Cayo District is Belize's premier adventure and eco-activity region. The lush environs of the Wild West are covered with jungle, woven with rivers, waterfalls and azure pools, riddled with caves and dotted with Maya ruins ranging from small, tree-covered hills to massive, magnificent temples.
Despite Tico speed demons and lumbering big rigs, the Interamericana offers a wide-angle view of the region. The main artery connecting San José with Managua runs through kilometers of tropical dry forest and neat roadside villages to the open Guanacaste grasslands, where savanna vistas are broken only by windblown trees.
Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio & Around
As visitors arrive at this small outcrop of land jutting into the Pacific, the air becomes heavy with humidity, scented with thick vegetation and alive with the calls of birds and monkeys, making it suddenly apparent that this is the tropics. The reason to come here is Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, one of the most picturesque bits of tropical coast in Costa Rica.
Intensely political, buzzing with energy and, at times, drop-dead gorgeous (in a crumbling, colonial kind of way), León is what Managua should be – a city of awe-inspiring churches, fabulous art collections, stunning streetscapes, cosmopolitan eateries, vibrant student life, fiery intellectualism, and all-week, walk-everywhere, happening nightlife.
Alajuela & the Northern Valley
Volcanoes shrouded in mist, undulating coffee fincas (plantations), bustling agricultural centers: the area around the provincial capital of Alajuela, 18km northwest of San José, has it all – including Juan Santamaría International Airport, just 3km outside the city.
Bocas del Toro Province
With its Caribbean islands dotting a shock of blue waters, Bocas del Toro is all that's tropical. This is Panama’s principal tourist draw and it will no doubt provide some of your most memorable experiences. The archipelago consists of six densely forested islands, scores of uninhabited islets and the Parque Nacional Marino Isla Bastimentos, Panama’s oldest marine park.
The busiest and most built-up lakeside town, Panajachel ('Pana') is the gateway to Lago de Atitlán for most travelers. Strolling the main street, Calle Santander – crammed with travel agencies, handicraft hawkers and rowdy bars, dodging noisy tuk-tuks all the way – you may be forgiven for supposing this paradise lost.