Central America's 5 Best Cities for Romantic Getaways

Quaint, pastel-painted buildings dating to the 17th century, blooming cascades of tropical flowers and a sky full of fluttering monarch butterflies – what more could set the stage for a romantic retreat in one of the most spellbindingly striking locations in the world? If you're looking for a place to sneak off to with your sweetheart, consider traveling to one of Central America's most romantic cities.

Granada Cathedral [Granada, Nicaragua]

Granada, Nicaragua | One look at the white-columned buildings in Grenada Town Square and it’s not hard to recognize the colonial past of this popular Nicaraguan town. Founded in the mid-1550s, Granada has spent centuries as a bustling commerce hub, most notably for timber, silver and gold. The colorful local market hums with sounds of farmers and other vendors selling fresh produce and wares, while Central Park provides sightseers with a place to rest and watch as life goes by in Nicaragua's fourth largest city. 

Antigua, Guatemala

Antigua, Guatemala | Vibrantly painted facades, bougainvillea-covered walls and cobblestone roadways sit below three towering volcanoes in Guatemala in the city of Antiqua. This enchanting Central American destination is known for its Spanish Baroque-style architecture and colonial ruins, offering travelers to Antigua a glimpse at what life looked like hundreds of years ago. In addition to its bygone beauty, Antigua is also recognized for its delicious chocolate and coffee.

Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama

Casco Viejo, Panama City, Panama | In the heart of Panama City you’ll find the historic district, Casco Viejo (Spanish for “Old Quarter”). The area was rebuilt in the late 1600s after a major pirate attack, and today serves as the home of some of the first buildings of modern Panama. The majestic Catedral Metropolitana and the other striking, centuries-old structures add to the charming atmosphere, making it easy to fall in love in (and with!) Casco Viejo.

Zarcero, Costa Rica

Zarcero, Costa Rica | Sitting above the Los Angeles Cloud forest at nearly 5,700 feet about sea level is the alluring mountain town of Zarcero. Its elevated location in the Costa Rica’s Cordillera Central volcanic mountain range gives Alajuela province’s capital city a dreamlike ambiance that is only amplified by the whimsical topiary garden in the Parque Francisco Alvarado.

Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve [Morelia, Mexico]

Morelia, Mexico | Beauty comes in all forms in the State of Michoacán’s capital city. In addition to the carefully preserved colonial buildings (including the 18th-century Cathedral of the Divine Savior of Morelia), Morelia is the gateway to the winter home of more than 60 billion monarch butterflies that journey from Canada and the U.S. each year. The butterflies hibernate in the forests of the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere Reserve from late October through April. The entire city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site approximately 30 years ago.

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Lauren Elizondo

Autumn foliage, architectural decay, that feeling you get in your stomach when you speed over a dip in the road – these are just a few of Lauren Elizondo’s favorite things she’s had the chance to experience while traveling. When Lauren’s not writing abo

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