The small and colorful buildings of Central America


Posted: 7/six/2019 | July 6th, 2019

Central America is one particular of my favourite regions for backpacking. Whilst it can be difficult to get about, it also provides extraordinary beauty, abundant nature, picturesque beaches, and inexpensive rates.

Political upheaval and civil unrest kept vacationers at bay for a extended time, nevertheless. But these days the region has created into one thing of a hotspot for travelers, surfers, and retirees.

Why?

Due to the fact Central America has one thing for every person!

But is it secure?

Yes — but that does not imply you do not need to have to take precautions.

In this post, I’ll go more than every thing you need to have to know to remain secure and have an wonderful trip in this extremely diverse area!

Table of Contents

  1. What Nations are in Central America?
  2. eight Essential Security Strategies for Central America
  3. What is the Northern Triangle? Is it Protected?
  4. What is the Safest Nation in Central America?
  5. Is Central America Protected for Solo Travelers?
  6. Is Central America Protected for Solo Female Travelers?
  7. Are Taxis Protected in Central America?
  8. Can You Consume the Street Meals in Central America?
  9. Can You Drink the Water in Central America?

What Nations are in Central America?

There are seven nations in Central America:

  • Belize
  • Costa Rica
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama

Click on the map for nation guides:

Central America Placeholder
Central America

eight Essential Security Strategies for Central America

Whilst Central America is deemed frequently secure for traveling and backpacking, there’s no denying that some precautions should really be taken.

  • Be conscious of your surroundings – It can be uncomplicated to quit paying interest and let your guard down. But that is when disaster strikes. Often be conscious of your surroundings.
  • Stay away from isolated places – If you are someplace isolated, you will be at a higher threat for having robbed, specially at evening and in huge cities. Attempt to remain exactly where the crowds are. That is the finest way to prevent becoming singled out by possible muggers.
  • Do not put on flashy products – Petty theft is the most typical threat right here, so take away any jewelry or watches, and do not wave your telephone about. Do your finest to blend in, so you do not turn into a target for pickpockets.
  • Separate your money – Hold only the cash that you need to have for the day on you. Hold the rest locked away safely at your accommodation.
  • Take taxis at evening – If you need to have to get someplace at evening, take a taxi. It will be safer than any public transportation. Have your accommodation get in touch with the taxi for you, so you can be confident you are having a reliable driver.
  • Be cautious on public transit – If you have to take public transit, maintain your valuables on you and maintain them effectively secured, specially on chicken buses (colorful, modified, and decorated buses that transport goods and folks). Petty theft is typical on evening buses, so prevent them if you can.
  • Do not do drugs – The cartels right here have seriously produced life challenging for the neighborhood population. Do not help them by purchasing their items. Drug penalties are also harsh in the area, and you do not want to finish up in jail right here!
  • Purchase travel insurance coverage – Travel insurance coverage will maintain you protected if you get injured or ill, are a victim of theft, or have to deal with delayed or canceled flights. It is a worthwhile investment and can save you thousands of dollars. Do not threat traveling with no it!
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At the finish of the day, you will just need to have to generally trust your gut instinct. If a taxi driver appears shady, quit the cab and get out. If your hotel is seedier than you believed and appears unsafe, get out of there and locate a new spot to remain. You have each and every proper to take away your self from such circumstances, so do what you need to have to do to really feel secure.

What is the Northern Triangle? Is it Protected?

The Northern Triangle comprises Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. It is the area of Central America that traditionally (and at present) has the most crime and violence. This is normally concentrated in the bigger cities, and specifically in precise neighborhoods. If you are going to be in the capital cities of any of these 3 nations, you will want to speak to your hostel or hotel employees for the most up-to-date security suggestions.

That becoming mentioned, if you are going to tourist places or going on nature excursions, then you will not have any difficulties right here as extended as you adhere to the security suggestions above.

What is the Safest Nation in Central America?

Costa Rica, which supplies security and stability alongside extraordinary organic beauty. Of course, rates are also significantly larger and reflect the country’s status as “the Switzerland of Central America.”

If you are new to backpacking and want to start off off someplace that provides a fantastic mix of adventure and security, go for Costa Rica. It was the 1st nation I ever backpacked in, and I definitely loved it!

In terms of security, the subsequent finest spot is Panama. It is dwelling to a developing neighborhood of expats and retirees, which is providing the nation an financial enhance and creating it a bit far more gringo friendly. That indicates you will be in a position to get lots of terrific ideas and recommendations (which includes precise, neighborhood security ideas) from the expat neighborhood though nevertheless obtaining your self an adventure.

Coming in powerful behind Panama is Belize. It does a terrific job of balancing security with a lot of factors to see and do!

Is Central America Protected for Solo Travelers?

Central America is very secure for solo travelers. As extended as you prevent isolated places and do not travel alone at evening, you will be in a position to prevent the most typical difficulties vacationers face, such as petty crime.

