Skip to Content

English Speaking Countries In Central America (Expat Advice)

English Speaking Countries In Central America (Expat Advice)

We have explored various ancient ruins in Central America as that is one of our passions, but it’s always nice to simply walk through the country and see all that it has to offer.

This is something we have always looked to do in Central America.

The region is full of life and it has a lot to offer for those who are willing to get out and meet the locals.

Whether you are spending time in Belize or checking out Guatemala, you are going to have one eye on the language of the locals.

We have been to several of these nations over the years and can pinpoint the Central American countries that speak English more commonly.

Top English Speaking Countries In Central America

Costa Rica

Once you land at one of the Costa Rica airports, you are going to interact with people from the nation.

In our experience, Costa Rica is a good one too.

They tend to speak English throughout the nation and this is useful for those who don’t speak a lick of Spanish. Please note that you should be learning the basic lingo as it will make your life easier and it’s also going to help earn favor with the locals.

We always recommend learning the basics of the language when you are in a new country.

However, English is still widespread here and that is useful for those who are going to Costa Rica.


It’s best to start with Belize.

Belize is often the first country that’s going to be on such a list and that’s due to its official language being English. Yes, this means the expected language among the locals is English and you’re going to experience this as soon as you are there.

It’s easy to find people here who are more than willing to speak English to you.

Of course, the average person is still going to prefer speaking Spanish in Belize but that does not mean they are going to overlook English. Most people in the nation should be able to speak English as soon as you talk to them and do it fluently.


When we were taking the time to look at a wide array of ancient ruins throughout Central America, we took the time to go to Honduras.

This is a fascinating country that is full of beautiful surprises.

This includes the locals as they often speak a mixture of Spanish and English with tourists. This is ideal for those who are looking to get by in Honduras with their English.

El Salvador

El Salvador is an interesting country because English is not as common as other parts of Central America.

We have noticed that some people will speak English and others are not going to know a word of the language. This can be hit-or-miss, but it is still possible to find someone who is going to know the basics of English to help you.


For those who are going to be moving to Guatemala, you are going to appreciate the natural beauty of this Central American nation.

As for the language, you are going to see people speak a variety of languages including Spanish and K’iche.

English is not as common in this part of Central America but it is going to vary based on where you are staying. If you are looking to stay near the hotels, you should be able to get someone that speaks English. However, if you are going deeper into the nation, you are not going to find too many people who speak English there.

It’s best to be aware of this when it comes to learning the language. This is one place where you will want to pick up words in Spanish.


Nicaragua is one place where you are going to know instantly that English is a foreign language with no substantial hold among the locals.

You are not going to get too much of a response while speaking English with the locals. They do not study the language and it’s not important to them.

On top of this, you are not going to have too many expats in the area.

The only chance you are going to have here is when you go to Grenada as that is where some expats will be spending their lives and will know how to speak English. Otherwise, you are going to be straight out of luck here and it’s best to pick up Spanish words to get by.


Panama is a beautiful nation but it is one where you are not going to have too many people speaking English.

The reason has to do with it not being common among the locals and not being taught. This is why you are rarely going to find someone who can speak the language.

For the most part, you are going to have people that speak Spanish in the region. This is what you should be preparing for when you are going to a place such as Panama.

It’s important to note that certain areas do have a bit of English speaking in them. This is going to include where all of the major businesses are in the downtown core. When you go there, you are going to meet people that speak some form of English.

Final Thoughts

These are the main Central American countries with English speakers.

Whenever you are taking the time to plan a trip to Central America, we recommend assessing all relevant factors including the type of language that’s spoken in the region.

This is what will let you decide which nation is going to work well for your communication skills.