September 16th, 2020
As our countries start to re-open we have chosen a selection of destinations, one in each country of Central America, that meet and exceeds the expectations of the current trend in travelling in terms of sustainability, nature-focused and off the grid secluded destinations.
Panama: Bastimentos Island
Just a short journey from Bocas del Toro's main town, Isla Bastimentos is wild, beautiful and undoubtedly one of the highlights of the archipelago. Around the coast you'll encounter palm-fringed beached where sea turtle nest, mangrove forests full of wildlife and protected coral reefs which provide amazing snorkeling and diving opportunities.
This island is home to the indigenous Ngöbe-Buglé tribe, as well as some stunning lodges where you can relax and enjoy a peaceful island vacation.
Costa Rica: Drake Bay
Peninsula de Osa: The most biologically intense place on the planet.The south of Costa Rica preserves the great oasis, the great jungle, or what we consider to be the most wonderful forest in Costa Rica. The Osa Peninsula is a hot spot for biodiversity, and represents the immensity of a forest that converges along the sea.
Its more than forty thousand hectares host a diversity of ecosystems, which together with the different microclimates present make it a highly diverse site, in a single walk along one of its trails it is easy to observe all the species of monkeys present in our country, or to have an encounter with the tapir, an endangered species and of which it is estimated that less than five thousand individuals survive world. Its biological wealth in such a small territory earned it the title of the most biologically intense site on the planet by the National Geographic magazine.
Corcovado National Park has three stations where you can take walks to its extensive network of trails, the iconic station is Sirena, which is located in the heart of the park. Get your bags ready and dare explore the last remnant of tropical rainforest.
Nicaragua: Rio San Juan
Rio San Juan: The Río San Juan flows from the vast Lake Nicaragua into the Caribbean Sea, cutting through thick jungle along the border with Costa Rica. Along its banks, you'll pass tiny villages and the vast Indio Maiz Biosphere Reserve, home to diverse wildlife such as toucans, eagles, caiman, turtles, tropical frogs and a variety of monkeys, as well as elusive jaguars and manatees. Once used by invaders, pirates and gold prospectors, it's an area rich in history.
Honduras: Pico Bonito
Pico Bonito National Park has several types of forests and each one of them houses a great variety of animal and plant species, many of them in danger of extinction, among them we can mention jaguar, puma, tigrillo, tapir, White-tailed deer, anteater, white-faced and howling monkey, yellow-bearded snakes, corals, ducks, goldfinches’ quetzals and many others.
El Salvador: Los Mangos
One of the best kept secrets in eastern El Salvador among lush jungle and about 6 km away from the most know beach El Cuco, accesed only in 4x4 vehicle through a dirt road, Los Mangos can be found. Guaranteing an almost exclusive and solitary experience, has gained popularity around the surf culture due to its world-class surf break Punta Mango with waves around 6 and 10 feet high, easy access to fishing trips and wellness activities.
Coban: Coban sits between evergreen forests and coffee-studded mountains, making an excellent gateway for exploring nearby natural attractions. Its surroundings are an important gourmet coffee growing center, also producing cardamom and allspice for export. The town is often referred to as the “imperial City, owing to its character Emperor Charles V in 1538. More recently, in the 19th century Coban saw an influx of German families who came to dominate the local culture and economy owing to their fortunes made growing coffee for export, until XVII when the US government pushed the Guatemalan government to remove the Germans from its territory.
Near Coban you can also find one of the most amazing nature destinations in Guatemala called “Semuc Champey”, one of the most beautiful wonders of nature in the country. Semuc Champey is formed by what is known as a natural land bridge 500 meters long which forms the backbone of a series of descending pools and small waterfalls that make up Semuc Champey. The water that fills the pools is the product of runoff from the Rio Cahabon, churning as it plunges into an underground chasm from where it reemerges downstream at the end of this massive limestone overpass. It is warm very- humid sub-tropical forest characteristics favor a wide variety of vegetation and tree canopies.
