Page 2 of LucyPilgrim Travel Blog Posts

Monteverde! For years I have wanted to come here - the mysterious cloud forest. I didn't particularly know what to expect, but I definitely didn't expect the cold! It was also raining on us, but the sky was blue - that's how strong the winds were! I have since read that February is known for its strong winds, so they shouldn't be that bad all year. We headed off to the Monteverde reserve early in the morning, ready for a full day of walking. There are only 4 buses in each direction, so we had to plan to be back at the entrance in time for one of these. When we got to the park we were given a map of the trails, and were told to do them all would take 5hrs. We did most ... read more
The path through Monteverde
I got told off by a grumpy French man for jumping here!

Our first stop in Costa Rica was Playa del Coco. We chose it as Liberia, the first town across the border, looked uneventful, and as the beach is only a 30min bus away we'd much rather be there! We've teamed up with Andy to travel Costa Rica, and Colin and Kristina decided to join us for the beach too, so it's great to have more friends with us. I didn't realise how touristy Playa del Coco was going to be! As soon as we arrived it reminded me of Playa del Carmen with American sports bars and tourist shops everywhere. I knew Costa Rica would be more touristy, but I wasn't expecting such a drastic change after almost 3 months of not overly touristy destinations. Another thing that shocked me about Coco was how cold the ... read more
Bird drying it's wings by the river
The view of Arenal
Rio Celeste viewpoint of the cloud forest

We had heard many great things about Ometepe, an island in lake Nicaragua formed by two active volcanoes. With this in mind we set aside just under two weeks to see it before heading down to Costa Rica. On the ferry over to Ometepe we met some people going to little Morgan's hostel, and having been recommended it before too, we decided to join them. I wish we hadn't! On first impressions it was a cool laid back hostel, with a tree house so you can enjoy views of the lake above the canopy. We were staying in the base of the tree house so it felt like our own exclusive seating area. The dorms also looked cool, with built in beds with mosquito net doors. We later realised that these were spider city! The roof ... read more
Final sunset in Nicaragua

Nicaragua We arrived in to Leon after a horribly long day of travelling from Honduras (6am-9pm). Once we got settled in to a hostel in Leon we headed straight out for food. Luckily we hit the jackpot here and found some great street food stalls just around the corner from the hostel, near the cathedral. We also met back up with our friend Andy for the third time :). Our first full day in Leon we dedicated to exploring the city and booking volcano boarding! We booked our trip through Quetzaltrekkers, as they are a non profit organisation who give their money to help local schools. They also worked out cheaper than the competition, which was a good bonus! After booking our trip we headed out to the beach for the afternoon, which is only 20mins ... read more
The beach near Leon
Ready for volcano boarding
The view from the top of Cerro Negro

Central America Caribbean » El Salvador » Western » Juayúa January 10th 2017

Our next stop was Juayua (confusingly pronounced why-oo-a). This is the first town along the route of flowers, and is famous for its gastronomical market every weekend. Juayua is also famous for its nearby waterfalls. As soon as we got in to town we headed out to the waterfalls. We were told that we need a guide here as there have been a few robberies lately, but as there were 5 of us we instead opted to not take any valuables and risk it! The waterfalls were beautiful, and the only locals there were very friendly. The next day we headed to the famous culinary market. This was rather disappointing! We were expecting a range of foods to try, but instead there are just stalls selling fairly large plates for $6 each. Quite pricy when you ... read more
View from the Ferris wheel
On the Ferris wheel

Central America Caribbean » El Salvador » Western » Santa Ana December 16th 2016

El Salvador has a very bad reputation, so much so that most people I meet on the road skip it, and everyone I tell I'm going, their first response is either 'be careful' or 'it's dangerous'. I'd just like to say now - they're all missing out! Our first impression of El Salvador was fairly Chaotic - in order to get to Santa Ana we were dropped at the side of the road by our shuttle and put on a chicken bus. Once we got to Santa Ana the bus 'terminal' seemed to be the side of the road, with no taxis. Luckily I have offline maps on my phone and knew we were only 800m from the hostel. On embarking from the bus a couple of locals from the bus insisted on walking us to ... read more
Santa Ana cathedral
So many fireworks on sale

Lake Atitlan... where do I start?! What an absolutely stunning place, this would definitely have to be pretty close to paradise. We stayed in Santa Cruz, whilst there isn't much happening there this is part of the charm. Our hotel, la Iguana perida, is right by the boat dock. We had no wifi there (which is why the blog is slightly late), and they did 3 course 'family style' dinners every night, not that I'm used to that in our family! This was a great combination for meeting other people, making friends and sharing advice. It really does complete the charm of the place. There are a couple of other hotels in Santa Cruz and a cafe called CECAP which is run by a cooperative to train local young people, which was well worth the steep ... read more
View of the lake from CECAP
Boys playing in the village
Street Art in San Marcos

After leaving Flores Jess and I stopped at en Eco lodge half way to Lake Izabal called Finca Ixobel. This is a beautiful little place nestled right in the countryside. We opted for a treehouse with gaps in the floorboards and no electricity, but it came with a lot of charm. The eco lodge has its own spring fed swimming hole too. This comes with a slightly surreal abandoned feel at first - there is a non working water slide and a bar that wasn't open as it's mid week low season. This lent a slight abandoned feel to the place. Once we'd assured ourselves we weren't on the set of a horror movie it was very tranquil there. The pool is surrounded by bamboo, trees and mountains. We even spotted two Koi carp swimming in ... read more
Our treehouse home
No weapons to be taken to the pool
Is this the Orwell bridge? I think we're lost

Central America Caribbean » Guatemala » Petén Region » Tikal November 18th 2016

Our day trip to Tikal started at 3am. This is not a time I am entirely familiar with, and I'm much more likely to be just falling asleep at this hour rather than getting up to pile in to a mini bus for an hour and a halfs drive. We had chosen to do Tikal at Sunrise, partly as we have heard it gets horribly hot in the day, and partly because it sounded like it could be a wonderful experience. I was hoping it would be worth the lack of sleep! Once we got to Tikal around 4:30 we piled out of the bus and followed after our tour guide through the jungle in the pitch black. Luckily some people in our group had brought torches, as I hadn't thought to, not realising we would ... read more
A very colourful turkey strutting around Tikal

San Ignacio is a small town tucked away near the Guatemalan border. It's famous as a base to go and explore the areas caves and waterfalls. On our first day here we met a local who offered to take us to a nearby waterfall in the jungle. This is a very serene waterfall off the beaten track, so we were the only people there to enjoy it. Day 2 we booked a tour to go to the ATM cave. I had heard this is a must do, but I was not expecting anything quite so amazing. After an hours drive, made longer by the minibus having a flat tire and a flat spare, we arrived at a car park in the jungle. We got kitted up with helmets and buoyancy aids before starting our trip to ... read more
Grinding cocoa bean the traditional way
Our. Chocolate paste

Tot: 0.444s; Tpl: 0.015s; cc: 22; qc: 107; dbt: 0.0252s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.6mb