logo
1-800-590-1161ContactEarn free travel
logo1-800-590-1161
Tours
Central America tours
bridge over the panama canal at sunset

Central America tours

From volcanic landscapes in Costa Rica to ancient Mayan ruins in Belize and the legendary Panama Canal, trips to Central America never cease to amaze.

Update on Russia and Ukraine: As always, our travelers’ safety is our first priority, and our worldwide teams are closely monitoring the situation in Russia and Ukraine. We are not currently operating tours to Russia. We will communicate directly with travelers if there are any changes to their itinerary.

We make world travel easy

Flexibility. Feel good about fully refundable trips with no change fees.†
See flexible booking policies & terms

Confidence. Put only $99 down when you enroll in AutoPay.†
Learn more about AutoPay

Ease. Our EF Covid Care Promise covers you. (International tours require vaccination.)
Read our Travel-Ready Approach

Travel to Central America on tour

Destinations
Dates
Duration
Price
Travel styles
Sort
Showing 4 of 4 tours
view of arenal volcano through lush rainforest trees in costa rica
view of arenal volcano through lush rainforest trees in costa rica
Costa Rica: Rainforests, Volcanoes & Wildlife
9 days | 12 days with Manuel Antonio & San José extension
305
From 
$2,619*
 $2,119*
View tour
View tour
THE MEMORIAL DAY FLASH SALE
Save up to 20% by 5/30†
Plus, lock in prices!

Talk to a travel expert about our tours to Central America

departure board
Call us

We're available every day from our offices in Boston and Denver at 1-855-935-4674.

Call now


departure board
Chat online

Chat instantly with us during our normal hours, or leave a message and we'll get back to you ASAP.

Chat now


departure board
Schedule a call

Let us know your preferred time to chat and a travel expert will reach out.

Schedule now


What travelers are say about their trips to Central America

Once in a lifetime trip
02/21/20 by 1st-time traveler June
The folks at Go Ahead tours are amazing, they take care of their guests. I cannot say enough of the tour director Alonzo he is extremely knowledgeable and patient. Harold the bus driver is an experience and skillful driver. Costa Rica with Go Ahead tours must be an item on ones bucket list.
Costa Rica: Rainforests, Volcanoes & Wildlife tour
03/08/19 by 8th-time traveler Diane
So glad we were able to tour several areas of Mexico. The experience of the history, culture, beauty, and friendliness of Mexico was lovely. Go Ahead did a great job with our tour!
Highlights of Mexico: Oaxaca to Mexico City tour
Fascinating Ancient Mexico
03/08/19 by 15th-time traveler Susan
On this 15th Go Ahead tour, my husband and I traveled to Oaxaca, Puebla, and Mexico City. The excursions are wonderful and recommended if you are interested in visiting archaeological museums and ruins. This is a physically challenging trip overall and it is important to be reasonably fit for it.
Highlights of Mexico: Oaxaca to Mexico City tour

How it works

Ready to travel to Central America? Our experts make it easy, and our knowledgeable tour directors bring every trip to life.

group of people

Work with our in-house travel experts

Choose from 175+ tours all around the world. Need help narrowing down? Call our experts at 1-855-935-4674 to talk through how you like to travel.

Call us today


man and woman making pasta

Sit back and get ready for your trip

Your tour includes hotels, breakfast daily and other select meals, comfortable transportation, an expert Tour Director, guided sightseeing, and more.

Learn more about traveling with Go Ahead


man talking about olive oil

Take off on an adventure, stress-free

Your local Tour Director will meet you and your group on the first day, and be your go-to for the best sites, flavors, and stories of the region.

Meet some of our Tour Directors

Find travel inspiration for Central America

Check out some of our most recent articles to learn more about traveling with us.

Travel tips for Central America tours

What are some interesting things to do on a trip to Central America?

Ancient ruins, misty cloud forests, gorgeous beaches, delicious food and drink. Central America pretty much has it all. Here are some interesting things to do on our Central America tours.

  • Explore ancient ruins. Ancient Mayan civilization spanned parts of modern-day Belize and Mexico, and travelers on tours to Central America can explore ruins that include towering pyramids and walled cities.
  • Go snorkeling. Whether you travel to Belize, Mexico, Costa Rica, or Panama, miles of pristine coastline and countless coral reefs make for some of the world’s top snorkeling spots.
  • Visit a coffee farm. Coffee connoisseurs who travel to Central America can explore coffee culture and production in countries like Panama and Costa Rica. On our Panama tours, you can visit a coffee farm and factory to learn how beans are grown, harvested, and roasted. You can also taste rare Gesha coffee—considered the Champagne of coffee.
  • Taste locally made mezcal. Another popular beverage that’s produced in Central America: mezcal. Spirits connoisseurs traveling on Central America group trips can visit a distillery in Mexico to learn how it’s produced and to try a few different varieties.
  • Take a nature walk. Nature lovers on tours of Central America will have plenty of chances to spot wildlife, such as sloths and spider monkeys. Both are among five animals to see on a tour of Costa Rica.
When is the best time of year to visit central America?

Each season brings with it unique experiences in Central America, but travelers who visit Central America on tour will find the most pleasant weather between December and April, which is dry season in most of the region. Keep in mind that temperatures are often lower in higher elevations.

What are the top attractions to see in central America?
  • Panama Canal. Completed in 1914, this artificial waterway connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and is a major throughway for international cargo ships. On our Central America trips that visit Panama, such as our Highlights of Central America: Costa Rica & Panama tour, travelers can visit to the canal and watch ships pass through its locks.
  • Chichén Itzá: Located on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, this popular archaeological site is home to several Mayan Ruins, including the iconic Chichén Itzá Pyramid (it’s also known as El Castillo, or The Castle). Visit during your free time when you add the Riviera Maya extension on our Highlights of Mexico: Oaxaca to Mexico City tour. And check out 4 things you’ll learn on a tour of Chichén Itzá.
  • Tulum Archaeological Zone. This site, situated on a bluff overlooking the Caribbean Sea on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, houses ruins of a walled, ancient Mayan city. It’s another can’t-miss spot for travelers who add the Riviera Maya extension on our Highlights of Mexico: Oaxaca to Mexico City tour.
  • Great Blue Hole. One of the world’s most sought-after scuba-diving sites, this UNESCO World Heritage Site in Belize is home to underwater tunnels, rock formations, and caverns—and a can’t-miss for adventurous travelers on tours to Central America.  
  • Arenal Volcano National Park. Home to a mile-high volcano and a pristine lake of the same name, this park in Costa Rica is one of the most popular places among adventurous travelers on trips to Costa Rica.

 

What to pack for a tour in Central America?

Central America tours can include visits to cloud forests, ancient ruins, local markets, remote villages, and busy cities. A few essentials will have you prepared every step of the way.

  • Comfortable shoes. When you travel to Central America, pack sturdy sneakers for city tours, water shoes for canoeing and other aquatic activities, and sandals and flip-flops for beach days.
  • Insect repellent. While traveling on one of our Central America tours, you might encounter bugs, including mosquitoes and blackflies. Keep them away with a spritz of bug spray.
  • Light, loose clothing. Lightweight, long-sleeve shirts, pants, skirts, and dresses will come in handy when you travel to Central America. They’ll help keep you cool in warm weather, they’ll protect your skin from the sun—and they’ll help block insects that might try to bite.
  • A rain jacket. This weather-ready item is a packing mainstay no matter where you’re headed, but it’ll come in especially handy in Panama and Costa Rica’s tropical climate.
  • Hats, sunglasses, and SPF. To protect your skin from the strong sunlight.
  • A bathing suit. For snorkeling, diving, swimming, and sunning on the beach.
  • A camera. From colorful birds to white-sand beaches to mysterious ancient ruins, countless photo ops await travelers who book Central America travel tours.
What are some common dishes to order in central America?

Cuisine in Central America varies by country, but beans, rice, grains, fruits, vegetable, meat, and spices feature throughout the region. Here are examples of some dishes to try on our guided tours to Central America.

Belize:

  • Beans and rice. A staple of the Belizean diet, this duo is often served with lobster, shrimp, or spiced meat, plus sides like potato salad and plantains.
  • Belize fruit cake. This sweet and boozy Belizean treat is soaked in rum, packed with preserved fruit, and commonly served during holidays.
  • Johnny cakes. Made with flour and coconut milk, these small cakes are often served for breakfast or lunch, along with toppings like refried beans, cheese, and meat. 

 

Mexico:

  • Mole. Considered one of the most important dishes in Mexico, mole (pronounced MOLE-ay) is any deeply flavorful sauce made by blending together a mixture of herbs, dried spices, chiles, nuts, seeds, and other ingredients—even chocolate (this type is known as mole poblano). Mole can be green (mole verde), black (mole negro), or another color, such as red or yellow, and preparations and ingredients vary by region. Mole sauces are often served as a dressing for meats or poured atop dishes like enchiladas. Have fun trying as many as you can while traveling on one of our tours to Mexico!  
  • Chilaquiles. Featuring layers of fried corn tortillas, green or red salsa, scrambled or fried eggs, pulled chicken, cheese, and refried beans, this savory, sometimes spicy, dish is typically served for breakfast.
  • Pozole. This slow-cooked, hominy-based soup, a staple of Mexican cuisine, dates to pre-Hispanic times. Chicken, pork, and vegetarian versions are served with garnishes such as onion, radish, lettuce, lime, and chili.  
  • Tacos al pastor. This popular type of taco is another can’t-miss dish to try when you travel on one of our tours to Mexico. (Its name translates to “in the style of the shepherd,” a nod to the Lebanese and Syrian immigrants who originated the dish in Mexico in the early 20th century.) Strips of pork, cooked shawarma-style on a spit, are piled onto a corn tortilla, along with diced onion, fresh cilantro, and pineapple. Simple, and so delicious!  

 

Panama:

  • Sancocho. This light Panamanian chicken soup is packed with potatoes, yuca, plantains, and herbs and is said to be a trusty hangover cure.
  • Ropa vieja. Don’t let the name of this dish—in Spanish, it translates to “old clothes”—stop you from trying it. It’s actually a tasty beef stew made with spices like cumin, oregano, and black pepper.
  • Carimañolas. These highly snackable bites are made by simmering and frying chunks of yuca, a ubiquitous, starchy root vegetable, to golden perfection. They’re often served as a side dish, but you might also see them at breakfast, stuffed with ingredients such as cheese or spiced ground beef.

 

What to know before visiting central America?

Spanish is spoken throughout Central America, so learning a few phrases before you go will help you get around and connect with locals. Here are a few to try out when you travel to Central America. (Dialects and vocabulary vary from place to place, so if you have questions, don’t be shy about asking your Tour Director or local guide for help.) 

 

¿Cuanta cuesta este? (KWAN-tah KWES-tah ESS-tay)
This one’s helpful to know any time you need to pay for something, be it lunch or a souvenir. It means “How much does this cost?”

 

¿Dónde está...? (DON-day ess-TAH)
Need to locate an ATM, the bathroom, or a museum? Complete this phrase (it means “Where is...”) with “el cajero,” “el baño,” or “el museo,” respectively, to find your way.

 

¿Podrías tomar una foto? (Poh-DREE-ahs toh-MAR OOH-nah FOH-toh)
Want a pic of you and your tour mates together? Pose this question to a friendly passerby; it means “Could you take a photo?” (Be sure to add a polite “por favor” and “gracias,” too.)

 

¿Por favor puedo tener...? (POUR fah-VOOR PUAY-doh teh-NAIR)  
Use this phrase (it means “May I please have...?”) and you’ll sound like a pro when placing your order. Finish it off with “una taza de café” to score a cup of coffee.

See the latest from our travelers @goaheadtours

Find us on Instagram