Central America


Central America

about Welcome to Central America

With turquoise seas and lush forests, magnificent Maya ruins, bustling markets and flourishing farms, Central America is packed with opportunities to chill out – or thrill out.

Outdoor Adventures

Eight countries with 300-plus volcanoes and two long tropical coasts make for a pretty big playground. Paddle deep into indigenous territories in a dugout canoe, or explore the remains of Spanish forts on the coast. Zip through rainforest canopies, swim alongside sea turtles or trek to sublime cloud-forest vistas. Everywhere you go, you'll be accompanied by a wild cast of characters: a resplendent quetzal on the highland trail; an unruly troupe of howler monkeys screeching through the canopy; or a breaching whale that turns your ferry ride into an adrenaline-rush event. Your adventures are limited only by your will.

Ruins

The Maya territory sprawled from Mexico to Honduras, with ruins in five present-day Central American countries. Visit them to step into a mysterious, spine-tingling universe. Explore the lost temples of Tikal, soaring above the Guatemalan jungle canopy. Investigate otherworldly Palenque and Tulum, perched above the crashing surf. See jaguars carved to life at Copán, and find out why Chichén Itzá is one of the new seven wonders of the world. Discover a culture that harks back 4000 years – the greatest pre-Columbian civilization – and still persists today.

Culture

Central America may be the size of Texas, but its rich mix of people and cultures has created a diverse and dynamic society. With more than 20 Maya languages spoken, Guatemala is the region's indigenous heartland. The Spanish left their mark throughout the region, with majestic colonial plazas, fervent beauty contests and silent hours of siesta. African culture permeates the Caribbean coast, from Congo rebel traditions to Garifuna drumbeats. And the last century brought the rest of the world – Asians, Europeans, North Americans – along with a coat of modernity that dressed up Panama City into a contemporary capital.

Beaches

With chilled-out Caribbean vibes on one side and monster Pacific swells on the other, Central America sits poised to deliver the best of all beach worlds. From deserted playas to full-moon parties, this tiny region can deliver just about any sun-soaked experience that your inner beach bum desires. Plus, there's that magnificent, mysterious world that begins at the water's edge. Seize it by scuba diving with whale sharks in Honduras, snorkeling the world's second-largest coral reef in Belize, getting stoked on Costa Rica's world-class surf breaks, or setting sail among Panama's virgin isles. Hello, paradise.

612577

Ah, Bora Bora. The stuff of dreams. As you arrive by plane, the view says it all. How not to be mesmerised by this stunning palette of sapphire, indigo and turquoise, all mixed together in modern-art abstractions? And these sand-edged motu (islets) and soaring rainforest-covered basaltic peaks? With such a dreamlike setting, Bora Bora is, unsurprisingly, a honeymooners’ choice. But there’s much more to do than clink glasses with your loved one in a luxurious hotel. The good thing is that you can mix slow-paced sun-and-sand holidays with action-packed adventures. Diving, snorkelling, lagoon tours, hiking and parasailing are readily available. What you shouldn’t expect, though, is a thriving nightlife. Bora Bora is a quiet island. And this dream destination is much more accessible than you think. As well as five-star resorts, a handful of low-key midrange hotels beckon.

Sights

If arriving by air you’ll be transported from the Motu Mute airport to Vaitape, the island’s main settlement. It’s not the most evocative town, but it’s the only place on Bora Bora that doesn’t feel as if it were built exclusively for tourists. Vaitape is a great place to do a bit of shopping, take care of banking and internet needs and just get a feel for the way locals really live. Busy during the day, by late afternoon it becomes altogether sleepy, with pétanque (boules) players taking centre stage.

Vaitape is at its liveliest on Sunday morning, when numerous food stalls selling such delicacies as pahua taioro (clams marinated in coconut seawater sauce) and firifiri (doughnuts) take position along the main road. For tourists, it’s a great opportunity to catch local vibes.

A monument to Alain Gerbault, who in 1923 was the first yachtsman to achieve a nonstop solo crossing of the Atlantic, stands at Vaitape quay. Gerbault lived on Bora Bora in the 1930s.

Sleeping

Glossy brochures and promotional literature focus on Bora Bora’s ultraswish resorts, but a smattering of affordable establishments have sprung up over the last two decades.

Although places to stay can be found all around the island, as well as on the motu, the majority are concentrated along the southern coast.

