Central America Map
Central American countries starting from the north are:
• Guatemala, also colourful, with Maya temples and colonial cities but embellished occasionally with brilliantly-dressed local people. Poorer than Mexico, care needs to be taken in some areas.
• Belize, a tiny country that’s worth exploring as it’s not only home to tropical jungle and Mayan remains like its northern neighbours but also one of the richest diving/snorkeling areas on the planet – the huge Belize Barrier Reef. Beaches are so-so.
• El Salvador doesn’t have Maya ruins but does offer mountains, volcanoes and pretty good Pacific Ocean beaches with decent surf. The Ruta de Las Flores is a popular scenic driving route.
• Honduras. Some Maya ruins at Copan and good diving and the brilliant little island of Roatan offshore but robbery and kidnapping is rife so maybe later?
• Nicaragua. The country encompasses some stunning scenery including lakes, volcanoes, beaches and the Spanish colonial city of Granada, but again is going thru some socio-political turbulence.
• Finally there’s Panama and it’s famous canal – now upsized. Panama City is typically modern but there are old colonial buildings too, plus a rainforest reserve and some good scuba diving. But, it’s a very hot and sticky place with no shortage of mosquitoes.