Traveling the World

Great Food In Merida, Mexico: Here’s Where I Ate…Very Well


Last week I flew to Merida, the capital of the Yucatan state in Mexico, with Tropic Air.  An hour and a half flight from Belize City and I was totally digging the culture, the history, the art, the architecture, the shopping, the buzz…just being in a large city. I ate often in Merida and IKeep reading »

The Maya History of Merida, Mexico – What I Think Makes it REALLY Special


Perhaps a lazy Saturday blog…pictures rather than words…but not really.  Merida, Mexico is a beautiful colonial city FOR SURE.  But what sets it apart from Antigua, Guatemala or Puebla, Mexico or the other beautiful colonial cities of Latin America (and what links it to Belize) is the Maya – both past and present. Merida wasKeep reading »

Merida, Mexico: I Love So Many Things About this City


I LOVE a city.  I moved to Belize from Manhattan, New York – certainly one of the biggest and most exciting cities on earth.    A move that I do not regret in any way. (Though I wouldn’t mind if my corner bagel shop, Murray’s, opened a branch in San Pedro, Belize.)  I knew thatKeep reading »

Amazing Fun in Roatan: Gumba Limba Park


There are lots of activities in Roatan.  At over 35 miles in length and a population of about 150,000, it’s a good sized island plus, they get some serious cruise ship activity.  And cruise shippers like to get off the ships and…do things.  There are dune buggies, zip lines, animals to see, shopping to do,Keep reading »

Tropic Air Now Flies From Belize to Roatan, Honduras: The First Flight!


Roatan (and the other bay islands of Honduras) have quite a bit in common with Belize.  They were heavily influenced by their British colonists and most people speak English or Kriol.  They are surrounded by a gorgeous barrier reef and famous for snorkeling and diving.   There is a small Garifuna popluation on the EastKeep reading »

Isla Mujeres, Mexico Means GOOD Eats: Barlito and Rooster Cafe


I’ll repeat it because it is so true.  For such a small island (barely 5 miles in length), Isla Mujeres has some amazingly delicious eats.  It CERTAINLY helps that almost everything tasty that can be grown is grown in Mexico.  It’s a huge populous country with all sorts of altitudes and abundant sunshine.  As IKeep reading »

Isla Mujeres, Mexico Means GOOD Eats: Gelato and Mango Cafe


For such a small island (less than 5 miles in length and pretty much a stones throw in width), Isla Mujeres, Mexico has some amazing restaurants, street food and ice cream at really reasonable prices.  Your selection is big.  With over 1 million tourists coming onto the island each year, a place is going toKeep reading »

A Guide: Travelling from Cancun, Mexico to Belize for Many Budgets


This is one of my most frequently asked questions and my post on the trip from Belize City to Cancun on the overnight bus is one of my most read.It’s just a fact.  Flying into Cancun is usually so much cheaper than flying to Belize City.  There are so many more direct flights, the airportKeep reading »

A Christmas-y Morning in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico


I am home at last!  My journey back from Providence, Rhode Island took me to Dulles Airport, Washington, DC to Cancun Airport to Playa Del Carmen for a night’s stay and then finally back home to San Pedro.  More about that trip (at least the Mexico part) later.But I do love an international airport that decoratesKeep reading »

I Love A Parade: Celebrating Dia de La Revolucion in Playa Del Carmen


Who knew?  November 20th is a public holiday in Mexico…Day of the Revolution.  And I awoke this morning to beating drums…one of my favorite sounds.  A parade!LOTS of school kids on this drizzly morning celebrating sports, culture and the revolution!  And all singing “Sexy Gangnam Style” in Spanish unison.  Very cute. My favorite…the guys whoKeep reading »

Cali, Colombia: Now This City’s Got Some Pizazz, Part Two

Cali 106

I returned from Colombia almost one month ago and loved it.  Adored it.  I wrote about Medellin…twice, about visiting an amazing coffee finca outside of Manizales, about the thermal hot springs of Santa Rosa, about bland, colonial Popayan and then about Cali, the city of salsa and tight clothing.  Medellin was far and away myKeep reading »

Super Fun or Super Frenzy? Part Two: Shopping in Chetumal, Mexico

Oct 11 071

In my last post,  I flew to Corozal, hopped the border to Chetumal, checked into the Hotel Noor and visited Walmart, the mall and the (blech) Free Zone.To enter the Free Zone (or the area between the two borders) from the Mexico side, you need to go through Mexican immigration.  While there, we decided toKeep reading »

Things I Love About Tulum, Mexico…Even If Just For One Night


There is plenty to love about Tulum, Mexico (and I have gushed about it all before)…but #1?  The amazing, amazing beach.  You can read about it here:  Best Beach in the World. and I’ve visited and talked about the cool Mayan ruins before… But I didn’t make it to either on this trip.  I wasKeep reading »

Eight Things You Might Not have Known About Traveling to Colombia

Cali 020

When you hear that someone is travelling to Colombia, what do you think of first?  Cocaine?  Danger?Or maybe something more pleasant, more cultural…the famous writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez (author of:  Love in the Time of Cholera and 100 Years of Solitude). Or maybe salsa music? Super cool wall art in Cali Or maybe you’ve hadKeep reading »

Cali, Colombia: Now This City’s Got Some Pizazz, Part One

Cali 074

Driving down the lush green mountains into the dry, dusty, sugar cane packed valley, I could tell that Cali was going to be a very different from the places in Colombia that I had visited.Different in lots of ways.  After seeing immaculate towns and cities through Central Colombia, Cali is…well….much dirtier..  And more crowded.  AndKeep reading »

Popayan: Colombia’s Second Most Beautiful Colonial City is a Bit Bland

Popayan 007

According to the guide books, Popayan is an amazingly gorgeous white city and the second most beautiful colonial town in Colombia after Cartegena.  That’s a tall order.Though I have never been to Cartegena (YET!), Danni and Cesar (my travel mates) have been over-the-top GUSHING about the place.  They LOVE it, the atmosphere, the colors, theKeep reading »

A Retreat from the Gritty City of Cali: Pance, Colombia

Pance 007

We headed out from Santa Rosa del Cabal (and the thermal springs) to make our way south to Cali, Colombia.  And as we drove, the climate and the scenery changed pretty drastically.  We went from green mountains and stunning views to tan and dusty hills to just sugar cane as far as the eye couldKeep reading »

A Trip to a Thermal Springs in Santa Rosa De Cabal, Colombia

Santa Rosa 013

On our drive from Manizales to Salento, Colombia, we passed lots of signs for the hot springs of Santa Rosa de Cabal.  And what better way to rest your weary bones after hours of hiking in the Valle Del Cocore than relaxing in a hot bath that just happens to be pouring out of aKeep reading »

Salento, Colombia: Figuring Out Why It is Such a Backpacker Hot Spot

Salento 039

We reluctantly headed away from Hacienda Venecia (oh the coffee!) outside of Manizales, Colombia and made our way south.  Ultimately I would be flying from Cali, Colombia to Panama City to Cancun (slowly making my way back to Belize) and we needed to keep moving.  There was lots more to see.  And really not enoughKeep reading »

Medellin, Colombia, Part 2: Put this City on Your List

Medellin 2 041

I’ve only been in Colombia for about 4 or 5 days now but I’ve heard the same thing from each traveler we’ve run in to…they all LOVE Medellin.  Originally they allotted two days and stayed one week…or one month…most never want to leave.I get it.  It is an absolutely enchanting city (and it is hardKeep reading »

Medellin, Colombia, Part One: Pablo Who?

Medellin 2 063

Tell people that you are flying to Medellin, Colombia and they tend to think the worst.  It’s not surprising. 25 years ago, Medellin was the murder capital of the world and the center of infamous Pablo Escobar’s multi-billion dollar cocaine trafficking empire.  Some say he was running the city and maybe even the entire country.Now…Keep reading »

Royal Sands Cancun: Not a Dreaded Time Share, So Much More Than I Thought

Aug 10 055

When my friends asked me if I wanted to use their (quickly expiring) time share in Cancun, I’ll admit…I was a tiny bit hesitant.  Firstly, the words “time share” send a shiver down my spine…aggressive sales men hunting me all week…resort organized mixers?  Not my thing.Second…Cancun?  Sure I planned a trip to the Yucatan forKeep reading »

A Beautiful Day for (Hopefully) Swimming with 40 Foot Long Whale Sharks

Cancun at Sunrise

Beautiful one for a very early start.  In a few minutes we are getting picked up from our hotel… to truck it over to Isla Holbox.  Pronounced with the Mexican-Mayan X = “Sh”…or  Holbosh. Supposedly the whale sharks are in a veritable frenzy between Holbox and Contoy feasting on plankton and algae.  NOT human flesh.Keep reading »

The Water Taxi and Bus from San Pedro, Belize to Cancun…CANCUN BABY!

Aug 10 028

I’d been to Cancun a few times in my 20s and had never fallen in love.  Packed with drunken gringos, annoying kids, food chain restaurants and a total lack of all things Mexican…it was great if you could get a long weekend there for $200 but for anymore?  I always picked somewhere else.BUT…I have learnedKeep reading »

Check That One Off the Bucket LIst: The Panama Canal


The Panama Canal is a miraculous engineering feat, a modern wonder of the world and something that I’ve always wanted to see.  (See my Central American Bucket List)Not only is it a 48 mile long connection dug in jungle and rock between two oceans but the boats going through start at sea level, rise upKeep reading »

Casco Viejo, Panama City: Gorgeous Old Town under Heavy Rehabilitation


Casco Viejo (or Old Town in Spanish) is just that…the old Spanish colonial section of Panama City.  It was completed and settled in the later 1600s after the pirate Captain Morgan attacked and the first settlement Panama Viejo was burned to the ground.  Panama Viejo had been the city center since 1519…now it is mostlyKeep reading »

