With everything from misty rainforests to endangered species, picture-perfect beaches to monstrous volcanos, pretty colonial cities to sleepless parties on the sands of the Caribbean on the line-up for travelers heading to Central America, we know it can be tricky finding the itinerary that’s right for you. Cue this lowdown of every trip offered by LBW, which goes from Nica to Panama and boasts oodles adrenaline-pumping adventure travel and no-holes-barred hedonism alike. Enjoy!
Designed for the eco-tourists and the self-proclaimed Robinson Crusoes, the wannabe castaways and the sand-seeking island lovers, this seven-day trip to the remote islands of Panama promises something altogether different from the usual 18-30s trip through Central America. You’ll be bedding down right on the sands on a deserted tropical island, just meters from the lapping waves of the Caribbean Sea or Pacific Ocean. Clean water, the occasional shower and some makeshift toilets are available, but the rest is pure, unadulterated adventure travel!
Nicaragua NYE does exactly what it says on the tin: A New Year’s party to remember! Travelers will be hitting the gorgeous south-western section of Nica, where the soaring colonial Cathedrals and historic cobbled streets of Granada await, and colossal volcanoes bubble up on the horizon just a stone’s throw from the coast. Seven days is enough time to sample the historic side of things, all before heading to the hedonistic surfer town of San Juan Del Sur, where LBW folk enjoy one mega pool party overlooking the Pacific Ocean to usher in the turning of the times!
Naturally Nica is the perfect choice for travelers interested in making the most out of Central America’s less-trodden destination: Nicaragua. In the space of a week, you’ll enjoy all the bucket list delights of the country, from the pretty Spanish-style streets of the old cities (think gorgeous Granada) to surfing lessons on the Pacific beaches around San Juan Del Sur. You’ll also get the opportunity to scale the colossal stratovolcano at Mombacho, kick-back on the banks of Apoyo Lagoon, take boats across Lake Nicaragua (the largest in the region) and flit between the jungle-dressed Islets of Granada.
The tour that makes the most out of some of the most beautiful Pacific beaches in Central America sees backpackers hit the west coast of Costa Rica. With a focus on all things sand and sea, this one’s perhaps the top choice for budding surfers and sunbathers. It starts with a trip to Tamarindo, a onetime fishing village turned iconic surf resort, where swells like El Estero and Playa Grande offer challenges for the pros and learning waves for the rookies alike. The trip finishes further south, out of the jungle-topped mountains of Guanacaste, in Santa Teresa - another surf town that’s got pool parties and ziplines to boot!
Rockin’ Rica is quintessentially wild Costa Rica at its best! That means three-toed sloths and resplendent quetzals (possibly the most beautiful bird on the planet) in the cloud forests of Monteverde. It means roaring waterfalls around La Fortuna, the smoking peak of Arenal Volcano, and jungle treks through primeval rainforest. It also means the chance to see famous coffee plantations and options like night time hikes, mountain biking and even bungee jumping to boot! Yep, adventure travel opportunities abound on this one…
Despite the name, folk on our Panamania tour actually touch down in Costa Rica, heading south out of San Jose for the high-perched town of Boquete. This is one of the adventure travel meccas of Central America, and we stop to go canyoning, bathe in the hot springs, and – if you’re feeling up to it – scale the summit of nearby volcanos. Next up is the coast, and the sun-splashed archipelago of Bocas Del Toro. Set to Carib vibes, this fun-loving town is the place to catch some swells and enjoy a full moon party, all before heading back north and across the border to Puerto Viejo – the undisputed king of Costa’s east coast surfing towns!
A cocktail made from two of the most gorgeous sections of the Central American Carib coast, our Caribbean Dream itinerary rarely fails to impress those travelers with a penchant for sand, sea, surf and sun. Start with the bamboo shacks and turquoise shores of Bocas Del Toro in Panama, where the sounds of steel drums mix with ice-cold Red Stripes in the bars. Then hit the legendary Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, which pokes out of a bend on the Costa Rican shore with more world-class surf swells than you can shake a platter of jambalaya at!
