I am going to land in Belize City with a friend at the end of June. We dont dive so not sure we want to stay in Belize for long.
I have already done much of Guatemala, but am looking to experience as many other countries as possible. We are not going to relax, we're going for culture and adventure.
What are some must-see's and recommended itineraries? Interested in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua.
(PS- would also be interested in jumping a flight to Cuba if americans are allowed to from central america?)
For me, Guatamala was the Highlight of Central America (but you've already been there). You could check out Copan (in Hondorus), it's a pretty important Mayan ruin area.
Americans are NOT allowed to visit Cuba from anywhere. Are you American? I know you can get there form Mexico (still not legal for an American though).
PS---Where did you visit in Guatamala? Maybe there are some interesting places there that you missed.
Americans can apply to the US Government for permission to visit Cuba. But, and it is a big BUT - only under certain circumstances - tourism NOT being one of them. Visiting Cuba as a tourist falls under the "Trading with the Enemy" law - regulated by the US Dept. of Treasury office. IF you are caught, not only do you face possible jail time in Cuba, you can face a minimum fine of $7500 (maximum of $100,000) posed by the Treasury upon your return.
For more about the regulations, restrictions and fines:
http://www.treas.gov/offices/enforcement/ofac/sanctions/sanctguide-cuba.shtmlUS Treasury Dept.[/url
You only have 10 days - I wouldn't recommend spending some of it incarcerated in Cuba...
In case you don´t dive, like you said;
- Skip El Salvador altogether, unless you love surfing, in that case you have to visit La Libertad beach near San Salvador.
- 10 days is pretty short, so my advice is to stay on the Honduran north coast, there are some pretty National Parks over there:
Near Tela, the Botanical Gardens, and 2 National Parks, near La Ceiba one really beautiful National Park (Pico Bonito). Easy to spend some days there. Combine in with Copan Ruinas and the city of Gracias/Lempira
- Or head to Nicaragua, visit the town of Granada, and the volcano islands in the Lago Nicaragua. Really Nice, I´d say one of the highlights of Central America.
[ Edit: sorry, no promos in the forum please. ]
Lizebes, I am going to be in Belize at the end of May for 10 days. We don't dive either but half of the time we will be on the island of Ambergris Caye and the other half of the time we are going to be staying in the jungle. We are going to check out Mayan Ruins and the rainforest and while we are on the island, we are going to snorkel and get a bit of island culture. (Have heard the food is great.) There are also lots of caves in Belize if that interests you, and they have a jaguar preserve. The snorkelling is going to be awesome. I wish I was a diver. Maybe someday.
I've been to Belize twice and fell in LOVE with the people & the culture. Belize City leaves a lot to be desired, but we traveled back & forth between San Ignacio & Belmopan daily to volunteer at an orphanage, which was amazing. From Belize City you can take a boat to the cayes- skip San Pedro, which is larger, overpriced & touristy and go to the smaller Caye Caulker for snorkeling and fresh coconuts. You don't need more than a couple days there as there is nothing to do but lie in the sun. On the mainland be sure to check out the national parks for good hiking & go spulunking through the caves, unless you are closterphobic. Skip the Mayan Ruins in Guatemala- tourists are constantly getting attacked & raped. It's not worth the risk! Have a great time- Belizians are great people!
There are quite some activities to undertake in Nicaragua. What to think about:
- volcano climbing (Concepcion, Maderas, Cerro Negro, Mombacho, Telica, San Christobal, Momotombo)
- canopy tours (in Managua, on the Mombacho volcano, in Rivas)
- fortress visits (Coyotepe, El Castillo)
And there is a lot more to do! If you'd visit Granada, you can climb the Mombacho volcano, do a Canopy tour on the volcano, and browse the colonial city of Granada. A beautiful lagoon is close by (Laguna de Apoyo), and you will probably pass the Coyotepe fortress on your way to Granada. There are really a lot of things to do in Nicaragua. Check out this page to see descriptions and photos of the activities: