Central America is a wonderful little continent with lots of sunshine, great weather and a warm, fantastic local population. One can find both unique nature and culture; spend the day swinging in a hammock by the beach; or exploring the colonial cities and Mayan ruins. Book your trip to Central America with KILROY!
Central America stretches from Guatemala in the north to Panama in the south. A small and manageable continent that is perfect for backpacking and zigzagging up (or down), between the coastlines of the Pacific in the west and the Caribbean Sea in the east, whilst passing through the countires of Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama.
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 in. Tourism is well developed here with masses of transport options and exciting activities such as surfing, rafting, climbing, abseiling, and pot holing. 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 Indian culture in the region, especially the area around the city of Antigua, which has a very clear Indian heritage evident in many places. It's a great place to do some voluntary work or take a Spanish language course. One should not deny oneself a trip to the Mayan ruins of Tikal, 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 one of the rivers that flow through the area.
Honduras and Belize are a must see to those that love to snorkel or SCUBA dive. Just off the coast of these two countries is the Belize Barrier Reef, the worlds second largest coral reef system. The beauty below the surface is unsurpassed. Unsurprisingly these two countries also offer some incredibly beauty beaches and exciting Mayan ruins.
Nicaragua and El Salvador are the continents 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. One can climb a volcano or canoe around a lake and have them almost completely to oneself. 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 around a while.
Accommodation in Central America
Make sure you book your first couple of nights accommodation in Central America before you leave home. KILROY can, of course, give you some good advice and help with booking accommodation that also includes a transfer from the airport to your hotel or hostel. Hostels are becoming more and more popular in Central America and there are loads to choose from. Bed & breakfasts, cheap hotels and eco-huts in the jungles or other nature reserves are also found in large numbers - so there is something to suit every taste and budget.
Price levels in Central America
There are many good reasons to choose one of the exciting adventure tours that you can book through KILROY. These tours make your trip easier to plan and budget as most of the costs are paid before you even leave home. Even without booking a tour, it is still relatively inexpensive to travel throughout Central America and you can live for around €20-25 per day if you stay at the cheaper hostels and eat at the cheaper, more basic local restaurants.
Travel to and around Central America
Most flights to Central America fly via one of the large cities in Europe and/or the USA. It is generally therefore not so cheap to get here. Ask your KILROY travel advisor for advice on the best solution e.g. an itinerary that allows multiple stops with paying an extra fee.
A trip to Central America can easily fit in with a trip to North or South America eg fly to Mexico City and start your trip there.
The best way of getting around this small continent is without doubt an adventure tour. These tours give you more time to enjoy your trip, and less concerns over the practical aspects en route such as finding accommodation or transport. You'll also get to meet loads of new people and make some new friends from all over the world. Experienced guides will help show you some of the best and least touristy places. Buses are a good alternative and definitely the cheapest and most widespread form of transport. You can of course do a little of both and spend some free time at one of the many lovely places along the coast.
When to travel to Central America?
There are big temperature differences depending on where you are on the continent, which ranges from sea level to around 3000 meters in the mountains. At the coast and in the low-lying jungles the temperature though is always hot. The amount of rainfall varies greatly between the rainy season (May to October) and the dry season (November to April).