Rice, beans, plantain, tortillas, quesadilla, guacamole, salsa, tequila…need we go on? Food in Central America is one (very prominent!) reason we love this part of the world so much.
Here, we share some cuisine which may have gone under the radar in the past. Move over Mexico, your neighbours have some pretty sensational tastebud pleasers of their own.
Holiday destination and itinerary planned – tick! Flights and trip booked – tick! Now what to pack? What clothing will be most appropriate for this upcoming adventure?
Being prepared for the differences in clothing norms will go a long way towards helping you feel at ease and welcomed in your holiday destination. And it may additionally help, especially, but not only women, avoid unwanted attention.
From Panama and Belize to Guatemala and Nicaragua, the warm waters and colourful traditions of Central America are brimming with celebration.
Whether you’re after a raucous street party, holy vigil or flamboyant parade, there is a destination, and a festival, to explore every month of the year. We’ve handpicked our six must-see festivals in Central America and Mexico – the promised lands of party:
Mexican food was the first to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Cuisine. And as the birthplace of many now traditional dishes, including mole poblano, chalupas, cemitas, and chiles en nogada, Puebla is a good place to get to know the local treats.
If you’re visiting, here are 10 locations that MatadorU student Jessica Festa recommends for tasting authentic Mexican food…
Central and South America will whet any traveller’s appetite for real adventure with its jungle-clad ruins, steamy rainforests and wildly rugged landscapes. It’s the ultimate destination for the curious and daring, so we’ve tracked down the most intriguing lost cities of this legend-fuelled land…
5. The City of Caesars
Thousands of kilometers of uncharted plains, lonely lakes and ancient forests that were once roamed by dinosaurs – if you were looking to hide a lost city, Patagonia would be the place to do it. But if you’re lucky enough to find yourself exploring this pristine wilderness, chances are you’ve heard the words ‘City of Caesars’ echoing through Patagonia’s glacier filled passes. Typically, the legend speaks of a remote fort filled with unimaginable treasures hidden deep within the Andes.
Iain Mallory, a.k.a. @MalloryOnTravel, has just returned from his first Intrepid trip. So how did he cope with being cooped up on a group tour?…
“Taking a tour of Cuba with Intrepid Travel was an eagerly awaited prospect, as it was to be a completely different experience. To date almost all of my travels have been arranged independently with a sprinkling of package holidays just to keep more cautious friends happy. As specialists in small group tours, providing a bespoke, comprehensive service that includes arranging as much as individual travellers require, it seemed a good compromise.
Intrepid’s Costa Rica Express is a top trip to discover the country’s abundant wildlife, intense volcanic landscapes and superb beaches in a short space of time. But the tip for this trip is what not to pack, as Intrepid’s Jeremy Bookman explains…
“On our first trip to Costa Rica last year, my wife and I thought buying fresh fruit sounded like the perfect refresher for strolling through one of the many beautiful National Parks. Ordinarily I think it would have been, until we came upon an old bridge guarded over by a white-faced capuchin monkey. My wife reached for the camera, but before we knew it he was on the attack and reaching for our bag! Commotion ensued and I grabbed a branch to defend our food. The monkey made for the trees and so it seemed the ordeal was over.
Intrepid Express reader Rhiannon Szmidt thought the only buzz on her birthday would be from the mosquitoes and bugs of the Amazon, but as it turned out, her new-found friends had other plans…
“Having left England on my big adventure only days ago; my birthday started out as a bit of a non-event. I’d only joined my Intrepid tour the day before, so no one even realised it was my birthday at first. But everyone found out on our long bus journey to the Amazon Jungle in Ecuador.
I was really looking forward to living in a dilapidated hut with my mosquito net as my only protection…but when we got there I couldn’t have imagined anything more beautiful.
If you are searching for a real adventure that takes you off the regular tourist trail, then join Intrepid’s Jill Petrella as she reveals that hidden beneath the forested hills of Belize are river caves with tales to tell…
“Many of the Mayan ruins of Central America are well-known and sites such as Palenque, Chichen Itza and Tikal can’t fail to impress with their size and grandeur. However, not all the remnants of this civilisation are so easy to find.
From the small town of San Ignacio in Belize I enjoyed the day river-caving. To enter the cave we had to swim across deep, cold, crystal clear water. Then we spent the next two hours wading, swimming and climbing through the cave. The water was fast-flowing so we had to hold on to each other in some sections to avoid being swept away. The only light was from our head torches and the only sound was the gushing of water.