Dive into Central America with Educational Travel Collaborative, L.L.C.
While easy to miss on a world map, this corner of our planet is rich in biodiversity, indigenous culture, political significance, adventure sports opportunities, and more. If you're looking for an immersive adventure, immersive Spanish language learning, or just to learn how to surf or dive, you can find that here, too. Jump into Central America - we haven't met anyone who has regretted it.
Under-explored, Easily Accessible.
Central America is a world away from day-to-day life virtually anywhere else but is a quick and easy flight from Western Hemisphere hubs. Let us help you to maximize a single country trip or a region-wide epic.
A cultural, linguistic, and political mashup - what Central America lacks in landmass it makes up for in unique communities, experiences, and natural environments. From jungles to mountain ranges, hi-rise developments to riverside villages, two-week visits to two-month courses, Central America has so much to explore and offer. Let us help you find your footing!
Latin and Indigenous Culture
One thing that is special about this part of the world is the intersection between indigenous, mixed, and European communities through all sectors of life. Indigenous culture is alive in the form of diverse cultural traditions and, in many parts of the country, linguistic and religious customs that remain largely untouched from pre-Columbian times. These communities live side by side with mixed communities and elite families of continental descent. In just a few weeks you can dive into all of these spaces while in Guatemala - which can connect to all sorts of areas of interest - from conservation to human rights, or business development and resource management.
In addition to cultural riches, the diversity of natural assets really stands out in Guatemala - as well as in neighboring states. From humid jungles to arid volcanos, wetlands to beaches, there is an almost unmatched variety to be found here. With this comes a broad spectrum of opportunities for adventure and eco tourism, from from sand-boarding down volcanoes to trekking through primeval forest -any and all of this can be on the agenda for your time exploring the region!
Central America's most Accessible Country
Belize has a unique story of development, historically a British outpost in Spanish colonized Central America, this sliver of land and cays is culturally as much a part of the Caribbean as it is the mainland. This adds an interesting layer to the already significant human diversity found all over the region, as well as making this the most easily accessible part of Central America for native English speakers. The small size of the country has resulted in a well-paved road system, as well as a strong network of domestic turboprop flights, connecting small islands to the mainland with efficiency and ease. You can go from a small Caribbean key to ruins deep in the jungle without fuss, and with an exceptional view!
An Underwater Wonderland
Belize is home to some of the world's best snorkeling and diving. Whether you're looking for sharks, rays, or just corals and tropical fish, Belize's diving operations model the highest standards of safety while providing world-class dive sites to engage with underwater wonders and a great culture to unwind with at the end of the day.
As with any area of the world, there are particular planning notes that you should be aware of - Central America is no exception. Here are a few tips to help set your expectations for your Central American adventure!
One of the things we find ourselves supporting aspiring travelers through most often is the adjustment of their expectations around how much they should attempt to see and do in a set amount of time. We want you to have the time to soak up the culture and immerse yourself in your travels, which requires the time to make real and meaningful connections. With that in mind, we wouldn't advise less than ten days in any given country in Central America - go significantly below that and you could be making some serious sacrifices!
Culture and Safety
While local crime sometimes makes headlines in Central America - it is quite a safe destination for visitors - just ask the thousands of retirees from North America that wash up on its shores! Still, this is an area of the world where knowing where to go - and where to avoid - pays huge dividends. Our local knowledge, and that of the resident operators and guides with whom we work, will make sure you have the safest, most rewarding experience when you travel to Central American destinations, as well as ensuring your itinerary plays out smoothly.
There are a profound diversity of courses - from half-day to month-long - on offer in the region. If you want to learn traditional arts, refine your Castilliano, get certified to dive, learn to cook local foods, study regional martial arts, manage a wildlife reserve, or anything else from myriad offerings - Central America has among the most diverse and financially accessible varieties of courses on offer. Add to that adventure sports from surfing to kite surfing to paragliding to skydiving, and even volcano boarding, and it's no wonder that Central America is a hub for formal international learning.
Estimated Costs and Pricing
Every trip is different, tailored to what you want to do and see, and your speed and style of travel. That said, these ballpark figures provide a solid estimate of what all-in costs would look like, including our fees, international airfare, and day-to-day meals and expenses. Estimates are for one traveler, see our pricing and design page for more information on small groups, and pricing differences for gap year travelers versus shorter-term travel.
Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Rural Panama
21-day Excursion from: US$ 4982
1 Month of a Gap Year from: US$ 3565
Costa Rica, Belize, and Urban Panama
21-day Excursion from: US$ 5402
1 Month of a Gap Year from: US$ 4235
Day of Diving: US$ 100
3 Day Jungle Trek: US$ 130
Average Day Course: US$ 70