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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 Chris

Start planning your tailor-made trip by contacting one of our Central America specialists

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.

  • Hotel Punta Islita, Punta Islita

    Hotel Punta Islita break

    Costa Rica
    • Infinity pools with one of the best ocean views in Costa Rica.
    • Hotel Punta Isla is fully committed to ecological and social sustainability.
    • Dine on Costa Rican seafood specialities at the Pacifico Restaurant.
    • The hotel is set on the biodiverse Nicoya Peninsula, surrounded by tropical rainforest.
    • Casa spa uses traditional Costa Rican healing arts and the wisdom of a local herbalist.

    5 days from £1,500pp

  • Ana Y Jose, Tulum

    Ana y José break

    Mexico
    • The first formal hotel in Tulum has an excellent reputation for service and quality.
    • Suites are exceptionally well decorated with natural materials and Mexican influences.
    • Dine with sand beneath your feet at the beachside restaurant, serving dishes made from local organic ingredients.
    • Indulge in a Mayan mud massage at the relaxing OM spa.

    5 days from £1,520pp

  • Largarta Lodge, Nosara

    Lagarta Lodge break

    Costa Rica
    • The Lodge maintains over 90 acres of its own private nature reserve on the Nicoya peninsula.
    • Intimate hotel with just 26 suites, set with breathtaking views over the Pacific Ocean.
    • Gecko Lounge is the perfect place to watch a classic Costa Rican sunset.
    • Three stunning, protected beaches just minutes walk from the hotel.
    • There is one of the world's largest sea turtle nesting sights just 25 minutes' drive away.

    5 days from £1,570pp

  • Pool at sunset, Victoria House , Ambergris Caye

    Victoria House break

    Belize
    • Located right on the Ambergris Caye, the perfect place to scuba dive in the legendary Belize Blue Hole.
    • Dine in privacy under the pier gazebo with delicious food prepared at the Palmilla restaurant.
    • One of a kind beachfront spa offers 36 different treatments for the ultimate relaxation.
    • Snorkel in both the Holchan Marine Reserve and Shark Ray Alley.

    5 days from £1,660pp

  • Turtle Inn Resort, Placencia

    Turtle Inn Resort break

    Belize
    • This small family run hotel has 25 rooms situated in traditional thatched roof cottages.
    • Only a short walk or cycle ride to the nearby fishing village of Placencia.
    • Local fish from the nearby reefs is served with Italian style dishes in the Mare restaurant.
    • The Caribbean's largest barrier reef lies just minutes away.
    • Finish the day with a sunset cruise over the Placencia Lagoon, to spot manatees and dolphins.

    5 days from £2,180pp

  • Casa Sandra, Isla Holbox

    Casa Sandra break

    Mexico
    • Casa Sandra has an exclusive feel with only 16 rooms, set on the white sands of Isla Holbox.
    • Take a boat cruise out from the island to visit its neighbours Isla Pasión and Isla Pájaros.
    • Ser Esencia restaurant cooks with local ingredients, inspired by traditional Yucatecan flavours.

    5 days from £2,220pp

  • Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, Mayan Riviera

    Belmond Maroma break

    Mexico
    • Nestled in 200 acres of jungle and a mile of white sand beach, for the perfect natural escape.
    • Enjoy an alfresco dinner under the stars at El Restaurante.
    • Amazing location to explore the historic & natural sites of the Yucatán.

    5 days from £2,270pp

  • Pool deck, Viceroy Riviera Maya

    Viceroy Riviera Maya break

    Mexico
    • Accommodation comprises 41 private villas with their own plunge pool, sunbathing deck and outdoor shower.
    • Coral restaurant and bar is situated right by the water's edge, serving Mexican influenced dishes.
    • Perfectly situated to explore some of the many famous Mayan archaeological sites in the area.

    5 days from £2,440pp

  • Leon Cathedral, Nicaragua

    Historic Nicaragua

    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

  • Thatch Caye Resort

    Thatch Caye Resort break

    Belize
    • All-inclusive private island resort with a hidden, castaway feel.
    • Only 30 guests can stay at a time in the beautiful thatched roof overwater bungalows.
    • Take a stargazer cruise under the Belizean night sky, learning all about the constellations.
    • Borrow a bike to experience more of the island at your own steam.
    • Fresh seasonal ingredients from local Muy,Ono Farm are served in an authentic evening meal at the Grove Restaurant.

