By Jeff Jenkins
If we were to have a fairytale with a jungle setting, it would look like Central America.
Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama are as similar as they are different—they each contribute to the great beauty that is their subcontinent, while still having their own distinctive identity.
Knowing every one of these lands is reason enough to visit Central America, but I’m sure you want a more detailed list.
Central America is tiny, probably the tiniest subcontinent there is. It makes up for only 0.1% of Earth’s entire surface, yet it still owns around 8% of the biodiversity. If your soul is green, Central America will make your dreams come true.
9- PARADISIACAL BEACHES.
All Central American countries have coasts, and most of them—except Belize and El Salvador—enjoy Caribbean and Pacific beaches. If it sounds dreamy that’s because it is. Most of them are made for relaxation, all while being 100% Instagram-worthy.
8- UNDER THE SEA.
With the amazing Belize Barrier Reef, the Great Blue Hole, crystal clear water and hundreds of different aquatic species, Central America offers fans of snorkeling and diving an incredible opportunity to explore unparalleled beauty underwater.
7- ARCHAEOLOGICAL HEAVEN.
Are you a chubby Indiana Jones in the making and wish to explore fascinating ruins? Start your journey in Central America—there are relics everywhere! Multiple civilizations had their rise and fall within these lands, and you can glimpse at their former glory through them.
6- MAYAN CULTURE: THEN AND NOW.
The most well-known of all those civilizations is the Mayan one. Deep within the jungle, this long-living culture enjoyed a great empire for many centuries. Mayans survive and thrive today, and you can explore their modern livings and contemporary culture within Central American countries.
5- CULTURAL DIVERSITY.
Central Americans are not the same—diversity is their defining trait. Guatemala enjoys a big and heterogeneous indigenous community, Belize boasts creole culture, and so on. Each country is unique, and every culture is worth exploring.
4- THE FOOD IS DELICIOUS.
With incredible cultural diversity comes another great side-dish—food. Pun intended.
All across Central America you will find a delightful combination of dishes and flavors, ranging from the Creole-inspired cuisine in Belize to the mouth-watering ceviche that abounds in every corner. Would you like to miss that? Nope.
3- COFFEE & COCOA, EVERYWHERE.
And great food leads us to great drinks. Did you know cocoa was first enjoyed in Central America? Chocolate production is tied to the area, as is that of coffee, one of its principal products. Fans of both would be delighted to explore artisanal corners dedicated to these magical beans.
2- ELECTRIC CITIES.
Not everything about Central America is ancient or natural—some cities are authentic cosmopolitan metropolis. Panama City, San José, amongst many others can be electric spots featuring amazing shopping malls and an active night scene.
1- BUDGET DESTINATION.
I would like to say money is not an issue, but we all know the truth—more often than not, it is. So the fact that Central America is such a cheap destination is certainly an incredible appeal. Nearby, inexpensive, and highly rewarding! The whole package.
Central America by Ralph Lee Woodward & David Bushnell.
History of Cocoa by INAFORESTA.
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