Spotlight on Central America

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For some of the warmest weather, people and culture in the world, visit beautiful Central America. This area of seven countries makes up North America’s southern tip and stretches between Mexico and Columbia. Of course, each country offers new cultures, languages, sights and adventures, so the best-case scenario is to experience each individually. Wherever you go though, make sure to check out the rainforests, Mayan and colonial ruins, volcanoes and, of course, coffee!

Costa Rica

Visit Monteverde, the iconic Quaker settlement, and the village of Saint Elena for beautiful landscapes, cloud forests and magnificent bird watching. Costa Rica is especially known for its superior coffee quality. Visit the farms and watch the process of transformation from bean to tasty drink.

Panama

Panama City is a great headquarters when visiting Panama. As a vibrant and eventful city on its own, you can either stay in the downtown area or use it as a jumping-off point to the surrounding natural sites. Also popular is the iconic Panama Canal—a 40 mile stretch of man-made waterway whose construction took many lives, and that now provides access between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

Nicaragua

For beaches, nightlife, and food and drink galore visit Lon, Nicaragua’s second-largest city. Check out the historical sites as well, like the Basílica de la Asunción and the museums that will display the story of Nicaragua’s revolution.

Belize

This small country packs in a big amount of adventure! For snorkeling, eco-adventures in the jungle, and cave exploration, this is your prime destination. Check out the UNESCO World Heritage Site the Great Blue Hole and snorkel around the surrounding reefs to view the wildlife and stalactites. For more of a historical trip, check out Cayo District for Mayan Ruins, butterfly gardens and beautiful jungle adventures.

Caye Cualker is also a popular destination. This island just off the mainland is small but provides all the vacation necessities of a beach, a bar, birds and a forest.

Guatemala

Antigua city is a good entry point for westerners. Still exhibiting the effects of colonization, Antigua is full of the comforts of home—like pubs, coffee shops and hostels. There are also many schools to learn Spanish, and the temperate climate makes exploring surrounding towns and forests a comfortable experience.

Honduras

Another haven for divers, Honduras has many bays and islands to let adventurous swimmers explore the best marine life and seascapes. Visit the mountain town of Copan Ruinas for the old architecture and access to nearby Mayan ruins. For more reasons on why to visit Honduras, check out this site.

El Salvador

Don’t forget to stop in at Central America’s smallest country, El Salvador. Not only are there beautiful volcanoes, crater lakes, beaches and architecture to see, but there are fascinating sites like UNESCO World Heritage Site Joya de Cerén, a town that was buried in volcanic ash in 600 CE. Pay a visit to see how Central Americans in El Salvador lived over 1000 years ago.