5. Chiapas, Mexico: Make your way down to the southernmost part of Mexico. The beautiful mountains of Chiapas provide breathtaking views. You can visit Sumierdo Canyon just outside San Cristobal de las Casas, Here you can take a boat ride through and see some significant wildlife along the way. Try and visit the local towns where traditional indigenous people live, They have wonderful markets and beautiful churches where they practice their own religion by providing you with a great cultural experience.
4. Leon, Nicaragua: Leon is a great little city in Nicaragua, where the people would describe themselves as “tranquillo” meaning calm in Spanish. Being a popular backpacking destination, Leon provides you with a lot of bars and places to eat for a fair price. If you’re on the adventurous side, scope out Big Foot Hostel for volcano boarding. A thrilling ride down the side of the only volcano in the world you can go boarding down. The trip includes a hike up the mountain with transportation, a guide, suits and a board for a total of $25.
3. Antigua, Guatemala: A beautiful city at the base of a volcano. During the day, shop at the various markets around town where you can buy handmade leather bags, jewelry of all sorts and paintings. At these markets, you can bargain down the price to what you think is fair. At night you can find good restaurants and bars everywhere. If you’re lucky you may catch a concert downtown in the square. You can take a day trip to hike up Pacaya volcano, a very active volcano where you can see the smoke from the top and the beautiful views of the valleys/towns.
2. Lanquin, Guatemala: In what the locals call “La corazon de la maya” or the heart of the Maya, you’ll find Lanquin. A small town in the forest, you’ll find the essence of natural beauty. Guatemala takes care of their natural resources and it is reflected in this beautiful town. Take a trip to Semuc Champey where you can explore caves with candlelight and swimming through the mountains. You may also chill out by the river where you can go off a rope swing, tube down the rapids or jump off a bridge! But do not miss the hike to the top of Semuc Champey. Not a hike for someone who is unfit, but once you reach the top it is worth it. Beautiful green covered mountains, and at the bottom the bluest cascades you have ever seen. Once you hike to the bottom, take a swim in the beautiful blue waters. Not many places to go out and dine, but the hostels accommodate their visitors well with food. Just beware of the bugs, there’s plenty and they are BIG.
1. Utila, (Bay Islands) Honduras: Welcome to paradise, a beautiful island off the coast of Honduras in the Caribbean Sea. A relaxed beachy island that harbors tons of gringos that came but never left. Known for its impeccable diving location, people from all over the world flock here to obtain their dive masters and other qualifications. Chill out by the beach, or join in on the water sports and activities. Take a divers course for a cheaper price than anywhere in the states or just snorkel through one of the greatest barrier reefs in the world. There’s tons of great food and bars. Try RJ’s, one of the great barbecue places on the island. If you go in July they have tons of nightlife parties on the beach or the electronic Sun Jam festival.