There’s more to Latin American tourism than just all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean and Spring Break in Cancun.
The entire region of Central America has such a natural beauty for anyone to enjoy without breaking the bank.
The region’s packed with gorgeous beaches, rich wildlife, tropical rainforests, ruins from some of the world’s earliest civilizations, and year-round summertime climates. What more could you want?
Let’s explore the best places to visit in Central America:
1. Tikal and Copan – Guatemala
These ancient cities of the Maya people are testimony to the rich civilization that dominated the region between 700 BC and 900 AD. While Maya ruins are scattered throughout the country, Tikal and Copan are the two major sites that remain intact.
The “Great Plaza” of Tikal is the most impressive structure, located centrally between ornate altars, ceremonial buildings, lavish dwellings, and the infamous ball court.
Fun fact: the ball games in ancient Maya times are thought to be the first sport throughout all of human history, dating back to 2500 BC. Archeologists have found ancient ball courts, like the one in Tikal, as far north as Arizona all the way down to Nicaragua and even in Cuba.
Though ancient native populations played the game for fun, it was also taken very seriously for ritual events and in disputes between communities (sounds kind of like soccer in modern-day Latin America). Under these circumstances, the captain of the losing team would often be executed or sacrificed.