Central America is a hiker’s paradise with hundreds of mountains and the Ring of Fire. You’ll find an incredible 110 volcanoes with 37 of them in Guatemala alone!
Central America comprises six countries; Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panamá.
It doesn’t include Mexico which surprised many people. Mexico is actually part of North America. Even in the regions in Central America without mountains, you’ll find large tracts of forests. This makes it difficult to decide which trails to hike – a good problem to have!
Even in the regions in Central America without mountains, you’ll find large tracts of forests. This makes it difficult to decide which trails to hike – a good problem to have!
Because Central America isn’t a place with snow and super high mountains, many adventurers don’t see it as a destination for hiking. However, there is an overwhelming number of options in each country alone, let alone in all of Central America.
5 of the Best Trails in Central America
From Nebaj to Cuchumatanes Summit – Guatemala
Cuchumatanes Mountain Range in Guatemala by Edgar Betancourth
If you’ve ever visited Guatemala you’ve probably seen the advertisements for Acatenango, San Pedro, and Pacaya. I’ve been to each of those places and loved them. They are awesome and I keep going back! But I have an insider’s recommendation if you are looking for something a bit more unique. A trail that almost no one knows about.
This hike over the top of the Cuchumatanes mountain range takes three days. The terrain of the area is unique in Guatemala and you’ll be able to see tiny shepherd’s towns along the way. Most of them have less than ten houses each.
How to do it.
Related Articles: The 5 Best Day Hikes in Guatemala and 8 Great Adventures to Try in Guatemala.
Santa Ana Volcano or Ilamatepec – El Salvador
Santa Ana Volcano Crater by Lourdes Díaz
Santa Ana is a small volcano that’s quite easy to hike. It won’t take you more than two hours to reach the top. Once you get there, you’ll peer down to see a turquoise pool inside the crater. Since this is still an active volcano the water inside of the crater is boiling. As tempting as it may look, you definitely don’t want to go for a swim here. On a clear day you’ll be able to see Coatepeque Lake, and on the other side, you’ll see Cerro Verde and Izalco Volcano.
Topping off what is already a fantastic hike is that right at its base, you’ll see a small and beautiful park. It’s an idyllic spot where you can set up your tent or rent a rustic cabin to enjoy this spectacular area a little longer.
How to do it.
Rincón de La Vieja Summit – Costa Rica