Tora Adventure

Two people exploring the world, seeking adventure & unique experiences.

Top 5 Central America

Top 5 Central America Can’t decide which country to visit? The below list is our favourite top 5 countries and/or adventures in Central America

  1. Nicaragua
  2. El Salvador
  3. Guatemala
  4. Panama
  5. Belize

Narrowed down which country you want to visit, but can’t decide where to go? Below is a list of our top 5 experiences in each country with links to each experience (in order to travel)

Note the average cost per day is broken down as follows : food/drink (3 meals a day and snacks, includes the compulsory sampling of  local beer), accommodation (per person mainly sharing a private room (dorms are slightly cheaper) entertainment (mainly organized tours), transport (getting from place to place) and miscellaneous (medicine, laundry, border taxes, visas, replacing lost items, etc.)


Top 3 Mexico

We travelled in the south of Mexico for only a couple of weeks so the following list is  limited and doesn’t cover the whole of Mexico.

  1. Oaxaca Hierve El Agua, & gourment food (mole)
  2. Palenque, Exploring the ancient ruins
  3. Mexico city, Hanging out in the cosmopolitan city
  • Average cost $43pp Cdn per day ($5 food/drink, $12 accommodation, $5 entertainment, $6 transport, $15 miscellaneous (mainly Spanish school)
  • Best stayHostal Erni, San Cristobal de las casas, Most welcoming hostel in all of Central America, felt like we were part of the family.
  • Best foodOaxaca– Mole Negro (mmm delicious chocolate sauce over chicken – I know this sounds weird but it’s a must try sensation in your mouth)
  • Best experience- homestay with Maria, the best home cooking of the trip.
  • Worst experience– Spanish tour of Palenque and not understanding a word (admittedly our fault for not learning spanish before we arrived)


Top 5 Guatemala

  1. Semuc Champey, Falling down limestone rocks into clear blue water

We recommend the crazy tour that involves tubing, walking in a cave waist deep in water with a candle and a visit to Semuc Champey

  1. San Pedro, Lake Atlikan, Watching the sun rise from Indian nose.
  2. Tikal, Listening to howler monkeys in the jungle at dawn amongst ancient ruins

We recommend camping overnight to hear the sound of the howler monkers early morning, if you go after 4.30pm your ticket is valid for the next day

  1.  Antigua, Exploring the colonial city
  2. Livingston, Hanging out with carribean community
  • Average cost $22pp Cdn per day ($4 food/drink, $5 accommodation, $4 entertainment, $1 transport, $8 miscellaneous- mainly Spanish school)
  • Best stayHostel Villa del Lago, San Pedro, Tranquil beautiful waterfront lake views at a low cost
  • Best food – Smoking Joe’s Barbeque, San Pedro, Mouthwatering large and juicy flint stone ribs
  • Best experience- Learning Spanish for a month, from complete beginners to conveying our travel needs, and was a great investment as it dramatically helped our future travel endeavours (Guatemala is one of the cheapest places to learn)
  • Worst experience– All men down, both sick with the flu in Antigua


Top Belize

We were only in Belize for 5 days so cant comment on our top 5, however the highlight was swimming with sharks and rays in shark ray alley and having more than 20 baby iguanas put on us at an iguana sanctuary. Link here

  • Average cost $60pp Cdn per day ($11 food/drink, $13 accommodation, $17 entertainment (mainly shark ray alley snorkelling tour), $15 transport, $5 miscellaneous)
  • Best stay– Deb & Dave’s Last Resort, Palencia, Cute beachside hostel
  • Best food – Joycelyn’s Cuisine, Punta Gorda border town near Livingston Guatemala small shack with best fish and chips we had on the whole entire trip.
  • Best experience- Snorkelling shark ray alley
  • Worst experience– Constantly given the wrong currency as change. The currency is $USD so watch your change as the Guatemalan coins look similar but are worth significantly less.


