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7 of the Best Beaches in Central America From Belize to Panama


Take a break from the craze of your day-to-day and plan a trip to some of the best beaches in Central America. Clear skies and aqua waters are in your future!

Central America is full of beauty—everywhere you turn, there is something to catch your eye.

Whether that be lively restaurants, vivacious volcanoes and mountains, or the cheerful and friendly people. Plus, the beaches you can find in Central America are some of the most beautiful in the world. Each of the countries in Central America boasts its own dazzling beaches, full of its own unique character, culture, and riveting stories.

beach in Nicaragua
Taken by S. Hull via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Here are our picks for the best beaches in Central America:

Best Beaches in Central America

1. Playa Herradura, Costa Rica

If you’re looking for something secluded and absolutely stunning, this is the beach for you. Home to Los Sueños Resort and Marina, Playa Herradura in Costa Rica has calm waters, soft sand, various beach house rentals, and a collection of delicious restaurants. This relaxing beach is a great spot for a day of sunbathing and spending time with the family.

Best known for:

Prodigious inshore and offshore fishing locations.

2. Playa San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Near the southern border of the country of Nicaragua, San Juan del Sur is a small beach with big attractions. It’s a perfect spot for surfing, sportfishing, sailing, and of course, sunbathing. An oasis of tranquility while the sun’s up and a party spot when it’s down, the beaches are a hot spot for residents and visitors alike. There are many beautiful spots in the area and great things to do in Nicaragua, so go on a stroll and find the best one for you.

Best known for:

World-class surfing enclaves all in close proximity to the town.

3. Placencia Peninsula, Belize

The place for a laid-back vacation, Placencia, Belize is charming, low-key, and insurmountably angelic. An ‘island you can drive to,’ this area has you feeling like you’re off on your own secluded beach. Don’t miss out on the soft and sandy beaches, sunny skies, and turquoise clear waters.

Best known for:

Swimming, snorkeling, or diving with whale sharks at the Gladden Spit Marine Reserve.

4. Playa Los Cóbanos, El Salvador

This El Salvador beach is protected for the conservation and release of sea turtles. Laden with golden sand and clear waters, you’re sure to enjoy the relaxing and natural beauty of the area. It’s easy to appreciate all that the local community does to keep the environment and sea life at their best.

Best known for:

Los Cóbanos has a coral reef 157 kilometers in length—it’s the largest between Panama and Mexico. Check out our list of other fun things to do in El Salvador, too!

5. West Bay Beach, Roatán, Honduras

If you’re looking for Caribbean beauty without the price tag, soft white sands are endless in Roatán. Enjoy some fresh seafood on the beach as you admire vibrant blue water. Aside from the days where cruise ships come to port, you’ll experience the picture-perfect views of West Bay Beach.

Best known for:

Roatán is the largest, most developed of the Bay Islands making it perfect for exploring.

6. Red Frog Beach, Bocas del Toro, Panama

Home to the top award-winning vacation resort in Panama, Red Frog beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Behind the sandy beaches is a lush tropical forest abounding with wildlife. The hidden surfing spots, palm tree lined beaches, abundant fish, and aqua waters make it the perfect place to relax.

Best known for:

Travel Channel voted them as one of the world’s best secret beaches.

7. Monterrico, Guatemala

This may not be the perfect beach for lazy swimming, as it’s wave-print signals to riptides, but it sure is gorgeous. Waves crash at odd angles onto the black volcanic sand, so the beach is better suited for wandering and sunbathing. This area is becoming more and more popular with foreigners traveling to Guatemala and offers a much-needed break from the craze of Guatemala City.

Best known for:

Volcanic black sand beaches are home to many sea turtles.

Written by
Becca Polk
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