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Central America tour ideas

From Aztec ruins and Catholic cathedrals to lively rainforests and deserted beaches, Central America packs an incredibly diverse array of attractions into a compact area. Collectively, our specialists have explored it all and can help introduce you to a region’s landmark sights, as well as lesser-known attractions that offer a deeper insight into the area’s rich culture, history and wildlife.

Our sample itineraries aim to give you a basic starting point and show you what is possible. However, when it comes to planning your tour, we’ll create a personal itinerary based on your interests —  whether you’re hoping to go whale watching in Baja California, discover jungle-covered Palenque in Mexico, or dive the Blue Hole in Belize.

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Audley Travel specialist Corina

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Ideas for your trip to Central America

These itineraries are designed to give you some suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Central America, and they showcase some of the routes that we've found work particularly well. Treat them simply as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely for you by one of our specialists based on your particular tastes and interests.

  • Havana, Cuba

    Classic Cuba tour

    • Get to know Cuba’s vibrant and historic capital, Havana.

    • Visit the colonial city of Trinidad and its surrounding sugar cane plantations.

    • Go walking and explore caves in the valley of Viñales.

    • Relax on one of Cuba's beaches in the northern cayes.

    12 days from £2,490pp

  • Leon Cathedral, Nicaragua

    Colonial Nicaragua

    • Explore the colourful and vibrant city of Granada.

    • Learn about Nicaragua's turbulent modern history in Leon.

    • Stare down into the active Masaya volcano crater.

    • Enjoy remote beaches on the Pacific Coast.

    11 days from £2,595pp

  • Sloth, Tortuguero National Park

    Highlights of Costa Rica

    • Explore the canal networks of Tortuguero National Park.

    • Zip line through the cloudforest and relax in a natural hot spring.

    • See a huge array of wildlife from tiny frogs to sloths and tropical birds.

    • Trek in the shadow of the Arenal Volcano.

    • Relax on the beach, or take a surf lesson instead.

    11 days from £2,995pp

  • Keel-billed Toucan, Belize

    Simply Belize: Jungle & beach

    • Explore the jungles and caves of the Cayo District.

    • Hike jungle and forest trails on guided walks.

    • Tour the Maya ruins of Caracol.

    • Snorkel and swim in the turquoise waters of Ambergris Caye.

    • Dive Belize's celebrated Silk Cayes.

    10 days from £3,120pp

  • Driving through Tenorio, Costa Rica

    Costa Rica self-drive tour

    • Explore the lesser visited Tenorio Volcano, abundant in beautiful rivers, hot springs, lakes and waterfalls.

    • Hike through Tenorio National Park visiting Rio Celeste, one of Costa Rica’s hidden gems.

    • Wander cloudforest canopy walkways in search of a variety of birdlife.

    • Enjoy the scenic drive from the tropical forest area of Tenorio to the beautiful coastlines of Dominical and Uvita.

    • Explore the Osa Peninsula, home to the highest concentration of wildlife in Costa Rica.

    13 days from £3,310pp

  • Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

    Costa Rica self-drive family adventure

    • Explore Tortuguero National Park, an ecological treasure trove consisting of a maze of canals and rivers teaming with all sorts of wildlife.

    • Drive through some of Costa Rica’s most spectacular landscapes.

    • Explore Arenal Volcano, an activity hub that's home to hanging bridges, rainforest walks and lake kayaking.

    • Spend a couple of days in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui for great white-water rafting.

    • Relax in the thermal river of Rio Perdido.

    • Enjoy time on the beach, or take a surf lesson instead.

    16 days from £3,370pp

  • Arenal Volcano, Arenal Volcano

    Discover Costa Rica

    • Raft along the class III and IV rapids of the Pacuare River to and from the remote jungle lodge.

    • Zip along wires strung across the forest.

    • Trek through the jungle to meet indigenous tribes.

    • Take a surf lesson on one of Costa Rica's Pacific beaches.

    10 days from £3,435pp

  • Manuel Antonio

    Classic Costa Rica self-drive tour

    • Explore Costa Rica’s magical landscapes in your own 4x4, with the freedom to stop whenever you like.

    • Enjoy a river safari in the remote Caño Negro Wildlife Reserve.

    • Explore Arenal Volcano, an activity hub home to hanging bridges, lake kayaking and hot springs.

    • Discover the trails of Manuel Antonio, where rainforest meets beach.

    • Explore the Osa Peninsula, one of the most bio-diverse areas of Costa Rica.

    15 days from £3,440pp

  • Grey Whale, San Ignacio Lagoon

    Cradle of the Grey Whale: Baja California Uncovered

    • Boat excursions to spot whales and dolphins in pristine lagoons.

    • Day trip to Espíritu Santo Island to spot a number of bird species as well as observe and snorkel with the playful sea lions.