Top Honduras

We traveled to only a few places in Honduras as spent most of our time diving so the list is limited

1. Diving in Roatan

2. Checking out the Palenque ancient ruins

  • Average cost $53pp Cdn per day ($7 food/drink, $11 accommodation, $27 entertainment (Scuba diving- Padi and advanced certifications and fun dives) , $6 transport, $2 miscellaneous)
  • Best stay– Chili’s, amazing location, friendly staff and cheap dives.
  • Best food – Gracious, as not only was the food delicious but it felt more like a homestay experience. You won’t meet anyone more proud of her cooking. She even asked us to write our comments in her comment book before we left.
  • Best experience- Xmas eve, celebrating with the locals by lighting the sky with fireworks
  • Worst experience– Being accused of not paying for a tour, an hour after we had paid and the tour was suppose to begin.


Top 5 El Salvador

  1. Juayua, Canyoning down waterfalls on the seven water falls hike
  2. Santa Ana Volcano, Hiking to the active crater
  3. Los Cabanos, Freeing baby turtles during sunset
  4. El Imposible, Jumping into canyons in a national park
  5. Suchito, Admiring the spectacular views
  • Average cost $29pp Cdn per day ($6 food/drink, $11 accommodation, $6 entertainment, $4 transport, $2 miscellaneous)
  • Best stay– Suchitoto Hostel Vista al Lago, The best view in Central America, right outside your window
  • Best food –Suchitoto Pupusas, this was our favorite snack of all the countries, a fried tortilla ozzing with melted cheese and a filling (order the crazy or the loco and you’ll get a mix of everything so get a surprise with each bite you take)
  • Best experience- Cabanos, Releasing 5o baby turtles during sunset
  • Worst experience– debit card being skimmed at a department store


Top 5 Nicaragua

Leon – Volcano boarding and hiking to El Hoyo. We recommend the combined two day El Hoyo and Volcano Boarding tour with Quetzaltrekkers- Link to our Volcano Boarding experience can be found here Link to our El Hoyo experience can be found here Another great experience was night time viewing of lava on Telica Volcano which can be found here

  1. Little Corn Island, Cracking coconuts with locals
  2. Ometepe Island, Relaxing on the tranquil lake
  3. Somoto Canyon, Swimming through an amazing canyon
  4. Rio San Juan, Night time viewing of caimans
  • Average cost $18pp Cdn per day ($5 food/drink, $5 accommodation, $2 entertainment, $4 transport $1, $1 miscellaneous)
  • Best stay– Grand River Lodge, Secluded huts in the jungle, perfect if you want to get away from it all
  • Best food – Little corn island, Coconut bread and fresh fish
  • Best experience- Volunteering as volcano hiking guides with Quetzal trekkers
  • Worst experience– Getting robbed on the chicken bus


Top Costa Rica

We were only in Costa Rica for a few weeks so again can’t comment on our top 5 however the highlight was Rio Celeste and Manual Antonio park.  Link here

  • Average cost $32pp Cdn per day ($5 food/drink, $12 accommodation, $9 entertainment, $5 transport, $1 miscellaneous)
  • Best stay– Hanging out with locals at Chirripo refuge (highest point in Costa Rica)
  • Best food – No comment, as self catered the whole time
  • Best experience- Taking the offbeat hiking trail to the turquoise blue Rio Celeste
  • Worst experience– Being accused of not paying for a tour, an hour after we had paid and the tour was suppose to begin.


Top 5 Panama

  1. San Blas Islands, Sailing from Panama to Colombia
  2. Bocas Del Toro, Walking from red frog beach to Bastimentos
  3. Lost and Found hostel, Looking for treasure on a scavenger hunt through the jungle
  4. Panama city, Watching the magnificent engineering of the Panama Canal
  • Average cost $56pp Cdn per day ($5 food/drink, $11 accommodation, $35 entertainment (mainly Panama to Colombia, San Blas sailing tour), $4 transport, $1 miscellaneous)
  • Best stay– Lost and found hostel, This has got to be our favorite hostel in Central America because of its uniqueness with a treasure hunt, and serenity of feeling like your Robinson Crusoe in the middle of nature.
  • Best food – San Blas islands- fresh lobster.
  • Best experience- Panama to Colombia 3 days sailing via the spectacular San Blas islands
  • Worst experience– Arriving at Bocas Del Toro during Semana Santa- everything was nearly booked out, including buses as a result we ended up walking around for hours trying to find accommodation and standing on a bus for over 3 hours to get to our next destination.



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