The Two Faced Latin America!

I would have never thought i would be blogging but now that I have, I actually enjoy it. Getting to write about all my memories and experiences of all these countries was so fun to do. I learned how to write in a way that would capture a person’s attention on certain places and at the same time explaining to the reader what to look for in each city or town. Each country in Latin America has its own culture and i feel that each country is very unique when it comes to their environment, food, customs and mentality. There is so much corruption in each country that it makes the population act a certain way. There were two common ideologies that I saw and heard through the people i met. I’d say it was about halve the people I’ve met had did not have such nice things to say about the government. They felt like the government doesn’t do the best the can with providing resources to the mass. The other half felt that the government is doing their best and that if you work hard enough you can meet their goals.

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This is not word by word of what people have told me but if i were to categorize the two different perspectives that i have heard, they would fall within those two statements. The one thing i did notice was that people who said they despised the government are lower class citizens or at least “were” lower class before they moved up the social latter. And of course the people who said the government is doing their best were high class citizens or at least upper middle class citizens. These ideas were seen in every country i have been too and not one has yet to be contempt with their situation.

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Despite these findings i still felt the nationalism of each country and how everyone comes together to have a good time. I’m not saying the U.S. doesn’t have a strong nationalism we do (sports) but people in Latin American no matter what age will come together to have a good time. Even though there is extreme poverty in almost most of the countries the people still have the energy to be friendly with you and honesty give you the best advice for whatever you are looking for. I have yet to discover a lot of countries but hopefully i get the chance to travel to the rest of the countries.

Overall, this blog helped me recognize the value of having the opportunity to explore all these countries. I was able to see all different kinds of people in multiple situations. Whether it was eating eggs in small cafe in the middle of the desert or having drinks with the night owls that don’t sleep and vibe all night long in Colombia. As i continue to write about my encounters with locals all the way from Mexico to Brazil i begin to understand and rationalize the way Latins behave. Most countries are in a very critical state that makes me feel lucky to live in U.S. and have the opportunity to study in the U.S. as well. I may make it seem like the countries are paradises because they do look so beautiful but in reality, we see these third-world countries as vacation options and not like neighboring countries who need assistance in stabilizing their governments.

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In a way this blog itself helps prove that people living outside of Latin America don’t see the internal problems each country has but instead we want to know what the best price for a hotel is, so you can reward yourself with some vacation time. I bet its the same situation with the rest of the world but at the end of the day we Americans are so confined within our own social bubble that all we are worried about is our selves and nothing else. Yet the people who have less than us, still have the energy to share good times during drastic measures and at the same time looking after each other.

I enjoyed writing about all these countries and all the little different characteristics i have learned from each country. I hope i was able to help some create their vacation bucket list and save them some time on deciding what to explore!

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My Time In Costa Rica



Located along the north Pacific Coast, Tamarindo and its surrounding beaches are some of the most easily accessible beach towns in the region. Crystal clear turquoise water and beautiful weather, Tamarindo is one of the most popular tourist destinations for good reason. Tamarindo has a little something to offer everyone. Whether a family is in search of an adventurous getaway or a couple is looking to relax on their honeymoon. Year-round sunshine, breathtaking views, laid-back atmosphere and close proximity to national parks all make Tamarindo a popular destination for family vacations and adventures.

The beach looks like its straight out of a movie and its probably the most beautiful/clean beach i have been too. This small town is very laid back, the locals are so chill and loving. I went to two restaurants and three bars. They were all really fun and had amazing food. One of the bars and a restaurant gave me free food after i had payed for food which was awesome. I don’t think i have ever been to a bar that gives you free food, lol that was a first. So, if you ever go to Costa Rica and you are a beach lover you have to go here, you will fall in love.

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Tortuguero National Park-

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Despite the fact that it is remotely located in northeastern Costa Rica and accessible only by boat or airplane, the Tortuguero National Park is one of the country’s most visited national parks. One of the most important turtle sanctuaries in the western Caribbean, the park’s main draw is the sea turtles that nest and hatch on the beach. As a turtle owner and lover i had to go here, and i am so happy i did. This isolated park lures nature-seekers looking for a remote piece of jungle paradise.