    5 days from £2,640pp

  • Kura Design Villas, Costa Rica

    Kura Design Villas break

    Costa Rica
    • 8 Luxurious suites each with views over the rainforest and ocean.
    • Tropical location makes it easy to spot wild bird life, like toucans and lorikeets.
    • Master suites have exclusive private plunge pools and the best views at the property.
    • Easy access to seven remote beaches along 35 km (22 miles) of Pacific coastline.
    • Delicious fresh cuisine sustainably sourced from local farms, fisherman and greens grown at the hotel.

    5 days from £2,670pp

  • Be Tulum, Tulum

    Be Tulum break

    Mexico
    • Exclusively designed rooms and villas feature natural materials and have spacious outdoor terraces and private pools.
    • Wellness energy spa helps guests feel rejuvenated with organic treatments.
    • Ocumare restaurant created by Michelin-starred chef Mauricio Giovanini specialises in flavours from around the world.
    • Situated on white sandy beaches flanked by jungle the natural beauty of the area is unparalleled.
    • Ideal location to explore all Tulum has to offer, from Maya ruins to hidden cenotes.

    5 days from £2,780pp

  • One-Bedroom Suite with Plunge Pool, The Four Seasons Resort

    The Four Seasons Resort break

    Costa Rica
    • Five different restaurants provide a wealth of choice.
    • High-tech telescope allows clear skies to be seen in more detail during an evening stargaze.
    • Opportunity to take a trip out to the Arenal volcano or the Rio Celeste National Park and waterfall due to the hotel's location on the Peninsula Papagayo.
    • Play golf surrounded by the beauty of the forest and the sounds of nature on the 18-hole course designed by Arnold Palmer.

    5 days from £2,950pp

  • Playa Delfines, Cancun

    Mexico's Mayan Riviera

    Mexico
    • Seven-night stay at one of Mexico's best beachfront hotels.

    • Take a tour to discover the fascinating ruins of Chichén Itzá.

    • Fantastic snorkeling and diving opportunities.

    • Relax on a long stretch of soft sandy beach.

    9 days from £3,080pp

  • Keel-billed toucan in Belize

    Simply Belize: Jungle & beach

    Belize
    • 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

  • Sloth, Tortuguero National Park

    Highlights of Costa Rica

    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 £3,150pp

  • Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

    Costa Rica self-drive family adventure

    Costa Rica
    • 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

  • Pool, Hotel Punta Islita,Punta Islita

    Private Stay at Punta Islita and Arenal

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

    • Unwind and relax in your private villa on the Nicoya Peninsula, one of the worlds Blue Zones.

    • Experience sweeping panoramic ocean views from the hillside.

    • Learn about authentic Costa Rican culture.

    • Spend time with the extended family, or a group of friends in privacy.

    9 days from £3,410pp

  • Driving through Tenorio, Costa Rica

    Costa Rica self-drive tour

    Costa Rica
    • 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 £3,485pp

  • Arenal Volcano, Arenal Volcano

    Discover Costa Rica

    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 £3,610pp

  • Manuel Antonio

    Classic Costa Rica self-drive tour

    Costa Rica
    • 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 £3,625pp

  • Grey Whale, San Ignacio Lagoon

    Cradle of the Grey Whale: Baja California Uncovered

    Mexico
    • 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

  • Torre Suite, Esencia,Mayan Riviera

    Esencia break

    Mexico
    • This award-winning small hotel has just 29 rooms, set in a historic mansion.
    • The Esencia estate is tucked away on the pristine Xpu-Ha beach.
    • Two onsite restaurants serving sophisticated fusions of Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine.
    • Step off of the hotel's beach and right into a marine sanctuary, a haven for sea turtles and tropical fish.

    5 days from £3,770pp

  • Ambergris Caye, Belize

    Belize Honeymoon

    Belize
    • 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

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