Book your Flight & Stay in Bora Bora

All Tested by Experts · No Hidden Fees · Secure Booking · Best Neighbourhoods

Entertainment

If there’s one thing you absolutely have to check out while you’re on Bora Bora, it’s a traditional dance show held in one of the luxury hotels. You can usually get in for the price of a drink at the bar, or for between 8000 CFP and 10,000 CFP, you can also feast on a buffet dinner. There are performances once or twice a week; ask at the reception desks about the schedule.

Other than that, nightlife is as restrained as it is on the other islands of French Polynesia.

Eating

There’s a good choice of restaurants on Bora Bora, ranging from European gourmet dining to roulottes (food vans) and snacks (a small snack-bar-cum-cafe serving Tahitian staples and sandwiches). Some top-end hotels have an in-house restaurant that is also open to non-guests. Other than the snacks, nearly all of the restaurants accept credit cards.

Drinking & Nightlife

For such a famous island, the bar scene is very tame on Bora Bora. However, there are a few cool spots where you can cut loose over some sunset cocktails in pleasant surrounds. If it’s just the setting you want to absorb, check out the bars in the big hotels. Many restaurants also have a bar section: check out Maikai Bora Bora, which has great tapas and occasional live music, Bora Bora Yacht Club and Le St James.

Shopping

Black-pearl jewellery is sold in many places around Bora Bora, at prices that are often higher than in Tahiti. Apart from pearls, shopping on Bora Bora tends to mean hopping between the few galleries and boutiques that are scattered around the island.

What to do in Bora Bora

Best attractions, Tours & Excursions for you, check it out!

612577

Ah, Bora Bora. The stuff of dreams. As you arrive by plane, the view says it all. How not to be mesmerised by this stunning palette of sapphire, indigo and turquoise, all mixed together in modern-art abstractions? And these sand-edged motu (islets) and soaring rainforest-covered basaltic peaks? With such a dreamlike setting, Bora Bora is, unsurprisingly, a honeymooners’ choice. But there’s much more to do than clink glasses with your loved one in a luxurious hotel. The good thing is that you can mix slow-paced sun-and-sand holidays with action-packed adventures. Diving, snorkelling, lagoon tours, hiking and parasailing are readily available. What you shouldn’t expect, though, is a thriving nightlife. Bora Bora is a quiet island. And this dream destination is much more accessible than you think. As well as five-star resorts, a handful of low-key midrange hotels beckon.

Sights

If arriving by air you’ll be transported from the Motu Mute airport to Vaitape, the island’s main settlement. It’s not the most evocative town, but it’s the only place on Bora Bora that doesn’t feel as if it were built exclusively for tourists. Vaitape is a great place to do a bit of shopping, take care of banking and internet needs and just get a feel for the way locals really live. Busy during the day, by late afternoon it becomes altogether sleepy, with pétanque (boules) players taking centre stage.

Vaitape is at its liveliest on Sunday morning, when numerous food stalls selling such delicacies as pahua taioro (clams marinated in coconut seawater sauce) and firifiri (doughnuts) take position along the main road. For tourists, it’s a great opportunity to catch local vibes.

A monument to Alain Gerbault, who in 1923 was the first yachtsman to achieve a nonstop solo crossing of the Atlantic, stands at Vaitape quay. Gerbault lived on Bora Bora in the 1930s.

Sleeping

Glossy brochures and promotional literature focus on Bora Bora’s ultraswish resorts, but a smattering of affordable establishments have sprung up over the last two decades.

Although places to stay can be found all around the island, as well as on the motu, the majority are concentrated along the southern coast.

Book your Flight & Stay in Bora Bora

All Tested by Experts · No Hidden Fees · Secure Booking · Best Neighbourhoods

Entertainment

If there’s one thing you absolutely have to check out while you’re on Bora Bora, it’s a traditional dance show held in one of the luxury hotels. You can usually get in for the price of a drink at the bar, or for between 8000 CFP and 10,000 CFP, you can also feast on a buffet dinner. There are performances once or twice a week; ask at the reception desks about the schedule.

Other than that, nightlife is as restrained as it is on the other islands of French Polynesia.

Eating

There’s a good choice of restaurants on Bora Bora, ranging from European gourmet dining to roulottes (food vans) and snacks (a small snack-bar-cum-cafe serving Tahitian staples and sandwiches). Some top-end hotels have an in-house restaurant that is also open to non-guests. Other than the snacks, nearly all of the restaurants accept credit cards.

