September 22, 2023

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The Best Central America Luxury Travel Locations

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See our in-depth reviews of the finest Costa Rica high-end hotels and resorts.

Belize: Placencia & & Ambergris Caye

The runner-up to Costa Rica on the luxury travel front is Belize, a country blessed with a reef running the length of its coast, picture-perfect islands (some with personal island resorts), and a rugged jungle interior offering a lot of experiences. Belizes most popular high-end travel destination is Ambergris Caye, reached through a ferry or quick flight from Belize City. It is a wonderland of beaches, snorkeling areas, and diving experiences on one of the worlds fantastic barrier reefs.

With few big chain hotels and a reasonably small long-term population, this is a fantastic destination for luxury tourists that desire a foreign travel experience in an English-speaking nation thats simple to get to. Great deals of terrific resorts have actually set up in Ambergris Caye and the countrys basic stability and ease for tourists are making it more popular than ever previously.

On the luxury travel path is one of the deepest and most stunning lakes in the Americas, Lake Atitlan. Given that theres only truly one high-end hotel near Tikal, Atitlan is Guatemalas second most popular high-end travel destination. Many upscale hotels and eco-lodges sit beyond local towns on the edge of this captivating previous volcano, with a terrific view. Their complicated-to-get-to locations produce sumptuous isolated retreats where you can charge and relax in peace and quiet.

Honduras: Roatan Island

While mainland Honduras is yet to be as popular or have the tourist infrastructure of its neighbors, the countrys Roatan Island is a different story. It provides high-end accommodations and experiences for dive lovers, foreign retirees, and enthusiasts of great Caribbean beaches.

Most of Honduras leading high-end resorts are here, providing incredible scuba diving, snorkeling, charter fishing expeditions, and other water activities. There are also plenty of methods to get your heart rate up with inland adventures too. With direct worldwide flights direct to Roatan, the island provides a simple method to come to turquoise waters and beautiful beaches within a day from the U.S or Canada.

Finding the finest Central America high-end travel areas isnt as challenging as it can be in a much bigger geographical location, or even a single country like Mexico or Argentina. The runner-up to Costa Rica on the high-end travel front is Belize, a nation blessed with a coral reef running the length of its coast, picture-perfect islands (some with personal island resorts), and a rugged jungle interior offering plenty of adventures. The towns barefoot high-end and substantial luxury lodging make it one of the best luxe locations in the area.

Considering that theres just really one high-end hotel near Tikal, Atitlan is Guatemalas 2nd most popular high-end travel destination. See our evaluations of the top Nicaragua high-end hotels here, but dont be surprised if some that closed during the pandemic never open up again …

Youll notice discover omission on this list of Central America luxury high-end locationsPlaces El Salvador.

Costa Ricas Guanacaste region is home to the gleaming beaches of the Gulf of Papagayo and has become Costa Ricas premier luxe destination. Four Seasons, Andaz, Autograph Collection, and other high-end chain hotels are joined by a few independent standouts such as Mangroove. Especially hassle-free is the international airport in Liberia, a simple trip from a number of the Guanacastes finest resorts and attractions.

The Arenal volcano area has to do with 3 hours from the countrys capital San Jose or 2.5 hours from Liberia. It is blessed with lavish jungle and gorgeous surroundings in addition to some of the countrys best high-end lodging. Arenal lodges with spas and hot springs often reveal up on travel publication lists as the finest in Central America.

The Osa Peninsula and Gulfo Dulce location, in southwestern Costa Rica, boasts an abundance of the nations natural wildlife in a large secured zone that leaves room for huge cats to wander. Its not uncommon to go out of your space in this location and see toucans, macaws, monkeys, and more before you even get to the dining area. This is one of the best locations in the Americas for wildlife experiences on land and on the water. Theres a small regional airport with flights to several other areas in the nation.

Luxury hotels and resorts tend to come in clusters, with a compounding effect with time. As more affluent tourists visit a location and begin getting the word out, the numbers increase in time and brand-new openings turn up. This has especially been real in the past 2 or 3 years as nations that only had one or 2 luxury hotels now have a lots.

Considering that weve been examining the very best of the finest in this region given that 2007, weve got an excellent deal with on where the hotspots are for demanding travelers. Heres our cheat sheet on the very best Central America high-end travel areas.

Costa Rica: Guanacaste/Nicoya Region, Arenal/Fortuna Region, & & Osa Peninsula

Costa Rica has actually been a beacon of stability and peace in Latin America for years and their tourist markets growth in the previous 20+ years shows it. This country is the clear leader in the region for high-end travel and much more outstanding, theyve mostly done it in a sustainable manner, showing that high-end and green business practices are not equally special.

