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Best photography spots in Central America

35 of the Best Photography Spots in Central America for Travelers to Visit

Traveling around Central America with your camera, hoping to capture the best images possible? We look at some of the best photography spots in Central America for travelers, budding photographers, and Instagram users.

Exploring Central America with a camera (or smartphone) in hand is one of the best ways to experience and capture the wonders this part of the world has to offer.

Of course, unless you’ve got endless time and money, you’ll need to narrow down your own photographic adventures to include a few key locations. Below, we offer some of the best photography spots in Central America, guaranteed to offer sights for sore eyes and look great on your Instagram feed.

Beautiful Belize

Head to Caye Caulker, Belize, an idyllic island perfect for capturing postcard-like shots. Then, explore ancient Mayan sites like Xunatunich or Caracol for impressive architecture against a verdant natural backdrop. For some underwater action, try out snorkeling or diving in any of the many sensational sites around Belize. Here, you’ll get up close and personal with colorful coral reefs filled with exotic marine life. Remember to take a waterproof camera carry case, or use a suitably robust smartphone to get the job done.

Our favorite spots for photography in Belize:

  • The Great Blue Hole: A natural wonder and UNESCO World Heritage site, a giant underwater sinkhole surrounded by coral reefs and crystal clear waters. Best viewed from the air.
  • Ambergris Caye: A popular island destination with stunning beaches and a lively Caribbean community.
  • Caracol: An ancient Mayan archaeological site deep in the jungle, with impressive ruins and stunning views.
  • Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM): A cave system filled with ancient artifacts and Mayan remains.
  • Caye Caulker: A laid-back island with colorful houses, sandy streets, and crystal clear waters.

Capturing colorful Costa Rica

From lush jungles to breathtaking beaches, Costa Rica is truly scenic. Some call it the most beautiful country in the world. When taking photos in Costa Rica, explore the Pacific coast for stunning sunsets and sandy shores. Or take your camera into the rainforest to capture exotic wildlife, towering trees, and cascading waterfalls. No matter what kind of shots you’re after, photographers in Costa Rica will find inspiring locations that make your creative dream come true!

Our favorite spots for photography in Costa Rica:

  • Arenal Volcano: A majestic volcano surrounded by lush rainforests and a beautiful lake.
  • Monteverde: A breathtaking cloud forest filled with plant and animal life.
  • Manuel Antonio: Some call Manuel Antonio National Park and the surrounding area the most beautiful stretch of Pacific coast on the planet.
  • Rio Celeste: Turquoise-colored waters in the rainforest.
  • Manzanillo: Rainforest meets pristine Caribbean beaches.

Exploring El Salvador through the lens

Take your camera into the cloud forests of El Salvador’s Montecristo National Park for some solid nature photography. Over on the Costa del Sol, enjoy vast beaches with untouched sands on the vast Pacific. Head to the surf communities around La Libertad to try your hand at some surf photography. Or get snap happy in the cobbled, colonial streets of Suchitoto.

Our favorite spots for photography in El Salvador:

  • Joya de Cerén: A pre-Colombian farming community preserved under volcanic ash.
  • Ruta de las Flores: A scenic route through picturesque towns surrounded by coffee plantations and mountain views.
  • Santa Ana Volcano: Stunning crater views from the summit, not to mention Lake Coatepeque.
  • El Tunco: A surf community with vibrant sunsets and a lively beach culture.
  • Suchitoto: A picture-perfect Spanish colonial town, complete with cute church and cobbled streets.

Gorgeous Guatemala: A visual wonderland

As you journey through Guatemala, you’ll visit spectacular Mayan archeological sites like Tikal and Iximche. And then there are modern Mayan communities like Chichicastenango, where bustling traditional markets beg for your camera’s attention. For Spanish colonial vibes, many call Antigua the most beautiful city in the region, and who can say they’re wrong? And talking of beauty, Lake Atitlán will take your breath away.

Our favorite spots for photography in Guatemala:

  • Tikal: – A UNESCO World Heritage site with impressive ruins amid stunning jungle surroundings.
  • Lake Atitlán: They say this is the most beautiful lake in the world – and for very good reason.
  • Antigua: A charming colonial city with ultra-impressive views of the surrounding volcanoes.
  • Semuc Champey: A natural wonder with turquoise pools and cascading waterfalls surrounded by lush forests.
  • Acatenango Volcano: A worthwhile hike with amazing photo opportunities to capture the neighboring (and ever-erupting) Volcán de Fuego.

