As a four-decade Certified Travel Agent, international airline employee, researcher, writer, teacher, and photographer, travel, whether for pleasure or business purposes, happens to be a significant along with an integral portion of my life. Some 400 trips to every single portion from the globe, through road, rail, sea, and air, entailed destinations both mundane and exotic. This article concentrates on those from the Central American countries of Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama.
Belize, the very first of them, was entered in Belize City. Particularly adventurous as the name indicated, its exploration included an expedition on New River to see the Lamanai Archaeological Reserve, a Mesoamerican site that had been once one of many Maya civilization’s major cities.
Located on 950 acres, it constituted one of several largest such Maya ceremonial sites in the united states and incorporated over a hundred minor structures, a ball court, and many dozen major buildings, the highest of which was the Temple in the Mask, the Temple from the Jaguar Masks, and also the High Temple.
Although most in the other sites offered similar configurations with ceremonial structures and surrounding plazas, the Lamanai site featured those who lined the west bank of New River as well as the New River Lagoon, with residential structures occupying the northern, southern, and western sections.
Lunch beneath the dense rainforest umbrella here included the normal Belizean meal: Chicken, rice and beans, and plantains.
Altun Ha, another pyramid-provisioned Mayan archaeological location some 30 miles from Belize City, was made up of a complex of tombs, pyramids, and temples, which all once served being a trading nexus throughout the Mayan Empire’s Classic Period, from 250 to 900 AD. Meaning “Rockstone Pond” in Yucatec Maya, it was made up of a man-made lagoon.
Ambergris Caye, merely a short hop from your mainland within a six-passenger Britten Norman Islander turboprop, was the country’s largest island and offered abundant swimming, snorkeling, deep-sea diving, as well as other watersport opportunities. Its Hol Chan Marine Reserve, on the list of main dive sites from the Belize Barrier Reef located over eastern shore, featured the 124-meter-deep Great Blue Hole, in addition to significant sea life.
San Pedro, accessed with a golf cart ride through the small airport, was the island’s main town, and, Ramon’s Village offered an immersion into tropical life.
Styled following your Tahitian cottages about the Polynesian island of Bora Bora, it contains cabanas created native materials by craftsmen utilizing the same skill and techniques the islanders once had inside days with the great sailing ships. A sanctuary nestled in a very tropical garden of Royal Palms, bougainvillea, lilies, hibiscus, and numerous other tropical flora, it had been punctuated with Mayan sculptures that provided a glimpse in to the civilization that preceded it using what can only be labeled a Caribbean paradise.
Costa Rica was visited on several occasions. Characterized by volcanos, it offered numerous the opportunity to explored and gain insight about them.
Located inside the northeastern section of the country, the conically shaped Alajuela Volcano, as an illustration, was greater than 1,600 meters tall and had a crater 140 meters in diameter.
The Irazu Volcano was a different one. Because its summit was nearby the tree line, a nearby area wind produced a virtual a moonscape. Its numerous craters were rimmed with gnarled, scorched trees, as well as its rain-fed mineral pools were brilliant in color.
The Arenal Volcano, stretching to just one,657 meters or 5,437 feet, loomed large and ominous within the pastured green hillsides that surrounded its base, along been the country’s most active one throughout the past 4 decades, its thunder-sounding rumble periodically piercing the otherwise lush, tranquil setting.
As an excellent symbol with the geothermal forces that formed Costa Rica, the Poas Volcano revealed a sulfuric, bubbling, green rain-fed lake flanked by smoke and steam rising in the fumaroles at its bottom if the mist and clouds parted. Water, seeping through cracks inside the hot rock from your lake, continually evaporated and built pockets of steam.
An easterly drive for the Guápiles Highway from San Jose throughout the Zurquí tunnel transported me from your modern world to the rain- and cloud-forested Braulio Carrillo National Park, whose hiking trails and aerial tramway facilitated views of some 500 varieties of birds and mammals, for instance howler and white-faced capuchin monkeys, tapirs, Deppe’s squirrels, white-nosed coati, northern tamandua, jaguars, white-tailed deer, ocelots, pacas, and racoons.
Unique to your subsequent trip was an off-road adventure. Undertaken in the 1984, it uniquely incorporated an expedition in the 7,500-kilogram Zyl Terra-X6, every Russian missile launcher truck furnished with two 4.5-ton, 600-mile-range capable SAM surface-to-air missiles, but was subsequently retrofitted having a bus’s cabin. Passing over the Valle Estrella and threading its way through banana plantations, it stopped for the banks from the Bananito River for just a picnic refreshment plus a viewing of wildlife.
Other noteworthy areas included Alajuela, the Bananito River, Cartago, Limon, the Orosi Valley featuring its lush vegetation and low plantations, and, needless to say, San Jose, the funding, featuring its Pre-Colombian Gold Museum, La Sabana Metropolitan Park, the Catedral Metropolitana (Metropolitan Church), as well as the Casa Amarilla.
Panama seemed to be the destination of over more trip.
Synonymous together with the 40-mile-long Panama Canal, it attracted notoriety when it turned out completed in August of 1914, allowing large ships to stop the otherwise 8,000-nautical-mile circumnavigation of South America and facilitating their direct passage involving the Caribbean Sea along with the Pacific Ocean by way of the Miraflores and Gatun locks.