Backpacking in Central America

Countries  »  Central America

Why Go?

Discover Central America

Central America is one of the world’s most exhilarating regions. Caught between the two mighty continents of North and South America, this sliver of land may not look like much on a world map, but it is home to some of the most volatile landscapes and vibrant cities on the planet.

Perfectly symmetrical volcanoes rise majestically from emerald jungles, turquoise oceans teaming with extraordinary marine life nudge golden shores, and hectic cities buzzing with culture draw visitors like moths to flames.

Just eight countries comprise Central America – Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama – but between them host an amount of biodiversity difficult to find anywhere else in the world.

Click through to the individual countries to find out more.

Mexico

Mexico

Guatemala

Guatemala

Belize

Belize

Nicaragua

Nicaragua

Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Panama

Panama

Best Experiences

Top Experiences in Central America

With some of the best natural wonders and most vibrant cities in the world. Central America could keep any backpacker busy for a lifetime. From ridiculously scenic volcanoes to extraordinary wildlife to pretty colonial settlements, this region of the world will leave you speechless at every turn.

Get close to Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

This magnificent volcano is one of the youngest in the world, and although still active has been less volatile in recent years. It sits within its own national park and there are heaps of opportunities for outdoor persuits, including rafting and trekking.


Swim in Lake Atitlan

This gorgeous and serene lake in the highlands of Guatemala is the deepest in Central America and surrounded on all sides by stunning volcanic scenery. Although many content for the honour, Lake Atitlan is widely regarded to be one of the most beautiful in the world.


Explore the history of Leon, Nicaragua

Once the colonial capital of Nicaragua, Leon is a charming city with historical buildings and interesting shops around every corner. It is home to some world-class cultural attractions, including the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of Leon and the ruins of Leon Viejo.


Visit a cloud forest in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world and nowhere is this more abundently apparent than in one of its many cloud forests - protected areas of woodland which are home to more birds, mammals and plant life than you could shake a twig at.


Explore the ancient ruins of Tikal, Guatemala

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Tikal is one of the most enthralling examples of ancient architecture in the world. It was once a Mayan city and centre of power, and many of the main temples, monuments and palaces remain preserved in excellent condition.


Walk along the Rio Celeste, Costa Rica

One of the prettiest rivers in the world, the turquoise Rio Celeste winds its way through the jungles of Costa Rica in Tenorio Volcano National Park, pausing once every few miles to transform into a utopian waterfall fronted with an idyllic swimming hole.


Visit the Bay Islands of Honduras

These paradisiacal splodges of land, located a few miles of the north coast of Honduras, offer some of the best beaches and diving in the world. As well as the lovely scenery, the islands have a fascinating history and form something of a cultural melting pot.

Itineraries

Let Us Do the Work

We have put together a selection of Central America itineraries which have been created with the expert knowledge of our exceedingly well travelled team. These intenersaries are built to help you get the most out of this incredible destination without having to plan it all yourself. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!

Volcano Trail

Volcano Trail

Costa Rica Sea Turtle Conservation

Costa Rica Sea Turtle Conservation

Cycle Central America

Cycle Central America

Footsteps of the Mayans

Footsteps of the Mayans

Marine Conservation in Belize

Marine Conservation in Belize

Epic Central America

Epic Central America

*Calls are included in free mobile minute allowance
Monday to Friday: 9am to 6pm  |  Saturday: 10am – 5pm

Advice

Our Best Articles on Central America

Need some top advice on backpacking in Central America? Our intrepid travellers have been out there and done the ground work for you - check out their great advice in these articles and get inspired!

A Guide to Mexico's Day of the Dead

A Guide to Mexico's Day of the Dead

Walking on the Wild Side in Costa Rica

Walking on the Wild Side in Costa Rica

Backpacking the Pan-American Highway

Backpacking Pan-American Highway

Volunteering in the Guatemalan Jungle

Volunteering in the Guatemalan Jungle

A Backpacker's Guide to Mexico

A Backpacker's Guide to Mexico

The San Blas Islands of Panama

The San Blas Islands of Panama