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Central America

Image of a yellow-breasted bird in the jungles of Central America - KILROY
Image of the famous towering pyramid in Tikal, Guatemala - KILROY

Travel to Central America - Small but mighty

Central America boasts great weather, and unique nature and culture - spend the day swinging in a hammock by the beach or explore the colonial cities and Mayan ruins. Travelling is manageable, and perfect for backpacking and zigzagging between the coastlines of the Pacific in the west and the Caribbean Sea in the east.

Central America's many options

On a trip to Central America you'll quickly discover that you're not short of options and that one of the advantages of a relatively large number of countries being packed into a small continent is the cultural diversity.

Costa Rica has over the years become the most popular destination in the region and is the easiest to travel around. Tourism is well developed here with plenty of transport options and exciting activities, including surfing, rafting, climbing, abseiling and rapelling. Costa Rica though is best known for its amazing wildlife and natural beauty.

Panama is a little larger than its neighbour Costa Rica, but not so touristy. This unspoiled country has many outstanding qualities that are similar to Costa Rica - beautiful, long, sandy beaches and carefree days lying in a hammock at one of the charming backpacker hangouts. The country is best known for the enormous Panama Canal that links the Caribbean Sea to the Pacific Ocean - an engineering masterpiece that should not be missed.

Guatemala has the most extensive native culture in the region, especially the area around the city of Antigua, with the country's native heritage evident in many places. It's a great place to do some voluntary work or take a Spanish language course. A trip to the Mayan ruins of Tikal is a must, where archaeological studies continue. A stay on the Caribbean coast also comes highly recommended, especially when it involves staying in one of the jungle huts situated by a river.

Honduras and Belize are a must see for those that love to snorkel or SCUBA dive. Just off the coast of these two countries is the Belize Barrier Reef, the world's second largest coral reef system. The beauty below the surface is incomprehensible. Unsurprisingly, these two countries also offer some incredibly beautiful beaches and exciting Mayan ruins.

Nicaragua and El Salvador are the continent's least developed countries and therefore have fewer tourist areas and facilities. This doesn't make them any less appealing as a travel destination though - it is precisely their unspoilt nature that makes them charming and attractive. Climb a volcano or canoe around a lake and have them almost completely to yourself. Large parts of the coast offer great surfing, and there are loads of beautiful colonial cities. The prices here are lower than the rest of the continent and another good reason to check them out and stay a while.

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