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Chasing Chicken Buses

Guatemala is a very colourful country. The markets are abundant with shades that would make a painter envious, the traditional dress of the local women is a multicoloured work of beauty and the gorgeous town of Antigua is jam-packed with brightly-hued houses. However, by far my favourite example of the colours of Guatemala is the […]

‘Tis the Reason

Okay, so you haven’t quite gotten around to planning that late December holiday getaway. You don’t need more guilt heaped on your work-weary shoulders. But you do need some help. The Christmas to New Year’s travel window is a busy one, so there’s no more time to waste. Here’s a rundown of of what could […]

Journey to the Underworld

Our tour guide points out the window toward a smooth-barked tree towering in the distance. “A ceiba tree, sacred to the ancient Mayans, was believed to be a bridge between the planes of existence: heaven, earth, and Xibalba, ‘place of fright’, where we are going today.” Actun Tunichil Muknal, or the the ATM caves, are […]

Pool Party: Cayo District

A good pool is great at holding a lot of water. A great pool is good at that, plus it can hold its own as a piece of architecture. Where: Blancaneaux Lodge, Belize Why: If you spring for a deluxe cabana at this rustic luxe lodge, they throw in a private plunge pool. But you […]

Discovering Honduras

Honduras has had bad press of late for the gang violence in its inner cities. Yes, that is a reality in the country, but on a recent visit I found that Honduras is really made up of incredible ruins, amazing natural wonders, friendly folk and a stunning set of Caribbean islands. I had the pleasure […]


Sleep doesn’t come easily when you’re mulling over newly gained and sensitive information. This might be your situation for the first few nights you spend in Panama’s semi-secret Santa Catalina. I say ‘semi-secret’ because although the word is out on its opulent surf, the little village can be accessed only by the long, bumpy, dead-end […]

Volcanic Activity

I grew up in England’s glamourous northwest (home of Coronation Street and Take That), where excitement was not particularly varied. Playing in a motorway median was the highlight—like an extreme sport, the adrenaline came from car-dodging over four lanes. So whenever I find myself in a new city I look for an excursion that is […]

The Comforts of Creatures

If trekking in the tropics with weird and wonderful wildlife is your thing, pack your hardcore hiking-boots for Corcovado National Park in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. This 43,000-hectare park preserves the largest tract of Pacific coastal rainforest in Central America. The stats are impressive: over 500 species of trees, 400 species of birds (including most […]

Livin’ La Pura Vida!

Crossing the border from Nicaragua into neighbouring Costa Rica you may well be tempted to ask the question: what in the name of Anastasio Somoza Garcia happened here? For where Nicaragua can be likened to the black sheep of the family – dishevelled, temperamental and prone to disaster, Costa Rica is surely the family swot […]

You Don’t Know Squatemala

Some countries have all the luck.  Just think of what the film ‘Lord of the Rings’ did for New Zealand tourism.  Or how about ‘A Year in Provence’?  One petit book and all of a sudden the world wanted to relocate to rural France and spend a year renovating an old stone house. Sometimes even […]

You Say Italian, I Say Atitlan

Let’s say you want to visit the Italian Lakes, but you can’t finagle an invite to Clooney’s place. Villa d’Este is sold out because an oligarch is tying the knot that very same week. Or maybe it’s the middle of March (when Italy is still springing back to summer). Or you’ve already been three times and […]