9.15.2017

Traveling Through Central America on Indepence Day

Celebrating Independence Day in Central America is an exciting day.       I have celebrated independence day in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and now in Honduras. In whatever country you go to you can excepct to see huge parades of soldiers marching through the streets and feel the pride they have for their country. Being in Central America on Independence Day is a great way to learn about some world history and lots of culture. It's a fun day of celebration. I have some tips you should read before you plan your trip. #centralamericaculture #centralamericatrave #centralamericatraveltipsl


Celebrating Independence Day in Central America is an exciting day.  

I have celebrated independence day in Costa Rica, El Salvador, and now in Honduras. In whatever country you go to you can excepct to see huge parades of soldiers marching through the streets and feel the pride they have for their country. Even though all of Central America (except for Belize and Panama) celebrates the same day each country has different and distinct ways of celebrating their independece from Spain. 

Little boy downtown with soldiers.

Almost every year we have plans on Indepence Day because it's a national holiday so we get off of work.  Our first year living in Honduras we went to the gorgeous Cayos Cochinos which is a must if you are visiting Honduras.  You can read about our trip here: Paradise in the Caribbean-Cayos Cochinos
This year we stayed home and I decided to wake up a little before 6:00 am and take my son downtown to the central park to see the soldiers march, raise the flags, and sing the national anthem. He enjoyed it and we were able to beat the crazy parade crowds. 

Many times I see pictures of friends and family members in the States and I feel guilty because our children aren't involved in many activities or have the best resources but cultural experiences are something that they will never forget. I want to create memories because, as missionaries, I know we will not be here forever. 

So here some facts and travel tips you need to know while in Central America on Independence Day.


Don't ever confuse 5 de Mayo (which isn't even Mexico's independence day) with Central America's Independence day. Just a side note Mexican Independence is actually one day after Central America on September 16.

If you are World Schooling or taking a Family Gap Year you should really take advantage of being in Central America on this day. It's a great day to teach your children some World History.

Related post: Tripa Chuca-A Fun Salvadoran Game


  • There are 5 Central American countries that gained independence from Spain on September 15,1821 and they are: Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.
  • Costa Rica didn't learn about their independence until a few months later
  • All nations flags retain the old federal motif of two outer blue bands and one inner white stripe except Costa Rica who modified the flag in 1848.
Let's say you are in one of the Central American countries on September 15 what can you except?

You can expect lots of parades. If you are traveling on this day streets may be closed down because of parades which can generate lots of traffic and may cause you some strife if you are not familiar with alternate routes.

Even traveling outside of the big cities be prepared to wait as even the smallest little school has the kids out on the main streets parading in typical clothing in the warm sun.  Usually, this all happens in the morning. So you're options are leave really early, before the parades, or in the afternoon. 

I would suggest travel the day before or after to avoid any inconveniances. 

If you are in a capital city it is worth asking some locals about the parades.  Crowds will be huge. I would leave valuables at home.  Just like you would anywhere you go and there are big crowds.  The parades in San Salvador, El Salvador are top notch. I can only imagine the other capital cities have the same quality parades.  In El Salvador they also have jets that fly over which is really cool.  Since having children we haven't been in El Salvador for indepenence day but if we were it is something I would definitely bring my children to see.

If you interested check out some of my old blog posts on Independence day in Central America.

Related Post: Independence Day in Costa Rica
Independence Parade in El Salvador

If you have had any Independence Day experiences or tips you'd like to share please comment below. I'd love to hear them.