A nation filled with cloudforests, gorgeous beaches, volcanoes, and lots of ecotourism chances, it is a favorite location for nature enthusiasts and adventure tourists. Luxury properties in Costa Rica are quite spread, with lots of upscale jungle lodges and locations like Florblanca that take a few hours drive to reach. Practically anywhere you go in the country now you have some type of high end lodging option nearby. Nevertheless, there are couple of regions of the nation that stick out as luxury travel destinations.

Two hours to the south is San Juan del Sur, an easygoing beach destination that had actually started bring in lots of high end travelers to resorts along the nearby coast before the problems began. While the city on the primary beach is known for its celebration scene and surfers, there are likewise great deals of charming premium dining establishments, private catamaran trips at sundown, and lots of more secluded lovely beaches to explore close by. To avoid the backpacking crowd simply hang out at your hotel enjoying the view and tasty weather condition, or trek the volcanos on close-by Isla de Ometepe.

See our reviews of the top Nicaragua luxury hotels here, however dont be surprised if some that closed throughout the pandemic never open up again …

Youll notice one omission on this list of Central America luxury travel places: El Salvador. We keep waiting on a luxury travel scene to develop in that location, however up until now it has not taken place. If it does, the most likely choice for a cluster of places to stay is the lovely Spanish colonial town of Suchitoto.
The post The Best Central America Luxury Travel Locations appeared very first on Luxury Latin America Blog.

There are two other high-end resorts of note in the country though that are on the mainland: Indura Beach and Golf Resort near Tela and Pico Bonito, a long-established birdwatchers preferred. See our reviews of all the Honduras high-end resorts here.

Nicaragua – Granada and San Juan del Sur

Nicaragua is a shell of its old self from a tourist standpoint, the only country on this list that has not recovered much from the pandemic (only Haitis individuals are poorer in this hemisphere) and most likely will not recuperate until its dictator steps aside or passes away. He and his better half cant be ousted by democratic means considering that he keeps imprisoning his opponents and strongly squashing protest presentations. All of the tourist and economic progress made in the 2010s has failed and appealing luxury resorts like Mukul have had to either close or scale back to a couple of rental properties after immigrants stopped coming.

If things get back to a more beneficial position with the politics, there are a few luxury alternatives however, especially in the colonial city Granada, previously popular with both tourists and retirees prior to Ortega got his wish of ending up being another Hugo Chavez. The city uses the nations most upscale eating and drinking choices outside the capital.

Take a quick flight (or a meandering rental cars and truck drive) to Placencia and discover another of Belizes popular destinations for high-end resorts and a few of the nations most high-end realty for sale. From this remote paradise on a narrow peninsula, there are great deals of choices for adventures on land and sea.

This area also has a few of the countrys finest restaurants, with a choice that keeps growing as new resorts open. The incredible food spans Belizean, Caribbean, lots of seafood, and some world foods like Italian and Mediterranean. The towns barefoot luxury and extensive high-end accommodations make it among the very best luxe destinations in the area.

See our detailed reviews of the best Belize luxury hotels.

Panama: The Capital City and Beaches

Comparable to Costa Rica, Panamas high-end destinations are spread out throughout the country. You can discover overwater cottages in Bocas del Toro, beachside resorts by themselves islands, and the shine and glitz of Panama City with its soaring high-rise buildings and upscale dining. With the long-term U.S. presence in the past, English speakers will have a simple time of it in most of the tourist areas and the fact that they use the U.S. dollar as currency means preventing the trouble of changing cash and doing conversions in your head.

Dont miss the golf and stunning beaches at the Buenaventura Autograph Collection near the Azuero Peninsula– a fantastic spot for surfing and sport fishing as well. Many of the countrys high-end lodging can be found in the capital and Playa Bonita, with magnificent brand-name resorts such as Waldorf-Astoria and metropolitan boutique residential or commercial properties such as American Trade Hotel. The city has unbelievable choices for eating in restaurants, shopping and even purchasing some high-end property if you remain in the market.

Guatemala: Antigua & & Lake Atitlan

The finest high-end hotels in Guatemala can be discovered in its historical former capital city, Antigua. Long a draw for foreign tourists and expats looking to retire (or find out Spanish), this city gets more trendy every year.

Finding the very best Central America luxury travel areas isnt as challenging as it can be in a much larger geographical area, or even a single nation like Mexico or Argentina. All of Central America could quickly fit into among those two countries and you might drive from one end of any of them to the other end in a day. If youre not familiar with the geography, its still hard to figure out where the top areas are though.