My travel around Central America was one of the most interesting and fulfilling experiences that I ever had. That’s why I’m really excited to share with you my findings there and give you some tips and I hope to inspire you to go there someday.
The adventure started from Cancun with a beautiful drive through the Riviera Maya to Tulum. The road is a gorgeous stretch of land, known for its pristine beaches, interesting archaeological ruins, and stunning cenotes. There was no way would miss visiting this ancient city. Tulum is the only Mayan ruins showing how the Maya peoples lived near the sea. This site is well preserved and offers a wonderful place to visit. Overlooking the beautiful ocean with its turquoise waters and pure white sandy beaches is such a wonderful way to spend a day. The ruins are like a time machine, right back to the 13th and 14th centuries. Each Mayan city had a specific purpose, and Tulum was no exception. It was a seaport, trading mainly in turquoise and jade. As well as being the only Mayan city built on a coast, Tulum was one of the few protected by a wall.
After a splendid time in Tulum, I continued my trip to Belize. I reached out I drop-off Chetumal and drop-off my car there to cross the border between Mexico and Belize by foot. That’s was fun. But my most unusual way to cross a border was with a rickshaw, travelling from Salvador to Honduras. But let’s continue with crossing the Belize border. A driver was waiting for me to take me to Corozal town. The most fascinating thing there was this cute animal called Coati. It was everywhere including in my room. It looks like a small raccoon.
Belize charming islands
But the reason I choose to stay in Corozal wasn’t the coati. Only from there I was able to reach the two most adorable islands that I ever been – Ambergris and Caye Caulker. If you wonder what’s a true blissfulness looks like, so for sure you have to go there. The feeling to be there is incredible, the time doesn’t exist and is so peaceful, and you truly can see what the expression ‘live your life’ means. Cars are blissfully absent. The only traffic sign that exists there instructs golf carts and bicycles to ‘go slow,’ and that’s it. In place of hassles, Caulker offers balmy breezes, fresh seafood, azure waters, which I didn’t see because of the horrible seaweed that turned the water muddy. But this didn’t stop me to enjoy the charm of the island. To best picture the spirit of Corozal and Ambergris islands, I should tell you that they have this classic reggae vibes that you instantly fall in love with. Here I want to mention the most attractive for all the tourist palace – The Blue Hole. The Great Blue Hole is a giant marine sinkhole off the coast of Belize. It lies near the centre of Lighthouse Reef, a small atoll 70 km from the mainland and Belize City. The hole is circular in shape, 318 m across and 124 m deep. I didn’t go there, because I had to spend around 3 days of my stay in Central America and I didn’t have enough time for that. But this is a good motivation to plan my next trip there, right?
The most boring capital in the world
Yeah, you read this correctly. Belize’s capital is Belmopan and it’s totally dull. And believe me when I’m telling you this because I have been in almost every country’s capital cities in the world. The only thing that is kind of interesting is the city market and that’s it! But don’t get me wrong Belize is a wonderful country and for sure unspoilt destinations. They call it ‘Mother nature’s best-kept secret’! My advice is if you plan to go there, just don’t waste your time to visit Belmopan.
Belize Mother Nature’s best-kept secret
Anywhere in Belize, you can find the best jungle adventures in the world, gorgeous waterfalls, Mayan ruins and caves. Belize is favourite sun-baked heaven. The country also is the Capital of the Ancient Maya Empire. The Maya Empire stretched for over a thousand miles in what is now Central America. Today’s Belize was located in the centre of all of the most important Maya trade routes. Curios fact about the country is that there are no traffic lights. Most of Belize is unspoiled tracts of jungle, rainforest, and verdant hills. In order to enforce speed limits inside towns, Belize uses speed bumps instead of traffic light.
Caribbean vibes in Hopkins Village
After the boring Belmopan, I end up in this totally amazing village – Hopkins. Hopkins is a village on the coast of the Stann Creek District in Belize and it is considered by the Belizeans to be the cultural centre of the Garifuna. Garifuna, also known as Garinagu, are the descendants of an Afro-indigenous population. The Garifuna in Belize now has six communities which have taken a leadership role in maintaining global Garifuna culture. I was truly fascinated by their culture and traditions. Did you know that the expression ‘Caribbean vibes’ comes from them?
