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Belize City: does it deserve its awful reputation?

I’d heard about its reputation before we decided to go to central America. I even read many articles advising those travelling in the country to steer well clear of its largest city. Dirty, seedy and dangerous were just some of the words that painted a very negative picture of Belize City. I had to go; […]

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Quetzaltenango and the New Year that didn’t go to plan

Quetzaltenango is Guatemala’s second city. One theory (mine) is that the city grew quicker and larger than anyone expected and by the time they realised the mistake they’d made in picking such a complicated name for a major place it was too late. So the name of Quetzaltenango had to stay. Thankfully, most folks now […]

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Pacaya volcano, Guatemala – how NOT to see it

Before we even landed on the American continent, the visit to the active slopes of Volcan Pacaya was at the top of our list of anticipated experiences. Having stood on Kilauea in Hawaii 10 years ago and gasped in wonder as molten lava flowed past our feet we were excited at the prospect of a […]

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Antigua, Guatemala: historic marvel or tourist trap?

Step along any of the cobbled streets of Antigua and reminders of its past glory are everywhere to be seen. The weary old buildings that have survived both age and numerous earthquakes bare their scars openly and without shame. The streets themselves obey strictly the grid pattern that is typical of most cities in Central […]

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15 good reasons to visit El Salvador

I’ve written extensively about our adventures in El Salvador over the last couple of weeks, and have enjoyed hearing from others who have ventured to this small and much over-looked country. Before I move on to the many other highlights of our Central American journey I wanted to collate some of our best memories into […]

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San Salvador: noisy, dirty and well worth a visit

If El Salvador has a bit of an image problem in the international community, those negative perceptions nearly always centre on its capital city San Salvador. The common perception to those who haven’t been to the city is one of a crime-ridden lawless place where citizens risk their lives on a daily basis. Guidebooks give […]

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El Salvador: the ghosts of war on Guazapa volcano

The civil war in El Salvador passed me by in the 1980s. Despite lasting 12 years and costing the lives of 75,000 people it made little more than occasional news on the BBC. Maybe this is because it was so far away and besides, there were no dramatic stories of trapped British holidaymakers to feature. […]

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El Salvador: La Ruta de las Flores

If you take a look at any of the promotional material produced by the El Salvador tourism officials, the chances are the pictures that you’ll find are going to focus heavily on La Ruta de las Flores. This small stretch of road in the west of the country has been promoted as a tourism showcase […]

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El Salvador: a day hike in Parque Nacional Los Volcanes

That view above? I’d seen a picture like this while planning our trip, and on the strength of the picture alone we’d made Santa Ana our first stop in El Salvador. With us both having a thing for staring at and scrambling over any volcano of which we get within a 100 mile radius, there […]

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El Salvador: dealing with the elephant in the room

I’m going to write several posts about El Salvador in the coming weeks. We only spent 9 days in the country but the warmth of the people and the variety of natural attractions made a very strong impression on me, and perhaps of all the experiences we enjoyed in Central America it is the ones […]

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