Blogs from Central America Caribbean


Central America Caribbean » Panama March 30th 2020

Sabbath 28 March – Panama We passed the temperate check – yay! We were given an afternoon slot for transfer and made our way across. We arrived at the Rotterdam and expected to be in our same room but were told we were given another room. It was still a balcony but it was a downgrade on what we had. For those in the know about cruise categories, we were in an A category and moved to a B category. This meant a smaller room at the back of the ship under the outdoor pool, as opposed to a lower deck in the middle. The thing I miss the most? The dividing curtain between the lounge area and bed is missing, and the bathroom is smaller and shorter, meaning Dwayne’s head sits on the bathroom roof ... read more

I need to specify that this was part of the trip about 2-3 weeks ago, before the big spread of COVID-19 in the Aemricas. :-) I did drive all around the island in 2 shots: first time to south part, (around Maderas), and other to do North(,Concepcion). Like mentioned in previous blog, around Maderas, it gets bumpy, very narrow and rocky for 1-2 kilometers, at South-East part of the road.I was driving a small car, and only had to take it easy to go by.But during rainy season. I would ask locals to make sure it's safe. The road around Concepcion is really much better, especially on the South side. So even if your gps tells you to go by North part of the road to Moyagalpa because it's shorter, it's definitively a better road on ... read more
ojo de agua plan
maderas volcano
Conception volcano

Ometepe island was one of my top 2 places to visit in Nicaragua, and I wasn't deceived!! First thing is to get there. Although there are a few flights a week to get there from Managua, it's more fun and exotic to take the boat to reach it. :-) One important thing about the ferry. If you don't have a car or other transportation, you can take the ferry or smaller boat at any time without any preparation. But if you have a car or a truck, it would be very wise to reserve in advance!!! Reason is that not only tourists go to the island, but also many delivery trucks, and ferries are not that big. To give you an idea, on one ferry you can put: one long 53 feet truck, another truck less ... read more
Volcano at suset
Cobbled road
On the highway south to Rivas

Granada historic center is a manicured, very colored and pleasant place. The highlight is of course the very bright painted Cathedral which sits in font of central park. Right at central park, you can rent 30 or 60 minutes for a horse carriage's ride. These tours add to the historic aspect of the visit. You have opportunity to drop at every major landmark, no problem. Between the cathedral and the lake, there's the calle la Calzada, with lots of shops, restaurants, and some spectacles on evenings. I stayed at Hotel Jardin, about 3-4 blocks North West of central park. This hotel is a 3 star, but frankly, I would give one more, at every thing there is clean, well decorated, offer good views, is quiet, has very helpful owners and was overall much better than my ... read more
street with a view
horse carriage in central's park
view from hotel

If you are on the road to Granada, you need to stop at the mirador de Catarina. When you enter the city, there are many flower shops and that part of town is really beautiful. You can park for a few Cordobas neat the viewpoint. The view is splendid: Deep blue lake, in a crater and you are on top of it. You can see the whole lake from it. This is a very touristy place, with lots vendors and musicians, but it is pleasant anyway. Horse rides are available there to go down the lake if you wish, (you could walk down too). A couple of small hotels surround the lake with forest. We ate in a restaurant overlooking the lake. Real good view, but it's windy too! Next stop, Granada.... read more
laguna de apoyo
Horse rides available
laguna de apoyo

Central America Caribbean » Belize March 21st 2020

We traveled from Belize to home today. We got up for the final sunrise and another beautiful day in Belize. One last look at the beautiful pool and beach. It was an interesting drive on the Hummingbird Highway today. We were stopped at several police checkpoints. Not sure who or what they were looking for, but they hardly stopped us and waved us through. A truck with bananas and a motorcycle were the most exciting things we saw. We dropped our car at the rental and then went into the airport. The airport was busier than usual. Lots of travelers trying to get back home as the last flights will be on Sunday. Our flight was on time and was uneventful. Immigration and customs in Chicago was uneventful. After a short delay to get our shuttle ... read more
Umaya Resort Belize
Truckload of Bananas on the Hummingbird Highway
Motorcycle on the Hummingbird Highway

Today we had a tour on the Monkey River. We took a boat ride from Placencia Village to the Monkey River to the south. We spotted some dolphins on the way. It was a nice day for a boat ride. We stopped at the village at the mouth of the river to order our lunch and then we got back into the boat for our tour. We went upstream and stopped to see the howler monkeys. We took a short walk into the jungle and saw one monkey on his own. The guide said the dominant male likely is not letting him be part of the group. We also saw a blue crab and baby hummingbirds in their nest. The howlers were very loud. We had lunch back at the village that had been prepared while ... read more
Howler Monkeys in Belize
Sunset Mojitos
Friday Sunrise Placencia

My first stop in this trip was Masaya volcano. My hotel was a a cabin in Nindiri with a spectacular view of Masaya lake. Very quiet and beautiful place all to ourselves. Definitively a place I recommend. Check this video taken there: It's not my first volcano. But it's the first with an actual lava lake!! for this, I needed to go in the evening. To make sure of the location, I went by day at Masaya volcano park entrance. But then, what a deception!! An american acrobat did walk above the crater on a metal wire last evening, and the volcano was closed for 3 days to leave time to disassemble and clean it all..... I planned to go back there at end of vacations, but sadly, corona virus alerts made me cut short my ... read more
bleu gray tanager
Our cabin
lava flow

"Land of lakes and volcanoes", is actually true if you consider the western part of the country only. I went to neighbor Costa Rica many times in the past, and apart from arenal lake, there aren't many lakes there. Also, they are relatively big in Nicaragua. With all the size (and wind), lake Nicaragua really look like a sea. Number of volcanoes is also very high, especially in Leon's region. I drove during my trip, and driving was relatively easy: people generally follow road rules, use flashers and are not aggressive, (if i compare to colombia last year, where it was a total disaster!!). Saw many beautiful landscapes that are worth to stop and take pictures. Tourism is not that developed overall and is concentrated in some pockets, (Granada, Ometepe, Leon), which is a good or ... read more
Pacific's sunset
Still many carts on the road

We got up early again today for another beautiful sunrise. We had breakfast at our hotel before heading northwest to the ruins of Xunantunich near San Ignacio. It is right near the boarder with Columbia. It was about a 3 hour drive with lots of road construction on the Western Highway. Once there we had to ride the hand cranked ferry across the river. Pete stayed in the truck to drive it on and off the ferry, but passengers were required to be out of the vehicle. Once on the other side it was a 1 mile drive to the Xunantunich Archaeological Reserve. We paid our entry fee and then headed in to look at the information center and then to the ruins. This one was larger than the ones yesterday with more intact structures. We ... read more
Sriracha and Lori at Xunantunich
Loading the Ferry to Xunantunich
Thursday Sunrise

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