Here you will find destination guides. Each post has information on getting around, sightseeing and some surprises

Belize

Belize embraces a beguiling mix of Caribbean and Latin cultures, infused with a colonial history brought to its shores by British settlers. English-speaking, Creole-dominated with a thoroughly coup-free history, this tiny country has an atmosphere that couldn’t be more laid-back. Tourism may be unashamedly big business, but visitors rarely feel commodified. The local people are friendly, open and relaxed, and everyoun here seems to know how to have a good time.

lt rains less in the first half of the year, but you’ll probably be too relaxed to care either way

Flying into Belize City, then hightailing it out to the beaches as quickly as possible Ordering a Belikin beer, then ordering another one Riding the bus into Belmopan, Belize’s capital city, still wondering if you’ve arrived as you drive out the other side Snorkelling in the impossinbly warm waters of the Caribbean Sea Exploring Belize’s many beautiful Mayan ruins

Read Belizioun Cuisine, a collection of 200 dishes that demonstrate the richness of Belize’s multicultural past

Listen to the Garifuna rhythms, culture and politics of Andy Palacio’s Til Da Mawnin

Watch The Mosquito Coast, starring Harrison Ford and River Phoenix, which flaunts the lush beauty of Belize’s interior (though setting to be neighbouring Honduras)

Eat the two main dishes on a Belizean menu; ‘rice and beans’ and ‘beans and rice’-either way, it tastes great with a dash of Marie Sharp’s famous hot sauce

Drink Belize’s famous Belikin deer, which always goes down a treat

You better Belize it! (cringeworthy but ubiquitous)

Mayan ruins; ‘surf-and turf’;diving the Blue Hole; Marie Sharp;s famous hot sauce

Listening in on a conversation in a curious language, only to realize the language is English; it is actually possible to fill an entire day doing absolutely nothing

The looking for relaxation, adventure and wildlife in a small, easy-to-get-around package will be enamoured by Belize, and indeed, many travelers return year after year. You’ll get the best of both worlds here-there’s a well-trodden tourist trail, and all Central American country with unlimited opportunities for adventure.

Honduras

Honduras’ slow pace, natural beauty and low-profile tourism make it particularly appealing to travelers (well-armed with with insect repellent) who enjoy getting off-the-beaten track. Take your pick from the spectacular Mayan ruins at Copan, the long and lazy Caribbean coastline, the idyllic Bay lslands, the tropical rainforest of the Mosquitia region, colonial mountain towns, the cool cloud forest of La Tigra National Park, and the manatees and birdlife in the country’s protected coastlands, wetlands and lagoons.

May to June for the festivals

Diving in the warm, crystal-clear waters of lslas de la Bahia Fossicking through the pyramids and temples of Copan Ruians Visiting the Spanish colonial mountain town of Gracias Experiencing the spectacular cloud forest of Parque Nacional Celaque Exploring the Rio Platano biosphere at La Mosquitia, here monkeys, toucans and jaguars roam the forests Taking eight-hour ride up the Rio Platano to Las Marias through virgin rainforest

Read El Gran Hotel/by Guillermo Tuscaran (one of Honduras’ most celebrated writers) or The Soccer War by Ryszard Kapuscinski, which is about the 100-hour war between Honduras and El Salvador known as the Guerra de Futbol (the Football War)

Listen to Garifuna band Los Menudos

Watch El Espiritu de mi Mama (Spirit of my Mother) directed by Ali Allie, about a young Garifuna woman

Drink Port Royal or Salva Vida beer

Buenos dias (good day)

The Mosquito Coast; inexpensive diving; Copan Ruinas; the brief Football War; howler monkeys

lslas de la Balia from part of the second-largest barrier reef in the world; Honduras is experiencing the most rapid urbanization in Central America

The traditional Garifuna band is composed of three large drums, a turtle shell, some maracas and a big conch shell, producing throbbing rhythms and melodies. The chanted worlds are like litany, to which the audience often responds. The dance is the punta, a Garifuna dance with a lot of hip movement.

Equatorial guinea

While most of Equatorial Guinea’s two regions remain densely covered with the type of forest that made Tarzan swing, the recent discovery of underwater oil looks set to change the face of the country. Bioko lsland has been thoroughly taken over by oil money and an influx of foreign workers, but a trip to the mainland (Rio Muni) is still like taking a step back in time. The only way to get from A to B is to hack and bribe and hold on tight to bush taxis making their way though the jungle. This is real adventure travel, with amazing rewards-rainforest, beaches, traditional African villages and, with some hard hiking and luck, you might get to spend sme time with gorillas.December to February for slightly drier weatherHiking in search of gorillas, elephants, chimpanzees, crocodiles and whatever else turns up in the Monte Alen National Park Beachcombing around Luba and other deserted beach towns on Bioko lsland Hanging around Bata, the mainland’s biggest city, where the real action is Taking a pirogue across the estuary between Gabon and Equatorial Guinea to the Village of Cogo Wandering around vibrant Malabo-a town in the heart of the African tropics-with its outdoor bars, thriving nightclubs and colourful marketsRead Mary Kingsley’s 1897 classic Travels Africa, which details her trip spent slogging through the rainforest to gather specimens for a natural history museumListen to a traditional orchestra of drums, wooden xylophones, sanzas (a small thumb piano made from bamboo), bow harps and even zithersEat wonderful seafood and fresh fruitDrink beer, brewed palm wine and malamba, made sugarcaneMbolo (hello)Corrupt officials; oil; dense rainforest; hardcore travelers; small villages with mud-wattle house; gorillasSorcerers are still among the most important community members in Equatorial Guinea; among the country’s most fascinating celebrations is the abira, a ceremony that helps cleanse the community of evilThe inhabitants of Equatorial Guinea have always been divided by geography. On Bioko lsland people generally live in an urban environment, with jobs in government or the oil industry. On the mainland, outside the city of Bata, people live a very traditional African lifestyle, in small villages of mud-wattle houses, with agriculture the main occupation.

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