When it comes to travelling to beautiful, far flung places, Central America is one of the most unfairly overlooked places in the world. With incredible culture and food, it’s one of the regions that’s most worth visiting in the world. Here are three countries that are particularly worth a look…
No matter what sort of vacation you want, you can find it in Panama. With the Caribbean Sea to its north and the Pacific Ocean to its south, its tourist industry is rapidly growing. Panama City is reminiscent of Miami with its gleaming buildings, and if your Spanish isn’t great then there’s no problem as a lot of its residents speak English. If you want a chilled out beach vacation then Panama is perfect for you, but there’s also a lot of nature for you to explore – you can go to the waterfalls in the highlands near Santa Fé, and explore the biodiversity of the Darién along with snorkelling at Boros del Toro and scuba diving with whale sharks in the Pacific.
Probably the most popular tourist destination in Central America, Costa Rica is absolutely worth a visit with its glorious coastlines, white sand beaches and heavenly turquoise oceans. The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve is shrouded – obviously! – in clouds and boasts lush green mountains and a tropical landscape along with zip lines that you can explore and natural beauty that will blow your mind. The Arenal Volcano is also worth a visit. Until recently it was the most active volcano in Costa Rica, but don’t worry – it won’t spew lava at you since it entered a resting cycle in 2010. You could visit a turtle sanctuary in Tortuguero National Park in the northeast of the country, where you can see the sea turtles that hatch and nest on the beach. If you want to volunteer in Costa Rica, you can easily do so, particularly if you’re interested in nature and biodiversity. Whether you want to work with nature, particularly turtles, sports education, at an orphanage, or with children with special needs, you’ll find the volunteering trip that you want in Costa Rica.
Tourists will find exactly what they want in Guatemala, whether that’s all night partying, a chilled out luxury beach vacation, or anyone seeking adventure. With cobbled streets and colonial architecture, Guatemala is also a cultural feast for anyone who wants to find out about the history of Central America and not just the wildlife. The Mayan Ruins of Tikal, near the border of Belize, was occupied between 600 BC and AD 900, and has more than 3000 structures, including pyramids, temples and an acropolis. It’s one of the most important and largest Mayan archaeological sites in existence. Lake Atitlán is an area of incredible beauty and absolutely worth a visit. It was formed in a volcanic crater and has three volcanoes as its backdrop. With a lot of spiritual and new age centres in nearby cities and villages, this is also a great place to visit for the slightly more alternative traveller.