10 greatest cities of Central America

Central America is quick turning into the go-to vacation spot. Extra travellers than ever earlier than are heading to those idyllic shores to pattern the flamboyant native flavour and bathe within the splendour of historical civilizations. Just lately, I’ve observed many-an-Instagram-story of the palm-fringed seashores of Tulum or the colorful (if not typically creepy) costumes of Día de los Muertos. And hey, Mexico is Hostelworld travellers’ first selection when backpacking Central America in 2022. However, unsurprisingly, there’s a complete world of cities in Central America that may make you “by chance” miss your flight house. Wish to know these addictive spots? Listed here are the highest 10 most visited cities of Central America based mostly on Hostelworld’s backpacker information.




For those who take one take a look at this developed ribbon of sand strewn throughout aquamarine waters, you’ll see why it’s the top-booked metropolis in Central America. Resort city it could be, however enterprise into Cancun Centro and also you’ll discover vibrant markets brimming with native flavour. A meals seekers’ paradise, travellers to Cancun are rewarded with full bellies of cochinita pibil as they lounge underneath thatch-roofed eating places earlier than venturing out to social gathering alongside a 35km stretch of powdery white sand.

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Mexico Metropolis

A brief stroll by means of Mexico Cities’ downtown reveals a shapeshift of kinds. Spectacular colonial-era buildings; up to date glass skylines; and winding Xochimilco canals work collectively to provide a hodge-podge maze that travellers lose themselves in again and again. Previous-school cantinas stay dependable pillars of society. They scatter the streets, prepared and ready to serve you a hearty meal and crisp beer with all of the familiarity of your native again house.

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San José


Some see San José as little greater than a pit cease taken earlier than venturing into the steamy Costa Rican tropics (a should for anybody backpacking Central America). However, this younger metropolis deserves to be correctly explored. A number of days in Costa Rica’s cultural capital reveals up to date artwork galleries housed in vibrant castles and throbbing underground discotheques to bop the evening away. Enterprise to Barrio Escalante to benefit from the area’s greatest avenue meals, craft beer and occasional.

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No, not the island. As soon as Guatemala’s capital, Antigua’s true magnificence unfolds underneath the shadow of three towering volcanoes. At their ft lie streets bathed in pastel hues and clusters of vibrant colonial buildings. As a world-heritage-listed web site, look forward to finding global-chains masquerading as restored barroco antigueño townhouses. This can be a place for explorers and layabouts alike. If toasting marshmallows over the new rocks of  Volcano Pacaya doesn’t tickle your fancy, uncover one of many metropolis’s many rooftop bars to sip world-class cocktails excessive above the cobblestone streets. Both selection is completely acceptable in your Central America travels.

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A beach-bums paradise, Tulum is world-renowned for its silky sands and leafy palms. For those who get bored with slurping Pina Coladas on the Yucatán Peninsula, head to the close by Gran Cenote. This community of cavernous swimming pools weaves like vines throughout the jungle flooring, linked by picket walkways. Right here, the clearest waters reveal moss-covered rocks shrouded in immersed roots and freshwater turtles gliding between them. For those who neglect to carry your snorkel, there are many alternatives to lounge round within the dappled sunshine after a refreshing (if not barely chilly) dip.

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Puerto Escondido


Is that this the last word surfers’ paradise? Mexico’s Pacific coast within the state of Oaxaca is understood by wave riders as top-of-the-line browsing spots on the earth; assume 3.5km of golden sand buffeted by magnificent waves each 2 seconds.  Even when toppling on high of a 30ft wave isn’t precisely your factor, this rugged port city attracts travellers from around the globe to walk the sandy streets of La Punta and dodge surfboards swung throughout bronzed shoulders. Playa Carrizalillo gives a welcome calm from surfer-claimed Playa Zicatela. This picture-perfect cove is fringed by small bars and eating places nestled into the leafy jungle, excellent for fueling a day of much-needed chill time after weeks, months, and even years (we all know who you’re) of backpacking Central America.

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Sure, sure, Colombia is technically in South America. However the Metropolis of Everlasting Spring is just a 1-and-a-half-hour flight from neighbouring Panama. Screw the technicalities, you might be positive keen travellers aren’t skipping it over when backpacking Central America! Squeezed between the slim Aburra Valley, Medellin’s slums cling virtually vertically to the encircling hills, overlooking the dizzying skylines of the downtown district. At evening, Reggaeton and Salsa music fills the streets as lovely folks spill out of bars and nightclubs. In early August, the streets are remodeled by aromatic parade floats blooming with orchids and lilies within the well-known Feria de Las Flores/Flower Competition.

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San Cristobal de las Casas


For those who enterprise into the Mexican Central Highlands, previous rippling fields of corn and grazing cattle, you’ll come throughout a valley engulfed in pine forest. Right here lie the sleepy cobbled streets and russet tiled roofs of San Cristobal de las Casas. This can be a city of historical customs, the place the encircling Tzotzil and Tzeltal villages leak indigenous tradition into bustling craft markets. Travellers can kickstart their day with a Chiapan espresso on Actual de Guadalupe, earlier than sampling Pox, a corn-based native liquor, at one of many metropolis’s many bars and nightclubs.

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Dwelling to a few of Mexico’s most outrageous festivities, Oaxaca is a metropolis pulsing with indigenous tradition and Mayan enchantment. Sure please. Seeped in historical historical past, this Central American metropolis is surrounded by archaeological treasure troves; from the hilltop ruins of Monte Alban to the unearthed tombs of Zaachila. Vibrating alongside the colonial streets is a definite air of grittiness; satirical graffiti splatters crumbling partitions and underground mezcalerías promise evenings full of regional ardour. One in all Mexico’s many cultural centres, travellers to Oaxaca can immerse themselves in native cooking lessons and even sweat out toxins (we all know you’ll have loads of these) in an historical Temazcal Ceremony.

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Playa del Carmen


Rivalling Tulum as certainly one of Mexico’s chicest spots, this Riviera seaside city’s shores are rammed with keen backpackers and holidaymakers. Divers, that is the place for you. Coral reefs dance beneath the clear Caribbean waters, eclipsed by majestic reef sharks, eagle rays and loggerhead turtles. Operating parallel to the sandy seaside strip, Quinta Avenida presents up a sensory-overloaded ribbon of nick-nack stalls, steamy eating places and flashing nightclubs. Sure, it might really feel crowded at instances. However Playa del Carmen in some way at all times succeeds in sustaining a laid-back bohemian vibe harking back to the fishing village it as soon as was.

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Have you ever been backpacking Central America just lately? How was your expertise? Tell us your favorite cities of Central America on our social channels and make sure to share your pics too!






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