Visiting Central America, Part 1

If you follow us on Instagram, you got a sneak peak into Yankee’s and my recent trip to Central America.  It all started while Little Miss was asleep for the night, and Yankee and I were talking about our day.  Then he asked me, “Are you calm right now?”  I was calm, but all of a sudden I wasn’t with that question.  He paused, and then told me he had booked us a trip to Central America and that he already arranged with my parents to watch Little Miss.  What?!?!  I was excited and nervous about leaving Little Miss for the first time, but what could I do?  It was already booked.  I think it was smart on his part, because while we said we would do our best to do an “us” trip each year, I wasn’t sure I was ready.  So, he basically made me ready. It was the best thing to do for us as a couple.  It was hard leaving our daughter, but she had as much fun as I recall having with my grandparents when I was little.  It was a good situation for all parties involved.

Visiting Central America

(Yankee used this book and the internet to plan it all.)

 

When we travel, we tend to travel fast and hard but not too fast.  I still had plenty of time to read four books, drink my coffee in bed in the mornings, and come back refreshed.  Central America was a great trip because it is not that far away, and we didn’t have a long travel time in a plane, or a lot of jet lag to deal with.  That was a plus already.

Visiting Central America

 

Our first stop was in El Salvador, and the moment I  got off the plane, it felt so good to be immersed in another culture and country.  The people, the language, the smells, the colors all  just made me happy.  This is why I love travel.  We always felt safe in El Salvador. Like traveling anywhere, there are areas to avoid, and we had to be smart.  I had the best coffee of my life in this country, and I am so bummed I didn’t buy any to bring home.  I was able to drink it black, and I can’t do that with any other coffee.  We visited Joya de Cerén which is an UNESCO world heritage site that was accidentally discovered in the 1970’s.

Visiting Central America

After spending some time in El Salvador, we did a few border crossings into Guatemala and then into Honduras where we visited the Maya site of Copán.

 

Visiting Central America

Mayan ruins are fascinating to me. The details and how they were able to build these temples and structures without the tools we have today is just mind boggling.   This picture is the hieroglyphic stairway plaza.  Each stair has individual glyphs that tells the history of the people, and is known as the longest Mayan inscription.

 

 

Visiting Central America

The detail were unbelievable in these carvings.

 

Visiting Central America

These cuties were around the site.

 

 

Visiting Central America

It is hard to wrap your head around it when you see it in person. We were at the site right when it opened at 8 am, and I am so glad we were there when it opened.  For about 30 minutes, we had the place to ourselves, and it wasn’t too hot yet.  We could really soak up the history. While in these countries, we had our own driver/guide  and used the tour company Intertours.  They were awesome, and we had a great time.

 

 

Visiting Central America

From those countries we took a quick flight over to Nicaragua where we rented a car so we could explore a few cities.  Our first stop was a visit to Masaya Volcano, which is active.  We had to sign a book with our names and only had five minutes once we got to the volcano.  When we arrived, we had to have our car backed into the parking space so we could get out quickly if the volcano started spitting. The guide books say that only in this country can you get so close to an active volcano.  Due to the gases, we could only be there for five minutes, but it was amazing.  We were able to get really close and see the lava.  It was a great experience!

 

 

Visiting Central America

After our five minutes, we drove to  Granada which was a beautiful Spanish town with beautiful churches and Spanish style buildings.  When on a bicycling trip in Europe and Africa, I was in Granada, Spain.  This time I was able to be in another Granada.

 

 

Visiting Central America

I will say it was hot, hot, hot so thank goodness for fresh coconut juice and watermelon juice (which I am now addicted to.)  I have  been making watermelon juice since we returned home, and I’ll do a recipe soon. It is so refreshing.

 

 

Visiting Central America

One day we went to Laguna de Apoyo ,which was a lake inside the crater of a volcano, and it was so fun to swim and enjoy nature.  We only  saw four other people the whole day.  We loved that.

 

 

Visiting Central America

(Bikes lined up in church on Sunday.)

After our days in Granada, we hopped into our car and went to the town of Leon.  I’ll post a part two to tell share with you our experience with volcano boarding and my favorite place in Belize.

 

What to do when visiting Central America

Cheers!

 

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