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Recent Caribbean, Mexico, and Central American articles
- Shopping on the Dutch Antilles Island of Curaçao - Shopping on the Dutch Antilles island of Curaçao requires a two-pronged attack for those in a serious search of unique souvenirs. Planning that attack is well worth the effort: Not only are there fabulous treasures to be found, but the arts community here will give shoppers a better understanding of the history and culture of [...]
- Breakfasting like the Natives on Grand Bahama Island - I may have gulped slightly as I stared down the bowl of “sheep tongue souse” on my breakfast table. I had tried most of the other unusual traditional breakfast dishes during my years of travel to the Bahamas; this visit I was determined to leap out of my comfort zone with this ultimate proof of [...]
- Tuning into Dominica at Rosalie Bay Eco-Resort - I ended up with a riverside suite at Rosalie Bay boutique eco-resort, rather than a room oceanside. I was immediately glad it worked out that way. The view and chortling of the rocky Rosalie River was soothing and oh-so apropos for the mountainous east Caribbean island of Dominica, which claims 365 rivers all told. In [...]
- Hiking to the Seven Waterfalls of Juayua, El Salvador - Honestly, I think we picked the location first for its name: Juayua. Not only was the spelling aesthetically pleasing in its arrangement of letters, but the pronunciation—Who-ah-you-ah—had sent my wife Emma and me into fits of giggles. Strange how some words just do that. Whatever the case, we were fortunate that juvenile sensibilities had gotten [...]
- The Shopping ’til You Drop Tour of Antigua, Guatemala - We all have our weaknesses, and one of mine is souvenirs. Admittedly, it’s not the most masculine of traits, not the one I like to write to the guys back home about, but I’ve spent many a traveling afternoon scouring markets and engaging in hard-nosed negotiations. And, I can tell you from experience Antigua, Guatemala, [...]
- Indulging Watery Fantasies at Atlantis in the Bahamas - My taxi driver dropped me at the wrong spot, so I ended up tugging my luggage through a mammoth casino with all the blinking glitz of Vegas. Massive sea-suggestive Dale Chihuly glass sculptures and the ka-ching of slots greeted my arrival, then a towering atrium decorated with outrageous mythical sculptures, intricately painted ceilings, an oversized [...]
- Riding to the Domincan Republic’s El Limon Waterfall on a Horse - I am not a horsewoman. I did not grow up around horses, and they’ve always been a mystery to me. When people say a horse is nervous, or bad tempered, or skittish, I don’t know how they know this, as I can’t figure out a horse’s mood when I’m near one. I’m near one now, [...]
- Swimming in Sacred Water: Semuc Champey of Guatemala - As I look down from the heights of El Mirador, the pools of Semuc Champey appear as expanses of turquoise set between limestone ridges. It occurs to me that El Mirador — it means a viewpoint — is a name far too common in Central America or, at the very least, too humdrum for this [...]
- Entering Tikal, Jungle Heart of the Maya Empire - From atop Temple IV, above the trees of the jungle, the noisy morning sounds of animals went on for ages. “Little” Cesar, our tour guide, had instructed us all just to listen. “Don’t talk,” he said, holding his hand next to his head as if Einstein presenting a novel idea. Birds whistled, bugs chirped, and [...]
- Being a Kid Bahamian-Style at Abaco Beach Resort - After a crafts session on the beach, the kids headed for the docks to go fishing. It may sound like an ordinary kids program on an ordinary day at a sunny beach resort, but what makes the difference at Abaco Beach Resort at Boat Harbour in the northern Bahamas is that Bahamian kids are doing [...]
- Unwinding on a “Desert Island” off Anguilla in the British West Indies - Sandy Island, two miles off the coast of Anguilla, would be a great place to film a version of Robinson Crusoe. You can walk all the way around it in less than 15 minutes. You could probably count the number of palm trees on two hands with fingers to spare. A few hardy shrubs keep [...]
- On the River at Finca Tatin in Guatemala - We’d left Guatemala City some eight hours prior on a “first class” bus, which entails the extra feature of receiving a bottle of water midway through the ride and action movies dubbed in Spanish. It had been a long trip, with a late taxi, a missed (regular-class) bus, and a half-hour boat trip from the [...]
- Experiencing Nassau’s Finest at Graycliff Bahamas - It felt like a sigh of relief: an escape from the theme park hoopla of Atlantis resort and the shopping/boozing throngs just down the hill in downtown Nassau. Graycliff: Its very name strikes respect and appreciation among those who know it. Begun as an utterly gracious historic inn and restaurant, it continues to add superlatives [...]
- Snorkeling with Sharks in Nassau - “Get in the water without splashing. No kicking, and do not panic or thrash around,” the tour operators told us as we prepared for our third snorkel site of the day. Why all the stealth? That had something to do with the 30-some reef sharks that were schooled some 30 feet below us. In Your [...]
- Entering the Enchanted World of Sunnyside Gardens, Grenada - The first thing we saw when we arrived at Sunnyside Gardens was tortoises. Lots of them. Randy picked one up and turned it on its back. It’s a ritual they’ve engaged in more than once. Randy lives and works on the property with his parents, and his wife and son; his mother planted the five [...]
- Taking Costa Rica’s “Mega Combo Adventure Challenge” in Guanacaste on the NW Coast - I am seriously short on attention span: It’s not enough for me to just do a zipline or hot springs or ride a horse. I’ve gotta do them all, preferably on the same day. Enter Buena Vista Lodge & Adventure, located in Guanacaste in northwestern Costa Rica. Following the eco-adventure trend in Costa’s Rica’s tourism [...]
- Wandering among the Plants at Hunte’s Gardens, Barbados - It isn’t the biggest garden I have ever visited, but it is certainly the most remarkable. I am surrounded by plants of every conceivable hue, their colours heightened by the recent rain. Our guide, Jamie Lee, cautions us to watch our step on the steep path, and then the unexpected happens. The air is filled [...]
- Learning the Art of Perfume-Making on the Caribbean Island of St. Martin - When I was dreaming about my trip to the French side of the Caribbean island of St. Martin, I didn’t picture myself in a white coat, fiddling with beakers and droppers in a glass-fronted lab.But when I found out I could make my own perfume from a blend of some 300 essential oils, a visit [...]
- Wandering Tropical Trails at the Belize Botanical Garden - I have no way to know what the Garden of Eden looked like, but in my imagination, it looks just this: Palms and ferns grow exuberantly, birds dot in and out of the foliage, and everywhere there is green — blue green, bright green, yellow green, dull green — punctuated by bursts of color. It [...]
- Sailing from Soufriere, St. Lucia, Under the Shadow of the Pitons - “Look! It’s happening! Wait, watch for it!” The excitement on the catamaran is palpable, and we strain our eyes to the horizon where the last tiny pinpoint of an orange sun is just about to dip below the horizon. We are hoping to see the legendary green flash — the momentary burst of light that [...]