The Top Ten of Central America ?


You will find here the Top 10 of Central America, the localities which got the highest rates to our surveys. 

Note : the ratings & surveys methods are explained in Site Presentation

After checking the locality, use the "back" button of your browser to return to this Top Ten. 


No 1 : San Juancito / La Tigra N.P.  (Honduras)

Global : 16.00/20        Backpackers (6) : 18.50        Criteria : 13.50

This small village in the beautiful Rio Chiquito valley is above all famous for its proximity to the splendid National Park of La Tigra. But it also boost the only cheap accomodation of the area, great family food served with smiles, fresh air and lots of other treks. Only 1.5 hours away from the capital, it makes the perfect gateway and a great place to relax in a natural setting. 


No 2 : Leon  (Nicaragua)

Global : 15.94/20        Backpackers (16) : 15.38        Criteria : 16.50

This big town is often overlooked by backpackers on their way to more famous Granada. Travelers who take the time to leave the ugly bus station will be rewarded by a charming colonial town full of churches, atmospheric streets, small gardens and friendly students. And a wild beach is only 30mn away... 


No 3 : Gracias  (Honduras)

Global : 15.61/20        Backpackers (11) : 15.73        Criteria : 15.50

This charming colonial town with cobbled streets, a bit off the track from the busy Copan-San Pedro Sula route, is popular among backpackers for its nearby national park which boost the highest peak in Honduras, a virgin cloud-forest and some quetzal spotting opportunities. After the effort, you will be able to relax in the hot spring, wander around the colorful market or simply talk with the friendly locals. 


No 4 : El Estor (Guatemala)

Global : 15.53/20        Backpackers (9) : 17.56        Criteria : 13.50

Not everybody is stopping to this little village on its way to/from Peten but those who did usually consider it as one of their favorite place. The village itself is fairly charming, set between the lake and the mountains but it is the relaxed atmosphere and the natural attractions that strike the visitor's memory : the hot waterfall and the canyon are beautiful ways to spend a day or two... 


No 5 : Todos Santos (Guatemala)

Global : 15.45/20        Backpackers (20) : 14.90        Criteria : 16.00

At 2,470m, this isolated Mam village boosts alpine scenery and a unique culture that ranks high on any backpacker's itinerary. Tourists are showing up for its Saturday colorful markets or its November 1 fiesta & horse racing but the colors, music, weaving, smoke sauna or alcohol can be enjoyed year-round. Beside the people, there are a number of good walks around, including to the highest mountain peak in Central America. 


No 6 : Bocas Del Toro (Panama)

Global : 15.43/20        Backpackers (22) : 16.36        Criteria : 14.50

When the sun is shining, travelers usually consider this archipelago on the Caribbean as their favorite beach gateway in the whole area : there are plenty of wild islands to explore, big waves to surf and tons of colorful fishes underwater plus a charming colonial atmosphere to relax and a friendly black community to exchange ideas with. Of course, it is less backpackers or diving oriented than Utila in Honduras...  


No 7 : Antigua (Guatemala)

Global : 15.18/20        Backpackers (21) : 15.86        Criteria : 14.50

As one of the most charming colonial city of Central America, Antigua needs no presentation. Part of the UNESCO Heritage List since 1979, flanked by volcanoes - including active Pacaya - and conveniently near Guatemala City, it is on everybody's list. During Santa Semana, half a million tourists are showing up for its world-famous processions on the narrow cobbled streets but visitors or Spanish student make the town & western restaurants busy year round... 


No 8 : Ometepe (Nicaragua)

Global : 14.95/20        Backpackers (27) : 15.41        Criteria : 14.50

The island of Ometepe is a very special place in the heart of Nicaraguan and travelers alike. The sheer beauty of the perfect cone of active Volcan Conception is one thing. The cloud-forest & crater-lake of Volcan Maderas is another. The very relaxed atmosphere, friendly locals, mango trees, flowered gardens, fauna and sandy beaches (nothing too special however) by the huge lake are other elements for a great stay. This is the kind of place you have difficulties leaving...


No 8 : Tikal (Guatemala)

Global : 14.95/20        Backpackers (22) : 17.41        Criteria : 12.50

The archaeological jungle of Tikal is the jewel of Guatemala and it could justify a trip in itself.  This is the only place in the world that is both a UNESCO World Heritage site (since 1979) and a World Natural Reserve and it is indeed this combination that makes it such a unique experience. Some visitors come for the Maya ruins, others to watch the exotic birds flying over the canopy but all reckons that the place is magic !


No 10 : Lanquin (Guatemala)

Global : 14.88/20        Backpackers (20) : 16.75        Criteria : 13.00

This tiny isolated village is above all famous for the nearby natural attraction of Semuc Champney, a series of delightful pools and waterfalls. With its wild river tubing, large cave full of bats and great new finca-guesthouse, it is however in the process of becoming a major relaxed-spot for backpackers.