Blogs from Central America Caribbean - page 6


Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Matanzas April 12th 2015

My Favorite Martian (blog by Stan) Despite the amazing breadth of diversity that exists in Cuba, despite the very different cultures of east and west, country and city, Christianity and African religions, revolutionary and dissenting politics, there also exists a unity, something essentially Cuban that runs the course of the whole island. One of the uniting factors binding all these cultures together is the universal adoration for a historical figure affectionately known as “The Apostle,” José Martí. His presence permeates everything; you’ll see his bust in front of every school and full statues in most public squares, such as Matanzas’ Parque de la Libertad. You’ll hear quotes and citations in every imaginable public setting, in political speeches, eulogies, festivals, sporting events, sermons (where I sometimes get ... read more
Rut Vivian
José Cheo

On the last day of our stay in beautiful Samana, we hired a car with an English speaking guide to see the El Limon Waterfall which is only 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Samana town. Miguel the guide came to pick us up at our hotel at 9 in the morning. On the way we stopped briefly to have a look at part of the Los Haitises National Park which is a protected virgin forest, although we didn't enter it for lack of time. When we arrived at the place we saw a lot of ponies and mules with their handlers waiting for riders/customers. The waterfall itself is very secluded and accessible only by hiking (30 to 45 minutes) or by horseback riding (15-20 minutes). There is a restaurant located right at the entrance of the ... read more
Samana, Dominican Republic
Samana, Dominican Republic
Samana, Dominican Republic

Here's what we got ourselves into so far out in the middle of nowhere...The beautiful, quiet, friendly Utopia eco-hostel set on a cacao farm only 3km from caves we could go exploring and the greenish blue pools of cool water at Semuc Champey that we could swim in. Our first thought upon arrival was that we could stay here a very long time. In fact, we were only booked in for 3 nights originally but we booked in for a 4th straight away. We thought we'd stay in the dorm but the opportunity to sleep in hammocks presented itself and we couldn't pass it up. Being set on a cacao farm was the perfect excuse to go on a chocolate tour which started out on the farm with a look and taste of the raw cacao ... read more
In the Caves...
Death Defying Jump

While making our travel plans to visit the Dominican Republic, we booked this tour with Whale Samana managed by Kim Bedall, as it was a unique opportunity to observe humpback whales in their natural environment. We were not disappointed at all. So, on Valentine's Day 2014 we sailed out of the boat pier in Samana on the "Pura Mia" a specially designed whale watch vessel with about 55 enthusiastic people all eager to see the whales in their calving and mating grounds. Kim and a Marine Mammal Specialist accompanied us and gave an excellent live narration throughout the voyage in three different languages, English, Spanish and German. The boat itself was a 55 foot double decker with two modern restrooms and a snack bar. There was plenty of space to move around, and to get a ... read more
Samana, Dominican Republic
Samana, Dominican Republic
Samana, Dominican Republic

I always marveled at author interviews where the writer reveals it took her ten some years to write her first novel. Can that really be possible? Can one really focus and concentrate and work towards one thing for that long? I’m starting to answer that question for myself. And the answer is ‘yes.’ I have been working on my novel, This Story Takes Place in a Bar, for over six years now. It started even longer ago as a short story I wrote. I stumbled upon it again and decided to see what else I could do with it. It is only in the past two years that I have gotten more serious about my write and carved out two hours every morning to write. It is two hours in the early morning which I mostly ... read more
Taganga Colombia
Vieques Puerto Rico

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Cienfuegos April 7th 2015

Trinidad and Cienfuegos sit southwest of Havana about 1.5 hours apart, but in very different situations. Cienfuegos is on a bay and was French at the time most of Cuba was Spanish, so the look and feel of the small town is very different than Trinidad or elsewhere in Cuba. It is the sugar cane center and, as a result, the heart of rum country. Trinidad sits inland about a 20 minute drive from the coast. It was the former sugar cane center of Cuba making many Spaniards in Trinidad extremely wealthy at the turn of the 20th century and the small town still reflects that former wealth. Cienfuegos is flat; Trinidad is on a hill. The streets of Cienfuegos are wide and modern; in Trinidad, they're narrow and cobble-stoned. While sugar cane fed the wealth ... read more
Waiting for Cell Phone, Cienfuegos
Waiting for Cell Phone, Cienfuegos
Main Square, Cienfuegos

On the last evening of our stay in Costa Rica we went to this elegant restaurant high above the hills overlooking the Central Valley. We had booked this tour through our hotel and the cost was $70 per person which included transportation, buffet style dinner, soft and/or alcoholic drinks (as much as you want) and the folklore show. I thought it was a good deal, and we were not disappointed. The van came to fetch us from the hotel at 6:30 pm. There were already two ladies in the car. Later on we found out they were from Mexico. I thought we were going to pick up more guests, but the van headed straight for the town of Aserri in the outskirts of San Jose. It was a long drive the last part of which was ... read more
San Jose, Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » La Habana April 7th 2015

I've been to Cuba several times over the past (14) years and living in Cayman certainly makes it easier when the plane ride is only (45) minutes. Each and every trip to Cuba, and in particular Havana, never seems to amaze me and leaves me wanting more. Whether its a trip to Trinidad, Vinales or just hanging our in Havana there is never a dull moment. During my past visits I've always stayed at one of the big hotels, and well they are nice and provide the comforts of home there is nothing like living in a real Cuban neighborhood for a few days and enjoying the daily rides in a local taxi (1957 chevy for example). This last trip was fantastic. I stayed at a Casa Particular called Casa Blanca Guest House - located in ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Cuba » Oeste » Viñales April 5th 2015

Vinales is small town on the edge of a fertile valley west of Havana. The valley, Valle de Silencio, is a key Cuban tobacco growing area, but the fincas also grow a range of crops. About 2 hours from Havana, it is a wonderful escape from the city. The town of Vinales has grown considerably in recent years as foreign tourists have discovered it. Now, tobacco and tourism are the primary crops of the area.... read more
Garlic Sales, Vinales
Traffic Jam, Vinales

Another sunny, warm day in Costa Rica. We had peaceful night’s sleep. Not a peep from the adolescents. I guess they are not a sports team of some sort. The birds started chirping before dawn. No monkey sounds though. I thought I heard thunder but I think it was the first plane of the day taking off from the airport some ten kilometres away. Coffee was served around the pool shortly after six and breakfast started around seven. I was one of the first in so there was lots of everything. Once the kids arrived, the waiters were kept busy refilling jugs and platters. I am sure they ran out of milk. We lazed around the pool until checkout time and then hung around the reception waiting for our taxi. He arrived early, having brought a ... read more

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