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Central American Highlights CAQ

Trip Duration 16 Days

Reviews for Central American Highlights

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

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Central American Highlights reviews verified by Reevoo

22 reviews

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Central American HighlightsScores 8.9 out of 10 based on 22 reviews
(9 out of 10)


I was travelling on my own and I had a great time on this trip. Jose, the guide went out of his way to ensure that everyone on the trip had the experiences that they hoped for? He had amazing energy, he always had a smile and sense of humour; he made sure we had fun, at the same time being ultra professional. It was a fast paced trip and this meant that we saw many different places and hadmany different experiences.
Highlights for me were: hearing more about the the recent revolutionary history of several Central American countries, the wonderful water trips, seeing the amazing bird and wildlife, and fun nights out sampling the local beers.
Go got it! You will have a great time. My one tip is bring a pair of lightweight binoculars.
Confirmed traveller: 01 April 2016
Published on: 14 April 2016
(10 out of 10)

Confirmed traveller

The whole trip from start to finish was just a brilliant experience! Even the coach journeys were enjoyable: with spotting wildlife, admiring the stunning scenery and people watching as we passed through small villages. Highlights for me were white-water rafting, Papusa making in El Salvador, spending the night listening to the howler monkeys and rain hammering on the tent in the rainforest, spending my birthday sharing cake with local children on an island in Granda ( plus singing karaoke that night!) dancing the night away in San Juan Del Sur and 'Rum night' in El Salvador!Jose was the best tour leader I've ever had on any of these trips- I cannot rate him highly enough! He was fun, patient and made time for every single person in our group. Nothing was too much trouble for Jose and anything that was asked of him he did efficiently and with ease- even down to finding out where I could get a massage in Granada and translating at the local pharmacy for a couple of us! Jose was so knowledgeable about every country (5!!) that we went to- I don't know how he remembers everything! It was mine and another person's birthday two days apart on the trip- Jose went out of his way to get birthday cakes with our names on, bought us a small gift and made both days so brilliant yet so different!On the longer bus journeys he was constantly checking that we were comfortable, pointing out wildlife and areas of interest along the way. He really did contribute immensely to make this trip special for everyone!
Confirmed traveller: 27 August 2015
Published on: 12 March 2016
(9 out of 10)

Confirmed traveller

We went over the Xmas / New Year period, so a few things were shut and had to be altered, but it didn't affect the enjoyment at all.

The largest group (18) I have ever been with on an Explore holiday, but they were a great bunch and everyone got on well which added to the enjoyment.

Where do I start?

A full on holiday - early starts, lots of travelling, but worth it.

Nicaragua was probably (unexpectedly) the country highlight for me. Friendly people, lovely old colonial buildings, and volcanoes?! Walk up one and get driven up one.

Interesting wildlife - saw a sloth?! Good for bird lovers also.

Zip lining was fun after the night camping (in en-suite tent) in the rain forest.

So much good stuff?!

Only (very minor) criticism was that it took a long time to get meals with such a large group (service is slow in this part of the world, 1.5 hours or more not unusual to wait)and some group members insisted on having lunch each day (as well as breakfast and dinner), which meant a late arrival at the next stop, usually after dark. I'd have preferred 'picnic' or 'on the run/bus' lunches to give more sightseeing time.

All in all - a great trip! Brilliant!

Jose's learning the foibles and humour subtleties of the Brits quickly. Organised meals and other things when asked and generally came out with us and became one of the team and was good fun.

Imparted much knowledge.

Armed us with alcohol to see the new year in?!

Helped me greatly (and with good humour) with an immigration stamp issue which involved a lot of taxiing about to various border crossings and long discussions with officials.

Would be more than happy to have Jose as a tour leader again! Avoid Nicaraguan rum for breakfast - things can go horribly wrong?!

Check your passport stamps at every border crossing (there's lots - as you criss cross?!)

Persuade the group to skip lunches.

