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.
In a word: vibrancy. Perhaps more well-known for its brutally war-torn past, Central America has ... read more »
Political unrest and violence have largely subsided in Central America, but traveling the region ... read more »
You can fly in from the United States relatively easily and inexpensively. All seven countries have international airports, so it shouldn't be a problem finding a flight to your desired location. Driving is another possibility, provided that you've equipped yourself with the proper documentation-both for you and for your vehicle.
- Check out travel forums to get advice from other travelers regarding flights. You can often find recent posts giving you up-to-the-moment information and the occasional good deal. Virtual Tourist has an active forum for travel to Central America; search by country to find what you need.
- Most major airlines in the United States have yet to discover Central America's potential as a popular destination. Until they catch up, TACA is a solid choice for flights to the region, and flights depart from several major U.S. cities.
- If you are traveling on a budget to countries bordering Mexico, like Belize and Guatemala, you can usually save some money by catching a cheap flight to southern Mexico and then renting a car or riding a bus into the next country. Tica Bus has a bus from Tapachula, in Southern Mexico, that takes you into Guatemala.
- Due to deterioration and poor conditions, all railroad travel has been suspended in Belize, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. You'll find isolated local rail lines in Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Panama, but all are local and do not cross national borders.
- If you want to drive to Central America from the United States, consider following the Pacific Coast Highway to avoid heavy traffic in Mexico City. Drive Me Loco can help you plan your route.
For air travel to Central America ...
searches for the lowest international fares for you. A fun-to-use, interactive map lets you zoom into each country to display airport locations, and lets you click on your departure and arrival locations.
is a quick and easy way to search for flights from several different carriers. Enter your desired schedule (just once), then click the provider icons of your choice to view prices.
has service to all countries in Central America. You can book flights within the region, between the United States and Central America, and take advantage of special fare offers on its site.
, which calls itself the world's first and only zero-emissions airline, has daily service in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama. You can fly into numerous locales offering a variety of ecological attractions. Nature Air has a "Low Fare Finder" and special deals posted on its site.
Sansa Regional Airlines
caters to Costa Rica. You can book flights or purchase a Costa Rica Air Pass, good for unlimited air travel within the country for either one or two weeks.
For cruises to/around Central America ...
has information about cruises around and through the Panama Canal. You can link to cruise lines, and learn what to see and do on your trip. A sailing calendar helps you determine the best time to go.
presents a selection of cruise deals to Latin America and Mexico. You'll find a mix of options, several of which have been reviewed by editors, including routes stopping in Panama, Costa Rica, and Belize. You can link directly to cruise lines' Web sites to book your vacation.
Sunstone Tours and Cruises
provides information about several different family-oriented cruises around Central America. Ships are small, which allows them to dock away from huge liners, bringing you closer to volcanoes, rainforests, locals, and perhaps a sloth or two.
You don't have to rough it-but you can. Tourism is strong and growing across the region, which ... read more »
You can travel around the region cheaply, and there is a good chance that your ride will be ... read more »
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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