

To see traveler tips, ratings, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Havana route planner.

Drive from Varadero to Havana in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of taxi and train. In January, plan for daily highs up to 30°C, and evening lows to 19°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 26th (Tue) early enough to travel to Chichen Itza.

Things to do in Havana

Historic Sites Museums
Find places to stay Jan 23 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Old Havana ©
Old Havana
Malecón of Havana ©
Malecón of Havana
Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana ©
Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana

1
night
Chichen Itza, Mexico

Chichen Itza ©
Featuring the largest archeological site of the ancient Mayan civilization, Chichen Itza remains one of the most visited tourist destinations in Mexico.
Start off your visit on the 27th (Wed): delve into the distant past at Chichen Itza and then explore the fascinating underground world of Cenote Yokdzonot.

To see ratings, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, use the Chichen Itza tour itinerary app.

Getting from Havana to Chichen Itza by flight takes about 6.5 hours. Traveling from Havana in January, Chichen Itza is somewhat warmer at night with lows of 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Wed) early enough to go by car to Tulum.

Things to do in Chichen Itza

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trip

Cenote Yokdzonot
Find places to stay Jan 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Chichen Itza ©
Chichen Itza
Cenote Yokdzonot ©
Cenote Yokdzonot

3
nights
Tulum, Mexico

Tulum ©
The only Mayan site built to overlook the ocean, Tulum remains a coastal paradise preserving the last vestiges of a pre-Hispanic civilization.
Step out of the city life by going to Xel-Ha Park by Xcaret and Akumal Beach. Get some cultural insight at Tulum Archaeological Site and Art Gallery Miniature. The adventure continues: kick back and relax at Paradise Beach and Head underground at Gran Cenote.

For ratings, photos, and other tourist information, use the Tulum trip planner.

You can drive from Chichen Itza to Tulum in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or take a bus. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Chichen Itza in January; daily highs in Tulum reach 30°C and lows reach 22°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 30th (Sat) early enough to travel to Cozumel.

Things to do in Tulum

Outdoors Parks Beaches

Side Trips

Akumal Beach, Xel-Ha Park by Xcaret
Find places to stay Jan 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Tulum Archaeological Site ©
Tulum Archaeological Site
Xel-Ha Park by Xcaret ©
Xel-Ha Park by Xcaret
Paradise Beach ©
Paradise Beach

2
nights
Cozumel, Mexico

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.
On the 31st (Sun), get outside with Outdoor Activities. Keep things going the next day: enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Palancar.

To see other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Cozumel online day trip planner.

Traveling by combination of bus and taxi from Tulum to Cozumel takes 3.5 hours. In January, daily temperatures in Cozumel can reach 30°C, while at night they dip to 22°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Mon) early enough to travel to Mexico City.

Things to do in Cozumel

Outdoors Tours Wildlife
Find places to stay Jan 30 — Feb 1:
Highlights from your plan
Scuba & Snorkeling
Playa Palancar ©
Playa Palancar

3
nights
Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City ©
Breathtakingly large, Mexico City provides a home for almost 9 million people living in nearly 1,700 distinct neighborhoods.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Museo Nacional de Antropologia and Zona Arqueológica de Teotihuacan Estacionamiento Puerta 5. Zocalo and Museo del Templo Mayor will appeal to history buffs. There's much more to do: see the interesting displays at Museo Frida Kahlo, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Metropolitan Cathedral (Catedral Metropolitana), explore the historical opulence of Chapultepec Castle, and steep yourself in history at Basilica de Santa Maria de Guadalupe.

To find where to stay, photos, ratings, and tourist information, go to the Mexico City road trip website.

You can fly from Cozumel to Mexico City in 4.5 hours. Another option is to do a combination of taxi and bus. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Prepare for slightly colder weather when traveling from Cozumel in February: high temperatures in Mexico City hover around 28°C and lows are around 10°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Cabo San Lucas.

Things to do in Mexico City

Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Zona Arqueológica de Teotihuacan Estacionamiento Puerta 5
Find places to stay Feb 1 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Museo Nacional de Antropologia ©
Museo Nacional de Antropologia
Zocalo
Zocalo

4
nights
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

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.
Take a break from the city and head to El Arco de Cabo San Lucas and Playa Palmilla (Palmilla Beach). Relax by the water at Playa del Amor and Santa Maria Beach. There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Chileno Beach, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church of Saint Luke, and look for gifts at Arte de Origen.

To find reviews, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Cabo San Lucas travel route planning website.

Traveling by flight from Mexico City to Cabo San Lucas takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Mexico City to Cabo San Lucas is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Mexico City in February, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Cabo San Lucas, with lows around 21°C. On the 8th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Manuel Antonio.

Things to do in Cabo San Lucas

Parks Outdoors Beaches

Side Trip

Playa Palmilla (Palmilla Beach)
Find places to stay Feb 4 — 8:
Highlights from your plan
Chileno Beach ©
Chileno Beach
El Arco de Cabo San Lucas ©
El Arco de Cabo San Lucas
Playa del Amor ©
Playa del Amor

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Tue): enjoy the sand and surf at Playa Manuel Antonio. On the next day, enjoy the sand and surf at Playas Gemelas and then stroll through Playa Biesanz.

To see photos, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, go to the Manuel Antonio day trip planning tool.

Traveling by flight from Cabo San Lucas to Manuel Antonio takes 14.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Cabo San Lucas to Manuel Antonio due to the time zone difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Wed) to allow enough time to drive to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Manuel Antonio

Parks Outdoors Beaches
Find places to stay Feb 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Playa Manuel Antonio ©
Playa Manuel Antonio
Playas Gemelas ©
Playas Gemelas
Playa Biesanz ©
Playa Biesanz

3
nights
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

La Fortuna de San Carlos ©
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Tabacon Hot Springs and Arenal Volcano. And it doesn't end there: let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour, admire the sheer force of La Fortuna Waterfall, and trot along with Arenal Wilberth Stables.

To see where to stay, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, use the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary builder site.

Getting from Manuel Antonio to La Fortuna de San Carlos by car takes about 4.5 hours. Other options: take a shuttle; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Sat) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Parks Nature Spas

Side Trip

Arenal Volcano
Find places to stay Feb 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Tabacon Hot Springs ©
Tabacon Hot Springs
Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano
River Rafting & Tubing

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