Sunday, February 19th, 2017

Backpacking Southeast Asia vs. Backpacking Central America

You’re ready to take the plunge — you want to start backpacking, possibly long-term, in a cheap part of the world. So, where is it going to be? We already know Europe will eat up too much cash! Southeast Asia and Central America are two of the most popular destinations for backpackers. I’ve traveled extensively in both […]

Snorkeling with Sharks in Belize

Splashes erupted from the side of the sailboat. Giant brown sharks thrashed out of the water, surrounded by silvery tuna, each of them vying for the fish bits thrown on the surface of our daredevil crew. Sharks. Sharks were waiting for us. And it was time to dive in and swim among them. Snorkeling with Sharks […]

Caye Caulker: A Good Place to Go Slow

Just off the coast of Belize lies a sleepy little island. Pastel wooden houses on stilts line the seashore. Palm trees sway slowly in the breeze. People of every shade of the rainbow call this island home, from Rastafarians pushing fruit carts to blond-haired, blue-eyed cafe owners and Chinese shopkeepers. Welcome to Caye Caulker, Belize. Don’t think of Caye […]

Sailing Down the Coast of Belize

I didn’t think that Central America could get any better — and then I got to Belize. I’ve never really dreamed about Belize as a destination. I knew I’d like it, but it didn’t occupy my imagination the way Nicaragua did. In this country, I found a land of Mayan ruins and caves filled with human […]

Visiting Tikal at Sunset

In the jungles of northeast Guatemala, not far from the Belizean border, you’ll find Tikal National Park — one of the largest Mayan complexes in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the beginning, everyone I know who had been to Tikal had gone to see the sunrise. Watching the Mayan pyramids emerge in […]

My Favorite Day in Central America — Semuc Champey

What makes a perfect day? I’m not talking about one of the days I had a water fight in Bangkok, or the day I danced with Vikings in Shetland, or the day I went croc cage diving (in South Africa or Australia), or the day in high school my friends and I saw our classmate’s dad […]

The Towns of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

One thing I’ve noticed about Guatemala guidebooks and tours is that they tend to label Lake Atitlan as a singular destination. “Spend a few days exploring Antigua before a few days on Lake Atitlan, then move on to Semuc Champey…” By the sound of that, you’d think that Lake Atitlan is tiny, maybe with one […]

A Perfect Day in Playa El Tunco, El Salvador

Coming to Central America, I had no idea that one of my favorite places would be a two street town on the coast of El Salvador. But El Tunco was so much more than I expected. In a lot of ways, it reminded me of my extended time in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, four years ago — but a […]

Alive in León, Nicaragua: The City of Revolution

Central America is known for its volcanic landscapes, its natural beauty, its beaches, its charming small towns. What it’s not known for? Its cities. Sure, Panama City is probably the best big city in the region, and San Salvador has a lot to offer, but the message for cities from Managua to Belize City to Guatemala […]

Escaping to Laguna de Apoyo

Well, I’ll be honest — when I planned to spend February in Nicaragua, I never dreamed I’d be having the best Valentine’s Day of my life here! Nope, I didn’t meet a guy. I met two lovely girls instead. Let’s set our scene in the beautiful city of Granada. Granada was…interesting. Truthfully, it was the only place […]