The Ultimate Travel Guide to Central America

Central America

Caribbean beaches? Check. Dense, lush jungles? Uh-huh. Volcanic peaks? Yes again. With so much to offer, Central America can seem intimidating to the uninitiated. But those familiar with one or more of the region’s seven countries know otherwise (quick refresher: Central America encompasses Panama, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala). From sophisticated metropolises like Panama City to the scuba diving hotspots of Belize, you’ll find a speed that suits you in Central America.

travel tips

When to go

Central America has different climates—from tropical to mountainous—and its annual temperatures vary.

SPRING
April brings lows in the mid-60s°F and highs of 80°F, as well as the performance-heavy International Festival of the Arts in Costa Rica’s capital of San Jose.

SUMMER
In July, head two hours north of Panama City to the town of Portobelo for the Festival de Pollera Conga, which celebrates Panama’s African heritage. Temps this time of year range from the mid-70s°F to the high-80s°F.

FALL
Belize cools down in Autumn, but just a bit, with lows in the mid-70s°F and highs in the mid-80s°F. Join the street parties in Belize City and celebrate the country’s independence from Spain on September 21.

WINTER
Panama City goes big for carnival, with parades and parties on the four days leading up to Ash Wednesday. The weather generally cooperates, too, with temps ranging from the mid-70s°F to the high-80s°F.

Transportation

Panama City boasts a subway line, a bus system and above-ground trains. Many of the other big cities in Central America rely on buses only.

Insider tips

  • Keep an eye on travel advisories for Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Though largely safe, these countries have pockets of gang and drug activity as well as political and civil unrest.
  • Central America is a treasure trove of Spanish Colonial cities, including Casco Viejo in Panama City, Antigua in Guatemala and Granada in Nicaragua.
  • Central America is a large producer and exporter of coffee, and many of the region’s coffee plantations are open for tours.

top attractions

Panama Canal, Panama City, Panama

Watch boats from around the world navigate the locks of the engineering marvel known as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.”

Read More ›

Manuel Antonio National Park, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica

A gem of a conservation area on the Pacific Ocean.

Learn More ›

Ambergris Caye, Belize

The largest island in Belize is a diver’s paradise.

Learn More ›

featured properties

Radisson Hotel Panama Canal

Radisson Hotel Panama Canal provides guests with easy access to Panama’s beautiful beaches, amazing architecture and excellent shopping. The Bridge of the Americas, which is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, is within sight from our pristine hotel location.

Radisson San Jose-Costa Rica

Plan your next business trip, family getaway, or romantic vacation at Radisson San Jose-Costa Rica. Wander through the markets or museums of San Jose, venture to Volcan Arenal’s hot springs, and unwind in one of our elegant rooms or suites.

Radisson Hotel and Suites Guatemala City

Located in Guatemala’s vibrant capital city, Radisson Hotel and Suites Guatemala City provides guests with spacious suites as well as free Wi-Fi, free bottled water, and a welcome drink from the on-site bar and lounge. The hotel also features a spa, fitness center, and room service.

Radisson Decapolis Hotel Panama City

The unbeatable downtown location of Radisson Decapolis Hotel Panama City boasts several excellent on-site dining options, a rooftop pool, a business center, a full-service aqua spa, and beauty salon. The downtown location provides easy access to shopping, a casino, and the historic Casco Viejo district.

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, San Jose Aeropuerto, Costa Rica

Delve into local history at the nearby Pueblo Antiguo, or browse the stores at Plaza Real Cariari during your stay on the north side of downtown San Jose.

Radisson Fort George Hotel and Marina

Enjoy stunning views of the Caribbean Sea from you suite and venture a short distance to explore Mayan ruins.

Radisson Colon 2,000 Hotel & Casino

Located just steps from the second-largest free-trade shopping zone in the world, Radisson Colon 2,000 Hotel and Casino is a spectacular choice for travelers who like to stay close to the action. The hotel features free high-speed internet, a free shuttle, as well as spacious meeting areas to accommodate any special events.

Park Inn by Radisson San Jose, Costa Rica

Located within walking distance of downtown San Jose, Park Inn by Radisson San Jose, Costa Rica is an ideal location for both business and leisure travelers alike. After a busy day, unwind in a comfortable guest room or suite with free high-speed internet, or head to the on-site RBG Bar & Grill for delicious international and American cuisine.

explore other destinations

New York City Travel Guide

With five boroughs and more than 8.5 million people, the Big Apple has something for everyone.

Learn More ›

Panama City Travel Guide

Panama’s capital city is a melting pot of culinary, cultural and environmental delights.

Learn More ›