The Southeast Asian and European backpacker trails are well known and well traveled. Another backpacker region of the world that has a lot to offer is that of Central America.
Countries like Nicaragua, Costa Rice and Belize offer some wonderful attractions. It can be challenging deciding where to go on your Central America adventure; here are some highlights that are not to be missed.
Caye Caulker, Belize
This island paradise off the coast of Belize is known for its low key backpacker vibe and lower price tag than nearby Caye Ambergris. Diving and snorkeling are not to be missed here due to its proximity to a beautiful reef and the infamous Blue Hole. Relax, eat great food, and dance at reggae bars until the wee hours.
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
The towns surrounding Lake Atitlan are all incredibly unique in their own ways so don’t spend all of your time at just one. Panajachel is a backpacker haven with great souvenir shopping. San Marcos is perfect for the yoga lover and hippie. San Pedro is a great place to relax and enjoy the company of locals and backpackers alike at Sublime Bar.
El Tunco, El Salvador
Many backpackers drive through or only have a stop over in San Salvador in El Salvador but the ocean side town of El Tunco can be a great place for backpackers to chill, surf and enjoy some Pupusas. The town is perfectly nestled in the middle between Antigua, Guatemala and Leon, Nicaragua and has therefore become a stopping point for most backpackers traveling North or South along the Pacific coast.
The town itself is very peaceful and full of bright colors, but the real can’t miss part about León is the opportunity to go volcano boarding. Named one of the most thrilling activities in the world, travelers can ride a sled-like contraption down the side of a building topping out at 50-60 mph.
San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua
Known for the infamous Sunday Funday party, this beach town has been transformed into a backpacker town. There are cheap taco stands and amazing beaches to relax on during the day and bar crawls and hostel pool parties late into the evenings.
Playa Conchal, Manual Antonio, Costa Rica
A trip to Costa Rica wouldn’t be compelte without a stop at the beach. Playa Conchal is arguably one of the most beautiful options in the country. The jungle of Costa Rica actually goes all the way down to the ocean here so swimmers can enjoy the shade.