Belize is awesome. It is an especially awesome English-speaking nation coming from all Spanish-speaking nations for seven months. We entered through the only border crossing from Guatemala, simply known as “The Western Border”–They like to keep things…well let’s just say…succinct in Belize.
Author Archives: Melissa Terry
Throughout Mexico, Guatemala and Belize there are several dozen ruins that are available for tourists to visit, among them the two most recognizably famous–Tikal in Guatemala and Chichen Itza in the Yucutan of Mexico.
Since almost all of Central America is one large volcano, we’ve been able to take full advantage of volcanic cauldera’s. The first crater we hit up was the aptly named El Valle in western Panama and the second was a crater lake in El Salvador where we went on two dives with Oceanica Scuba via DeCameron resorts.
To date, one of our most recommended stays in Latin America is without a doubt, Rancho Margot. The ranch maintains nearly 400 acres tucked snuggly on the banks of the Rio Cano Negro as it flows into picture-perfect Lago Arenal. There is something for everyone at this family run ranch, be it adventure, relaxation, education or all three.
Here is a brief look at some of the things making news in this part of the world:
* Nicaragua has long been a country of rolling black-outs. As of the first of the year they are desperately trying to quell that problem by introducing a $90 million wind derived energy project. The 19 windmills have the potential to offer more than 6% of the nation’s energy needs by producing 40-megawatts of energy. Already this current project is
Our last destination in Panama was a sleepy town called Santa Catalina. Surfers first came sometime in the early 80s and not much has been developed since, aside from a few restaurants, hostels and cabins. This would be a good place to come “to get away from it all” as there is zero cell phone service or internet access. For better or for worse, it’s a seemingly odd little vortex of a tropical town and no one in it, tourist or otherwise, has any clue what is going on. After about 45 minutes trying to look for our hostel on one of only 3 dead-end dirt roads, our friends Tom and Steve mentioned that they met someone in the Panama City airport who told them that the town is “really confusing”.
Point of Departure: Cartagena Yacht Club
Point of Arrival: Panama City, Panama via San Blas Islands
Mode of Transport: 30ft Single Mast Sail Boat
Approximate hours at sea: 41
Captain: A gregarious loose cannon named Hernando
Crew: 6 travelers entirely un-experienced in sailing and just trying to get to Panama
For those of you that don’t know, the famed Pan American highway isn’t exactly a complete run from Alaska to southern South America, the road unfortunately lacks roughly 57 miles between Panama and Colombia. The reason being: a 3,000 sq/mi. area known as the Darien Gap.
In the vast majority of the country there is a very real police and state military presence. Whether you see groups patrolling the city streets, or whizzing by you on their motorbikes, they are generally pleasant-regardless of the M-16’s strapped to their back or draped across their laps. On all of the drives we have taken since crossing into Colombia, there have always been at least half a dozen police roadblocks/checkpoints. Most of the time, they wave you right through, but the trucks also have a tendency to catch their attention. First they will inquire about our destination before checking over some of the truck’s documents. Several of those occasions have led to all of us getting out of the trucks, shaking their hands and re-tracing the route on the back of the Sequoia for our latest audience. This time, the muchachos de la carretera weren’t getting away without answering some of our questions…most importantly: Can you take a picture with us?
When it comes to current events in Colombia, the hard-hitting and leading news pursued by the media is rarely positive. The problems here can still be quite severe, however, the nation is far less troubled than it was even 5 years ago. But as we experience more of this beautiful nation, it becomes apparent that daily life here maintains the same familiar values that are threaded throughout humanity…and more importantly Colombians not only love to have a good time, but they know how to have a good time! So in order to shy away from some of the more negative perceptions the world might have towards Colombia, here is a look at some of the more upbeat newsworthy topics sweeping the nation.