    • Exploring the Sierra de San Francisco, a mountain range with a diverse flora, rugged canyon scenery and prehistoric rock art.

    11 days from £3,690pp

  • Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City

    Culinary Tour of Mexico

    • Get to know Mexico City and experience some of the wonderful street food on offer.

    • Visit Puebla and explore the surrounding countryside with its archaeological ruins.

    • Learn the secrets of Mexican cuisine through street food tours and market exploration in Oaxaca.

    • Take a cooking class with a local chef.

    • Relax at the coastal town of Huatulco and enjoy the delicious seafood available.

    14 days from £3,880pp

  • Red-eyed Tree Frog, Costa Rica

    Classic Costa Rica tour

    • Take a boat trip among the lush network of canals in Tortuguero National Park.

    • Explore Arenal Volcano, an activity hub home to hanging bridges, lake kayaking and hot springs.

    • Visit the Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve, a mystical temporal forest hiding a myriad of birdlife.

    • Relax on one of Costa Rica's pristine beaches.

    13 days from £3,885pp

  • Ambergris Caye, Belize

    Belize Honeymoon

    • Snorkel with sharks, turtles and rays on Ambergris Caye.

    • A visit to Belize's last frontier, the Toledo District, where you can visit cacao plantations and swim in caves.

    • A relaxing end to the trip as you unwind on Placencia's beaches.

    13 days from £3,890pp

  • Sloth, Costa Rica

    Wildlife of Costa Rica

    • Wander cloudforest canopy walkways in search of a variety of birdlife.

    • Enjoy a river safari in the Caño Negro Wildlife Reserve.

    • Visit the coastal Manuel Antonio National Park to spot white-faced capuchin monkeys, among other species.

    • Explore the Osa Peninsula, home to the highest concentration of wildlife in Costa Rica.

    12 days from £3,930pp

  • Morgans Rock, Nicaragua

    Classic Nicaragua tour

    • Explore the colourful and vibrant cities of Granada and Leon.

    • Marvel at the vast crater of the Masaya Volcano.

    • Relax, walk, kayak or mountain bike on Ometepe Island.

    • Relax on beautiful Pacific coastline beaches.

    13 days from £3,935pp

  • Cienfuegos, Cuba

    Best of Cuba

    • Explore the most fascinating of capital cities, Havana.

    • Absorb the atmosphere in quaint colonial Trinidad.

    • Admire the stunning views of the 'mogotes' across the valley of Vinales.

    • Relax on one of Cuba's famous white-sand beaches.

    12 days from £3,975pp

  • Panama City by night

    Classic Panama tour

    • Explore the buzzing Panama City.

    • Get up close to the enormous locks and tankers by transiting the Panama Canal.

    • Meet the indigenous Kuna community on the San Blas Islands.

    • Relax on the beautiful beaches of Bocas del Toros.

    14 days from £4,230pp

  • Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica

    Cuba & Costa Rica tour

    • Lose yourself wandering the cobbled streets and squares of Havana.

    • Dance the night away with the locals at Trinidad's Casa de la Trova.

    • Spot the Resplendent Quetzal in Costa Rica's cloud forests.

    • Observe the Arenal Volcano and undertake some of the many activities at its base.

    • Relax at a beautiful Pacific coast beach resort.

    16 days from £4,260pp

  • Cayo District, Belize

    Guatemala and Belize Uncovered

    • The exquisite colonial city of Antigua.

    • Stunning Lake Atitlan with its backdrop of volcanoes.

    • Verdant countryside of the Cayo District.

    • Fascinating Mayan ruins hidden in the jungle.

    • Snorkelling in the turquoise waters of Ambergris Caye.

    14 days from £4,360pp

  • Hummingbird, Costa Rica

    Birdwatching in Costa Rica

    • Discover the famous resplendent quetzal in the tranquil cloud forest of San Gerardo de Dota.

    • Enjoy the services of an expert naturalist guide at the Turrialba's renowned birding lodge, Rancho Naturalista.

    • Visit La Selva Biological Station to explore the pristine tropical forest trails, home to 448 species of birds.

    14 days from £4,365pp

  • Palenque, Mexico

    Classic Mexico tour

    • Mexico City - the country's buzzing capital.

    • Palenque - Mexico's atmospheric Mayan ruins in the heart of the jungle.

    • Chichen Itza - the most famous of Mexico's Mayan ruins.

    • Mayan Riviera - long stretches of soft sandy beach.

    15 days from £4,700pp

  • Antigua, Guatemala

    Grand tour of Guatemala

    • Explore the pretty cobbled streets of colonial Antigua.

    • Admire the scenery around Lake Atitlan with its backdrop of volcanoes.

    • Visit authentic local communities and markets in Guatemala's highlands.

    • Tour the turquoise pools and limestone caves at Semuc Champey.

    • Marvel at the Maya temples of Tikal, towering above El Peten's lush jungle.

    13 days from £4,710pp

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