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Which Central America Destination Is Best For You?

By Leah Freeman-Haskin

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Central America offers affordable getaways and life-changing experiences for every type of traveler. With seven countries to choose from, here are some tips on which ones may be best for you.

Belize

Belize is a country on the eastern coast of Central America that is best known for its scuba diving culture. The coast of Belize is home to the largest barrier reef in the northern hemisphere, making it the perfect destination for marine-loving travelers who are up for an adventure. The Great Blue Hole should definitely be on your travel bucket list. The large underwater sink hole offers incredible views by air and teams of sea life to explore. 

Great Blue Hole, Belize | Matteo Colombo | Getty Images

Costa Rica

If you are an animal lover who prefers to stay on land, then head to Costa Rica. From the two-toed sloth to the red-eyed tree frog, Costa Rica is a country known for it’s vibrant and accessible wildlife. Monteverde houses 2.5% of worldwide biodiversity and the Monteverde Cloud Forest allows you the chance to stand amongst it with stunning backdrops of the jungle. 

RELATED: 15 Reasons To Fall In Love With Costa Rica

El Salvador

El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America, but offers a memorable experience for those who love history. The Mayan ruin sites are much less touristy than neighboring countries allowing you to spend more time exploring and learning. There are several important sites to visit, but be sure to check out: Tazumal, Chihuatán, San Andres and Joya de Ceren.  According to El Salvador Travel Network, The Tazumal ruins are the most important archeological site in El Salvador, offering an important glimpse into what daily life was like for the Mayan society way of living.

Guatemala

One look at Semuc Champey and you’ll be ready to pack your bags. If you never back down from an adventure and you love a perfect Instagram shot, Guatemala has some of the most stunning locations in Central America. From the historic city of Antigua to Semuc Champey, this country is a photographer-lover’s dream. The turquoise rock pools, caves, and waterfalls deep in the Guatemala jungle are not easy to get to, but if you are up for a physical challenge, Semuc Champey is worth every step. 

Semuc Cha |Semuc Champey, Guatemala | Getty Images

Honduras

Honduras is a beautiful country known for its beaches and rich history. It also has a memorable culinary scene that will have foodies coming back for seconds. Baleadas is a traditional dish that you will only find in Honduras that consists of flour tortilla, beans, egg, sausage, plantains and hot sauce. Pollo Chuco is also a famous dish served in the northern part of the country that includes fried chicken, cabbage, and “tajadas” with a special sauce. And you don’t have to dine at expensive restaurants to eat well, with local eateries serving all of the traditional meals for only a few dollars. 

RELATED: 5 Central American Destinations That Should Be On Your Travel Bucket List

Nicaragua

The largest country in Central America, Nicaragua is known for its pristine coast line and variety of beaches hailing from both coasts. From rock formations to the meeting of jungle and sea, Nicaragua beaches are picture-perfect and ideal for those looking for a relaxing ocean-front getaway. Playa Maderas just a few miles from San Juan Del Sur feels like a lost paradise with minimal crowds and a protected cove. Pearl Cays is another gem with turquoise waters and an archipelago of 12 cays offering a secluded escape. 

Panama

Panama City offers a vibrant nightlife for those looking for Central American party culture. The scene offers something for everyone from underground lairs to chic nightclubs. Casco Viejo is Panama’s hottest most charismatic district and has become the epicenter of the country’s nightlife. Be sure to check out restaurant-turned-nightclub Casa Jaguar and Chupitos507, Panama City’s first shot bar. 

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Leah Freeman-Haskin

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