Central America Gap Year Destination Guide
Adventure is the keyword in Central America, whether it's the challenge of getting from place to place, of immersing yourself in Aztec and Mayan history or the different kind of adventure to be found in Mexico City, the diverse countries that make up this part of the world include many memorable experiences for the intrepid gap year traveller or backpacker. Many of the countries are well-used to independent travellers, and you can find great hostels, tours and packages that will cater for your specific requirements.
Companies that can help you find gap work in Central America
With year round departures and over 50 unique “road trips” from 3 to 64 days, TrekAmerica guarantees you the freedom of the open road and the adventure of a lifetime!
Volunteer to work in an ethical and responsible volunteer project, with the full support of Outreach International. Outreach offer a personal service to help volunteers find the placement where they can offer the most and enjoy a rich cultural and personal experience throughout.
Over 250 projects across 26 countries in Asia, Africa & Latin America. Choose to work with wildlife & environmental conservation or community projects. Skilled & unskilled positions from 2 weeks to 6 months.
International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ) is the world's leading volunteer travel organization, providing affordable, safe and responsible volunteer programs in over 30 different destinations around the world. With program fees starting from just USD 10 per day, IVHQ is the volunteer organization of choice for thousands of volunteers every year.
Experience the real Costa Rica & Nicaragua with Raleigh International. Raleigh expeditions aren’t holidays. They’re challenging and life-changing. If you’ve got the motivation and dedication to make a difference, we want to hear from you.
Frontier has over 300 projects in countries throughout Africa, South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia, giving you unlimited adventures and excursions in beautiful locations.
Guaranteed paid ESL teaching positions abroad! An amazing experience that will give you the life skills and confidence to succeed in anything. Also a great way to make friends and travel abroad. Our TEFL course is a comprehensive & face-to-face 150 hour certification that allows you to teach English anywhere in the world. Placements in Asia, Latin America and Europe.
***Mexico doesn’t require a completed bachelor degree. Gap year students welcome to join.
Gap Year Working in Central America
When to go
If you plan to visit Central America on your gap year, avoid the rainy season - it can make roads unpassable, and you obviously get wet as well! The rainy season is generally between May and November with the dry season making up the rest of the year. It still rains in the dry season though! If you don't mind rain, bear in mind that some of the region also suffers hurricanes and tropical storms between June and November, we guarantee you don't want to be caught in one of them! Costa Rica and Panama are rarely effected by these storms.
The temperature in Central America is normally determined by the altitude you are at, the lower you are the hotter it is! Another factor is the ocean - resulting in a tropical climate with lots of rain! However hours of sunshine are typically high throughout the year in Central America - ranging from 7 hours in the wet season to around 10 in the dry months.
Volunteering in Central America
Many of the organisations on this page offer volunteering placements in Central America, where you get to live and work in a real community. Have a good browse through to find out how you can get the most from your year out.