Drinking & Nightlife

For such a famous island, the bar scene is very tame on Bora Bora. However, there are a few cool spots where you can cut loose over some sunset cocktails in pleasant surrounds. If it’s just the setting you want to absorb, check out the bars in the big hotels. Many restaurants also have a bar section: check out Maikai Bora Bora, which has great tapas and occasional live music, Bora Bora Yacht Club and Le St James.

Shopping

Black-pearl jewellery is sold in many places around Bora Bora, at prices that are often higher than in Tahiti. Apart from pearls, shopping on Bora Bora tends to mean hopping between the few galleries and boutiques that are scattered around the island.

What to do in Bora Bora

Best attractions, Tours & Excursions for you, check it out!

612577

Ah, Bora Bora. The stuff of dreams. As you arrive by plane, the view says it all. How not to be mesmerised by this stunning palette of sapphire, indigo and turquoise, all mixed together in modern-art abstractions? And these sand-edged motu (islets) and soaring rainforest-covered basaltic peaks? With such a dreamlike setting, Bora Bora is, unsurprisingly, a honeymooners’ choice. But there’s much more to do than clink glasses with your loved one in a luxurious hotel. The good thing is that you can mix slow-paced sun-and-sand holidays with action-packed adventures. Diving, snorkelling, lagoon tours, hiking and parasailing are readily available. What you shouldn’t expect, though, is a thriving nightlife. Bora Bora is a quiet island. And this dream destination is much more accessible than you think. As well as five-star resorts, a handful of low-key midrange hotels beckon.

Sights

If arriving by air you’ll be transported from the Motu Mute airport to Vaitape, the island’s main settlement. It’s not the most evocative town, but it’s the only place on Bora Bora that doesn’t feel as if it were built exclusively for tourists. Vaitape is a great place to do a bit of shopping, take care of banking and internet needs and just get a feel for the way locals really live. Busy during the day, by late afternoon it becomes altogether sleepy, with pétanque (boules) players taking centre stage.

Vaitape is at its liveliest on Sunday morning, when numerous food stalls selling such delicacies as pahua taioro (clams marinated in coconut seawater sauce) and firifiri (doughnuts) take position along the main road. For tourists, it’s a great opportunity to catch local vibes.

A monument to Alain Gerbault, who in 1923 was the first yachtsman to achieve a nonstop solo crossing of the Atlantic, stands at Vaitape quay. Gerbault lived on Bora Bora in the 1930s.

Sleeping

Glossy brochures and promotional literature focus on Bora Bora’s ultraswish resorts, but a smattering of affordable establishments have sprung up over the last two decades.

Although places to stay can be found all around the island, as well as on the motu, the majority are concentrated along the southern coast.

Book your Flight & Stay in Bora Bora

All Tested by Experts · No Hidden Fees · Secure Booking · Best Neighbourhoods

Entertainment

If there’s one thing you absolutely have to check out while you’re on Bora Bora, it’s a traditional dance show held in one of the luxury hotels. You can usually get in for the price of a drink at the bar, or for between 8000 CFP and 10,000 CFP, you can also feast on a buffet dinner. There are performances once or twice a week; ask at the reception desks about the schedule.

Other than that, nightlife is as restrained as it is on the other islands of French Polynesia.

Eating

There’s a good choice of restaurants on Bora Bora, ranging from European gourmet dining to roulottes (food vans) and snacks (a small snack-bar-cum-cafe serving Tahitian staples and sandwiches). Some top-end hotels have an in-house restaurant that is also open to non-guests. Other than the snacks, nearly all of the restaurants accept credit cards.

Drinking & Nightlife

For such a famous island, the bar scene is very tame on Bora Bora. However, there are a few cool spots where you can cut loose over some sunset cocktails in pleasant surrounds. If it’s just the setting you want to absorb, check out the bars in the big hotels. Many restaurants also have a bar section: check out Maikai Bora Bora, which has great tapas and occasional live music, Bora Bora Yacht Club and Le St James.

Shopping

Black-pearl jewellery is sold in many places around Bora Bora, at prices that are often higher than in Tahiti. Apart from pearls, shopping on Bora Bora tends to mean hopping between the few galleries and boutiques that are scattered around the island.

What to do in Bora Bora

Best attractions, Tours & Excursions for you, check it out!