Belize - Planning a Central America Destination Wedding
Photo: José Luis Zapata via Chabil Mar

Close to many popular vacation hot spots, Central America still feels like a world away from the neighboring Mexico and Columbia. Home to unique wildlife, breathtaking beaches and rich culture, it's perfect for adventure enthusiasts and hopeless romantics alike. 

The region is made up of seven countries: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. No matter which location you choose, keep these tips in mind when planning a Central America destination wedding.

Marriage Requirements

For any destination, always read into the required documents and laws for saying "I do." Most Central American countries require at least proof of citizenship and if applicable, a divorce or death certificate from a previous marriage. Some may also have religious specifications for marriage.

To learn more about marriage requirements for each country, contact the embassy or tourist information bureau where you plan to get married.

Accommodations

It's easy to find accommodations to fit any style in Central America. The tough part will be narrowing down where to stay, not to mention, leaving after your wedding day. Finding an all-inclusive resort on the coast is generally a safe (and extremely gorgeous) bet, as these countries are known for prime beaches. You can expect lush jungles and active volcanoes, too, so if you're up for something different, consider island bungalows, eco-friendly lodges or even a glamping experience.

Start researching Central America wedding packages that are most feasible for your wedding budget and guest list size well in advance. 

Nicaragua - Planning a Central America Destination Wedding
Photo: Sam Hull

Things to Do

It's always a good idea to provide an itinerary or suggestions for your guests if you're having a destination wedding. And luckily, there's plenty to do to keep everyone entertained. Costa Rica easily draws in nature lovers with eco-excursions, like zip lining through the rainforest or waterfall rapelling. Belize is a dream for both divers and history buffs, with its remnants of Mayan history and amazing diving spots like the Great Blue Hole.

Even if your idea of spending downtime means relaxing at the beach, there's something to keep everyone entertained. Fitting everything into your schedule, on the other hand, might call for another trip (honeymoon, anyone?).

Best Times to Visit

Like any tropical climate, dry season is the most enjoyable time to go. Sometimes, you can find less expensive options if you choose to visit during "shoulder season" (the months between the peak and off-peak seasons). During the rainy season, outdoor activities may be limited, and the potential of extreme storms can affect your travel plans.

Dry season typically runs from mid-November to May in Central America, while rainy season occurs from June to October. Whether you're along the coast or inland, temperatures can vary by your location at certain times of year.

For more about planning a Central America destination wedding, consider these locations.