12 days in South America & Mexico Itinerary

12 days in South America & Mexico Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in South America & Mexico Itinerary

Start: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Fly:  12​h 15​min
1
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
— 1 night
Fly:  5​h 45​min
2
Montevideo, Uruguay
— 2 nights
Fly:  6​h
3
Ushuaia, Argentina
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 15​min
4
Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina
— 2 nights
bus:  2​h
5
El Calafate, Argentina
— 1 night
Fly:  5​h
6
Buenos Aires, Argentina
— 2 nights
Fly:  13​h 15​min
7
Monterrey, Mexico
— 1 day
+2
Fly + foot + bus:  5​h 15​min
End: Playa del Carmen, Mexico

1
night
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro ©
Bustling with samba music and all-night street parties, no city encapsulates the spirit of Brazil better than Rio de Janeiro.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): admire the natural beauty at Jardim Botânico do Rio de Janeiro, pause for some photo ops at Corcovado Christ the Redeemer, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Copacabana Beach. Keep things going the next day: tour the pleasant surroundings at Barra da Tijuca Beach, then take some stellar pictures from Leblon Beach, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Praia de Ipanema, and finally enjoy the sand and surf at Pedra do Arpoador.

To find ratings, maps, and tourist information, read Rio de Janeiro vacation planning tool .

Playa del Carmen, Mexico to Rio de Janeiro is an approximately 12.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of ferry and flight. The time zone changes from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Brasilia Time (BRT), which is usually a 2 hour difference. Traveling from Playa del Carmen in January, things will get a bit warmer in Rio de Janeiro: highs are around 37°C and lows about 28°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Fri) so you can travel to Montevideo.

Things to do in Rio de Janeiro

Parks Beaches Outdoors
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Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer ©
Corcovado - Christ the Redeemer
Copacabana Beach ©
Copacabana Beach
Praia de Ipanema
Praia de Ipanema

2
nights
Montevideo, Uruguay

Montevideo ©
With a rich cultural scene and plenty of developed beaches, Montevideo vacations appeal to a growing number of visitors from around the world.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Sat): take a stroll through Pocitos, take an in-depth tour of Cabildo de Montevideo, then admire the striking features of Palacio Salvo, and finally ponder the world of politics at Palacio Legislativo. On the 5th (Sun), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: wander the streets of Ciudad Vieja, then don't miss a visit to Plaza Independencia, and then take in the waterfront at Rambla de Montevideo.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, use the Montevideo trip planning app .

Traveling by flight from Rio de Janeiro to Montevideo takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In January, Montevideo is little chillier than Rio de Janeiro - with highs of 32°C and lows of 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Ushuaia.

Things to do in Montevideo

Neighborhoods Museums
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Rambla de Montevideo ©
Rambla de Montevideo
Plaza Independencia ©
Plaza Independencia
Pocitos ©
Pocitos

1
night
Ushuaia, Argentina

Ushuaia ©
Often called the "End of the World" because of its position on the southernmost tip of South America, the expanding city of Ushuaia serves as both a busy commercial port and attractive tourist hub.
Kick off your visit on the 6th (Mon): contemplate the waterfront views at Canal Beagle and then explore the striking landscape of Tierra del Fuego National Park.

For ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Ushuaia day trip planner .

You can fly from Montevideo to Ushuaia in 6 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and flight; or do a combination of car and ferry. Traveling from Montevideo in January, things will get much colder in Ushuaia: highs are around 15°C and lows about 7°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 6th (Mon) so you can travel to Los Glaciares National Park.

Things to do in Ushuaia

Nature Parks
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Tierra del Fuego National Park ©
Tierra del Fuego National Park
Canal Beagle ©
Canal Beagle

2
nights
Los Glaciares National Park, Argentina

Los Glaciares National Park ©
A World Heritage Site, Los Glaciares National Park contains a giant ice cap that feeds 47 vast glaciers.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Tue): explore the striking landscape at Glaciar Spegazzini and then explore the striking landscape at Perito Moreno Glacier. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: trek along Laguna de los Tres.

To see more things to do, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Los Glaciares National Park online travel planner .

Traveling by flight from Ushuaia to Los Glaciares National Park takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or take a bus. Traveling from Ushuaia in January, expect somewhat warmer with lows of 15°C in Los Glaciares National Park. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Wed) early enough to take a bus to El Calafate.

Things to do in Los Glaciares National Park

Parks Nature Trails
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Laguna de los Tres ©
Laguna de los Tres
Perito Moreno Glacier ©
Perito Moreno Glacier
Glaciar Spegazzini ©
Glaciar Spegazzini

1
night
El Calafate, Argentina

El Calafate ©
El Calafate tourism thrives mostly thanks to the city's proximity to a World Heritage-listed national park, famed for containing over 40 large glaciers.
Kick off your visit on the 9th (Thu): tour the pleasant surroundings at Parque Nacional Los Glaciares.

To see maps, other places to visit, ratings, and tourist information, you can read our El Calafate travel itinerary planner .

Getting from Los Glaciares National Park to El Calafate by bus takes about 2 hours. Expect a daytime high around 17°C in January, and nighttime lows around 15°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel to Buenos Aires.

Things to do in El Calafate

Nature Parks
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Parque Nacional Los Glaciares ©
Parque Nacional Los Glaciares

2
nights
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires ©
Cultural capital of South America, Buenos Aires remains one of the largest cities on the continent, serving as a point of departure for exploring the rest of the country.
On the 10th (Fri), ponder the world of politics at Casa Rosada, admire the natural beauty at Parque 3 de Febrero, then admire the masterpieces at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, and finally don't miss a visit to Cemiterio de Recoleta. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: admire the natural beauty at Jardin Japones, admire the masterpieces at Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, admire the striking features of El Ateneo Grand Splendid, then admire the architecture and history at Plaza de Mayo, and finally get a taste of the local shopping with Puerto Madero.

For photos, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, read Buenos Aires online travel route planner .

Getting from El Calafate to Buenos Aires by flight takes about 5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. When traveling from El Calafate in January, plan for warmer days in Buenos Aires, with highs around 33°C, while nights are a bit warmer with lows around 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) early enough to travel to Monterrey.

Things to do in Buenos Aires

Museums Parks Historic Sites
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Cemiterio de Recoleta ©
Cemiterio de Recoleta
Parque 3 de Febrero ©
Parque 3 de Febrero
Puerto Madero ©
Puerto Madero

1
day
Monterrey, Mexico

Monterrey ©
An industrial powerhouse and a major transportation hub close to the Texas border, Monterrey offers visitors a blend of culture, art, and history.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Sun): stroll around Parque Ecologico Chipinque.

To see reviews, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Monterrey vacation app .

You can fly from Buenos Aires to Monterrey in 13.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Buenos Aires to Monterrey is minus 3 hours. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Monterrey

Parks
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Parque Ecologico Chipinque ©
Parque Ecologico Chipinque

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