Steeped in history and colonial-era splendour, Central America offers the discerning traveller the perfect contrast between vibrant, passionate city centres and thick, luscious ecologically-exquisite rain forests, beaches and volcanic fauna and flora. Not a long time ago however, the various countries of Central America were untouched by the western traveller. Thanks to the lifting of the political and economic cloud that hung over this part of the world, countries like Belize and Nicaragua have now become hotspot destinations that are safe to be explored and experienced.
Belize is Central America’s vacation spot to die for. offering hundreds of exquisite islands to choose from. Ambergis Caye is just one of these exquisite spots that are a little quieter than the more popular tourist hotspots but just as beautiful and entertaining.
You’ll find excellent accommodation options, exquisite beaches and even better foodie-spots to sample. Caye Caulker is a Rastafarian island just a short water-taxi ride away from Belize City. Also, a lesser-known gem, this island town can be explored by golf cart or boat and offers exquisite white and azure beaches.
When visiting any one of Belize’s beach destinations, make sure you don’t miss a snorkel or scuba dive around the well-known Belize Barrier Reef. Especially look out for the Blue Hole, a 400-foot, circular limestone reef swarming with fish and coral.
Cost Rica offers too many towns and must-see destinations to mention, but one of our favourite places to visit includes Le Fortuna de San Carlos. It is a geological wonderland that will please any nature-loving traveller and we recommend you spend a few days in Le Fortuna de San Carlos exploring its natural beauty and ecological gems, a definite must-do for the nature-lover.
Arenal is Costa Rica’s most active volcano, and until 2010 experienced small explosions. It is now in a resting phase and is an absolute must-see when visiting the area. The lush forests of the area boast a 70-meter waterfall called the Catarata de la Fortuna, which is awe-inspiring to witness.
Panama City is Panama’s largest city and is also the capital. It is as culturally diverse and vibrant as any Central American city can be. You’ll find a mix of opposites in this city, with the Old City offering an array of exquisite churches and ancient palaces, and the newer parts of the city offering 21st century amenities, shopping hubs and colourful restaurants and bars.
A must-see when in Panama City is the Panama Canal, ranked as the city’s most famous attraction. For a break from the multi-cultural hustle and bustle is the Soberania National Park, just a short distance from the city where travellers will be able to hike and bird-watch to their hearts content.
Granada is the place to visit first when travelling to Nicaragua. The city offers the beauty of colonial-era architecture and steep cultural histories blended perfectly against the beauty of Lake Nicaragua. Visit the dormant volcano of Mombacho and delight in the city’s beauty and culture.
Another must-see spot to visit in Nicaragua is Leon, with its rich political and artistic history. Not as refined as Granada but equally as interesting, Leon offers travellers fantastic churches and cathedrals to explore and a host of restaurants, bars and night-spots to choose from too. An exciting, artistic city for the 21st century traveller.
Known as the most ‘preserved Spanish colonial city in Central America’, Antigua is on the top of every must-see destination list when in Guatemala. Spends days exploring its cobblestone streets, deeply-historical architecture and historic landmarks, like the Santa Catalina Arch. The city is set amidst the backdrop of three volcanoes, all of which can be hiked and from which you’ll be able to get the most awe-inspiring views of the city.
Tikal is another must-see stopover in Guatemala’s northern province. It offers a glimpse of what ancient Mayan life must have been like and was once one of the largest ancient Mayan cities. Tikal is set in the jungle and offers travellers the chance to explore through ruins of temples and pyramids in a truly breath-taking experience.
For more information on tours and exciting travel destinations, contact a Travellers Choice agent today.