Central America Travel Basics


Central America Travel: Variety is the Spice

Your Central America travel should be as eclectic as the cultures and landscapes freckling the region. To put it all together, get some help from the Web. You'll find sites dedicated to each of the region's seven countries, as well as advice and shared experiences from other travelers. Whether you prefer to keep your itinerary open-ended or you want to book everything in advance, the Web can enhance your experience of Central American tourism. We've selected some sites to help you get started.

Central America Travel Basics

In a word: vibrancy. Perhaps more well-known for its brutally war-torn past, Central America has emerged as an inexpensive, mostly peaceful place to explore. The region accommodates adventure seekers, surfers, backpacking culture fiends, families in need of rest and relaxation on sandy beaches, and just about anyone else you can imagine.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Central America is a compact isthmus less than half as big as Mexico, but don't be fooled by its size: the region is brimming with culture and ecology. Although it may be tempting to include several countries in your agenda, take it easy. Leave yourself enough time to fully experience what you see, and to wander off the path a bit if the opportunity presents itself.
  • If you want to take an eco-friendly vacation, the region is a valid choice. Ecotourism is popular in Costa Rica and is growing in Panama, particularly in Boquete. However, be aware that some tour groups use the phrase incorrectly as a marketing tool. Ecotourism should be sustainable, in that it should include the participation of the local population, be protective of the environment, and have fair economic return for the industry and its host community. Not every vacation package that involves nature can accurately be described as ecotourism.
  • If you want an authentic travel experience, consider Nicaragua. Rampant poverty and the stigma attached to past civil war have prevented the country's tourism industry from reaching the level of other Central American countries, which is part of its charm.
  • Many big-name guidebooks are accessible on the Web, and each has a distinct style. Check out a few to determine what you are most drawn to and comfortable with. We've selected online guidebooks for this section that best capture Central America's unique combination of flair and grit.

Dulcinea's Picks

For general information about Central America ...
For countries or attractions that may be of interest ...
For planned tours ...
For ecotourism ...
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Central America Travel Requirements

Political unrest and violence have largely subsided in Central America, but traveling the region ... read more »

Getting to Central America

You can fly in from the United States relatively easily and inexpensively. All seven countries have ... read more »

Central America Hotels

You don't have to rough it-but you can. Tourism is strong and growing across the region, which ... read more »

Getting Around in Central America

You can travel around the region cheaply, and there is a good chance that your ride will be ... read more »

Central America Blogs and Forums

The Web can give you a taste of a destination before you go, and one of the best ways to prepare ... read more »

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