If in season try to get to see the turtles breeding at San Juan del Sur (book at Cosa Ora hostel for the best trip, if not yet offered by Explore)

Confirmed traveller: 14 January 2016
Published on: 12 March 2016
(8 out of 10)

Confirmed traveller

Highlights: Antigua, Leon, Granada, Copan, Suchitoto Disappointed (1) In the amount of time allocated to Chichi market: 20 minutes insufficient, especially as the tour had been advised that we should do all shopping at chichi. In addition we only learned of the amount of time available after spending an hour over breakfast. The option of skipping breakfast should be available. (2) San Juan Venado Mangrove Reserve overpriced at $45 - the itinerary advises a wealth of wildlife crocodiles, caiman and iguanas. Whilst on trip the group learned from Miguel that we should see only birds, no mammals. The boat contained all 11 of us, three seats of 3 with 2 in the bow. There was no canopy and we wanted over 15 minutes while a few life preservers were obtained when requested. This was a rip-off compared to the other boat trips offered on this tour. (3) Costa Rica was disappointing in that we spent a great deal of time travelling to off the beaten track reserves with little wildlife.Miguel was not always clear or consistent in giving instructions. Miguel was invariably good humoured and pleasant, and ensured that the group gained as much information as possible from the bird watching trips.
Confirmed traveller: 23 March 2015
Published on: 12 March 2016
(10 out of 10)

Confirmed traveller

This was the first time I've used Explore and my experience far surpassed my expectations. From the moment I landed at San José in Costa Rica to the moment I left Guatamala, the trip was perfectly executed and the tour leader, José, dealt with everything seamlessly. We travelled through five countries and across numerous borders but that was only part of the adventure! My highlights are numerous: white water rafting and Volcano running (dirty but immense fun!) were my two adventuring highlights, but we also visited a village where we celebrated one of our party's birthday with the villagers in their environment and on another day, visited a school where e played with and were entertained by the amazing children. These two things were my 'eye opening' experiences and made me feel immensely humbled. Culturally my highlights were Leon in Nicaragua (simply because there was a festival going on whilst we were there and I have never seen anything like it before) and the town on Lake Atitlan where we visited the school and the shrine to Maximon (this has to be seen to be believed!)José was fantastic, nothing was too much trouble. He was organised, meticulous in details and passionate and knowable about Central America. He shattered his knowledge at the right pace and to the right depth. Apart from that he was friendly and made sure that everyone was included.
Confirmed traveller: 27 August 2015
Published on: 12 March 2016
(8 out of 10)


A very good insight into the history, culture and wildlife of Central America. A lot of travelling, one day in particular was challenging. However overall it was worth it.
Confirmed traveller: 13 February 2016
Published on: 16 February 2016
(9 out of 10)


walking up cerro negro volcano in Nicaragua, Hotel stay in El Salvador.
Confirmed traveller: 09 January 2016
Published on: 07 February 2016
(10 out of 10)


Seeing a sloth! - how the guide spotted it I don't know - it still took us several minutes to spot even when he was pointing it out.

Seeing turtles nest, lay and hatch.

Peering down a 'live' volcano and also climbing one.
Confirmed traveller: 09 January 2016
Published on: 24 January 2016
(10 out of 10)

Confirmed traveller

The scenery was spectacular with volcanoes, rainforests and old colonial cities. The birds around the lakes and mangrove swamps were the highlight of the tour. Seeing hundreds of crocodiles basking in the sun was memorable and all the optional excursions to hot springs, islands and the womens' refuge gave excellent added value. The tour has many very interesting highlights but involves several long bus journeys in very hot conditions. It is not that physically active as a trip but gives a fascinating insight into central American countries. Hotels were variable with some lovely one and others that are best forgotten. Don't take too much clothes/stuff as you have to move around a lot and it was easy to get washing done.
Confirmed traveller: 11 April 2014
Published on: 07 November 2015
(10 out of 10)

Confirmed traveller

Brilliant holiday, so much to see and do. Highlights were Atitlan Lake, Copan Ruins, climbing a volcano and zip wiring through the rainforest.Jose was fantastic! Very friendly, lots of knowledge and went out of his way to get to know each member of the group. Couldn't of asked for a better tour leader, he's a credit to Explore.
Confirmed traveller: 20 August 2015
Published on: 07 November 2015