Best Areas In Central America For Solo Travelers

By david selina on Nov 03, 2020

So, you’ve made up your mind to travel alone but can’t quite decide on where? This piece will help you explore the best places to travel solo across Central America. We’ll elaborate on the best spots to broaden your horizons, safely learn about new and unique cultures, and experience a whole host of regional treasures.

Want to cover jungles, beaches, and volcanoes in one trip? Then you’ll love all that Central America has to offer. Going solo may feel a bit intimidating at first, but solo travelers often report that aside from enhancing their experience, doing so makes them feel more relaxed and makes it easier to soak up the day-to-day realities of somewhere new.

Once you experience authentic Central American energy, it’ll be difficult to resist going back for more. Don’t believe us? Here’s a list of the best places to visit solo from 7 different countries.

In this guide, we'll take a look at:

  • 1. Belize
  • 2. Things to Do in Belize
  • 3. El Salvador
  • 4. Things to Do at El Salvador
  • 5. Honduras
  • 6. Things to Do in Honduras
  • 7. Guatemala
  • 8. Things to Do in Guatemala
  • 9. Costa Rica
  • 10. Things to Do in Costa Rica

Belize

Surrounded by the famous Belize barrier reef, Mayan ruins, and flourishing green jungles, Belize is the ultimate travel destination if you love nature and history. It’s one of the best places to travel solo, with endless adventures awaiting your arrival.

Things to Do in Belize

There are many things to do in Belize, but here are a few that can help you make the most of your solo trip:

First, It Was Snorkeling

If diving is your kind of recreational activity, San Pedro is the place to be. Other diving destinations include Ambergris Caye, which is famous for snorkeling in Belize, Shark Ray Alley, and the Great Blue Hole, however San Pedro is the largest, most popular island for scuba diving in Belize – I visited Ambergis Caye, as I found the thought of full-on scuba to be a little bit intimidating. The water was full of diverse aquatic life, and I got the benefit of enjoying it with a little lighter gear!

Soaking upthe Local Culture

The next day I headed into Dangriga Town and Hopkins Village, where I received a warm welcome from the locals. They helped me hop on a quick bus to the Mayan centers, rumored to be among the best places to travel solo. When I was inquiring about the best parts to see they told me about the inclusive trips to archeological sites such as Altun Ha, Cahal Pech, and Caracol, where guides help you to stay safe, and unearth tales hidden in the Mayan Ruins in Belize. Amongthe friendly tour guides, and happy travelers engaging in group activities, there was plenty of company available if I had wanted it. Personally, I found the relaxing bus rides allowed me to grab a few minutes of “me time” in-between destinations and enjoy some meditation along the way.

Time for Some R&R At The Best Beaches In Belize

Due to its sandy locales Belize has long attracted beach fanatics, and being a lover of sea and sand myself, I was particularly drawn to Caye Caulker. Divided by a narrow channel, Caye Caulker, Belize provides the perfect scenario to meet fellow travelers and after a few days keeping relatively to myself, I decided I was ready for a bit of socializing! Thanks to its exclusive geography (an island kind of herds people together) and the energetic bar, I felt totally comfortable to chat with new people. I found myself in a very welcoming and inclusive environment, interacting with people in a casual setting while enjoying the beauty of the landscape and sunny weather.

Best Places to Stay In Belize – Cities & Towns

If you prefer the hustle and bustle of the city, then that’s where you should stay. Central Belize City has a lot to offer when it comes to the local culture and mouth-watering cuisines.
You could also stay in San Ignacio, a town in western Belize, which is popular among visitors thanks to its historical value derived from the Mayan Ruins abandoned back in the 9th century.
On the other hand, if you’re a water bug like me, San Pedro would be ideal for you. Notably, the town of Ambergris Caye, where you’ll find the best views of the water no matter where you stay. I loved it there.

When it comes to the best places to stay in Belize, Selina offers culture-enriched hotels and resorts that are ideal for solo travelers. The solo and group-stay accommodations cater to a diverse array of travelers needs.

