17 days in Central America, South America & Africa Itinerary

17 days in Central America, South America & Africa Itinerary

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Route & dates

Start: Los Angeles, United States
Fly:  9 h 45 min
1
Panama City, Panama
— 2 nights
Bus:  3 h
2
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive:  4 h 45 min
3
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  10 h 30 min
4
Barranquilla, Colombia
— 1 night
Fly:  30 h
5
Johannesburg, South Africa
— 3 nights
Fly:  3 h
6
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
— 2 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Bus:  30 h
End: Los Angeles, United States

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 21st (Tue): cast your line with a fishing tour, thencontemplate in the serene atmosphere at Bahai Temple, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Iglesia del Carmen. Here are some ideas for day two: buy something for everyone on your list at Multiplaza Pacific, take in the spiritual surroundings of Iglesia de San José, and then get to know the fascinating history of Casco Viejo.

To see photos, more things to do, reviews, and other tourist information, use the Panama City trip itinerary planning app.

Los Angeles, USA to Panama City is an approximately 10.5-hour flight. You can also drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Los Angeles to Panama City is 3 hours. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Panama City when traveling from Los Angeles in July, with lows around 77°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 22nd (Wed) early enough to travel to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca.

Things to do in Panama City

Historic Sites Wildlife Tours
Find places to stay Jul 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Bahai Temple ©
Bahai Temple
Casco Viejo ©
Casco Viejo
Fishing Charters & Tours

2
nights
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

Puerto Viejo de Talamanca ©
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca offers a wealth of entertainment by the sea, attracting a lively international crowd of revelers while maintaining a bright and breezy coastal charm with a local feel.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Thu): browse the fresh offerings at La Feria Legendaria de Playa Chiquita, thenkick back and relax at Playa Cocles, and then kick back and relax at Punta Uva Beach. On the 24th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: stop by Caribeans Coffee & Chocolate, stroll through Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens, and then admire the natural beauty at Finca La Isla.

To find other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, refer to the Puerto Viejo de Talamanca online tour itinerary planner.

Take a bus from Panama City to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and car. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is minus 1 hour. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can go by car to La Fortuna de San Carlos.

Things to do in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trip

Tree of Life Wildlife Rescue Center and Botanical Gardens
Find places to stay Jul 22 — 24:
Highlights from your plan
Punta Uva Beach ©
Punta Uva Beach
Playa Cocles ©
Playa Cocles

2
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.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Sat): trek along Arenal Natura Ecological Park, tour the pleasant surroundings at Butterfly Conservatory, and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at La Fortuna Waterfall, browse the exhibits of Wood & Art Gallery, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Wildlife Areas.

To see reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the La Fortuna de San Carlos trip itinerary app.

Drive from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to La Fortuna de San Carlos in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and car; or take a bus. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Barranquilla.

Things to do in La Fortuna de San Carlos

Wildlife Outdoors Tours

Side Trip

Butterfly Conservatory
Find places to stay Jul 24 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Butterfly Conservatory ©
Butterfly Conservatory
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Arenal Natura Ecological Park ©
Arenal Natura Ecological Park

1
night
Barranquilla, Colombia

Barranquilla ©
An industrial port city on Colombia's Caribbean coast, Barranquilla represents the fourth-most populous city in the country.
On the 27th (Mon), contemplate the long history of Castillo de Salgar and then don't miss a visit to Plaza de la Paz - John Paul II. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the spiritual surroundings of Mormon Temple, pause for some serene contemplation at Catedral Metropolitana Maria Reina, thenexamine the collection at Museo del Caribe, and finally buy something for everyone on your list at Centro Comercial Buenavista.

For other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, read our Barranquilla trip planner.

The Route module can help you plan travel from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Barranquilla. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from La Fortuna de San Carlos to Barranquilla due to the time zone difference. In July, daily temperatures in Barranquilla can reach 92°F, while at night they dip to 77°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 28th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel to Johannesburg.

Things to do in Barranquilla

Historic Sites Shopping Museums

Side Trip

Puerto Colombia
Find places to stay Jul 27 — 28:
Highlights from your plan
Castillo de Salgar ©
Castillo de Salgar
Museo del Caribe ©
Museo del Caribe
Catedral Metropolitana Maria Reina ©
Catedral Metropolitana Maria Reina

3
nights
Johannesburg, South Africa

Johannesburg ©
Founded when gold was discovered in the area in the late 19th century, Johannesburg quickly grew into a bustling metropolis, South Africa's largest city and the region's economic hub.
Head to I was shot in Joburg and Mpho Art & Design Housefor plenty of shopping. Let the collections at Lesedi Cultural Village and Liliesleaf capture your imagination. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Johannesburg: Brits (Ukutula Conservation Center & Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre), Sterkfontein Cave (in Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site) and Union Buildings (in Pretoria). There's more to do: get a dose of the wild on a nature and wildlife tour and take in the exciting artwork at Jo Anke Gallery.

Plan a Johannesburg trip in moments using our itinerary builder.

Explore your travel options from Barranquilla to Johannesburg with the Route module. Due to the time zone difference, you'll lose 7 hours traveling from Barranquilla to Johannesburg. Prepare for cooler weather when traveling from Barranquilla in July: high temperatures in Johannesburg hover around 67°F and lows are around 40°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sun) so you can travel to Victoria Falls.

Things to do in Johannesburg

Wildlife Parks Museums

Side Trips

Brits, Sterkfontein Cave, Liliesleaf, Lesedi Cultural Village, Union Buildings
Find places to stay Jul 30 — Aug 2:
Highlights from your plan
Ukutula Conservation Center ©
Ukutula Conservation Center
Liliesleaf ©
Liliesleaf
Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre ©
Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre

2
nights
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls ©
Victoria Falls, a Zimbabwean town near the eponymous waterfall, serves as one of two prime gateway points to the majestic cascade and its surrounding national park.
On the 3rd (Mon), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls National Park and then explore the galleries of Prime Art Gallery. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 4th (Tue): relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, thenget to know the resident critters at Victoria Falls Snake Park, and then discover the deep blue sea with a scuba or snorkeling tour.

For ratings, other places to visit, maps, and more tourist information, read our Victoria Falls day trip tool.

You can fly from Johannesburg to Victoria Falls in 6 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. In August, Victoria Falls is somewhat warmer than Johannesburg - with highs of 83°F and lows of 50°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 4th (Tue) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Victoria Falls

Tours Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Aug 2 — 4:
Highlights from your plan
Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls National Park ©
Scuba & Snorkeling
River Rafting & Tubing

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