Rowling on the river
My Central American adventure took me from the south side of Belize to Livingston, Guatemala. But the cool thing here is how I get there, or to be more specific, whit what? There is no road access to Livingston yet. The only access points are via the ocean or the river. So I tried both ways. First I took the ferry а small boat and arrived in Livingston by sea. On my way back I choose to take the most panoramic way to travel, or with other words via the Rio Dolce River. This is one of the most beautiful rivers in the world. I discovered the beautiful nature and village life alongside the river. Explored the area’s unique flora and fauna, canyon gorges, waterfalls, beaches and natural pools. There are no words or enough pictures and videos which can truly capture the beauty of this region that Rio Dolce River passes. My trip becomes a little extreme when the pouring rain starts. But anyways, it was truly an experience that I will always remember.
The charming Livingston, Guatemala.
On the Caribbean coast of Guatemala lies the marvellous town of Livingston. It’s perhaps one of the most amazing places I ever have been in the world. I only spend a short while wandering through the streets of Livingston to appreciate the myriad of cultures that exist in this relatively small town – the melting-pot of Latinos, Mayas, Garifuna and gringos a reflection of Guatemala’s colourful history. I was fascinated by all the food, traditions and the amazing spirit that this little town has. The locals truly know how to enjoy life and live it with a lot of colours, amazing food and music.
The most dangerous countries in Central America
After the sunny beaches and beautiful nature, it was time from some adrenaline experience. In Central America are located the three countries that have the highest criminal ratings in the world. I was curious to visit these countries, so my next stop was Guatemala City, which has long been known for its criminal gangs and drug violence. But besides that with a unique history that merges Mayan traditions with Spanish culture, Guatemala is one of the most interesting countries in the world. I visited Antigua Guatemala, the city was the old capital of the country during the Spanish invasion. To describe the city best… cobblestone streets lined with brightly coloured colonial buildings, a jacaranda-wreathed central plaza, and 16th-century ruins with volcanoes surrounding the city. It’s like a fairy tale. The second most dangerous country is San Salvador. For some travellers, this is the most beautiful country in Central America. The reason that it’s dangerous is again the street gangs. But anyhow, this amazing country is full of coastal surprises, magical wonders to wander, warm hearts and welcoming people. And the third most dangerous country is Honduras. Tegucigalpa, may not have the best reputation among travellers in Central America, the capital city of Honduras does have a bit of charm with old colonial buildings, cobbled streets and hidden parks. To summarize this 3 counties known as with their high ratites of crime are really beautiful and it’s worth visiting. Of course, my advice to you is to be careful and to do a lot of research before you go there.
Nicaragua is colonial opulence
And to finish my Central American trip, I went from Honduras to my last stop – Nicaragua. This country embraces travellers with diverse offerings of volcanic landscapes, colonial architecture, sensational beaches, remote, idyllic islands, wave-battered Pacific beaches and pristine forests. My first stop there was this beautiful city with baroque and neoclassical architecture, called León. But if you go there someday I highly recommend you to check out the old capital of Nicaragua – Granada. The city is living history. Nicaragua’s oldest town is also it’s most beguiling and photogenic. Many travellers use the city as a base, spending at least a day bopping along cobblestone roads from church to church in the city centre.
But if you visit Nicaragua, you definitely have to go to Ometepe Island. This is one of my favourite palaces to be in the world. The island is admired by travellers for its diversity of experiences and adventures. The people are friendly and famous among the visitors with their hospitality. Ometepe Island has two majestic volcanoes that make this island an amazing place. The island is becoming a must-go destination and it is the largest island in Lake Nicaragua. A body of water referred to as a ‘freshwater sea’ due to its sheer size. Despite being a freshwater lake, Lake Nicaragua contains sharks to be more specific – bull sharks. Some people say that after the Chinese came to the island, the sharks progressively start to disappear. Yeah we know, shark meat is delicious. After this amazing nature experience, there was no way to miss Managua, the largest city in the country and its capital, is also its centre of commerce and culture. The city is surrounded by rich agricultural lands devoted primarily to the cultivation of coffee. And speaking about coffee on my mine pops up the diversity of food in Central America…