Central America is where two worlds cross paths, where the lumbering giants of North and South America stop and peer curiously at one another and where, with the lightest touch, their fingertips meet. It is a place of fragile beauty, vulnerable and mortal, a place with the kind of hopeful uncertainty that is particular to transition. For it is in transition, in every sense of the word: unlike many parts of the world, Central America is a place that is still happening – it has not quite decided who it wants to be. And while this gives the region certain volatility, be it stemming from the fires of Nicaragua’s volcanoes or the firearms of the gangs of Honduras, there are parts that are almost ethereal in their tranquillity and aestheticism.
Central America only has seven countries to its name, but between them they serve up an astounding diversity, which is reflected in the vast choice of activities on offer. Choose between snorkelling with dazzling marine life on Belize’s Barrier Reef, gazing at the kaleidoscopic birdlife of El Salvador’s cloud forests, getting lost in the oasis of cosmopolitanism that is Panama City, pondering the mysterious Mayan jungle temples of Tikal in Guatemala or simply kicking back under a palm tree on a paradisiacal beach in Costa Rica.
"Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun every year" - Unknown