Highlighting Honduras with your camera

Honduras will leave photographers in awe. From spectacular Caribbean islands and beaches to towering mountains, archeological sites, and rainforests, you’ll find plenty of inspiring locations. If wildlife photography gets your blood racing, then the Pico Bonito National Park will suit you. It’s where you’ll find exotic birds like toucans among tight-packed vegetation and vibrant flora. Not to mention some action-packed river rafting photography. Or, if you seek Mayan archeological sites, then visit Copán Ruinas.

Our favorite spots for photography in Honduras:

  • Copán: UNESCO World Heritage site with impressive Mayan ruins and a colorful colonial town.
  • Guanaja: The least “touristy” one of the beautiful Caribbean Bay Islands…
  • Isla del Tigre: Snap the lesser visited Pacific side of Honduras in the stunning Golfo de Fonseca and find glorious sunsets.
  • Trujillo: Head to the Fortaleza de Santa Barbara in this coastal city and imagine yourself defending the coast against pirates in the golden age of sail.
  • Lake Yojoa: The largest lake in Honduras, bordered by verdant mountains.

Getting to know Nicaragua

A great spot to capture some of Nicaragua‘s most iconic shots is Granada, one of Latin America’s oldest Spanish cities. The languid colonial streets never fail to be anything but photogenic. Managua, the capital, is also worth visiting. It has endless personality, and opens itself up to some iconic photography opportunities for the savvy snapper. San Juan del Sur is a beach town with real appeal. Many say the best sunsets in Central America are here, waiting for you and your camera.

Our favorite spots for photography in Nicaragua:

  • Granada: A colonial town on Lake Cocibolca with colorful architecture and views in every direction.
  • Ometepe: A volcanic island in the lake, with two majestic volcanoes surrounded by pristine beaches and lush forests.
  • Masaya Volcano: An active volcano with captivating crater and lava-flow photo opportunities.
  • San Juan del Sur: A beach community with stunning sunsets and a lively surf culture.
  • Laguna de Apoyo: A picture-perfect crater lake with healing waters and scenic views.

Picture-perfect Panama

For the photographer on the go, Panama is an ideal spot for capturing memorable moments. And using Mixbook allows you to preserve and enjoy those moments in all sorts of formats once you’re back home. Take your camera to Bocas del Toro to capture Caribbean island life, with great snorkeling and surfing opportunities. Then, snap that perfect shot in Boquete, a picturesque mountain town in the Chiriqui highlands. For urban photography fans, explore vibrant streetscapes in Panama City.

Our favorite spots for photography in Panama:

  • San Blas Islands: A stunning archipelago of Caribbean islands with crystal clear waters, white sand beaches, and a fascinating indigenous culture.
  • The Panama Canal: One of the most famous engineering marvels of the world, offering stunning views of large ships passing through.
  • Boquete: A picturesque mountain town surrounded by coffee plantations, flowers, and waterfalls.
  • Bocas del Toro: a group of islands with colorful Caribbean-style houses, turquoise waters, and coral reefs.
  • Casco Viejo, Panama City: Panama City’s old town, offering a mixture of gritty, urban street photography and gentrified colonial splendor.

These are just some of the best photography spots in Central America

A snapshot of possible locations to take snapshots, if you will. But when it comes a photography-focused trip around Central America, planning is key for snapping success.

Make sure you’re traveling during the right time of year for the specific type of photography you want to engage in. For example, if you want to take photos, of say, humpback whales, you’ll need to know when they’re around.

The same goes for surf photography, hiking pictures, and so on. Every month, every week, every day of the year throws up some highlight or another, making it possible to create a unique calendar with photos from around the region highlighting the best of your trip. Also, on a practical level, be cognizant of what it takes to protect your expensive photography gear, or even your phone. You’ll need to take extra precautions to avoid any heartbreaking mishap like theft or damage from the elements.

Overall, Central America is amazingly, breathtakingly, beautiful, wherever you are. The best photography spots in Central America, can be, in the end, wherever you decide to point and shoot.

CA Staff

CA Staff