For years, Central America remained under the radar of travel enthusiasts. However, this perception has evolved, and Central America now boasts dozens of diverse cities to explore. Whether you’re eager to immerse yourself in Latin American culture or seeking a relaxing beach getaway, Central America presents a wealth of opportunities for your next international excursion.

Panama City, Panama

Photo credit: Thomas Wilkinson

Situated along Panama’s Pacific coast, the bustling city of Panama City welcomes travelers with its captivating fusion of Latin American culture and natural landscapes. Casco Viejo, Panama’s historic old quarter, is a must-visit, where you can immerse yourself in cultural experiences.

This city provides a variety of experiences, blending historical monuments with modern urban development. Navigating through its diverse offerings is made easy with a range of transportation services at your disposal. It’s worth noting that safety has seen remarkable improvements.

Antigua, Guatemala

Photo credit: Saulo Zayad

Antigua Guatemala, formerly the epicenter of Spanish colonial influence in Central America, has become a UNESCO World Heritage site. It proudly showcases a magnificent blend of architecture and volcanic panoramas.

Wander along its charming cobblestone streets, taking in the meticulously preserved churches, convents, and vibrant residences adorned with enchanting courtyards. Antigua, Guatemala is a picture-perfect town that weaves together historic landmarks and the splendor of nature.

Leon, Nicaragua

Photo credit: Hermes Rivera

In the heart of Nicaragua, you’ll find Leon, the country’s second-largest city, steeped in history and ready to welcome curious travelers. Leon boasts a lively street art scene and a rich revolutionary heritage. The city is a favored stop for those searching for an authentic immersion in Nicaraguan culture. Discover the city’s numerous historical gems, including the Museum of the Revolution and the vibrant Rubén Darío mural.

Leon doesn’t stop at history; it pulses with a thriving cultural scene. From captivating poetry readings to vibrant music festivals and traditional dance performances, this city offers a kaleidoscope of cultural events.

Suchitoto, El Salvador

Photo credit: Franklin Toledo

Tucked away in the heart of El Salvador lies the charming city of Suchitoto, a place often referred to as the country’s cultural epicenter. Surrounded by the majestic Custatlan mountains, this city is a tapestry of brightly colored colonial edifices and winding cobblestone streets.

Suchitoto beckons travelers to connect with the locals and delve into the authentic Salvadoran way of life. Stroll through vibrant street markets and artisan boutiques that come to life during the evenings and weekends. For those with an appreciation for the arts, the city hosts many galleries displaying the creations of talented local artists.

Nature enthusiasts are in for a treat with a 1.8-kilometer walk from the city center to the Los Tercios waterfall. This natural wonder features large hexagonal rock columns with folklore-rich tales explaining its unique formation. Wildlife aficionados can also have a field day, with over 200 bird species spotted near Suchitoto.

Caye Caulker, Belize

Photo credit: Claude Piche

Located off the coast of Belize, the idyllic Caye Caulker beckons with its tranquil atmosphere and natural wonders. This petite island, spanning a mere 8 kilometers, boasts a unique pace of life governed by golf carts and bicycles.

A highlight of Caye Caulker is its world-class snorkeling and scuba diving. Its crystal-clear waters reveal an underwater realm adorned with vibrant coral reefs and teeming marine ecosystems.

The island’s culinary scene is equally enticing, featuring a diverse array of restaurants and bars serving up delectable seafood and tropical libations. Among the culinary treasures, the “lobster burrito,” crafted from freshly caught lobster, is a culinary must-try.

Caye Caulker is a paradox of a vibrant nightlife scene with reggae tunes resonating late into the night, coexisting harmoniously with its serene essence. Visitors can revel in the beauty of splendid sunsets and partake in mesmerizing stargazing under the canopy of the pristine night sky.

Jaco, Costa Rica

Photo credit: Samuel Charron

Located along the Costa Rican coast in the Puntarenas province, Jaco is renowned for its world-class surfing, nightlife, and natural landscapes. A short hour and a half drive from the capital city of San Jose, Jaco stands as a beloved haven for locals and tourists.

At the heart of Jaco’s allure lies its expansive sandy beach, offering prime conditions for surfing, swimming, and basking in the sun’s embrace. The town is further enriched by surf schools and shops, extending their warm welcome to surf enthusiasts of all levels, from novices to seasoned wave riders.

Beyond the waves, the verdant embrace of tropical rainforests envelops Jaco. A 25-minute journey from town unveils the Carara National Park, a sanctuary for various flora and fauna, including scarlet macaws, monkeys, and crocodiles.