Ometepe is a volcanic island in Lake Nicaragua. It is home to two volcanos, one active and one dormant and they are a beautiful sight to behold as you approach the island on the ferry. Going to the island is a chance to retreat from the hustle and bustle of cities and immerse yourself in a relaxed and quiet way of life, while also having the chance to stay active through hiking and kayaking. In this article, I’ll go through the main things you need to know before you visit, from how to get there, to a mini budget-breakdown to activities available on the island.
AJ and I had just over a week to see the best of Nicaragua, and Granada was top of our itinerary. We only had four days to spare for our visit, but they were four days well-spent, getting to know the town and its surrounding districts and environmental attractions. I’ve distilled what we saw and experienced into a three-day itinerary for any traveller wanting to experience the best of what Granada has to offer.
Having dealt with a pretty fast and furious pace for a month while travelling through Colombia and Panama City, AJ and I were ready for some serious r’n’r before we tackled our final two months in Central America, during which we need to make our way to Mexico City whilst trying to see as much of Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Mexico’s Yucatan region. We did a little digging, and discovered the perfect place to hide away for a few days in the tiny beach town of Tortuguero on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Despite being frequently visited by tourists, Tortugeuro has managed to maintain the atmosphere of a sleepy little village with nothing much to do except relax and watch the world go by. In this article, I’ll go through the main things that anyone thinking of visiting Tortuguero needs to know, from how to get there, to a mini budget-breakdown.
Colombia has been one of the most pleasant surprises of our travels so far; we hadn’t originally planned to visit, but were told such good things about it by travellers we met that we decided to set some time aside for it, and I’m really glad we did. I absolutely LOVED spending time in Colombia; the one and only thing I’m a bit miffed about is that we couldn’t spare more than three weeks, so I feel like we only managed to scrape the surface of this friendly and beautiful country. I’ve already planned to come back to explore it more extensively, but here are my favourite memories from our short time in Colombia.
You can read all about our Colombia adventures here.
Cartagena is a wonderfully vibrant city full of history and culture, from its colonial architecture and original city walls to its many and varied museums. There are also many parks and beaches providing opportunities to relax and unwind. A trip to Colombia would be incomplete without a visit to this city boasting Café Havana, Casa Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and its local mud bath volcano. Below I’ve put together a three-day itinerary for seeing the best of Cartagena, with ideas for what to do afterwards.
The capital of Colombia’s Antioquia province, and the second largest city in Colombia, Medellín is a monstrously large, thriving metropolis. The city has done a huge amount of work to move away from its notoriously violent past and reputation as the ‘murder capital of the world’ and is now known as the ‘City of Eternal Spring’ due to its consistently temperate climate. Within the city you will find an eclectic mix of commercial, colonial, industrial and urban areas, as well as multiple outdoor spaces, tourist-centric areas, affluent areas and the poor barrios, all connected by the Metro system. AJ and I spent five days exploring Medellín and nearby attractions and found that, while overall we had a brilliant time, there were things about Medellín that we did not enjoy. In this article I’ll be going through my favourite and least favourite things about Medellín.
Cali is a beautiful city in the southwest of Colombia, full of a mixture of new and old-style buildings, beautiful examples of colonial architecture, impressive street art, fabulous (and not-so-fabulous) parks, and interesting museums. Top all that off with some really nice food options and Cali is definitely worth a visit. AJ and myself spent two days exploring the San Antonio area of Cali; in this article, I will go through the sights we explored and how we found them.
The Carnaval de Blancos y Negros (Blacks and Whites Carnival) is a huge festival celebration (the largest in South America) that takes place in Pasto from the 2nd – 7th of January, although some celebrations start from December 28th. This celebration arose from a mixture of Andean and Hispanic traditions; beginning as an Indian celebration to the moon goddess for good crops, and then adding in traditions from Spanish and African cultures and including special days such as January 5th when slaves were given a holiday from the King of Spain. The modern festival is a celebration of imagination, community, all the various cultures of the people that make up the city, and lots of fun and play. In 2009, UNESCO named it as one of the ‘Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.’ AJ and I were incredibly lucky that our move from Ecuador to Colombia coincided with the time of the carnival and we were able to experience this incredible celebration. What’s most surprising is that the Carnaval is nowhere near as well-known as it should be, which makes it a little difficult to find a lot of information on attending it. Therefore, I’ve put together this guide to attending the Carnaval de Blancos y Negros.
Over the course of a month AJ and I flew, bussed and hiked our way around Ecuador, soaking up everything the country had to offer. We found Ecuador to be a land of wildly varying climates and environments – from the humid and lush cloud forest of Mindo, to the scorching hot beaches of the Galapagos Islands, to the ever-changing weather within the urban landscapes of the mountainous cities and towns. We had the opportunity to experience many different activities during our time there and came away from this incredibly beautiful country with a whole slew of amazing memories. Here are my favourite memories from our time in Ecuador.
You can read all about my Ecuador adventures here.
Mindo is a tiny town in the cloud forest of northern Ecuador which caters to travellers looking to discover nature in all its beauty, and experience adrenaline-filled activities. For four days we sought to experience all that Mindo had to offer, and had a wonderful adventure-filled time. In this article I will run through the adventures to be found in Mindo.