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5 ways to explore Central America

Want to spend your vacation exploring nature and embarking on new adventures? If so, Central America could be the ideal destination, whether you want to tour architectural wonders, meet monkeys and sloths or relax in volcanic hot springs. To help you get started on planning your vacation to this fascinating region, we put together a list of our five favourite ways to explore Central America.

Sloth hanging upside down from a tree branch
Spot adorable monkeys, sloths and parrots

No visit to Central America would be complete without spotting local wildlife. When you visit Roatan, you can interact with monkeys, sloths, parrots and more. This destination is an eco-lover’s paradise with lush tropical landscapes and diverse ecosystems teeming with exotic species. At Mayan Eden eco park on the western side of the island, you’ll have the chance to meet white-faced Capuchin monkeys, spider monkeys, sloths, toucans, macaws and more.

Where to stay: Ever spent the night on a private island? Fantasy Island Beach Resort, Dive and Marina is located on a 21-acre private island that’s home to breathtaking beaches, lush landscapes and over 54 exotic species, including white-faced monkeys. Kids will have a blast at the on-site mini-zoo, while adults can try out exciting activities like swimming with sharks and horseback riding ($).

Woman standing in a hot springs with a waterfall surrounded by lush trees Photo: @alex.chava.27
Soak in volcanic hot springs

Did you know that Costa Rica is home to over 200 volcanoes, including the active volcano of Rincón de la Vieja? The geothermal energy from the volcano heats the Earth’s crust, creating numerous hot springs in the area of Guanacaste which are perfect for a relaxing soak. Hot springs are known to have health benefits like relieving pain, boosting blood circulation and reducing stress. Want to try them out for yourself? Embark on a Sunwing Experiences Sensoria Land of the Senses tour to soak in numerous hot springs and swim in the crystal-clear pools of the jungle’s hidden waterfalls.

Where to stay: You can stay in luxury and explore even more of Costa Rica when you stay at Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica and choose from their curated PH Experiences, from ziplining through the jungle to venturing further and visiting the nearby country of Nicaragua. Back at the resort, choose from numerous dining options including celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint and restaurants offering vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free offerings.

Aerial view of a modern bridge crossing over a canal
Cruise along the famous Canal in Panama

Considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, the Panama Canal is an architectural marvel that connects the Atlantic Ocean with the Pacific Ocean. Often considered one of the most difficult engineering projects ever completed, the canal plays a significant role in global trade using an extensive series of manmade locks. You can travel down part of the canal on a Sunwing Experiences tour to see the famous Miraflores and Pedro Miguel Locks in action and see the Las Americas and Centenario bridges.

Where to stay: When you vacation in Panama, you can enjoy the best of both the city and the beach. After spending the day exploring the canal, head back to Riu Playa Blanca to lounge on the sparkling shores of Playa Blanca dotted with shady palm trees. The resort offers activities and amenities for all ages including a kids pool with water slides and rooms that can sleep families of five or more.

Person scuba diving next to a sea turtle, above a coral reef Photo: @aleecervantess12
Discover the deep blue

Roatan is home to the largest barrier reef in the Caribbean Sea, making it an ideal destination for underwater explorers of all experience levels. There are numerous dive centres around the island from which you can explore popular dive sites along the coast including Dolphin Den, a network of tunnels that takes you through the reef; and El Aguila, a 230-foot-long shipwreck just a short ride from shore where you can spot eagle rays. You can choose from a variety of dive packages with Sunwing Experiences.

Where to stay: Infinity Bay Spa and Beach Resort is the perfect home base for your underwater adventures in Roatan. The property is located on West Bay Beach and offers excellent snorkelling and diving conditions just off the resort beach! When you’re not snorkelling or diving you can take a resort-offered glass-bottom boat ride along the coast or rent bikes to explore the nearby West End of Roatan.

Raft full of people steering down white-water rapids
Go on an exhilarating river rafting ride

Liberia is an ever-popular choice for adventurers and explorers, so there’s no shortage of exciting activities to choose from in this exciting destination. Enjoy the ultimate action-packed excursion by white-water rafting along the Tenorio River! With the help of an experienced guide, you’ll maneuver the powerful currents, sharp turns and tumbling rapids of the stretch of Tenorio River known as Pozo Adul, which is designated a Class IV rapids system (one of the highest classifications). This excursion is a must for vacationers looking to get an adrenaline rush!

Where to stay: After an exhilarating day navigating the rapids, head back to Riu Guanacaste to spend some quality time soaking up the sun on a submerged pool lounger. Want to keep up with the water sports? Try out resort-offered activities like windsurfing, kayaking, paddle boarding and snorkelling. At the end of the day, fill up on sizzling steaks or flavourful pasta with unlimited reservation-free dining.

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