Central America consists of Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. We've been to Honduras before and found it to be exactly what we would expect of Central America. It has friendly people, absolutely beautiful landscapes, and a lot of poverty. The cost of living in this region of the world is very, very cheap.
Honduras is part of the Central America Border Control Agreement (CA-4). The CA-4 consists of 4 countries, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. As American citizens, we can enter any one of these 4 countries and stay for 90 days without any entry/exit formalities. If we need to stay longer, we can fill out some forms and then stay an additional 30 days.
For Belize, we can stay 30 days without a visa.
For Costa Rica, we can stay for 90 days without a visa! Wahoo!!
For Panama, we can stay 30 days without a visa.
If you sum up all the days just in this region, without doing anything formal, we could spend 240 days in South America, soaking up the culture, waters, and life style. This may be the best area for us to hang out as we start this journey ... figuring out what the heck we are doing.