El Salvador

As the smallest country in Central America, El Salvador is nothing short of a wonder. If you are a keen explorer of beautiful landscapes with smoking volcanoes and pristine beaches, you’ll soon realise that for you, El Salvador is the best place to travel solo!

Things to Do at El Salvador

Below, you can find the best places to visit in El Salvador along with the list of things to do while you stay there.

More Mayan Ruins

The most impressive Mayan ruin in El Salvador is Tazumal, which was restored during the 1940s, and has since attracted visitors from all over the world. It was the center for trade during the Mayan era and there’s a small museum at the site that displays all the artifacts from that time.

You can also take a road trip to explore other surrounding archaeological sites such as San Andres and Joya de Ceren.

Go Surfing

El Tunco, El Salvador, is a world-class surfing destination, which attracts surfers from all around the globe. There, you can enjoy surfing magnificent waves in the early hours and later watch the stunning sunset on the beautiful stretch of sandy beach.

Best Places to Visit in El Salvador

Apart from beaches and volcanoes, you can also visit the surrounding towns, experience the rich culture, and indulge in some of El Salvador’s best restaurants.

Here are a few places that should impress you:

Suchitoto, El Salvador

Situated in the mountains, Suchitoto is a small town that overlooks a huge man-made lake known as “Lago Suchitlan, home to multiple migratory birds. It provides a fantastic opportunity to indulge in activities with the natives – Nahuat, and learn about their culture and history.

Parque National Cerro Verde

Volcanoes such as Izalco and Santa Ana are a beautiful and distinctive feature of El Salvador’s landscape. Not only are they best for hiking, but they also offer breathtaking aerial views of the villages at their foot like the village of Ruta de las Flores – so don’t forget your hiking shoes!

In all honesty, I could have spent much more time here than I did and I would definitely come back for a longer beach vacation. However, this time, that wasn’t the plan, and before long I was off to Honduras.

Honduras

When counting down the best places to travel solo in Central America, your list can’t be complete without the country of Honduras. Here you will come across abundant wildlife and vast natural parks – and the fact that it’s a lot more affordable than other destinations doesn’t hurt either.

Here is our pick of some of the best places to visit In Honduras;

Things to Do in Honduras

If you are a little lost on which activities to pursue during your stay at Honduras, have a look at the ones listed out below:

Ride a Zip Line Through Gracias

Get a breath-taking, bird’s eye view of the landscape with a thrilling zip-line ride through the forests, taking in the dense canopy that surrounds you. This activity should rank high up on your to-do list.

Go For Snorkeling

Your trip isn’t complete without snorkeling, and Parque Nacional Jeannette Kawas is the place to experience Honduras’ underwater world! Here you get to see howler monkeys in the nearby forests while you snorkel off the white sandy beach.

Best Places to Visit in Honduras

If you are interested in the history of the region, visiting the Copan Ruins is a must! The remnants of the ancient Mayan City are laden with ancient tunnels that can teach you about the ways of the civilizations that inhabited this region long before you stepped foot on it.

As for indulging in nature, you should visit Mary’s Place, Roatan. There are multiple dives where you can swim among the gorgeous coral formations of the Go Blue Bay Islands.

Also, the Lago de Yojoa – country’s largest lake, is hands down worth a visit. Known as the ‘hidden oasis,’ it is situated in the depression formed by the surrounding volcanoes and features some fantastic restaurants on its banks.

Where To Stay In Honduras?

The prices per night for the hotels and resorts here can reach well over $500. However, there are other options that are more affordable, like group-stay accommodations. Honduras can accommodate every type of traveler – be it a backpacker on a budget, or a tourist who’s willing to pay for the luxuries.

Guatemala

Situated south of Mexico, this country is home to many ancient Mayan sites, volcanoes, and dense rainforests.

Here is a long list of best places in Guatemala along with some exciting things that can make your visit a trip to remember:

Things to Do In Guatemala

Wondering what you can do in Guatemala? Look no further:

Take a Trip to Antigua Market

Antigua’s excursions include a visit to its famous market, which is colorful, chaotic, and full of beautiful local trinkets. The open-air market also sells fruits, vegetables and homemade crafts – this is the place where every traveler must go to experience the hustle of the locals.

