Ecosystems contribute significantly to human wellbeing through the provision of ecosystem services. Despite the growing literature on cultural ecosystem services (CES), there is a lack of systematic understanding of how they are linked with human wellbeing. Here we conduct a systematic review of the peer-reviewed literature to identify the mechanisms and pathways underpinning the linkages between different CES and constituents of human wellbeing. Furthermore we identify their complex associations through Latent Class Analysis, Multiple Correspondence Analysis, and different visualisation tools. Overall we identify 16 major mechanisms linking CES and human wellbeing, via 70 distinct pathways. Beyond that we find five major assemblages of pathways featuring consistent associations among mechanisms mediating CES and human wellbeing. We critically discuss the main research trends and gaps, and propose future directions for research and practice in order to leverage the potential of CES for human wellbeing, and sustainability more broadly.