Best of Central
Lasting more than 25 days from beginning to end, covering all of Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, flitting between the swaying palms of the Caribbean and the salt-sprayed surf towns of the Pacific, and stopping at historic conquistador cities and adventure travel meccas like Monteverde along the way, Best of Central is hands down the most comprehensive introduction to Central America on offer from LBW. Recent changes have seen the addition of activities like coral surfing and catamaran trips around Bocas del Toro, while there are all the uber-popular stops you’d expect: surf-mad Santa Teresa; chilled-out San Juan del Sur and the pool parties that go with it; steaming Arenal Volcano; Monteverde in the clouds – the list goes on!
Costa Rica Explorer
A fusion of our two top Costa Rica trips, the Costa Rica Explorer offers a balance between the country’s iconic inland jungles and volcanos, and its brochure-worthy coastline. That means the perfect combo of relaxation and adrenaline-pumping activities, of chilled-out beach living and bona fide adventure travel. Expect to be zip lining through the rainforests of Guanacaste one day and bathing in the Rio Celeste Waterfall the next; riding the rollers of Santa Teresa at the start of the week and walking swinging cable bridges in the Monteverde reserve at the end. In short: this one’s the most comprehensive Costa Rica trip on our menu!
Running the gamut from the surf spots of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa in Costa Rica in the south to the banks of Lake Nicaragua in the north, Central Teaser is one fine introduction to the beauties and draws of the region as a whole. Packed into 12 nights of travel, the tour reveals colonial wonders in Granada and virgin forests in Puntarenas Province. It’s got beautiful beaches and clifftop hikes at San Juan del Sur, along with some pretty hefty party nights in Tamarindo to boot!
There are chances to kick-back and chill, or to get the heart-thumping and party engines in full rev on this 19-day trip through Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Yep, Central Adventure is an adventure travel itinerary with the likes of Tamarindo and Mal Pais thrown in for some added relaxation. Monteverde means zip lines and rainforest wildlife safaris; La Fortuna’s got the soaring outline of Arenal and chances to go whitewater rafting on the Rio Celeste, and then there’s San Juan Del Sur – a town of elegant Victorian builds that beckons with rooftop pool shindigs and surf schools alike!
Central Paradise is one of LBW’s best-loved adventure travel itineraries through the region of Central America. Going all the way from Tamarindo in Costa Rica, perched on the edge of the jungle-dressed mountains of Guanacaste and the Pacific Coast, to the aquamarine waters of Bocas del Toro, kissed by the trade winds of the Panamanian Caribbean, it offers everything from rock climbing and whitewater rafting around La Fortuna, surfing aplenty between the swells of Mal Pais and Puerto Viejo, catamaran sailing, options to tack on bungee jumps and oodles, oodles more!
Offering the best of Costa Rica’s heartlands and the prime of the Panamanian Caribbean, the Central Voyager itinerary is a great mixture of beach life and adventure travel. We’ll start with some days under the peak of Arenal, hitting hot springs and seeing roaring waterfalls in the wild, followed by some trekking in the Monteverde cloud forests. Then, it’s south to Panama, where Bocas del Toro means coral surfing, or Puerto Viejo’s Salsa Brava beckons only the most daring of surfers!
Reading Week Nicaragua
Nica might not be as famous on the backpacker circuit as its near neighbor of Costa Rica, but that’s precisely why we think it’s the perfect place to go mid-term, when the stresses of exams and grades are getting heavy. With untrodden colonial towns like Granada on the menu, complete with 500-year-old churches and hidden tequila bars, along with the golden sands of San Juan del Sur and cloud-topped volcanos, this seven-day Reading Week break from the lecture hall promises to be adventure travel at its best! Talk about taking your mind off things…
Be sure to head over to our itinerary page and check out the entire line-up of Central American tours! Whether it’s adventure travel or laid-back beach going you’re after, you can rest assured it’s there…
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"Rich is a traveler, writer and filmmaker who's always after somewhere new to go. He's been hopping around the globe since 2011, from Poland to Paris, Mumbai to Ho Chi Minh. He runs several travel sites of his own, from Ski Eastern to Live Krakow to Crabs Move Sideways. When he's not planning his next trip, he's usually listening to 50s jazz, surfing in Wales, skiing in the Alps, or just swigging (too much) great craft beer."
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