From the crest of a wave or deep beneath the coral, there is no denying that Central America is one of the world’s hottest spots for adventure travel. With so much to see and do, it is fast becoming a hub for many international travellers, and with easy access to all kinds of amenities, a variety of airports and seaports to arrive at, safe places to exchange currency and plenty of guided tours, we expect this increase in travel to continue to grow.
With so much geographical and cultural diversity crammed into this relatively small subcontinent, Central America is brimming with adrenaline-fuelled opportunities.
Here’s a quick look at five of the best adventure travel highlights:
Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua:
This has to be one of the most breathtaking places in Central America. Two volcanic peaks pierce the horizon, lush rainforest at their feet, against the exquisite azure backdrop of Lake Cocibolca. Climb, swim, snorkel, dive and pack an extra set of batteries for your camera.
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica:
This vast area of protected parkland contains primary and secondary rainforest, mangrove swamps and cloud forest, and as such is home to a phenomenal variety of birdlife – including the iconic scarlet macaw – and is a fabulous place for travellers of all ages, budgets and inclinations.
Hol Chan Marine Reserve, Belize:
Hol Chan is perhaps the most exciting dive site in Central America. Not only will you see colourful corals, but you’ll have the chance to get up close and personal with nurse sharks, stingrays, eagle rays, eels and lizard fish. There are spots for divers of all levels, and you’ll find equipment and training on hand if you need it.
La Moskitia, Honduras:
La Moskitia’s appeal lies in its offbeat feel. With few roads, hotels or organised tours, visitors are left to their own devices to explore the untamed wilderness of Honduras. Hire a local canoe and take a trip down the river to see the mud houses and lagoon villages that make up La Mostikia’s indigenous population. You’ll soon understand why environmentalists and NGOs are working so hard to preserve the tranquil beauty of this little-explored corner of Central America.
Bocas Del Toro, Panama:
This small archipelago is as charming as it is adventurous. A merciful absence of high-rise hotels has allowed a quiet and welcoming village atmosphere to prevail, despite the islands’ growing tourist appeal. These few small islands are covered with some of the wildest rainforest in the subcontinent and bordered by some of the most spectacular coral reefs.
You’ll also get a chance to see some of the area’s remaining tribal settlements, which follow ancient routines based on the sun and the seasons, and are refreshingly resistant to the technological age. Rumour has it that Bocas Del Toro will soon be fertile ground for investors as well as jungle wildlife, so hurry, book now and see it before it spoils.