Central America is a narrow isthmus of land connecting North America to South America. The North Pacific Ocean lies to the southwest, the Caribbean Sea lies to the northeast, and the Gulf of Mexico lies to the north.
Most of Central America rests atop the Caribbean Plate. The region is geologically active, with volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occurring from time to time. Fertile soils from weathered volcanic lavas have enabled highland areas to support large towns and cities.
Central America provides a stunning coastline, temperate waters, tropical forests and a rich and diverse cultural experience, with numerous archaeological sites of civilizations past.
HINTS & TIPS
- The majority of countries will only ask to see a valid passport and do not require a visa or issue visas-on-arrival. You may have to pay a small fee upon entry. Panama has more requirements including a return ticket, proof of US$500 and yellow fever vaccination.
- The U.S. restricts its citizens from traveling to Cuba, and they must apply for a license. The other option is leaving from a non-U.S. port (Guatemala, Panama, Mexico can be more difficult) and not bring back any item that can be identified as Cuban.
- Some countries have a high crime rate and it’s best to be more cautious in the evening. Leave fancy jewelry or watches behind (a safety box is best, as even rental cars are known to be stolen in some cities) and carry only what you need including a copy of your passport.
- Spanish is the predominant language, but may differ greatly in some regions or amongst indigenous cultures.
- You may want to bring spare toilet paper for many toilets will not have the amenity. Also, toilets may be difficult to find in some areas, so go when you can (such as in restaurants).
Detailed DIY itinerary guides for every destination.
Top things to do in every Caribbean city.
The best dishes & drinks you should NOT miss!
Accommodations from cheap to luxury picks.