Category: South and Central America

Five Small Caribbean Museums with a Bigger Story

From the Bahamas to the southeastern points of the Caribbean, small museums dedicated to special interests, people or significant events can become an engaging stop even on a busy itinerary. If your own interests at home include one of these categories, then consider including one of these noteworthy, smaller museums during your own local time in the destination. While some are off the beaten track or a drive out of town, others just as often are near hotel hubs or ports. …

Five Carnivals Around the World

People from all over the world tend to seek out vacations where they can bask in the sun and enjoy a climate that’s much hotter than then they are used to on a daily basis. But how about you double your pleasure by visiting your chosen destination when they celebrate carnival? Carnival around the world is one of the biggest street parties at any given destination. People flood the city streets in colorful costumes that …

Getting a taste for Mendoza

The stunning mountain backdrop to Mendoza

This one looks delicious, I thought as I swirled the wine around in my glass and took an indelicately large slurp.

“Ah yes, a definite aroma of diesel and a lingering taste of salami. Is that normal for a Malbec?” I wondered as I eyed its odd neon hues.

“No,” my partner said, “but the sommelier did advise us not to try wine tasting on the pavement.”

We …

Good Eats in El Salvador

Papusas at a market along the Ruta de los Flores

There are few countries where you can drive from the mountains to the beach in just a few hours – with natural beauty bursting from a variety of resplendent vistas, El Salvador is certainly one of these places. Visitors might observe that this same ecological diversity is reflected in the country’s cuisine.  From traditional Mayan fare to upscale seafood, you won’t be disappointed by this …

3 Things to Do in Boquete, Panama if You’re not a Birder or Mountain Hiker

Perched in the misty hills some 3,800 feet above sea level in central Panama, the small town of Boquete (Spanish for ‘the gap’) has attracted countless visitors  interested in the flora and fauna of the cloud forest since its founding some 100 years ago.

Boquete’s elevation gives it a dramatically different climate and feel from the lowlands and tropical coasts that are usually associated with Panama, yet some of these areas are just 40 miles away. …

From Volcanoes to Ziplines: El Salvador’s Wild Side

Tour guides often refer to El Salvador as “the country of 40 minutes.”  Because it is the smallest country in Central America, flanked by Guatemala to the west and Honduras to the northwest, you can easily hike a volcano in the morning, grab lunch at the beach, and end your day with a zip-line canopy tour near the Guatemalan border.

Today, El Salvador boasts seventeen volcanoes, nine of which are active.  There are also over …

El Salvador’s Historical Highlights

El Salvador is a country of contrasts: towering volcanoes and flat, sandy beaches; modern cities and charming historic pueblos; rambling Mayan ruins and aging Spanish haciendas.  Because this country of 6 million is the smallest in Central America, it’s the perfect place to experience the history of the region, and unfamiliar visitors can easily take in El Salvador’s historical highlights in just a few days.

A great place to start is the Joya

6 Spectacular Places to Spend New Year’s Eve

Fireworks by Terrapun, Courtesy of Shutterstock

Five, four, three, two, one…HAPPY NEW YEAR! Cue the traditional song of Auld Lang Syne to usher in the dawning of another New Year. From Times Square in New York to Trafalgar Square in London, voices ring out, accompanied by a spectacular fireworks display on the stroke of midnight. So, where should be heading this year for the most dazzling New Years Eve experiences? Here are some of the …

Sun, sea, sand and…sustainability

The Bahamas. Photo: Ethical Traveler

Planning your perfect holiday involves several exciting decisions: will it be seaside or city, on-tap entertainment or splendid isolation, excellent for culture vultures or family friendly?
How well a country treats its people, its animals and its environment rarely even gets a look in.

But in these days of eco-friendly everything, it’s now possible to choose your destination by its human rights record, conservation efforts and social and animal welfare. …

Panama City – Urban, Historic and Rural Dimensions

Panama is a small nation with a capital that offers an astounding cross-section of cultural and historic experience: from the colonial legacy of its old quarter to a newly energized modern city, to the legacy and continued expansion of the Canal to the easily accessible countryside just beyond.  While all these different routes to exploring within and beyond this vibrant city depends on a visitor’s own interests and time, some of these options to experience …

Roatán – Ultra-Relaxed to High Energy in Honduras’s Bay Islands

View from Anthony’s Key toward Roatan (credit: Hal Peat)

You might feel like you have escaped to the edge of the planet, but in fact you have just reached the edge of the south Caribbean when you arrive on the island of Roatán. Best of all, that impression of distance continues as you make your way around this best known of Honduras’s Islas Bahias (Bay Islands), thanks to the pristine beaches and interior, the low-impact …

The Eternal Mystery: The Statues of Easter Island

Here, the winds speak. And the spirits speak, if you listen for them. But no one else here does…because no one else here knows, exactly.

Lying 2,300 miles away from Chile, the country that governs it, it’s the most remote populated island on Earth. The nearest populated “neighbor” is Pitcairn Island (yes, that Pitcairn Island, of “Mutiny on the Bounty” fame), in the South Pacific – 1,300 miles away.

Photos Courtesy of Turismo Chile

Easter …

Argentinean Adventures

The next move is the most important of them all, our tango teacher said as I wobbled precariously on one leg.

Argentina’s sexy tango

My other leg was provocatively hooked behind my partner’s thigh, and I couldn’t imagine executing any other move except falling on the floor. “The final move is a sexy face,” she said. You can’t get away with a “trying not to fall over” face in the tango, so we aimed for …

Brazil on a Roll

Brazil is on a roll, and its star city of Rio de Janeiro is the hub of all the action.

Rio may be the world’s most misunderstood city. Ask someone who has never been and they basically know Carnaval, an iconic statue of Christ, bikinis bursting with attitude and that the town is ringed by favalas. But there is so much more to Rio and the world is about to discover the energy of a …