Top Travel Ideas for Central America and the Caribbean

From the depths of Central America’s rainforests to its Caribbean shores, these small-group adventures showcase amazing biodiversity, thrilling excursions and the best coffee in the world.
Nick Dauk
14 Sep 2022
Central America is a wonderful holiday destination. In a single weekend you can climb volcanoes, trudge through rainforest and surf multiple coastlines. In a mere week you can crisscross countries, sampling coffee and cuisine as diverse as the lands from which they spring. With Mexico and Colombia bookending this rich landscape, opportunities for adventure are limitless – especially on these Central American and Caribbean trips, bookable with Culture Trip.
1 . Hike, surf and sip coffee the pura vida way in Costa Rica

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where you’ll learn the meaning of pura vida on this nine-day Costa Rica trip. For some, it’ll be while spotting sloths during moonlit hikes in Monteverde. For others, it may be on the deck of a surfboard just off Tamarindo’s shore. For you, it could be the first sip of coffee in La Fortuna or the first glimpse of the Irazú volcano outside San José. Ultimately, it’s academic – from the minute you set foot in the country, pura vida is wherever you roam.

Next available from20 May 2023
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2 . Visit ancient temples and swim in wild cenotes on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula

Whatever you desire from a vacation south of the US border, Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula will deliver on this nine-day trip. A dip in a crystal-clear cenote followed by an al fresco barbecue under the stars? Climbing Mayan pyramids before sipping margaritas as the sun sets? Living it up in Cancún’s clubs, then doing nothing but sun worshiping on the beaches of Holbox? Add in a trip to Chichen Itza, a cooking class and a bottle of pox, and you have a truly enriching cultural experience of the Yucatán.

Next available from27 Apr 2023
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3 . Take in markets, pyramids, wrestling and a canal cruise in Mexico City

Embrace the party lifestyle in Mexico City, where solo travelers can join a five-day trip, complete with mezcal drinking and lucha libre matches. Start local as you wander markets in search of cold beers and spicy tacos, before working your way through the trendiest bars in Condesa. Expect a quick day trip to the Teotihuacán pyramids; a raucous evening of mezcal and beer at the wrestling; and a visit to Frida Kahlo’s house, before a memorable mariachi-and-margarita-fueled cruise along the Xochimilco canals.

Next available from25 May 2023
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4 . Soak up the sun on the beaches and rivers of Colombia's Caribbean coast

Young adult vacations and older adult vacations tend to have beach days in common, which is why Colombia’s Caribbean coast is ideal for sun worshipers of all ages. This eight-day trip grants you permission to tan on the country’s pristine beaches, including on a trip to the Rosario Islands, where you’ll find more coral reefs than tourists. You’ll also tackle two rivers – one via boat and another with a river tube – so keep your sunscreen handy.

Next available from30 Sep 2023
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Richard Collett contributed to this article.

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel – and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Epic Trips, Mini Trips and Sailing Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travellers and friends who want to explore the world together.

Epic Trips are deeply immersive 8 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and enough down time to really relax and soak it all in. Our Mini Trips are small and mighty - they squeeze all the excitement and authenticity of our longer Epic Trips into a manageable 3-5 day window. Our Sailing Trips invite you to spend a week experiencing the best of the sea and land in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm – and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.