If you have been following my adventures closely, you probably already know that I’m in Central America, more precisely, at Guatemala. And while my plan was just to visit Belize and Guatemala before going back for my last month in Mexico, I received an interesting message from one of my friends.
“Why Central America? Isn’t that place exactly like Mexico only that with different hats?” It was then that I began to tell her about the many wonders of Costa Rica, Guatemala and Belize…and then I stopped. What are the wonders of Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Panama?
I had a mission now: To showcase the many differences between Mexico and Central America as well as the many differences from one Central American country to another.
I decided then to expand my overland Journey of Wonders all the way to Panama and from there, go back to Mexico at the third week of June just before my flight to the Old Continent.
Do you want a sneak peek of the Central American wonders that I’ll be exploring? I asked some traveler friends of mine and here’s their highlights of Central America.
Swimming in Belize’s Barrier Reef
James Kelly of Escaping Abroad shares: The barrier reef in Belize is part of the 900 KM long Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System stretching the entirety of Belize’s beautiful coast. Nearly half of the tourists visiting the country participate in scuba diving and snorkeling these incredible reefs.
Among the sights to behold are numerous species of coral, fish and invertebrates. Visitors to this country can stay on the popular Ambergris Caye, just minutes from the reefs by boat, or visit one of many marine reserves, smaller cays and atolls.
Whether you’re a beginner snorkeling at the surface or a well-traveled scuba diver the reef here has something for everyone.
Volcano Surfing in Nicaragua
Jules from Don’t Forget to Move shares: No traveler’s trip to León is complete without a hike up Nicragua’s most active volcano, Cerro Negro. And if that’s not enough adrenaline for you, why not take a rickety old wooden plank with you and bobsled down from the crater?
This may sound like a crazy activity to willingly participate in, but it was near the top of our Central America bucket list. We booked a tour with the nonprofit group, Sonati, who use the proceeds for environmental education programs. The hike up is short and easy but a bit awkward carrying a four-foot volcano board. Once you get to the peak though, you might start to sweat.
The view from the top reveals a steep rocky incline. The ride down can be as nail biting as you want. If you dig your feet into the sand, you can stroll down at a snails pace. Lift your feet onto the board, however, and you may just break the 87/k record.
Exploring the wild life of Costa Rica
Samantha from My Tan Feet shares: Costa Rica is a country unlike any other in the world when it comes to biodiversity. Supporting more than 500,000 wildlife species, this small country represents 4% of the total biodiversity worldwide. This fact places Costa Rica in the top 20 countries with the highest biodiversity in the world and some consider it number one!
Some of the most popular animals that can be seen throughout the country are monkeys, birds, rodents, butterflies, turtles, frogs, snakes, fish and sloths. The most famous few are the howler monkeys, white face Capuchin monkey, two and three toed sloths, toucans, macaws, sea turtles and monarch butterflies. Out in the water, it is possible to spot dolphins, manta rays, sharks and whales.
People come from all over the world to experience Costa Rica’s abundant nature and fascinating wildlife as it is easy to spot animals in the wild. You don’t need to go far to see a monkey climbing the trees or macaws flying in pairs!
Enjoy beach life at Panama’s Bocas del Toro
Yvonne from Under the Yew Tree shares: Bocas town is the type of island that casts a spell on travelers. It is a place that compels individuals to change their plans. Days are spend lounging on the beach or swimming underneath the water, while nights are meant for slamming down 2 dollar tequila shots and dancing the night away.
Bocas del Toro, an archipelago found in the north of Panama, has the perfect mix of adventure, relaxation and merrymaking. During the day travelers can either lounge lazily by the water or participate in one of the island’s many water sports, like scuba diving or surfing.
In fact, numerous scuba diving and surf shops litter the main strip and the surrounding area is known for its consistent swell and quality yet powerful surf, perfect for those surfing aficionados.
To Central America and Beyond!
Surprisingly (or maybe not), I couldn’t find any information about the wonders of Honduras and El Salvador so I’m really looking forward to exploring them next week!
Have you ever traveled to Central America? Would you like to? Share your thoughts and let me know what are your Central American highlights!