Panama and Costa Rica offer some of the best snorkeling spots in Central America.
Think you have to travel across the globe to stay in an overwater bungalow? Think again. You don’t have to fly to Tahiti or Bora
Central and South American islands have plenty to offer, from secluded beaches to unique cultural experiences. Think islands off the coast of Mexico are usually reserved for spring breakers? Think again. Destinations like Cozumel and Isla Mujeres are ready to prove that they’re far more than just places to party. Central American islands range from laid-back Ambergris Caye in Belize with plenty of beachfront resorts, to off-the-beaten-path Corn Islands in Nicaragua, which require a trek to reach. South American islands also go well beyond popular Caribbean destinations, with beautiful, tropical locations begging to be enjoyed and explored from Colombia to Argentina.
The beauty of Mexico is that its culture is more multicultural than you might initially assume. With a history dating well beyond the first New World arrivees, the largest Central American country has Mayan and Aztec roots that still permeate in contemporary culture today. Combine wondrous culture with warm climates, deliciously spiced foods, clear-water beaches and, of course, tequila, and you have the perfect place for a vacation.
Travel to Belize, and you’ll be engulfed in natural wonder both on land and in the water. This east-coast country has jungles with natural waterfalls inland and the Belize Barrier Reef at sea, openly inviting you to engage with marine life via snorkeling and scuba diving. Like its neighboring Central American countries, Mayan influence is prominent here. Be sure to check out the Caracol ruins and the grand pyramid that resides there.
For adventurous and active travelers, Costa Rica is one of the Central American countries you’ll want to visit. This small Central American country is nearly a quarter protected jungles, so exploring its lands outside of your hotel or Airbnb will surely yield experiences encountering spider monkeys and traversing its beaches and volcanoes.