Travel Central America
Venture Into the Exotic
Belize and Costa Rica, two of the most undisturbed and easy places to visit, may actually be good for your health – talk about a high blood pressure remedy. But eco-tourists, history buffs and outdoor enthusiasts flock here as well. Both countries boast miles of pristine, tropical beaches, a bounty of blue-sky days and some of the most interesting flora and fauna outside of the Amazon basin.
Located on the east coast just south of Mexico, Belize is a haven for retirees looking for their own slice of heaven. Be warned that high prices and unpaved roads may slow you down, but be sure to make time to snorkel the Barrier Reef, discover the ancient Mayan civilization and see some exotic wildlife in their natural surroundings.
Costa Rica, sandwiched between Nicaragua and Panama in the southern part of the region, has been without an army since 1949, which demonstrates the country’s peace-loving nature. San Jose, the capital, is a thriving, cultured and modern city that is as safe as any in North America.
While Belize and Costa Rica are friendly places to visit, the rest of the region can be a toss-up for foreigners. Honduras bears many similarities to these two most-welcoming countries, but the rest of the region will test the nerves of less-adventurous travelers.
The U.S. government has issued no travel advisories for Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua or Panama, but those countries can be dangerous for tourists. Civil unrest has led to kidnappings and terrorist attacks on North American and European tourists, so if you go, book a guide and heed the advice religiously.
Have a hankering to visit the area without wading through the tourist alerts? Book a sea cruise and you’ll be able to see one of mankind’s most brilliant engineering marvels – the Panama Canal.