This study was aimed to investigate the potential differences in allele frequencies of the CYP2B6 gene between Spaniards and Central Americans. Three single nucleotide polymorphisms of the CYP2B6 gene 516 G>T, 785 A>G and 1459 C>T were assayed by a polymerase chain reaction in 180 Spaniards and 182 Central Americans. The allele frequencies for CYP2B6*1, CYP2B6*4, CYP2B6*5, CYP2B6*6, CYP2B6*9 in Spaniards and Central Americans were 0.593 and 0.642, 0.062 and 0.073, 0.113 and 0.030, 0.215 and 0.230, 0.014 and 0.023, respectively. CYP2B6*5 was less prevalent among Central Americans than in Spaniards (P < 0.001). In comparison to other previously studied populations, the CYP2B6*5 allele frequency among Spaniards was similar to other Caucasian or African groups, and higher than that in Asian populations. The CYP2B6*5 allele frequency in Central Americans was lower than that in Africans or Caucasian groups and higher than in Asians. The results indicate the presence of ethnic differences in CYP2B6 genetic variants between Spaniards and Central Americans, and support the need for further investigations to explore whether these differences significantly alter the efficacy or toxicity of CYP2B6 substrate drugs.