North and South America existed long before geological movements created Central America, which was subsequently populated by flora and fauna trying to cross from one continent to the other, thus funnelling and concentrating life. Thanks to its tropical climate and rich volcanic soils many species flourish here. Central America is now recognised as a biodiversity hot spot, hosting 7% of the world’s biodiversity on 0.1% of its landmass. You can experience this amazing natural abundance in numerous well-preserved rain and cloud forest reserves.
It is not all about the wildlife; in Central America you can cycle past active volcanoes, laze on Caribbean and Pacific beaches, discover colourful local cultures, bike amid stunning scenery and learn about fascinating Pre-Columbian and colonial history.
There are too many attractions to list here but in each destination it is possible to cycle off road or on road along routes for all abilities from easy to tough. Belize (formerly British Honduras) is a sleepy little Caribbean country covered in rainforest and dotted with ancient Mayan temples. Guatemala also hosts important Mayan temples such as Tikal and is the only Central American country with a majority indigenous culture that adds great colour and history.
El Salvador is a rewarding but little-visited tiny volcanic country with a turbulent past. Honduras offers fine beaches on the Bay Islands, pristine jungles and the superb Mayan ruins of Copan. Nicaragua is a diamond in the rough with a fascinating history, active volcanoes, vast rainforests, charming Spanish colonial towns and chilled out Caribbean islands. Costa Rica has the best tourism infrastructure with a quarter of its land protected in national parks and reserves that showcase its incredible flora and fauna. Panama is famed for its canal and has the greatest diversity of all with numerous reserves and tropical islands and beaches to relax on.
Central America has a humid tropical climate, however within the region there are at least twelve local climates. Generally the average day temperature is warm (20-30⁰C) while humidity depends on the season and altitude. The rainy season is generally from mid-April to the beginning of November, although this varies from region to region. However even in the rainy season rain often only falls for a short time in the afternoon.