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Central America

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Av Central, León, Nicaragua
The Cathedral of Leon should be a must see when you are in Nicaragua. As an architect I loved this site and really appreciated the stories behind the historic architectural design. The Cathedral was constructed between 1747 and the early 19th...
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Central America
Just down the coast by boat is the fishing village of Santa Margarita del Carmen. A few bars, an empty perfect white sand beach, cold cervezas, and friendly locals.
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Central America
Definitely off-the-beaten path, the Treehouse requires precise directions, good pronunciation and a firm will to find. Hop on the bus or take a collectivo from Granada towards the coast about 15 minutes from town, ask to be dropped off at "Poste...
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Central America
In the middle of the nature reserve of Miraflor you will find Poza la Pila, a waterfall that empties into a swimming hole. Surrounded by trees, and a bit hard to get to you, you might be lucky enough to have it all to yourself. The easiest way to...
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Av Central, León, Nicaragua
With my rudimentary Spanish, I hadn’t understood why a local suggested wearing long pants to the night’s festival. “Because of the fireworks,” she had said (I thought). The recommendation seemed odd considering the stifling heat and humidity. But...
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Playa Gigante, Nicaragua
Playa Gigante’s quite bay harbors old school pangas from the fishing families that inhabit this charming village. The coastline features small hostels, two surf camps, and a handful of restaurants that serve up fresh caught fish and local produce....
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3era. Avenida NO y 1era. calle NO, Del Parque Central 2 cuadras al Oeste, 1/2 cuadra al Norte, León 21000, Nicaragua
In the heart of León, Nicaragua, the Hotel El Convento is located in what used to be the Convento de San Francisco, dating from the 17th century. Refurbished as a hotel in 2000, the lobby is full of colonial art and antiques--but I was a bit...
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Poneloya, Nicaragua
For unpretentious fried fish and ocean breezes when in the Northwest of Nicaragua, head to Poneloya. You don't even need a car--buses leave from León regularly and in about half-an-hour you're on the beach. Head to the northern end of Poneloya and...
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114 Pacific Coast Hwy, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, USA
San Juan del Sur has everything you'd want in a surf town - cheap seafood, fun atmosphere and most importantly, awesome people and beaches. Check out Surfnicawaves and DSS surf shops in the center of town (they're right next to each other). The...
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Esteli, Nicaragua
Wandering around the town of esteli, you can find some great street art.
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5a Avenida Norte, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
Few cities in Central America can rival Antigua Guatemala for its setting: a mile high, surrounded by volcanoes, with a spring-like climate all year round. The first time we visited Antigua, we spent a week here, taking intensive Spanish classes...
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Tikal, Guatemala
From one temple-top to another: on top of the world in Tikal National Park in northeastern Guatemala. These Maya pyramids (8th century) were the tallest structures built in the Americas until twentieth century skyscrapers arose in New York City....
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Sunrise tours aren't normally my thing but rising at 4:00am taking a chicken bus to the trail entrance and beginning a hike in the darkness up the side of a volcano has to be rewarding. For 2 hours in the darkness you climb relentlessly upwards...
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Sayaxché, Guatemala
My friend Joan and I were staying at Ni'tun Private Reserve on Lake Petén Itzá near Flores, and planned to visit several Maya sites in the Petén region, but were most excited about visiting Aguateca. What an adventure it was! Our guide Bernie of...
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Central America
Late night beach patrols. Moonlit nights. Tranced turtles coming to shore and laying eggs. Allowing nature to happen is both incredibly rewarding and heartbreaking at the same time.
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Guatemala City 01010, Guatemala
Wherever you travel, it's always good to locate the nearest bookstore to your hotel. And in Guatemala, you don’t want to be caught without a book: there’s too many plazas and lush patios for you to lack some easily accessible literature at any...
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Guatemala City, Guatemala
If you happen to be in the mood for sushi while in Guatemala City, check out Sushi Itto in Zona 10. I was amazed at their colorful menu which included "Rollos Picantes"; various Spicy Rolls that my friends and I devoured. Our favorite was the...
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Diagonal 6 65, Guatemala
Cafe Saul has a funky feel for Guatemala. The little cafe serves both European and traditional Guatemalan food, at cheap prices. Between the crepes, coffees, and vibrant atmosphere of Cafe Saul, you will definitely get your needed energy before...
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Copán Department, Honduras
The hieroglyphic staircase at the ancient Maya site of Copan tells the story of the Copan dynasty in its entirety and is the longest inscribed Maya text ever discovered. I'm certain the sacrificial victims who were forced up these stairs to have...
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Agua Caliente, Honduras
About 1 hour north of Copan, Honduras is where you can find this natural hot spring. There are different tiers of soaking pools, higher you go hotter the water. Worth the trip to relax here!
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Barrio Santa Ana, San Pedro Sula 21102, Honduras
The night on the central square of San Pedro Sula, Honduras begins to to glow when the sun goes down, illuminated by the lights of the Cathedral. In the daytime the square bustles with life, street vendors, tourists, locals, old men visiting on...
