I am travelling through Central America as of November. I don't like mainstream travelling, visiting the usual tourist attractions, taking hideous pictures of myself in front of boring monuments then uploading them to instagram with a ridiculous filter... I want truly amazing adventures, once in a lifetime experiences. See things that are not in tourist books, eat the weirdest local foods, stay at a tree house instead of a 5* hotel, etc...
So what are the craziest things you can do or see in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico? Anything that is out of the box is appreciated.
Hello Levente. In the spirit of helping you out with your question I will provide a few amazing places that I have had the pleasure to visit and I am sure you will find the type of adventure that you are looking for.
Guatemala: Lago de Atitlan, an aquamarine lake and villages that tumble down from green hills to its shore. Fishermen in rustic craft ply the lake's surface while indigenous women in multi/colored outfits do their washing by the banks, fertile mountains, volcanoes, are the ingredients for getting adventures. Semuc Champey is also a beauty. A multi level pool sits on the top of a natural bridge in the middle of the jungle. Stunning!
Islas de la Bahia in Honduras are a beauty! Perched of the Mesoamerican reef (the second largest barrier reef in the world) will add value to the trip. Find some adventure in Utila or the mainstream of Roatan. You wont regret it!
Isla De Ometepe (twin volcanic peaks) that are rising up out of Lago de Nicaragua will surprise you with so much adventure. Volcanic soils, clean waters, wildlife, and archaeological sites, are amazing ingredients to consider these places as natural wonders of the world.
My FAV places in my beautiful Costa Rica are Monteverde Cloud Forest, Volcán Arenal and Osa Peninsula, Drake Bay, where the Corcovado National Park is located, Pacuare River, Punta Uvita and Playa Santa Teresa. Choose among the beauty of a cloudy forest, (where you can find the most beautiful and famous bird / the Quetzal), the smoking peak of the Arenal volcano (surrounded by hills, mini villages and a lake), a crystal clear water beach or an unique bay on the coast of southwestern Costa Rica.
I went to Mexico City once therefore the only place that I can recommend besides the beautiful capital is Pyramid of the Sun and the amazing Teotihuacan hot-air balloon tour. However, I am sure there has to be hundred of adventurous places to visit.
Hope this helps! Enjoy the ride!
Mentioned in this answer:
Hi Levente! I just came back from Nicaragua and they have some pretty crazy foods there - turtle eggs, iguana, maggot cheese and live "black shells" aka conchas negras.
In San Juan del Sur an experience that I really loved was doing a catamaran tour with Nica Sail and Surf. It's not crazy and out there, but it was awesome. You board at about 1 pm, they take you to a private beach (you have to swim to shore!) and fill you up with unlimited drinks, ceviche and guacamole. You'll head back to San Juan del Sur at sunset and we even had a pack of dolphins swim with us during our sail back. It was a very memorable experience and something I've personally never done anywhere else, and can't imagine anyone else being able to match that experience.
Guatemala is the sailfish capital of the world. The Pacific coast of Guatemala is perfectly positioned due to the winds and currents to hold remarkable numbers of baitfish and therefore the large pelagic species congregate here in huge numbers. In fact Guatemala hold many IGFA world records are held by Guatemala boats and fishermen. Anglers who once thought Costa Rica was the greatest and now turning to Guatemala as the ultimate sportfishing destination. A record of 124 sailfish were released by one boat in one day for example. Most charter outfitters offer both day charter (fishing only) and a spectrum of all-inclusive packages. It is hot this close to the equator, so be sure to choose a boat and lodge with air conditioning. You can find out more information if you are interested in a fishing charter at www.madmarlinlodge.com.
I have not done the jungle tours or white water rafting but I hear they are really good for those seeking adventures such as those you described. I am not much of a look and see tourist either. I bet you would enjoy the fishing and these two tours as well. We can help you set up those tours as a courtesy for our clients but we are not involved in them directly. We find it best to specialize in what you are best at and we know fishing.
We visited Panama in December and spent 3 nights in the Bocas del Toro area. The most amazing part was our stay-La Loma Jungle Lodge. You will love it. Henry and Margaret are the most wonderful hosts. The 3 most amazing cabins are at least 150 stair steps up into the jungle and are completely open. You have a net over the beds, but their are no walls-just tarps if you need to close due to rain. The views are amazing, the wildlife is right there (we watched a sloth most of one morning), and the food is lovely. There are plenty of activities-hiking around the paths on the property, helping make chocolate from their farm, kayaking, scuba diving, hiking to a secluded beach, or taking a boat up a small river, hiking into a bat cave and jumping off some small cliffs into a pool of water. It is a wonderful experience!
Mentioned in this answer: