Panama: Family Visits and Sailing the San Blas Islands

Costa Rica: A broken bike, Rincon de la Vieja, and Isla del Cano

Costa Rica is a place of immense beauty, sure, but after months on the road our initial intentions were to breeze through it. We had spent too much time in Mexico and Central America and were running short on days to get to Panama for our boat to Colombia. Justin had been there five times previously for surf trips, and countless people kept telling us how expensive it was, how touristy it was, and how it wasn’t “true” Central America.

Nicaragua: DAMN IT’S HOT

We arrived into Nicaragua under the cover of darkness. The air was cool and refreshing, and the moon was full, illuminating the road and canyon as we snaked our way through it. It was magical. Justin couldn’t help but to stand straight up on his footpegs, flip up his visor, and howl at the moon, “Ooooooooooo”. We had officially made it to our seventh country of the journey! Not knowing where to go or what was around we simply stopped at the first illuminated building which appeared to be some sort of lodging.

Honduras: Jungle, Pirates, and Great Diving

Honduras, outside of 3 (maybe 4) spots regularly visited by backpackers, doesn’t have the best reputation. Ever since Baja, we’ve heard stories of corruption and extortion, with one crazy Ex-Pat even telling us how he’d been completely displaced from his retirement property by the cartel. HOW COULD WE POSSIBLY PASS ON ALL THIS FUN?! Copan Ruins would be our first stop, followed by a long drive up to the Caribbean coast to take advantage of one of the CHEAPEST places in the world for diving, Utila, and to visit a pirate legend in Sambo Creek.

El Salvador: Our new favorite country?!

El Salvador, the runt of the pack, is a little country sandwiched between Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras. It’s perfectly situated on a beautiful stretch of the Pacific, has plenty of volcanoes to hike, and is littered with little towns and markets. Despite all of this everyone seems to brush it off, skipping it, heading directly towards Nicaragua or the Bay Islands, Honduras, in the luxury of their air-conditioned shuttles. But why?