Central America is where ancient empires were forged, where great civilisations rose and fell, and the jungles are still scattered with the remarkable ruins of the Mayans and the Aztecs. Scenically spectacular and geologically active, the landscape is punctuated by smouldering volcanoes, muggy mangrove swamps and deep lakes, while just offshore lie vibrant coral reefs and idyllic islands.
Central America is rich in wildlife too, with cheeky monkeys, vibrant toucans and psychedelic tree frogs lurking amongst the thick foliage of Panama and Costa Rica. If you’re really lucky you might even spot the elusive jaguar stalking through the undergrowth in Belize and Guatemala. Central America is a tale of two oceans; the western Pacific coast is generally wilder and less developed, while the Caribbean side is balmy with white sand beaches and brilliant blue waters. The undoubted star is the island of Cuba, where postcards come to life in a mojito-drenched haze of crumbling colonial villas, vintage American cars and rolling tobacco fields, all set to a toe-tapping soundtrack of salsa and rumba.