Here’s the Central America Tourism Agency (CATA) list of some of the best new tours due to launch this year including volcano experiences, city trips and surfing holidays.
ISLANDS & VOLCANOES OF CENTRAL AMERICA
The Central America Volcanic Arc (CAVA) is a chain of volcanoes that forms the spine of the region and is therefore one of its defining characteristics. Now Dragoman will launch its new ‘Islands & Volcanoes of Central America’ tour travelling through Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica in an all volcano encompassing tour of Central America.
Highlights include exploring colonial Antigua, the ruins of Copan, a boat trip to the island of Roatán, getting active in Costa Rican cloud forests and helping a local community project, all in the shadows of CAVA’s most impressive members. The 21-day tour is priced from £1,530 + £430 to the kitty which funds accommodation, meals, activities and entry fees. Excludes international flights. www.dragoman.com/holidays/details/islands-and-volcanoes-of-central-america
COSTA RICA TO PANAMA
Neighbours Costa Rica and Panama are ideal for coupling in a visit to the most southerly area of Central America.
Intrepid Travel has a new Costa Rica to Panama tour allowing guests to explore the marvels of the two nations. Cloud forests, jungles and marine environments of Costa Rica’s national parks give visitors the opportunity to spot incredible wildlife such as monkeys, tapirs, and birds of paradise before relaxing in the progressive beachside town of Las Catalinas, renowned for being a car-free settlement.
From there the journey continues to energetic Panama City which is celebrating its 500th anniversary meaning the city will be pulsating even more this coming year than usual. The eight-day tour is priced from £1,120 including some meals, internal transport, accommodation and activities where applicable. Excludes international flights. www.intrepidtravel.com/uk/costa-rica/costa-rica-panama-115462
THE MAYAN TRAIL
The Mayans once ruled the lands of Central America creating cities with monumental architecture including large temples full of elaborate facades.
The Maya Culture still has much bearing on the character of the region and is a source of pride for Central Americans. Tourists come to the area that is recognised as one of the six cradles of civilization to admire the ruins and monuments that stand as a reminder to a great empire that once was. Kuoni gives Maya-enthusiasts the chance to see these sites and now has released the 2019 and 2020 dates for its ‘Mayan Explorer’ tour.
The itinerary travels through the lands that were once home to the Maya kingdom and features sites such as Tikal National Park, Xunan Tunich, Yaxchilan and Chichen Itza. The trip has a laid-back tropical ambience while giving visitors an insight in to how this advanced civilization once lived in the largest of the ruins, Tikal, to more off the beaten track locations. The eight-day tour is priced from £2,120 per person and includes accommodation, some meals, internal transport and international flights. www.kuoni.co.uk/mexico/cancun/tours/mayan-explorer-2019-2020
DIVING CENTRAL AMERICA’S CARIBBEAN COAST
Central America is famed for its Caribbean coast that offers some of the best conditions for diving in the world with a bustling aquatic society below the surface. The Belize Barrier Reef is the second largest in the world and is home to the iconic Blue Hole, a dive on every enthusiast’s bucket list.
PADI Travel is offering the opportunity to book private group tours starting in Belize and continuing down past Guatemala then round to Honduras and its bay islands such as Roatán. Prices are available on request. www.travel.padi.com