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Central America is it worth going to?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Central America is it worth going to?

1. Posted by Reece Sanford (Travel Guru 1368 posts) 11y

I was initially planning to visit Central America after Mexico but after doing some research in my Lonely Planet book im not sure if its worth it now.
Ive got a list of things to see in Mexico and a good route that would take me down to Belize then i was planning to go through Belize,Honduras,Nicaragua,Costa Rica and Panama before flying to South America.
Ive got a few things written down to see in Belize but not much and nothing for Honduras or Nicaragua.
Ive not read about Costa Rica or Panama yet but im not sure its even worth going to Central America now even if i did find a few things worth seeing/visiting.

Has anyone done this trip or been to these countries before and any suggestions?

Is it worth me travelling through these countries after Mexico when i could have more time in South America?

2. Posted by Reece Sanford (Travel Guru 1368 posts) 11y

And before people have a go at me like they just have done on another travel site (no names mentioned) for asking this question im not running down central america or the people there.
Im just interested in people opinions about whether its worth me trekking thousands of miles through countries that i havent found much to see in when i could be spending that time in south america instead.
Maybe you have been to all these countries and had a wonderful time and can sell these countries to me to make me change my mind and visit them to.

3. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 11y

In Central America, you will get the following:

  • good beaches with warm ocean to swim in
  • Mayan ruins
  • Rain forest
  • Wild life (monkeys, sloths, lots of birds)

Now, you can find all those things in South America too. If you are planning on doing the Amazon in South America and are planning on seeing Mayan ruins while in Mexico, perhaps you won't get that much more out of Central America.

I have also found that prices are higher in Central America than in South America, so your dollar may go further in South America. (Of course, it depends on the places you go, but in general I think that holds).


4. Posted by blue_eyes (Budding Member 8 posts) 11y

Of course you should go!! Central america is a gorgeous place with lovely people. You don't necessarily need sites to make a place worth going to. Costa Rica is an incredible country....tonnes of stunning rainforests and wildlife as well as beaches, volcanos, mountains etc. I'm sure u wud love it :)

5. Posted by Scorpion73 (Budding Member 8 posts) 11y

Just got back from costa rica, and had a great time, but it mostly depends on your personality and what you want out of your life/time off. I'm sure you could get the same effect warm weather/nice beaches in south america or any other warm weather country.

6. Posted by DocNY (Respected Member 420 posts) 11y

Central America is a wonderful place and has a lot to offer including the ability to see many endangered species, dive the blue holes of Belize (a special experience), beautiful beaches, friendly people, good local cuisines, amazing engineering feats (the Panama canal), and a lot of pristine rainforrest.

If you like to fish, scuba dive or just relax it's even better. Culturally it's not going to compare with many other places but there are plenty of unique peoples like the Mosquito indians and other groups who still have a heritage they are trying to reclaim.

Like traveling anywhere else it's what you choose to make of it.

7. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 11y

If food matters to you at all then skip Central America-what's on offer ranges from greasy mess to horrid gunk.
I know I lived there for time-never again.
Mexico and almost any South American country are much healthier places to eat.

8. Posted by Travisa (Budding Member 2 posts) 11y

I say do it. Dont spend more time than you want to though.

I personally love it in central america. Belize is a wonderful place if you like sea kayaking, jungle hiking, mayan ruins, scuba diving or snorkling, etc... Costa Rica has a ton of lush wild life. Guatamala and hondurus are kind of bland but worth seeing!
I've yet to goto Panama, but I'm for sure going to go there on my way to venezuela.

In my opinion, I say central america is worth a trip through for sure. Ultimatly its up to you and what youre looking for. :)

9. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1160 posts) 11y

Reece, I've only returned from Central America two weeks ago and I'd say it's definitely worth a visit (if you like you could read my blog of the trip

I found Nicaragua a very beautiful country and was a bit sad I could only stay there for a couple of days. Corn Islands, e.g. are supposed to be stunning according to a friend of mine (She really has to become a member of TP soon and share her experience with us!).
Also Panamá is great, the capital is my favourite city in Central America and I loved Bocas del Toro.

Hope this helps to make up your mind and if you need more info on accomation let me know.
Happy travels,


10. Posted by Reece Sanford (Travel Guru 1368 posts) 11y

Quoting steffbo

Reece, I've only returned from Central America two weeks ago and I'd say it's definitely worth a visit (if you like you could read my blog of the trip

Hope this helps to make up your mind and if you need more info on accomation let me know.
Happy travels,


Hi Steff,

Ive already been looking at your blog anyway

Ive decided i am going to Central America and im going to Mexico first and then Belize,Guatemala,Hondura,Nicaragua,Costa Rica and Panama.

I will speak to you sometime about places to stay and thanks