The park houses white-faced monkeys, toucans, jaguars, bright lizards, red-eyed frogs and blue morpho butterflies. Recent travelers suggest exploring the park by boat to marvel at its beautiful landscape and animals. Plus, at various times during the year, visitors can spot sea turtles – green, leatherback, hawksbill and loggerhead – nesting in the area. I went on the boat tour and it was so much fun getting to see all the different wildlife while circulating the park but especially seeing the sea turtles on the beach. However, according to the locals if you want to witness turtle nesting, plan a visit between early March and mid-October. Turtle nesting walks can be arranged through a licensed guide and i heard it were pretty cool to watch.

Puerto Viejo-

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The village of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, located on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast, comes alive with reggae music, funky bamboo bars and a wild nightlife. Surfers crowd coconut-fringed Beach; nature-lovers explore inland to discover rain-forests; and foodies check out downtown’s amazing food choices. Off the beaten path, you’ll find dusty biking and walking paths running through tropical farms and gardens. Along the coast, you’ll discover remote bungalows and empty stretches of sand. Travelers recommend visiting Playa Negra’s black-sand beach – located in the northwest end of Puerto Viejo for a less touristy retreat. This port is so small yet it has so much life during the day and night, you will never feel bored at this port. When the sun goes down, the party starts and its so much fun seeing all types of nationalities in one place.

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San Jose-

San Jose

Surrounded by lush green valleys and mountains, Costa Rica’s capital and largest city, San Jose, is a modern city, complete with shopping, dining, nightlife, and arts and culture. The city occupies a plateau in the country’s geographical center, making it a great base for exploring other destinations in Costa Rica. San José is a vibrant capital, serves as a central base for exploration. You’ll likely want to stop here before heading to the country’s beautiful rain-forests and beaches.

Offices, apartment buildings and museums are above you as you roam through the city’s interconnected barrios (districts). Barrio Amón is popular with tourists for its centuries-old mansions and photo-worthy architecture. Barrio Escalante is equally popular for its variety of restaurants, bars, cafes and bakeries. If you plan on staying in the city for a few days before connecting elsewhere consider heading downtown to explore the collections at the Jade Museum and Pre-Columbian Gold Museum. Both facilities house dazzling and rare pre-Columbian artifacts which are so amazing to look at. This city is filled with so much energy that it makes it impossible to stay in one spot, it was so much fun being in San Jose.

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This is all I got to see in Costa Rica, I wanted to see more but the national parks alone are so huge it takes forever. I hope you guys enjoyed reading my blog, this is the last post of the semester and its crazy how fast it went!

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The Beautiful Country of Brazil!

Iguazu Falls- 

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Down in the south of Brazil, straddling the border of Argentina and Paraguay, is the small town of Foz de Iguaçu, one of the most visited spots in the country. That’s because it is home to the Foz de Iguaçu waterfalls, one of the world’s largest falls containing hundreds of mighty cascades. This waterfall divides the Iguazu river into two levels, upper and lower Iquazu. The height of iquazu falls ranges from 197 feet to 269 feet. Catwalks and a tower give you different perspectives, and one bridge reaches all the way to one of the largest, known as the Garganta do Diabo (Devil’s Throat). You can cross to the Argentinian side for closer views from catwalks that extend farther into the center of the falls. The feeling of being so close to the waterfalls and feeling the mist land on your face is so calming and smoothing. This was an amazing experience i hope you guys can feel it for yourselves one day!

Rio De Janeiro- 

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A city known for its amazing contrasts, Rio de Janeiro has perfectly golden shores, tremendous forests, and a metropolis to create a home for its six million residents and a holiday destination for its millions of annual tourists. I remember when i arrived at the airport i saw people from all over the world and i must have heard at least five languages being spoken at a time. It was crazy to see so many people. This city holds attractions such as Christ the Redeemer, Sugar loaf, and Copacabana, and a chance to go on a off-track spots such as the unforgettable TransCarioca 180-kilometer hike, or the mesmerizing sunset at Arpoador.

If you love music, then you don’t need to wait for Carnival for a samba hit; you can head to the samba schools for their all-year-round samba shows including live music and jaw-dropping dancers. This city has so much to offer so, if you decide to go make sure you have a set plan because there is so much to see. I didn’t have a plan but the locals gave me maps and brochures of all the nice places to go which made me realize there are so many places to see but not enough time. 😥

Sugar Loaf- 

Sugar Loaf, Rio de Janeiro

Christ the Redeemer- 

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Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro


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The Amazon- 

Amazon Rain Forests

Over 60 percentage of Amazon rainforest , world’s ;largest tropical rainforest contained within range of Brazil. About 20 kilometers southeast of Manaus, the dark Rio Negro waters meet the light muddy water of the Rio Solimões, flowing side by side for about six kilometers before mixing as the Amazon. Boat trips from Manaus take you to this point, called Encontro das Aguas, meeting of the waters. Other boat trips take you into the heart of the rain forests and the network of rivers, channels, and lakes formed by the three rivers. In the Rio Negro, the Anavilhanas Islands form an archipelago with lakes, streams, and flooded forests that offer a full cross-section of the Amazonian ecosystem. You can see monkeys, sloths, parrots, toucans, caimans, turtles, and other wildlife on a boat trip here.

Also close to Manaus, the 688-hectare Janauari Ecological Park has a number of different ecosystems that you can explore by boat along its narrow waterways. In order to get the best experience you need to hire a guide, most of the time they are natives and the know the land really well. This will help you feel more safe and secure instead of going in blind. Nothing beats seeing all of these animals in their natural habitat. 

Pernambuco Beaches-

Pernambuco Beaches

The crystal waters, tall palm trees, and broad stretches of silver sand are only a few of the reasons why Porto de Galinhas is frequently cited as Brazil’s best beach. For a country with more than 7,000 kilometers of Atlantic coast, much of it sandy beaches, that’s saying a lot. The town stretching along the beach is laidback, colorful, and just the right blend of old-fashioned beach town fun. Its hotels and resorts lie close to the land instead of soaring in high-rise blocks. Jangadas, colorful sailboats, will take you out to reef-top pools where tropical fish swim around your feet in ankle-deep water. You can also take a boat to a lagoon where tiny seahorses swim, and you can scuba dive to explore impressive coral reefs or shipwrecks, kayak in the lagoons and rivers or buy a kite from a beach kiosk to fly which is pretty cool.  

This all i got to see in Brazil, my next blog will be on Costa Rica!

The Country of Ecuador!

Galapagos Island-  #1 of Best Places To Visit In Ecuador

The 19 islands that make up the Galapagos Islands are home to unique wildlife not found anywhere else in the world. They’re best known as the site that inspired Charles Darwin to come up with his theory of evolution after visiting there in 1835. Located about 1,000 km (600 miles) offshore Ecuador, the Galapagos are home to such diverse species as giant tortoises, marine tortoises, flightless cormorants, and a variety of finches and mockingbirds. Cruises are the only way to explore the islands. There are a great number of tour operations working out of Quito and Guayaquil with boat options ranging from small yachts to luxury cruise ships. 

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When i went we took the yellow boat you see in the picture. It was so much fun seeing all the different animals and learning about their habitat.

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At 2,800 meters (9,350 feet) above sea level, the Ecuadoran capital of Quito is the highest capital city in the world. This cosmopolitan city of 2.2 million people is located in an active volcano section of the Andes. Quito has one of the largest and best preserved historic districts in South America. Founded in 1534, it contains no fewer than 20 Catholic churches from the colonial era and despite intensive restoration, the old town retains the working class and indigenous character that has always defined it. Carondolet Palace, the seat of Ecuador’s government, is located in the historic area. There is so much to do, on the edges of town, the hillsides of El Panecillo give way to the soaring Andean peaks, mist-clad or snow-topped depending on the time of year. Meanwhile, Mercado Santa Clara and the various restaurants are filled with shrimp and cuy (that’s guinea pig!) dishes, and La Carolina Park is filled with bikers and football players. 

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Otavalo is home to one of the most colorful, important weekly markets in the Andes. It’s the place to go for traditional handmade craft items, including the exquisite textiles the city is famous for, leather goods and jewelry. The market has been going on for centuries, since even before the Incas. It’s a photographer’s paradise, with Ecuadorans wearing their traditional clothing and snow-covered mountains as a backdrop. The main market takes place on Saturdays, but travelers may be able to find handcrafts at other times in the Plaza de los Ponchos. Part of the fun of traveling in Ecuador is exploring the handiwork crafted by local artisans, and there’s no better place to see and purchase local arts, crafts and clothing than at the markets in the small town of Otavalo. The city is known the world over for the handiwork of its indigenous people, the Otavalos. 

