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Where should I spend the Christmas holidays in Latin America?

Ask our Experts

My husband and I are planning a trip to Central America (Costa Rica?) at Christmas with 2 teenage girls... we want a mix of activities/sights while having good standard accommodation and some time to 'chill'.

Asked by Annie

Central America is a great place to go during the Christmas holidays, although if your initial thought is to visit Costa Rica then my recommendation would be to try to book your holiday as soon as possible because it is one of those destinations where things do get booked up quickly and the hotels tend to be very busy over the festive period.

Costa Rica is great for families and is very well prepared to cater for them. There are many amazing national parks where you can take part in a variety of activities that teenage girls (and parents alike) will enjoy. If you're adventurous types, there are several exciting outdoor pursuits to try, such as white-water rafting on the Pacuare River, crossing hanging bridges in Arenal, horse riding in Turrialba or kayaking in Tortuguero. Costa Rica is famous for its wildlife and you can see it both above and below the ocean's surface: there is great snorkelling in the Osa Peninsula while the major national parks like Manuel Antonio or Corcovado National park offer some of Latin America's very best wildlife watching. Everything is there for your family to explore – or you could simply choose to relax on the beach or in the soothing hot springs of Arenal.

On our website we feature a suggested itinerary which is ideal for families called Nature's Trail through Costa Rica, which takes in the highlights of the country like Monteverde Cloud-forest, Corcovado National Park and Tortuguero National Park, but for the relaxing part of your holiday do not forget to check out our guide to the best beach hotels in Costa Rica. If you would like to discuss all the different options and choose the best property for your family, please contact me (, I will be glad to recommend the ideal location for you.

But knowing how difficult it could be to find availability in Costa Rica over Christmas and New Year, I would like to draw your attention to a neighbouring country, which is less well known and very authentic, but which has similar attractions which are equally fun and enjoyable as the ones that you will find in Costa Rica: I would like to introduce Nicaragua to you and your family.

My recent visit to this country impressed me so much that I cannot stop myself recommending it to everybody. They have had the advantage to learn from their neighbour Costa Rica and knowing that they have similar resources in their lands helped them to create hotels and activities specifically geared towards eco-tourism and sustainable travel. In addition Nicaragua has beautiful colonial towns to explore: Granada and León are both stunning. You can also attempt to climb a volcano on Ometepe Island, do some canopy ziplining on Mombacho volcano, go kayaking on the Isletas de Granada, spot wildlife in the area of San Carlos (within the pristine Indio Maiz Biosphere Reserve) or if you feel very adventurous you can even go ash-boarding down the Cerro Negro volcano near León. For an overview of what there is to do in the country you can visit our website to check out our Highlights of Nicaragua and beach hotels in Nicaragua (and elsewhere in Central America).

Or why not combine these two countries? We have created a Private Journey which visits the best of both.


Answered by Lina Fuller
Travel Consultants

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