Good-Bye Coronado Beach, Hello Panama City


Yesterday morning we left Coronado and Cesar’s parents to head to Panama City for 3 days and to end my trip to Panama.  We walked down to the beach to take one last swim on the black and tan sand beach.I remain fixated on the pure jet black sand.  For some reason in pictures, itKeep reading »

Tranquilo in Panama: Playa Venao & Pedasi on the Azuero Peninsula


We decided to take an overnight trip to the Azuero Peninsula…the area that is sometimes called the heart of Panama.  Beautiful beaches, old colonial towns and indigenous history?  What’s not to like? We found a reasonably priced place to stay on line with both camping and rooms, packed the cars and took the the roads. Keep reading »

Panama: So Far I’m Really Digging It


So last I spoke to you, I had arrived at Finca Bachita in Playa Coronado, Panama.  For those of you who asked, the house is named after my friend Cesar’s very cute mom, Beatrice.  Bachita is her nickname and Finca means farm/estate or plantation in Spanish. The town of Coronado is about an hour andKeep reading »

Mangoes EVERYWHERE: Driving from San Jose, Costa Rica to Panama


While Central America is relatively compact, the countries really start stretching out in the south…both Costa Rica and Panama are pretty long and skinny.I arrived in San Jose on Saturday evening, we planned to cross the border between Costa Rica and Panama on Monday morning and arrive in Coronado, Panama the same day.  We hadKeep reading »

Guanaja, Honduras: Maybe the Prettiest Place I’ve Ever Been, Part Two


The island Guanaja is interesting to me for so many reasons.  The residents (citizens of Honduras…though some deny it) speak English and Spanish.  The large main island is sparsely populated while everyone huddles on the tiny, tiny cay.  The Cay has no roads or cars.  The residents have a very close tie with the CaymanKeep reading »

Guanaja: Maybe the Prettiest Place I’ve Ever Been, Part One


The three Bay Islands sit about 10 miles off the coast of Honduras in the Carribean Sea.  All of the islands have a history based in shipping, fishing, pirating and being discovered by Christopher Columbus himself (CC landed on Guanaja in 1502).  The islanders speak primarily English as well as Spanish…very good for me.  MyKeep reading »

The Ferry to Roatan, Honduras and A Look at the West End


The boat from La Ceiba, Honduras to Roatan seems simple enough.  Relatively cheap at $500 lempiras, fast at only 1 hour and 10 minutes and huge, holding about 400 people, the boat leaves twice a day.  Great.  We arrived at the port of La Ceiba about half an hour early for the 9:30am ferry.  TheKeep reading »

The Fort at Omoa, Tela, La Ceiba, Honduras and Barf Bags…

Omoa Honduras

After two nights in Omoa, Honduras, another friend, Emily, was flying into San Pedro Sula from California…we headed there to pick her up.I didn’t have time to type my post in Omoa, the internet cafe was small…and here is a picture of my keyboard. The connection was fast but it gets tricky when the letters areKeep reading »

Puerto Cortes & Omoa, Honduras and Turtle Eggs…Seriously?


So where did I stop with my last post…I had taken a taxi from the airport in San Pedro Sula, Honduras to the bus terminal and I was ready to meet friends at the beach, in Puerto Cortes.   The bus station is enormous and there are probably hundreds of buses and collectivos (the smaller ACed vans)Keep reading »

A Cenote, Chedraui, Felipe Carrillo Puerto and My Trip Back South to Belize


One of my favorite parts about visiting the Yucatan is the cenotes.   Cenotes are sink holes in the limestone that exposes the fresh ground water underneath.  They are part of a huge system of underground caves and rivers.  They seem to be almost everywhere.  And some are much better than others.(Interesting trivia fact:  TheKeep reading »

Mahajual/Mahahual: Almost Two Different Towns


About half an hour north and then half an hour east of Chetumal is the small beach town of Mahahual, Mexico. The town was almost totally levelled in August of 2007 when Hurricane Dean (my first real hurricane experience on San Pedro) made a direct hit as a Category 5.  Situated at the northern endKeep reading »

Laguna Bacalar: A Lake Bluer than the Sea


Lake Bacalar, just 25 miles north of Chetumal, is incredibly close to San Pedro and is incredibly beautiful.  Looking out over the lake, it is hard to believe that it is fresh water and not the Carribbean.  Bacalar is the second largest fresh water lake in Mexico (the largest is Lake Chalapa southeast of Guadalajara), theKeep reading »

Before I Turn 40: My Central American "Bucket List"


Take a look at a map of Central America – the area seems relatively small. But travelling around quickly, cheaply and easily is almost impossible.  If you want to fly to other Central American countries from Belize, you really only have two options.  You can fly to Flores or Guatemala City, Guatemala (neither very farKeep reading »