Visit the Beaches at Monterrico

The beach of Monterrico is situated very close to Guatemala and Antigua – here you can catch some sun and hit the waves too if you like.

Best Places To Visit In Guatemala

There are many historical sites to discover in Guatemala. The lake of Atitlan has three volcanoes, and offers the best spots to watch mesmerizing sunsets. However, it’s not all about solitude and serenity. Nearby in the village of Panajachel, you’ll find many restaurants and bars that offer an exciting nightlife to the party-goers. Furthermore, the Semuc Champey, which consists of a 1000-foot long bridge, is an attractive tourist destination where you can take a candle-lit tour through Kamba and swim in its turquoise pools…. But these fantastic lakes and volcanoes in Antigua, Guatemala, aren’t the only thing worth your time.

The best places to visit in Guatemala are scattered throughout the region and are yours to discover – although these are the ones that are best for solo travelers. There are many additional remote spots to be explored, but that’s for another blog!

Where To Stay In Guatemala?

The hotels here vary from rustic, eco-friendly lodges to glorious 5-star infrastructures – so no matter what your tastes are, you’ll find comfortable lodging here. If you are looking for economical choices, plan your stay with Selina at our resorts situated in the prime locations of Antigua and Atitlan. We offer different types of accommodations for solo travel tours and even group tours. Guests love the fact that they can take advantage of the multiple shared spaces to be around others and engage with travelers if they choose. It is an enriching experience to be able to trade travel stories while relaxing on our grounds, at the bar, or getting some locally-sourced eats at our on-site restaurants.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is also one of the most popular destinations in Central America with its gorgeous beaches, wildlife, delicious food, and many adventures for solo travelers.

Below, you can find the best places in Costa Rica, along with some ideas on what activities you might try there.

Things to Do in Costa Rica

Add another dimension to your stay with these unmissable activities in Costa Rica:

Visit the La Paz Waterfall Gardens

Here you can see reptiles, hummingbirds, big cats, flowers, fish, butterflies and plenty of other attractions all in one place.

Go for Fishing

You’ll find a wide variety of fish here – Marlin, Wahoo, Snapper, and Sailfish, to name a few. You could also plan your fishing excursions as a multi-day activity.

Discover the Tree Tops

The Rainmaker Walkway was the first one to be built in Central America, and it is still considered one of the most picturesque aerial walkways in the region. It makes for a thrilling and rewarding adventure for solo travelers, allowing them to walk along a swaying bridge in the middle of the rainforest.

The Best Places in Costa Rica

Montverde

If you are fond of hiking, this is a beautiful hiking base situated in a forest cloud. While there, don’t forget to ask for a sample of the delicious coffee they serve!

Tortuguero National Park

A visit to the Tortuguero National Park is a must! The ride up the river will take you through the heart of the forest where you may have the chance to spot a green turtle – an endangered species unique to the region.

Puerto Viejo

If you happen to be a daring surfer, only then should you visit the city of Puerto Viejo – a beach wonderland located on the Caribbean Coast, home to some of the strongest tides in the country.

Where To Stay In Costa Rica?

If you are thinking about places to stay in Costa Rica, many hotels offer standard Wi-Fi, free breakfast deals, and a self-catering facility. You can also look for Selina properties – we offer accommodation in some of the most prime locations in the country, including Jaco, Monteverde, Puerto Viejo, San Jose, and more.

Some FAQs

What Is The Safest Country To Visit In Central America?

Costa Rica is considered to be the safest country in Central America for tourists.

Is Costa Rica Safer Than Mexico?

Yes, it is rated higher than Mexico for safety concerns.

Is Central America Cheap?

Yes, it is affordable for travelers as the daily suggested budget is $30 to $50.

Is Panama Safer Than Costa Rica?

Panama is generally safer than most U.S. cities, and very similar to Costa Rica.

Is Panama Safe For Solo Female Travellers?

Apart from some casual catcalling, Panama is generally safe for solo female travelers.

Is Guatemala Safe For Solo Female Travellers?

Yes, Guatemala is safe for solo female travelers as the locals tend to mind their own business and leave the travelers alone to enjoy and roam about.

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