Otavalo Market


Montanita, Ecuador

Ecuador’s southern coastal region boasts scenic shorelines and world-famous beach resorts, including the popular Montañita. Montañita Town was a sleep fishing village until the international surfing community discovered the area’s exceptional surfing conditions. Montañita is known for its nightlife as well, with nightclubs, bars and cafés to entertain locals and visitors alike. Its home to one of the most reliable and accessible surfing spots in the country, this one’s bursting to the brim with board rentals and surf teachers offering their services. In short, if you’re after a blast of Caribbean living and Cali free love in Ecuador (plus some great surf ops), this is the place to go!


I was only in Ecuador for a couple of days and this is all i got to see. My next blog will be on BRAZIL!


The Country Of El Salvador


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Tazumal is the most impressive Mayan ruin in El Salvador and archaeologists estimate it was first settled in around 5000 BC and then abandoned around AD 1200. The architectural complex was excavated and extensively restored during the 1940s and ’50s, but many of the ruins remain unexcavated. Tazumal is believed to have been an important center of trade, and its language in the K’iche’ language means ‘pyramid where the victims were burned.’ As i explore this vast site and learned about the history of the Maya civilization through the onsite museum was really cool.

The on-site Stanley H. Boggs Museum is a fascinating visit, displaying artifacts uncovered during the excavation. From incense burners to pottery and statues. Tazumal is cluster of unusual step pyramids, the tallest reaching up to 75 feet in height (the largest in the country.) Its autonomous status lasted until Spanish forces moved into El Salvador in the 1520s, after which the local people were conquered and exploited. However, the people around the site are really proud of their past and take care of the ruins. I remember seeing about 5 people going around handing out pamphlets of the history and cleaning at the same time. I love all types of ruins and getting to see these ruins were really awesome, especial running through them. 

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Parque Nacional El Imposible-

El Imposible hiking trails

Parque Nacional El Imposible is the largest park in El Salvador and is named for being dangerous while crossing the park that regularly claimed the lives of farmers and pack mules transporting coffee to the Pacific port. Named a national park in 1989, it sits in the Apaneca Ilamatepec mountain range between 300m and 1450m above sea level, and encompasses eight rivers that feed the watershed for Barra de Santiago and the mangrove forests along the coast. There a lot of things to do when you are there its so much fun its like an adventure park.

When my cousins and I went we had our own tent so we enjoyed a couple of nights of free accommodation! There are several hiking trails within the park, that take you pass viewpoints waterfalls, gorges, swimming holes & Maya rock carvings. It was one of our favourite things to do in El Salvador. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot some wildlife too. It’a also one of the most popular El Salvador tourist attractions for locals, especially on weekends.

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San Salvador- 

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The area around the cathedral has been paved, pedestrianized and planted with greenery, while new lighting has improved safety and made Plaza Barrios look pretty at night. During the day, you can dive into the teeming centro markets, where travelers are greeted with typical guanaco hospitality. Though you can rarely catch a glimpse of gang-related violence, there are a few neighborhoods east of town that should be avoided. Head to the nightspots of Zona Rosa and the shopping and cafe scene of Colonia Escalón.

San Salvador’s greatest asset is its location within easy reach of the ocean and the mountains, making it an excellent base for day trips. From the hustle of downtown San Salvador to the mega-malls in the surrounding neighborhoods, see the contrast between the rich & the poor in El Salvador’s capital city. You can take easy day trips to the UNESCO Joya de Ceren ruins, the boulders of Puerta del Diablo & Volcan San Salvador. San Salvador has a bad reputation but it’s worth a visit just to see Iglesia El Rosario, one of the best top things to do in El Salvador.

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Iglesia El Rosario 

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Joya De Ceren ruins

El Boqueron National Park-

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Adventurous visitors in El Salvador will love a day trip to El Boqueron National Park, which is only half an hour away from the Salvadoran capital. The park is at the top of the San Salvador Volcano, which lets visitors get up close and personal with a crater that is over 1,800 feet deep and over 3 miles wide. Additionally, there is a smaller crater within the larger one called Boqueroncito, which visitors can also explore. It’s quite a hike to get up there, but it is well worth the view as well as the flora and fauna that visitors will come across. Beginner hikers can explore one of the shorter and less difficult trails since there are many within the national park. Overall, the park is amazing and a fun hike to go with your family and friends, btw dont forget mosquito repellent cause i got eaten alive. 

