Central America Travel Guide
Sandwiched between the North and South America, Central America is being washed by the Pacific Ocean in the West and the Caribbean Sea in the East. This excellent geographical location creates ideal conditions for the survival of many rare endemic species of flora and fauna. This part of the world is the perfect destination for true nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts and eco-tourists of all types. In addition to its natural wonders, Central America travel destination is also where some of the most ancient Mayan civilization archeological sites are located and where you can sample some of the tastiest seafood in the world.
Our Central America travel guide below provides brief information on the countries located in Central America.
Belize is a tiny scarcely populated country nestled on the Caribbean Coast of Central America. The main tourist draws of the country are without a doubt its natural wonders with that being Belize Barrier Reef the second longest in the world reef formation supeceeded only by Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The country is a paradise for divers and water sport lovers, destination for exploring ancient Mayan culture with some of the finest examples of Altun-Ha, Lamanai in Orange Walk and El Castillo in Xunantunich in the western part of the country. There are over 1000 little islands referred by the locals as “cayes” scattered around the Belizean coast, one of the most beautiful scenery is perhaps around the iconic Great Blue Hole by Ambergris that is better explored by booking a helicopter tour.
Costa Rica is one of the most tourist soaked parts of Central America travel itinerary with 1 million tourists rushing to country’s every nook and cranny every year. This tiny country is a gem to explore by day or night. During the day spend a relaxing morning soaking up Costa Rican sun at the Corcovado beach, warm up snorkeling or diving and in the afternoon try some of the adrenalin rush adventures in the forests like zip line or hike around an active volcano. To further explore all the natural bounties of the country head to the Herrera Gardens and the Conservation Project intended to preserve some of the rarest species of local flora. In addition to country’s coastal treasures, it is boasting many lakes perfect for rafting of different levels. Arenal Volcano is believed to be the best destination for rafters. El General River, on the other hand, is better suited for kayakers.
El Salvador is not only one of the poorest nations among Central America countries but in the world and therefore is often avoided in favor of other more developed neighboring countries. Unfortunately, many tourists do not realize that this beautiful travel destination with its gorgeous coastlines, lush forests and cool lakes allows travelers to escape hordes of tourists in other countries in Central America travel itineraries and having its great outdoors to themselves. Its capital San Salvador is nothing short of amazing boasting top notch universities, lovely museums and art galleries. Visitors will enjoy learning country’s history at the Military History Museum while the Museum of Word and Image is a refreshing mix of literary gems. Do not miss booking a guided tour to the Vulcan Guazapa in Suchitoto and Chaparrastique active volcano at San Miguel. Besides its cultural offerings, the country is perfect for catching a surf, paddleboat and hike among beautiful waterfalls and hot springs.
Guatemala is one of the most beloved on the Central America travel itineraries. It’s the country famous for its Mayan ruins sites, active and dormant volcanoes and beautiful lakes. Among essential Maya ruins attractions tourists should not miss the ones in El Mirador and Tikal as well as recently uncovered the largest Mayan Pyramid to date, La Danta. Many nature lovers should visit Volcano de Pacaya in Antigua and book a guided tour and even attempt at roasting hot dogs over areas of scorching lava. Chici Market in Chicicastenango is one special attraction that should be experienced at least once by walking amidst its crowds, haggling with local vendors and sampling what the country has to offer.
Honduras tourism industry is booming with thousands of cruise ships flocking to its sea port in Roatan where tourists set on diving and snorkeling expeditions and exploring the island on foot. There’s a lot to see in Roatan, including its Marine Park, Botanical Gardens, butterfly gardens and even an iguana farm. Beyond Roatan, visitors will love the abundant wildlife at the Parque Nacional Cusuco at San Pedro Sulo and Macaw Mountain Bird Reserve National Park where you can see some tropical bird species. On a flip side, if you step outside resort retreats you will quickly become disillusioned by poverty and occasional robberies and gang crimes.
Nicaragua is a country blessed by two sides of coastlines both on the Pacific and Caribbean, the largest country in Central America which is often referred to as the Land of Lakes and Volcanoes. Indeed, its biggest Lake Nicaragua is majestic, many travel tours are set to include this beautiful location along with volcano hiking that is highly popular among visitors. Playa Pie de Gigante is one of the most beloved among surfers destinations accumulating various swells in different areas suited for mere beginners and pros. Museo de Café in Matagalpa is actually more of a history museum than that about coffee plantations; learn about country’s history through a series of wonderful exhibits.
Panama strategically located on the crossroads of the North and South America is still considered a country of emerging tourism presence. Despite the fact that the country showcases two gorgeous coastlines on the Eastern and Western sides, crowds of tourists still prefer Costa Rica and Guatemala. However, some gringo tourists are slowly realizing that this might be another popular destination allowing them to escape annoying crowds found at alternative Central American destinations and have the pristine beaches, mountains and the forests for themselves to enjoy. The country is also one of the best for ecotourism, hikers, water sport enthusiasts and animal lovers alike. No matter what type of traveler you are, do not miss the iconic attraction the Panama Canal as one of the most significant engineering creations of the last century and an important water way connecting the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean.
We hope that our travel guide has inspired you to try and visit some off the beaten path locations that you have not tried before. Try and be rewarded!