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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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Michael, an Audley Travel specialist

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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.

  • Pelicans, Osa Peninsula

    Osa Peninsula Uncovered

    • Take in the lights of San Jose with a mountain side stay

    • Zip line and hike below the imposing Arenal Volcano

    • Take a scenic flight to the wild Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica's prime wildlife destination

    • Hike through rainforests and along rugged beaches

    8 days from $2,995pp

  • Sloth, Tortuguero National Park

    Family Adventure in 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.

    10 days from $3,255pp

  • 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.

    15 days from $3,425pp

  • Driving through Tenorio, Costa Rica

    Costa Rica self-drive

    • 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.

    12 days from $3,745pp

  • Arenal Volcano, Arenal Volcano

    A Costa Rican Adventure

    • 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.

    9 days from $3,885pp

  • Hot air ballooning over Teotihuacan

    City break: 5 nights in Mexico City

    • Soar over the UNESCO-listed archaeological zone of Teotihuacán in a hot air balloon.

    • Discover the surrounding colonial cities of Cuernavaca and Taxco.

    • Uncover the history behind the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco.

    • Taste some of the wonderful street food on offer.

    6 days from $3,920pp

  • 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.

    10 days from $3,970pp

  • Manuel Antonio

    Classic Costa Rica self-drive

    • 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.

    14 days from $3,995pp

  • The View from on top of Caana, Caracol's and Belize's Tallest Buliding

    Belize Reef & Rainforest

    • The jungles and caves of the Cayo District.

    • Fascinating Mayan ruins hidden in the jungle.

    • Tropical wildlife of Orange Walk.

    • The turquoise waters and white sand beaches surrounding Placencia.

    11 days from $4,270pp

  • 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.

    11 days from $4,290pp

  • Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City

    Mexico: From city to sea

    • 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.

    13 days from $4,405pp

  • 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.

    12 days from $4,470pp

  • Palenque, Mexico

    Maya highlights of Mexico

    • Marvel at the jungle-clad Maya pyramids of Palenque.

    • Explore cosmopolitan Merida with its pretty squares, museums and elegant mansions.

    • Visit the spectacular Maya sites of Uxmal and Chichen Itza.

    • Relax on a pristine beach near the crumbling ruins of Tulum.

    11 days from $4,470pp

  • 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.

    11 days from $4,585pp

  • Hummingbird, Costa Rica

    Costa Rica in a week

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

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

    • Take a sunset Catamaran tour exploring some of the more secluded beaches on the Pacific coast.

    8 days from $4,680pp

  • 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.

    13 days from $4,730pp

  • 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.

    13 days from $4,995pp

  • 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.

    13 days from $5,085pp

  • 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.

    14 days from $5,410pp

  • Howler monkey, Belize

    Grand tour of Belize

    • The jungles and caves of the Cayo District.

    • The plantations and Caribbean culture of Punta Gorda.

    • Spotting toucans and macaws in the trees above your lodge in Orange Walk.

    • Swimming and snorkelling in Ambergris Caye.

    13 days from $5,670pp

  • 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.

    12 days from $5,685pp

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