Our Central America tour (1): introduction

In our life-long quest to see as much of the world as possible, our latest holiday is in Central America, having already visited North America many times (most recently in 2013) and South America (in 2001). As this is a region with which we are totally unfamiliar, before setting off we struggled to recall which countries we were to see and especially in what order we would experience them, so Roger came up with a suitable mnemonic: Can Nick Explain His Guns = Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

After breaking away from Spanish control, all five countries used to be members of the United Provinces of Central America (1821-1841) before becoming fully independent states. All five nations have very similar flags – each with twin blue strips, the first four with thin horizontal stripes and the last (Guatemala) with broader vertical stripes. All except one have coastlines on both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, the exception being El Salvador which only has a Pacific coast.

Today this is a region always known for its amazing bio-diversity and volcanoes plus earthquakes and hurricanes, previously ravaged by civil wars, and now scarred by poverty, corruption, street gangs and drug running.

As usual for trips outside Europe, we are going on an organised tour and once again we are using Voyages Jules Verne as our travel agent. The tour will be escorted by local guides from VJV agents: Costa Rican Trails based in Costa Rica and Expedicion Panamundo based in Guatemala. For almost two months (December and January) before the holiday, Britain has been hit by ferocious gales, lashing rain and extensive floods, so we are looking forward to some sunshine as we are visiting Central America in the dry season which runs from November to April.

Subject to the pressures of the trip and the availability of WiFi locally, I’ll be blogging regularly, so I hope that you will follow us virtually on what we are sure will be a fascinating holiday. If you have any tips, observations or queries, please feel free to post a comment.


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