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Essential information

At a glance

‘Hello’ in:
‘hola ’
( o-la )
Spanish
‘hello ’
English
Mar-Jul
Best time to go
Spring
Friday
HRS
08
08
MINS
49
49
Current Time
GMT -6
currency
Belize: Belize dollar (BZ$) Costa Rica: colón (‎₡), US dollar (US$) El Salvador: US dollar (US$) Guatemala: quetzal (Q) Honduras: lempira (L) Mexico: peso (M$) Nicaragua: córdoba (C$), US dollar (US$) Panama: balboa (B/.), US dollar (US$)

Money and costs

Daily Costs
Budget (up to)
US$50
  • Dorm bed: from US$10–15
  • Set meals or street food: US$4–8
  • Public transport: US$5–15
Midrange
US$50–180
  • Double room in a midrange hotel: from US$30–60
  • Restaurant meals: US$8–20
  • Park fees or surf lessons: US$8–25
Top end (more than)
US$180
  • Double room in a high-end hotel, resort or lodge: from US$60–140
  • Guided hikes and tours: US$30–60

Visas

Generally not required for under 90 days. Belize issues 30-day visas. The Centro America 4 (CA-4) agreement allows 90 days in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador.

When to go and weather

Temperature
°C°F

Getting to Central America

Most visitors reach Central America by air or overland from Mexico. Flights, cars and tours can be booked online at www.lonelyplanet.com/bookings.

Getting around Central America

Buses are the cheapest and most accessible way to get around, particularly along the Pan-American Hwy (also called the Panamericana or Interamericana), which runs through all the countries except Belize.

Air Because of the region’s skinny stature, a flight can save several hours of backtracking. Each country has at least one international airport, as well as regional and charter flights via national airlines.

Boat Various types of boat serve islands and some borders.

Bus The main form of regional transport, from comfortable, air-conditioned, long-haul buses to run-down former school buses.

Car & Motorcycle Rentals are usually not allowed to cross international borders.

Train Limited to the Panama City–Colón route in Panama, and a basic commuter service in Costa Rica's Central Valley.

Health and safety

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