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My next blog will be on Ecuador!

El Dia De Los Muertos En Latin America


The Day of the Dead is a celebration that takes place every year on the 1st of November. It might sound a bit weird but the main idea behind it is actually really sweet. It is a day when Guatemalans remember their dead loved ones and celebrate that they were able to meet them or to be part of their family. It is believed that the souls of all of the people that have passed away return to Earth to check up on their families during this day. 

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This one is perhaps the most popular among locals, To visit the cemeteries. Some stick to putting flowers on the mausoleums and saying a prayer for the soul of their loved ones. But there are families that take it to the next level. They pack up all of their food, get their best clothes on and head on over to the cemetery to spend the whole day and night “visiting” those who have left.

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Day of the Dead (known as Día de Muertos in Spanish) is celebrated in Mexico between October 31st and November 2nd. On this holiday, Mexicans remember and honor their deceased loved ones. It’s not a gloomy or morbid occasion, rather it is a festive and colorful holiday celebrating the lives of those who have passed on. Mexicans visit cemeteries, decorate the graves and spend time there, in the presence of their deceased friends and family members. They also make elaborately decorated altars (called ofrendas) in their homes to welcome the spirits.

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Because of its importance as a defining aspect of Mexican culture and the unique aspects of the celebration which have been passed down through generations, Mexico’s indigenous festivity dedicated to the dead was recognized by UNESCO as part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity in 2008.


In Ecuador, the Day of the Dead or “Dia de los Difuntos” is celebrated on November 2nd. It is one of the most popular holidays in Ecuador. Since it falls one day before the Independence of Cuenca (both days are bank holidays), the two days make for a nice long vacation during which many people travel. 

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Many of the traditions associated with the Day of the Dead go back to before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors. The native people had their own burial rites and ways of remembering their ancestors. These customs were adopted by the Catholic church in an attempt to bring these indigenous people to salvation.The Catholic calendar designates November 2nd as All Souls Day, when prayers are offered for souls that are in purgatory.

The Beautiful Country of Nicaragua!

Cerro Negro 

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One of the world’s youngest volcanoes, Cerro Negro’s dramatic black cone of gravelly cinder appeared in 1850 and has erupted 23 times since then. The last eruption was in 1999, but it was in 1992 that one of the biggest recent eruptions occurred, with a plume of gas, ash and rocks reaching 7 kilometres (4 miles) into the air. Still active, the volcano is more famous nowadays as an adventure destination. Adrenaline-seekers make the 40-minute trek up its shade less slopes to the smoking crater where they don boiler suits and goggles, mount a wooden board and whizz down a steep incline of black ash to the bottom at speeds of 60–100 kilometres per hour (40–60 miles per hour). It’s one of the most popular activities to do in Nicaragua, and you can’t go far in the country without seeing a backpacker wearing a volcano boarding T-shirt.

This one’s not for the faint of heart — I fell three times and lived to tell the tale — but it’s an adrenaline rush that only Nicaragua can offer. Volcano boarding is something you have to do with a tour; it’s impossible (and unwise!) to do independently. It’s the most popular thing to do in Leon, so be sure to book ahead to reserve a spot.

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Somoto Canyon

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The stunning river gorge that cuts deep through ancient rocks to create the Cañón de Somoto in northern Nicaragua provides one of the country’s most exciting adventure experiences in some of its most beautiful natural surroundings. A four-hour descent of the narrowest part of the gorge involves scrambling over rocks, floating down rapids, and jumping from very high rocks into deep pools. The more adventurous can opt for a six-hour trip that includes abseiling down cliffs and visits to spooky caves inhabited by bats. The easy route involves a trip upstream in a rowing boat and a gentle float back down in an inner tube.

Somoto Canyon was only “discovered” in 2004, and it’s a well-kept secret (until now – sorry y’all) as few outside of Nicaragua have even heard of it. Those who go will be rewarded with turquoise blue water surrounded by limestone cliffs reaching hundreds of feet high. You can jump off cliffs up to 33 feet high or just swim and float through the peaceful water — no matter how you enjoy it, Somoto is one of the best things to see in Nicaragua, so be sure you make time for it if possible.

