Experience the best of Central America’s high-lights on this month-long tour of the region. Start in Panama City (Panama Canal transit, indigenous culture, coffee plantation) before travelling into Costa Rica (beach R&R, sloth sanctuary, bird-watching, chocolate tour, volcanoes, zip-lining & hanging bridges). Move into Nicaragua (Ometepe Island, Granada, Las Isletas, Masaya & the Pueblos Blancos), and then on to El Salvador (Maya ruins at Joya de Ceren, Suchitoto, the Flowers Route & the Volcanoes Route). Next is Honduras (Copan’s Maya ruins & hieroglyphic staircase) and Guatemala (Antigua, Pacaya Volcano, Chichcastenango market & Lake Atitlan, Tikal – the mother of all Maya sites). Final port of call is Belize (birding, cave-tubing, Caracol & Xunantunich Maya ruins, world-class snorkelling & diving along the Barrier Reef). Phew!
Fly to Panama City for a 3-night stay.
Enjoy one of the region’s highlights – a Transit of the Panama Canal.
Visit a local Embera community to learn about their customs & traditions.
This morning there’s an option to visit the Mira Flores Visitors’ Centre to learn more about the building and the history of the Panama Canal – or relax in your hotel, or enjoy some of Panama’s renowned shopping. Fly in the afternoon to David and transfer to the coffee-growing area of Boquete.
Enjoy a coffee tour of the local plantation. Afternoon at leisure with options for: hiking, white-water rafting, zip-lining, hot springs, horseback riding.
Early start for your transfer across the border into Costa Rica, to stay at Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean Coast.
Visit a local Sloth Sanctuary then transfer to the rainforest area of Sarapiqui, known for its birdlife.
Get up early today for a colourful display of feeding birds at the nearby Costa Rica Nature Pavilion, then in the afternoon learn all about the chocolate-making process in an interactive tour which takes place in the middle of the rainforest.
Transfer to La Fortuna whose skyline is dominated by Arenal Volcano.
Get the adrenalin going by zipping high across the tree-top canopy with great views of Lake Arenal down below, then experience Costa Rica’s famous Hanging Bridges on a guided tour. In the afternoon, take a guided hike around the base of Arenal Volcano then relax in the nearby Hot Springs at Tabacon.
You’ll travel today into Nicaragua and on to the island of Ometepe, formed from 2 huge volcanoes.
Take a guided tour of the island, to include Charco Verde Lagoon, Ojo de Agua and the petroglyphs at Finca Magdalena.
Transfer back to the mainland and on to Granada for a 2-night stay. This afternoon you’ll enjoy a guided City Tour in horse-drawn carriage.
Early-morning boat ride on nearby Lake Nicaragua to visit ‘Las Isletas’, a haven for wildlife, particularly birds. Move on to the Masaya Region to visit Masaya Volcano, Lake Apoyo and the ‘Pueblos Blancos’ where you’ll be able to visit one of the local ceramic workshops for a demonstration of the local ceramic techniques. You’ll end the day in Leon, Nicaragua’s university town.
Transfer by road to the Fonseca Gulf where you’ll pick up the boat which will take you across to El Salvador on the far shore. On arrival in El Salvador drive on to its capital, San Salvador.
Today you’ll visit El Salvador’s largest and most exciting Maya discovery – Joya de Ceren, the ‘Pompeii of Central America’ – and will also go on a guided tour to learn about the country’s most recognised figure, Monsignor Romero. Drive north to spend the night in Suchitoto.
Enjoy a full-day City Tour of Suchitoto – which means ‘place of Flower Birds’ in the native Nahuatl language – including a boat ride on nearby Lake Suchitlan.
Driving along El Salvador’s ‘Volcanoes Route’ you’ll have a chance to see or to visit Cerro Verde, Izalco Volcano, and Santa Ana Volcano. Driving on, you enter into the ‘Flowers Route’ a 36-km long winding road through some of El Salvador’s most picturesque villages. Browse the local artisan workshops and – if there is time – enjoy a coffee tour.
Early-morning start for your transfer to Honduras where your destination for today is Copan. In the afternoon you’ll have a guided tour of the Maya ruins at Copan, considered to be one of the most spectacular of the Maya civilisation.
Travel on into Guatemala, to the former colonial capital city of Antigua, a UNESCO Heritage site.
City Tour of Antigua. Rest of the day at leisure. Options for: horse-riding, coffee plantation, Jade Museum.
Day Trip to the vibrant colourful market at Chichicastenango, followed by a boat ride across Lake Atitlan where you’ll visit one of the shoreside communities and learn about their customs & traditions.
This morning you’ll have the opportunity to hike to the top of nearby Pacaya Volcano and peer down into its caldera. Transfer to Guatemala City for a local flight to Flores, in Guatemala’s north.
Enjoy a guided visit to the largest set of Maya ruins yet discovered – Tikal. In the afternoon, transfer over to the border with Belize, and on to Belize’s Cayo District.
Day at leisure to enjoy the many options available at the lodge: hiking, tubing, birding, mountain bike riding, horseback riding, canoeing, caving.
Transfer to Belize’s southern beach resort at Placencia. En route stop to enjoy one of Belize’s highlights – cave-tubing.
Day at leisure. Options for: beach & poolside R&R, snorkel or dive along the Barrier Reef, go manatee-spotting, fishing, kayaking, wildlife trip up Monkey River, Cockscomb Wildlife Reserve.
Take a short-hop flight to Belize City, ready to check in for your flight home. We hope you’ve enjoyed your whistle-stop highlights tour of Central America!
The above sample holiday to Central America can be varied in any way you choose to suit your exact requirements so give us a call now on 01932 424252 to discuss any modifications.
Central America has a good range of types & styles of hotels, at a variety of price-points to suit all budgets. Please chat to one of our Travel Consultants to get informed advice as to which hotels they would suggest for your tailor-made holiday to Central America.
The tours, excursions & activities mentioned in the above sample holiday to Central America are just a selection of what is available in each location. The programme can be adjusted to fit your particular requirements for this holiday; please liaise with your Travel Consultant to confirm what other activities are available and what you would like to include in your tailor-made Central America holiday.
If you like the broad sweep of the above sample itinerary but have fewer days to spend on your holiday to Central America, or alternatively wish to extend it in any way, please speak with your Travel Consultant.
We would be delighted to email you a no-obligation, fully-detailed itinerary & quote, containing images of the hotels we suggest for your Central America holiday along with a link to the hotel’s website, plus details of any included tours & excursions. The quote will clearly state what is, and what is not included in the quoted price. If you thereafter wish to make any changes to the initial itinerary – be it an alternative hotel, different activities, a different duration in any location etc. – that’s not a problem and we will continue to work with you to adjust the itinerary until it exactly matches what you’re looking for from this holiday in Central America.