If you are worried that you will not really feel secure, attempt to join a group of other travelers or invite folks from your hostel to join you when you go out. That way, you will be in a position to really feel secure though also having to connect with other folks.

As a solo traveler, be confident to scan your passport and other crucial documents and e mail them to your self in case you do come about to run into problems.

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Also, be confident to download offline maps and offline language apps so you can appear up directions if you get lost or communicate with the locals in an emergency. If you can, attempt to discover some Spanish prior to you go as well. Even a handful of essential phrases can go a extended way!

Is Central America Protected for Solo Female Travelers in Specific?

Solo female travelers will need to have to be far more on guard throughout their time in Central America. Costa Rica, Panama, and Belize are the safest nations in the area. If you are new solo female travel, stick to these nations.

Outdoors of these 3 nations, I’d recommend new solo female travelers stick to group travel or tours, just to be secure. Even so, seasoned solo female travelers should really be in a position to navigate the area with no as well significantly added concern.

Girls should really be added cautious in huge cities, although, specially at evening. Beyond that, as extended as you adhere to the usual precautions, you will be in a position to have an wonderful time!

Are Taxis Protected in Central America?

The taxis in Central America are secure and trusted, although you will generally want to make confident you are having in marked taxi. In no way get in an unmarked auto.

In the course of the day, you can hail a taxi from the street safely, but you will want to be conscious of the neighborhood custom, as some countries’ taxis use meters and other individuals need you to negotiate a value in advance.

If taking a taxi at evening, have your accommodation get in touch with it for you. In no way hail a random taxi at evening.

Can You Consume the Street Meals in Central America?

You bet you can! You will locate all sorts of wonderful street meals stands and neighborhood restaurants in Central America, and you’d be missing out if you didn’t attempt them! Just make confident to stick to locations exactly where there are a lot of locals gathered. That is how you know the meals is not only secure but scrumptious as well!

For the most portion, you will encounter locations that sell different sorts of chicken. As extended as it is completely cooked (not pink on the inside) and hasn’t been in the sun all day, dive in and give it a attempt! A lot of meals right here will also be deep-fried, which will nearly generally be secure (just not healthful).

Do not hesitate to ask your hotel or hostel employees for street meals or restaurant recommendations. They’ll no doubt have some scrumptious — and completely secure — ones for you.

Can You Drink the Water in Central America?

As a basic ruled you will want to prevent the tap water in Central America, even though it is probably fine in Costa Rica and Panama.

The finest way to make confident your drinking water is secure is to bring a Steripen or Lifestraw for your reusable water bottle. This way you will be in a position to purify the tap water so you do not get sick — and avoiding single-use plastic bottles in the course of action.

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***

With so a lot of inexpensive accommodation and transportation possibilities, spectacular landscapes, plentiful outside adventures, and gorgeous beaches, it should really come as no surprise that Central America is one particular of the most backpacked regions of the globe.

Certain, it may well get a negative rap due to its violent history and financial struggles, but that does not imply it is categorically unsafe. By following the ideas above, you will be in a position to remain secure and healthful throughout your subsequent check out!

P.S. – Did you know I wrote a new book? It is named “Ten Years a Nomad” and it is all about the lessons I’ve discovered from a life of travel. It characteristics tons of stories and misadventures I’ve never ever told on this weblog as effectively! It comes out July 16th! Click right here to discover far more and grab your copy currently! (I’ll be going on a book tour as well!)

Book Your Trip to Central America: Logistical Strategies and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Locate a low cost flight by applying Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favourite search engines since they search sites and airlines about the globe so you generally know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
To locate the finest spending budget accommodation, use Booking.com as they regularly return the least expensive prices for guesthouses and low cost hotels. You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the most extensive inventory. Some of my favourite locations to remain in Costa Rica:

  • Dirty McNasty (Caye Caulker, Belize) – This is one particular of the greatest hostels in the nation and a hub for celebration-goers. If you are hunting to let loose, this is the hostel for you!
  • Rocking J’s (Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica) – This an institution in Central America. The hostel has been there for ages and there’s a gorgeous white sand beach in front of it. They have nightly BBQs.
  • The Naken Tiger (San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua) – Situated in San Juan del Sur, the Naked Tiger is an extraordinary home nestled a bit far out of town but on leading of a hill with a gorgeous view of the whole region.

Do not Overlook Travel Insurance coverage
Travel insurance coverage will shield you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It is extensive protection in case something goes incorrect. I never ever go on a trip with no it as I’ve had to use it a lot of occasions in the previous. I’ve been applying Planet Nomads for ten years. My favourite organizations that supply the finest service and worth are:

  • Planet Nomads (for every person under 70)
  • Insure My Trip (for these more than 70)

Hunting for the finest organizations to save cash with?
Verify out my resource web page for the finest organizations to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save cash when I travel – and I consider will aid you as well!

Want Much more Facts on Central America?
Be confident to check out our robust location guide on Central America for even far more preparing ideas!