Be sure to reapply your sunscreen carefully under your life jacket, so you don’t end up permanently branded with a tramp stamp suntan like I did. Ooops. I suggest you go with a tour like I did; my friends at Two Scots Abroad attempted self-guiding Somoto and ended up with a bit of a miss.

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Bosawas Biosphere Reserve

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The second-largest area of rainforest in the Western Hemisphere, after the Amazon in Brazil, Bosawas was declared a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1997 to protect the incredible biodiversity found in this northern corner of Nicaragua and maintain the free flow of species through Mexico and Central America in what is known as the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor. Over 600 of Nicaragua’s 790 bird species can be found here, including harpy eagles and resplendent quetzal. While jaguars and Baird’s tapir roam the forest floor, Central American spider monkeys and harpy eagles inhabit the canopy. Those prepared to rough it and visit can expect stunning scenery, unforgettable encounters with wildlife, and a chance to meet Mayangna and Miskito communities. 

The main reason why i decided to go this reserve was to see if quetzals are also living in Nicaragua. The quetzal is the nation bird of Guatemala and i thought they only loved in the Tikal Reserve of Guatemala, i was wrong. The most important thing for me is the opportunity to see some animals. I know seeing wildlife is never guaranteed, but i was able to spot an anteater, a tapir, monkeys and of course the sloth. I understand that there are some cats native to Nicaragua but when i was there i didn’t see any.

Here is a video explaining some of the wildlife within the reserve.

The Corn Islands

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Laid back in the way only Caribbean islands can be, Nicaragua’s beautiful Corn Islands offer a change of pace to those lucky enough to visit. Located 70 kilometres (43 miles) from the mainland, Big Corn Island is best reached by plane from Managua. Don’t be fooled by the name; it’s small enough to cycle around in an hour, passing at least seven or eight palm-backed beaches with warm crystal waters and golden sands you can call your own for the day. Little Corn Island is a thrilling 40-minute panga (boat) ride away and has no cars or banks. You can walk around the island in under an hour and part of the fun is finding its hidden coves. The big draw for both islands is the diving, with experienced divers heading for Blowing Rock, a spectacular tower of coral off Little Corn that is teeming with colorful marine life.

 Little Corn is the quieter, more backpacker-oriented island with cheaper guesthouses and fewer resorts. You can fly or take a ferry to Big Corn and then a smaller boat to Little Corn. Big Corn is more developed with larger resorts and more restaurants, and it’s more expensive. Home to around 800 people speaking Creole English and Spanish, this is one the most friendly places you’re likely to find in the country!

Little Corn Island (Below)

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 Big Corn Island (Below)

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The City of Granada 

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Granada is an Instagrammer’s dream and its colonial architecture is one of the top attractions in Nicaragua – houses of every color line the streets. From deep cobalt blues to vibrant yellows and hot pinks, basically every color you can think up has a home here. The doors are no less stunning, and so fun to pose in if you can grab a photo buddy. One of the can’t-miss things to do in Nicaragua without a doubt!

It’s also possible to tour inside the colonial homes of Granada as well if you’re interested in taking a peek inside!

The best view in Granada costs only a buck, and it’s a Nicaragua must see. Climb to the top of Iglesia de la Merced’s bell tower and marvel at the view of the yellow and red postcard-perfect Granada Cathedral. Lake Nicaragua even peeps behind it to make a photobomb appearance so you can really grab the perfect photo. Go around 5 PM for the best light and a sneak glimpse of sunset before the bell tower closes at 5:30.


Gallo pinto – a simple side of rice and beans – will adorn basically every local meal you eat in this country. Have it with pollo asado (grilled chicken), tajadas (super-thin plantain chips), ensalada, and maduros (sweet roasted plantains) for the most Nica of meals. Other things to try include vigerón in Granada, a dish made of yucca, cabbage, and chicharrón, and nacatamales, a Nicaraguan spin on the tamale.

Also, if you like lobster, this is one of the cheapest places in the world to eat it! Get a whole lobster meal for $6-10 in certain parts of the country, particularly the Pacific Coast and Little Corn Island!