Travel + Leisure Readers' 10 Favorite Resorts in Central America in 2024

In our 2024 "World's Best Awards" survey, readers favored luxurious accommodations, spectacular scenery, and outdoor activities.

<p>Courtesy of Nayara Tented Camp</p>

Courtesy of Nayara Tented Camp

For a second year in a row, Costa Rica has swept the category for best resorts in Central America, according to Travel + Leisure readers. Cementing its status as a tourism tour de force, the country (named Destination of the Year for 2024) claimed seven of the top 10 winners. Travelers can’t resist Costa Rica’s combination of lush rainforests, diverse wildlife, eco-tourism pursuits, and pura vida attitude, with retreats that offer the ideal mix of adventure and relaxation. Three contending properties, two in Belize and one in Honduras, rounded out this year’s list.

How Voting Works

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Over 186, T+L readers completed the 2024 survey. A total of more than 700,000 votes were cast across over 8,700 properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.).

Hotels were classified as either resort hotel, city hotel, inn, or safari lodge based on their location and amenities, and they were specifically rated on the criteria below:

  • Rooms/facilities

  • Location

  • Service

  • Food

  • Value

For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses.

What Readers Loved

What do readers want this year? Nature-steeped properties with immersive outdoor activities. That can mean ziplining and canopy climbing at No. 3 Hotel Belmar, or tubing along the Rio Celeste at No. 9 Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel, or diving the second-largest barrier reef at No. 10. Kimpton Grand Roatan Resort & Spa. Voters also showed a preference for holistic self-care, from soaking in natural hot springs in the middle of the Costa Rican rainforest to herbal exfoliation treatments at a spa. Nayara Tented Camp (No. 1) continued its reign as the queen of leafy luxury in Central America, with its sister properties, Nayara Springs and Nayara Gardens, a WBA Hall of Fame honoree, ranking No. 2 and No. 4 respectively. Meanwhile, one traveler called Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection “the most amazing wellness resort I’ve ever been to.” The 50-casita retreat, which secured sixth place on the list, supplies an extensive lineup of well-being offerings at the Well, including wood-therapy massages, breathwork, and infrared cabins.

Read on for the full list of the best resorts in Central America, according to T+L readers.

The Winner

Nayara Tented Camp: Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

<p>Courtesy of Nayara Tented Camp</p>

Courtesy of Nayara Tented Camp

For the fourth consecutive year, Nayara Tented Camp took home the gold. Nestled in Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano area, this five-star resort thrives as a rainforest escape. Voters raved about the safari-style tents — which vary in size from intimate suites for couples to family-friendly villas — and feature thermal plunge pools and patios with mountain views. Other highlights include the hot springs circuit, with outdoor pools heated to varying temperatures, the occasional sloth sightings, and the “excellent guided adventures” led by on-staff naturalists. Thoughtful service is another selling point — multiple readers expressed that the staff went above and beyond to make each stay special for them.

The Full List

1. Nayara Tented Camp: Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Reader Score: 98.24

2. Nayara Springs: Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Reader Score: 98.06

3. Hotel Belmar: Monteverde, Costa Rica

Reader Score: 96.32

4. Nayara Gardens: Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Reader Score: 96.14

5. Blancaneaux Lodge: Cayo District, Belize

Reader Score: 96.00

6. Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection: Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica

Reader Score: 94.96

7. Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort: Hopkins Village, Belize

Reader Score: 94.73

8. Amor Arenal: La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

Reader Score: 94.65

9. Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel: Tenorio Volcano National Park, Costa Rica

Reader Score: 94.16

10. Kimpton Grand Roatan Resort & Spa: West Bay Beach, Honduras

Reader Score: 94.00

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