Central America

Best Time: December - April Read More

Budget: Cheap

"The Land of Verdant Forests and Mayan Ruins "

Central America Tourism

Nestled between Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, Central America is a meagre strip of land that runs from Mexico to South America comprising of seven member countries. Overcoming its brutal past of civil wars, these countries offer a wholesome package of many indigenous cultures, remarkable remnants and colonial churches. The freshness of rainforests and diverse wildlife along with its pristine beaches and opportunity of surfing and reef diving is overwhelming. The region owing to its cheap food, accommodation and transport is a paradise for backpackers and budget travellers.

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Top Countries In Central America

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Holidify's Opinion

What's Great?

Diverse and rich culture. Caribbean vibes. Majestic colonial past. Captivating beaches. Ardent natural beauty. Remarkable architecture.

What's Not So Great?

Insect and Mosquito prone diseases. Petty crimes in certain areas. Unfit tap water.

For Whom?

For those who love diverse indigenous culture. Music lovers. History buffs. Those seeking a tryst with nature. Architecture lovers. Those who seek solitude.

Details of Central America

About places in Central America

Central America is a group of seven countries namely Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama offering something unique yet tied with a common thread of colonial past and civil wars. To catch the vibrant Caribbean feel head to Belize while explore the Mayan cultures in Guatemala. In Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama enjoy the beautiful white sand beaches, colourful bustling markets, lush green nature and thrilling nightlife ay Old Havana. Make sure to try the fine coffee of Costa Rica, chocolate at Guatemala and mouth-watering seafood throughout the region.

Stay Option in Central America

The Central America offers hotels of all range from budget to mid-range and high-end luxurious hotels especially in place like Panama City. The tariff of accommodation depends on country to country. Hostels in the Central America are yet another option that is available for per night basis in form of dormitory or private bed (single or double) with or without private bathroom. Family run guesthouses are another affordable option most of them available with breakfast served. Camping in hostels or national parks is also quite common. Airbnb offers many amazing options along with shared accommodation starting at a very cheap rate of USD 10.

Food in Central America

Countries of Central America has something special and staple to serve to its people, however, corn serves as one of the major core ingredient in the entire region. In Guatemala, tamales made out of corn or ÒmasaÓ along with meat, chicken, turkey or pork filling and tomato and sometimes ÒchileÓ. Black beans, chiles, tomatoes, chicken, beef, all kinds of cheese, plantains, yuca and rice are yet other staples after corn. Gallo pinto (mixture of beans and rice) is the national dish of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, which is known as Casamiento in El Salvador and Guatemala, whereas the mixture is made with coconut milk in Honduras. Also, make sure to try out delicious seafood while in any of these countries. Pupusas, nacatamales, enchilada, garnachas, anafres, vigoron, chile relleno and chuchito are some of the famous delicacies of the region. Coffee and beer are popular beverages here.

Culture, Religion & Language of Central America

The culture of Central America is a great fusion of Mayan heritage, relaxed Caribbean ambience, African musical beats, and colourful Spanish vibes. People her in general are very welcoming and full of life and enthusiasm. Christianity is the major religion followed by the native of Central America with Roman Catholics leading the ratio followed by Protestants with minority of people following other religions. Apart from Belize, where official language is English, all other countries have Spanish as their official language. Even though English is widely spoken in tourist areas, it wise to pick some important Spanish phrases including: Hello: Hola Please: Por favor Welcome: Bienvenido Thank you: Gracias Sorry: Perdon

Tips for visiting Central America

Make sure to carry the prescribed medicines and first aid kit. Carry your sunglasses and sunscreen. Take care of your belongings including expensive jewellery while in crowded areas or tourist places as mugging and pick pocketing is quite common in some of the countries including Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Belize. If possible, wear your back at the front of your body. Try as use authorized taxis to avoid frauds and mugging. Carry mosquito repellent, especially for the coastal areas. Brush up your bargaining skill as price usually goes down by 20%. If you are planning to rent a car, drive carefully as traffic rules are usually neglected leading to high number of accidents.

Shopping in Central America

Each country member of Central America has something exclusive to offer from colourful textiles, jewellery and woodcarving to exquisite arts and crafts, Maya figurines, and leather ware. Make sure visit some exclusive and significant markets of these individual countries namely Nim poÕt and ChichicastenangoÕs Market in Guatemala, Diconte artisan shops and Mercado Central in El Salvador, Guamilito Market in Honduras, Mercado Viedo in Nicaragua, Galeria Namu in Costa Rica and lastly Mercado de Mariscos in Panama City.

Festivals in Central America

The colourful celebrations of Central America are way for travellers to get a unique insight of the culture of the region. Here, each country have some shared and some their own distinct festivals that are celebrated with great fervour. New Year, Christmas, Easter and the Day of the dead are the festivals to look out in each of the country member. Also, make sure to enjoy Semana Santa in Antigua, Guatemala, Festival of San Sebastian in Nicaragua, and Costa RicaÕs Independence Day.

Hygiene in Central America

Mosquito borne diseases such as malaria, dengue and the Zika virus are major concern for travellers while visiting Central America. It is strongly recommended to carry strong mosquito repellent with DEET. Medical care in the capital cities of the region is quite good but options are limited elsewhere. Hospitals and doctors expect payment in cash even if you are carrying health insurance. Tap water in the region is not safe for drinking and in case of emergency, be sure to boil water for at least one to three minutes. Prefer packed water wherever you travel in the region. Vaccination for chicken pox, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies, typhoid and yellow fever are recommended.

Customs of Central America

People of Central America are usually are of very happy deposition and very friendly. Handshake is the most common and acceptable way of greeting someone meeting for first time. Locals rarely wear shorts away from beach. Lightweight pants or a skirt with top and shirt is the casual way to dress in the region. One should to dress up formally for fine dines or while going out to some fancy club. Tipping is optional at some places but 10% of the bill is a good amount to tip at restaurant is not already included in the bill. One can round off the figure while paying a taxi fare but not necessary.