With Costa Rica and Belize next in line to open up their borders, discovering these countries along with Nicaragua and Guatemala would make it an adventure to remember. Central America is home to a dazzling coastline with white-sand beaches dotted with palm trees, colourful colonial towns, verdant rainforests with unexplored Mayan ruins and prolific wildlife.
Weave your way through the Central American peninsular, staying on private islands, family villas and luxury lodges while exploring this tropical paradise which caters for a romantic getaway as well as a family adventure.
Costa Rica and its best-kept secrets
Start your journey in Costa Rica, a tropical playground of fiery volcanic peaks, bursting with birdlife and wildlife and home to luscious national parks, stunning beaches and dense cloud forests. For nature lovers and those seeking eco-luxury, head to the Osa Peninsula which extends along the country’s south-west coast and is one of the most biodiverse parts of the country. One of our favourite spots is Playa Cativo which offers spectacular diving and the chance to see whales, dolphins, and manta rays in these clear waters.
Wind your way to the north-west to one of Costa Rica’s best-kept secrets. Hacienda Montezuma. A working farm nestled between the Torres and Miravalles volcanoes. For spectacular views across deep forests dotted with granite volcanic peaks, ride a tractor to the top of the mountains or explore the area on horseback for a true ‘sabanero’ experience. From paddleboarding and fishing in the lakes, to treks through the rainforest spotting exotic birds, sloths, tapirs, anteaters, jaguars and pumas, there is something for everyone.
Nicaragua’s emerald lakes and towering peaks
Hop across the border into the less explored Nicaragua, known for its dramatic scenery and charming colonial towns surrounded by vast forests, emerald lakes and towering peaks. One of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas, Granada, is filled with culture and history, look out for handicraft markets dotted around the town. The Mombacho volcano overlooks the city and casts its gaze over Lake Nicaragua. We’d recommend spending a few nights at Tribal Hotel, the epitome of boutique luxury. A private island getaway is a short boat journey away at Jerico Lodge, with views across the lake. For the adventure seekers, head to twin-volcanoed Isla Ometepe in the south-west of the lake and hike the active Concepción Volcano or the in-active Maderas.
Guatemala’s colonial charm and jungle retreats
For a small country, Guatemala has a lot up its sleeve. Make your way to Antigua, where pastel facades line cobbled streets. Days are spent exploring the town by bike and tasting the local cuisine. We recommend staying at Posada del Angel, a beautiful boutique hotel tucked away in the town. After that, head to Lake Atitlan and kayak through its waters, looking out for volcanoes poking their heads into the clouds. From here, head deep into the Rio Dulce region. Our favourite spot? Cassa Zenda, a jungle retreat where you’ll be surrounded by the screeching sounds of the forests and dawn is heard rather than seen. A speedboat is at your disposal to explore the meandering river and open lake. Then head further north to the impressive pyramids of the ancient Mayan kingdom of Tikal. We recommend staying at Las Lagunas, an hour from the Mayan site. For early risers, watch the sunrise over the ruins and return to the hotel’s infinity pool for the afternoon.
Belize’s turquoise waters and dazzling sand
An easy hop over the border takes you into Belize for a chance to really switch off, with turquoise seas, dazzling sand, coral reefs and rich Mayan history. Explore the ruins of Xunantunich in the Cayo District, an area boasting wild rivers, deep caves and winding gorges. Stay at Chaa Creek, a beautiful eco-lodge with palm-thatched roofs and effortless charm in the heart of Mayan civilisation. Fancy a few days at the beach? Placencia is one of our top picks, we recommend staying in thatched casitas at Francis Ford Coppola’s, Turtle Inn. For those looking for a longer stay, travel to your own private island on Cayo Espanto, and find unspoilt luxury and five-star service.
Speak to our experts today to find out more and get ready to make lasting memories from regions of warmth and blue skies.