Everywhere I Wish I Visited In Central America But Skipped On
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Rawpixel

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Rawpixel

Everywhere I Wish I Visited In Central America But Skipped On

El Salvador , Guatemala , Honduras , Nicaragua , Panama
Amara Amaryah
Amara Amaryah Sep 13, 2022

Central America is a region with some of the world’s most sought- after views and travel experiences. From Belize down to Panama, the region is dripping with abundance. Truth be told, that same abundance is what overwhelmed me on my first backpacking trip around this part of the Americas.

To no surprise to my family and friends, I have already begun thinking about all the places I needed more time to visit, and so inevitably will visit. Some of the places on the list were skipped because of what I thought were safety reasons, others were skipped because I wanted to save it for a non-solo trip. Others were left off because I had commitments in other countries or time limitations. Either way, I’m grateful to share a list of reasons why I have to make a return to this gorgeous region. Here is Central America, and all that I’m excited to one day explore:

Nicaragua, San Juan del Sur & Pearl Lagoon

 

 

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 I’ve added two main locations to my list but truly I skipped the whole pacific coast of Nicaragua. I don’t regret it because at the time I was focused on the Caribbean coast and diaspora in Central America. Nicaragua is relatively easy to travel through so it would had been easy enough to see. I also had a full 90 days on my tourist visa so certainly had enough time. I was caught up in the creole and the fried fish and the gorgeous Caribbean island energy. As a Jamaican, it felt familiar and I didn’t want to leave Big Corn island.

I kinda wish I did. I say this because Nicaragua is so vast and my experience of the country is limited to a strange week in Managua and over a month in the Caribbean. A return trip will definitely include not only the pacific side and towns such as San Juan del Sur but also Leon and even Granada. I’ll surely want to see the Caribbean again so this time I will likely want to see the Pearl Lagoon, a region frequented by locals. 

Honduras

 

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I heard a bunch of stories about how unsafe Honduras is for a solo traveler. Regardless, it was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to check it out. Why? Mostly because the Garifuna culture was calling me. As a lover of history and all things diasporic and Caribbean, I was so sure that I would enjoy the Bay islands. Every YouTube video that I obsessively watched made Roatán seem similar to Belize’s Caye Caulker or Nicaragua’s Corn Islands. 

I have propelled Honduras to the top of my list, perhaps integrating it into my small island bucket-list itinerary.

El Salvador

 

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I skipped El Salvador for a combination of the two reasons mentioned earlier. 1). I had mostly planned my itinerary around the Caribbean coast of Central America and 2) I hadn’t heard the best stories about El Salvador as a solo traveling woman. 

Either way, I wish I hadn’t skipped it. Arriving in Guatemala and seeing how many people were traveling between the two countries left me curious. Recommendations really inspired me to look into it more. I think the adventurous side of me would 100% appreciate El Salvador. I think it would be a quick stop, maybe the shortest of all of my Central American countries but I still think there are natural wonders to see. 

Panama, Taboga island

 

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 I spent a lot of time exploring Bocas del Toro because of my interest in the Caribbean culture there. Another location I skipped on (discovered too late) is Taboga island. Just off Panama’s pacific coast lies a culture and a foodie scene worth checking out. As an island girl, I am super ready to compare the small island experience in Panama. It is definitely on my list for later travels. 

Guatemala, Semuc Champey and Livingston

 

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Guatemala is one of my favorite countries but one of the hardest in Central America to travel through. Myself and several travelers I met found the country to be difficult to to travel because everything is so spaced out. 12 hours between certain destinations is a norm. For this reason, I never made it to Livingston, the Garifuna land in Guatemala. Nor did I make it to Semuc Champey or Río dulce. I stayed for a month in Antigua and Lake Atitlán which was precious but only half of the story. 

Another thing about Guatemala is that it’s so densely abundant in natural wonders but some of it I wanted to save for a non-solo trip. I know a handful of people I’d actually like to convince to wander around the jungles and rivers of Guatemala, so I skipped those destinations to save them. 

Ultimately there are always things that you have to skip on, this is part of the travel adventure. The true glory of living a slowmadic lifestyle is having the opportunity to evaluate the journey and return to your favorite countries. Central America will always call me back, I’m confident about that. The list of incredible destinations is too long and my memories are too precious to not constantly revise the to-visit list.

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