Sometimes we don’t get to do a whole lot of planning for our vacations, especially those of us who live in North America.  We have limited days per year that we can travel and we don’t want to be in a plane for days just to get somewhere.  Also, we are generally trying to head somewhere exotic and warm.  For these reasons Central America makes for a great destination for those looking to escape for a week or so.  Below I have listed my top 3 Central American locations for a last minute holiday.

3. Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Playa del Carmen is quickly turning into the new Cancun.  However, finding a cheap holiday deal to Playa del carmen isn’t too challenging.  Almost year ’round, maybe with the exception of during spring break, there are great flight deals to Playa, and some great resorts offering almost unthinkably low prices.  Playa del Carmen has a great beach, loads of water and jungle activities, and is close to some fantastic ruins.  Reality is that it makes a great travel destination for any occasion.

2. Caye Caluker, Belize

Caye Caulker

Caye Caulker

The truth is that booking holidays at the last minute can be a little bit stressful.  Most of the most popular resorts are already booked up months in advance, this is why you sometimes need to look slightly off the beaten track.  The tiny island of Caye Caulker, Belize is small off the beaten track enough that you don’t even really need to make reservations at all.  This is a true hidden paradise.  During lobster season some of the best grilled lobster you’ll ever try is served up nearly every day.  Out on the water there is some absolutely breath taking waters full of sharks, sting-rays, and a plethora of other marine life.

1. Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

If you’re looking for a combination of wildlife and relaxation Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica may be the place for you.  The town, set just outside of the national park, is home to luxurious hotels and backpacker’s hostels alike.  There are a number of hidden beaches featured by soft sand and calm waters.  Head into the national park for a day and you’ll be treated to some diverse wildlife, pristine jungle as well as some beautiful beaches.  Nature lovers fall in love with Manuel Antonio National Park and with direct flights to San Jose, Costa Rica from North America there is no reason why you can’t travel here at the last minute.


Is there a more perfect last minute travel destination for North Americans than Central America?  It is close, the prices are low, and the destinations are basically paradise.  There are a wealth of other destinations in Central America worth exploring, so once you’ve gotten the taste via a last minute holiday, I’m sure you’ll be back for more.

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