This region is great for nature walks, cave exploration, you can find Guatemala’s national bird called “El Quetzal”, and the only Tea Cooperative in Guatemala called “Chirrepeco”. This one of the best remote destinations to be in contact with nature.
Belize: San Ignacio
San Ignacio: by far the number one inland destination in the country located 10 miles from the Guatemala border. It plays host to the most concentrated adventure and culture attractions in Central America and all are within 10 minutes to 2 hours travel easily enjoyed on a day trip using the town as a base.
San Ignacio is the heart soul of the Cayo District, where you can enjoy different experiences such as cultural, wildlife and adventure tours.
ATM: Discovered in 1989, this cave features ceramics, stoneware, and even human skeletons. In this archeological site, the "The Crystal Maide-n" was found, a skeleton of a teenage girl whose bones have been given a sparkling appearance by centuries of erosion.
You will hike for 30 minutes through the forest before arriving the cave entrance. A short swim will lead you into the amazing underworld realm. An adventurous trek leads into the main water passage, where you get to enjoy amazing geological formations like sparkling stalactites, stalagmites, and flow stones. This hidden chamber promises to reveal ancient secrets and geological processes that have helped to shape the Maya underworld known as Xibalba; a fearful world beneath the face of the earth; the parallel unseen, into which kings and shamans of the Maya past could venture in to communicate with their gods or ancestors through rituals and ceremonies.
September 8th, 2020
UPDATE: September 8th, 2020
Costa Rica has expanded the list of countries allowed to visit and according to this week's review the list is the following:
UPDATE: As of July 27th, 2020
Costa Rica has announced reopening effective August 1st for tourists from European Union, United Kingdom and Canada.
Ever since I left Nicaragua for the first time, five years ago, I daydreamed of going back over and over. As time passed and after the country recent events, curiosity grew as trying to find out whether things had changed from last time, one thing was sure and that was Nicaragua’s magic remained untouched.
It doesn’t matter how many times you have been to the land of lakes, you’ll still find yourself amazed one way or another, either from hiking a new volcano, watching a stunning sunset, or getting caught up in conversations with locals and learning to use new words like “tuani”.
No words nor even pictures compare to the living experiences however, I will try my best on the next lines to sum up my travel and make you feel as welcomed as I was.
Try to imagine what Christopher Columbus first saw when he reached the America's coasts and Osa Peninsula is probably the closest you’ll ever get. Oceanside jungle so dense and diverse that it houses 3% of the entire planet’s biodiversity.
Put your expedition gear on and enjoy one of the world’s most stunning tropical regions. Navigate across lush mangroves that slowly open up to the ocean and give you and idea of the vastness of the Pacifc. Reach the remote and mysterious turquoise waters of Isla del Caño for some of the best diving and snorkeling in Costa Rica. Don’t leave without hiking through the unbelievably dense jungle of Corcovado in search for some of the most magical species of plants and animals.
What to do while in Osa Peninsula?
Corcovado tour - Sirena Station: The Sirena Ranger Station is located in the deep, biologically intense center of Corcovado National Park. It takes about an hour and half to reach it by boat from Drake Bay.
Hiking around this area gives you a sense of the power and beauty of what the tropics are capable of when allowed to grow with barely any human intervention. This place is the real deal and an absolute must if you ask us!
Caño Island diving and snorkeling adventure: Hop on a boat and follow the horizon until you reach this small island in the middle of nowhere. Believed to be sacred burial grounds for our ancestors, this beautiful and lush spot is considered one of the best diving and snorkeling areas in the world. A real adventure for anyone feeling the need to explore the deep, wild tropics, you will have the chance to see some critically endangered wildlife including humpback whales (while on season), rough-toothed and spotted dolphins and Bryde’s whales.
Also, you might interest to check out our featured itinerary: 4 Days in Corcovado Rainforest