COSTA RICA TORTUGUERO
Kent Gilbert  /  AP file
A home surrounded by tropical rainforest on one of the canals outside Totuguero National Park, in Costa Rica.
updated 12/18/2006 2:06:13 PM ET 2006-12-18T19:06:13

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Various through April 2007

The Deal
There may be a chill in the air, but it's hot, hot, hot in every sense of the word in Central America – and there's no time like the present to plan a warm-weather getaway. Whether you're looking for tropical beach fun, Mayan sightseeing, or a rainforest adventure, you'll find it in one of the four fantastic deals we've scouted out. Trips start at just $419, so choose from a trip to cool Costa Rica, beautiful Belize, perfect Panama, or gorgeous Guatemala in 2007 and get ready for fun in the sun and some serious savings.

Cost-Cutting Costa Rica Flings from $419
Want to see lush Costa Rica at super-low cost this winter? Latin Escapes offers a four-day air and hotel jaunt from $419. Good for travel from Miami between January 15 and January 31, this special covers airfare, a three-night stay at Presidente Hotel in the heart of the country's capital of San Jose, daily breakfast, and a guided tour of nearby volcanoes, rainforests, and flower plantations. If you want to see the best of Costa Rica in one fell swoop this winter, Jet-a-Way Holidays has a terrific seven-night vacation for $799 with air from Miami, breakfast-inclusive lodging, and ground transfers. Enjoy a two-night sojourn in San Jose, two nights at charming lodge by the Arenal Volcano, and three nights at an intimate hotel in Quepos near Manuel Antonio National Park with its biodiverse forests, coral reef, and beaches.

Hot Belize City & Island Combo for just $879
Enjoy balmy Belize for less this winter thanks to Jet-a-Way Holidays. For $879 you can visit both Belize City and Ambergris Caye – a perfect city / island getaway. Spend two nights at a fancy hotel-casino in Belize City and four nights at the upscale beach property Ramon's Village Resort. This price is valid for midweek departures from Houston through April 2007, but you can depart from other gateways as well. Departing from New York or Los Angeles? Add $190 or $180 to the quoted price, respectively. Note that transfers to the island incur an extra cost – $30 by water taxi or $116 per person by plane.

Go to Guatemala for a Song: a mere $879
If you're intrigued by the fascinating ancient Mayan culture, this Virgin Vacations offer is for you. Head to gorgeous Guatemala – the Mayan heartland of Central America – and explore the sites for only $879. The three-night trip takes you to Antigua, one of Central America's oldest and most picturesque towns, where two guided tours (included) show you the colonial highlights in the vicinity, including the Mayan Traditions Museum and the Azotea Coffee Farm. The quoted price, good for travel between January 14 and March 31, covers airfare from your choice of 16 cities in the Northeast, a three-night stay at cozy Palacio Chico at the heart of town, daily breakfast, and transfer from Guatemala City to Antigua.

See Panama for Peanuts this Winter from $899
See Panama this winter and save your pennies in the process. Well-traveled wanders know that Panama is Central America's latest hotspot – but the masses are catching on and this place is becoming immensely popular. This winter, you can check out its city and beach delights at a discount, because Traveland has just released a special priced vacation – $899 for a five-night getaway loaded with inclusions. Book this trip and you'll get round-trip air, two nights with breakfast at deluxe Riande Granada Hotel in Panama City, transfer to the Pacific Coast known as the Panama Riviera, and a three-night all-inclusive sojourn at Decameron Hotel in Playa Blanca with all meals, drinks, activities, and non-motorized sports included. This offer is valid for six peak-season departures through March 22 from Miami, Houston, or New York.

The Dollars
All package pricing is based on double occupancy and excludes air taxes and fees. See above for details.

The Catch
Tourist hordes included, too.

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