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CA 11, Copan Ruinas, Honduras
This was the first of the Maya king ruins that I saw in Central America. It was an awesome beginning to an incredible trip. The carvings on the stelae under the simple protective coverings are marvelously preserved. Others, not protected are not...
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Lotificacion San Jose, Nejapa, El Salvador
Once a year on August 31st, the little town of Nejapa, just outside of San Salvador hosts the Fireball Festival (Bolas de Fuego). Started 90 years ago to commemerate the eruption of a nearby volcano, balls of cloth wrapped with wire are soaked in...
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Residencial Villas del Arbol, San Salvador, El Salvador
San Salvador is a city in flux. Although it's looking to break free from a violent war-torn past, visible reminders remain: brick walls are topped with huge curls of barbed wire; graffiti murals protest colourfully; crumbling buildings cling to...
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Central America
Almost everyone who travels Central America comments on the state of the street dogs here. It's a heartbreaking problem that is exascerbated by the the lack of organization and education throughout the country. Luckily Georgi McColl and a group of...
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Pasaje Privado D, El Salvador
Just a few minutes from the capital of El Salvador we can find Jardín Botanico La Laguna in the municipality of Antiguo Cuscatlán inside the old crater of a volcano, this green oasis is a good retreat to scape of the heat and a return to the...
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6º Avenida Sur El, 4 Calle Ote, San Salvador, El Salvador
Heading from the main square in San Salvador, the second largest city in Central America, we saw what looked to be a building in need of some serious repair. Rather like one of the temples we would see later on, this building had blotches of raw...
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Osa Peninsula, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica
Off the coast of Costa Rica’s remote Osa Peninsula, spend your days at sea counting humpback whales, identifying them by their markings, plotting their movements, and recording their sounds. Your work will help to determine if the same whales...
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During a summer studying in Costa Rica I visited many ecologically stunning places I would recommend visiting, and only one inn that stood out from all the rest. This friendly family run Eco country lodge is la Quinta Sarapiqui. The grounds are a...
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Bocas del Toro Province, Panama
Of the many boat excursions available in the Bocas del Toro archipelago, the trip to Playa Estrella stands out for its numerous multicolored starfish residing in the tranquil, crystal-clear waters. The beach is truly an "oasis" of calm and the...
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Vía Cincuentenario, Panamá, Panama
These impressive stone ruins are all that remain of the original Panama City, founded in 1519 by the feared conquistador Pedro Arias de Ávila. Although the Panamá Viejo (or Panamá La Vieja) remains are now skeletal, a tour of the site is a crash...
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Calz. de Amador 136, Panamá, Panama
The Frank Gehry Museum of Biodiversity is finally finished. The guide on the Panama Canal called it a building from someone who has done too much partying in Panama. I guess he hadn’t been to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.(view from the Panama...
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Boquete, Panama
You can’t travel far in Boquete, a coffee-growing region in the highlands of western Panama, without hearing about geisha beans, reputed to be the world’s best coffee. Farmers here credit Boquete’s alpine microclimates and rich volcanic soil for...
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Boquete, Panama
En route to the cloud forest and waterfall trails north of Boquete lies an abandoned castle in a lush and magical clearing. The story goes that a man finally started building the dream home for his wife when he retired, but she died before it was...
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Panama City, Panama
I love exploring a city without any plans and letting spontaneity drive your nights. The experience of getting lost in a warren of side streets and stumbling across little bars and restaurants packed full of locals having a great time is one of my...
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Calle 8a Oeste, Panamá, Panama
Arco Chato (the Flat Arch) on Avenida A, an architectural ruin in the old quarter near Iglesia de Santo Domingo, houses an outdoor gallery of intriguing and modern sculptural works and art installations. The ruins, the rustic stone, and the...
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San Felipe, Panamá, Panama
Explore the cobblestone streets of Casco Viejo in the early evening, and you'll experience a quiet and romantic neighborhood, newly reemerging as a contemporary cultural center. In the twilight, it's easy to imagine the bygone colonial grandeur as...
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Calle 49, Panamá, Panama
From the same team behind Market and La Posta, La Chesa restaurant distinguishes itself by serving warm Tuscan cuisine in the heart of Panama. Pappardelle, panzanella, and pollo cacciatorre may satisfy those whose enthusiasm for plantains and...
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Calle 1era, Colón, Panama
Sure, it's possible to try "Geisha," the world's most expensive coffee, in the United States, as it's imported by American roasters such as Intelligentsia. Those who have tried Geisha have remarked that the flavor is surprising; it's most like tea...
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Casco Antiguo, Panama City, Panama
Ambiance is the key to this Panama City restaurant's popularity—surprising given that the restaurant’s setting is in a former dungeon. During the early days of Casco Viejo, the structure did, indeed, serve as a jail; now, the cells serve French...
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Bastimento, Panama
The view from my towel. Used a log as a pillow for reading and had fun in some unexpectedly huge waves.
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Flamenco Island, Panama City, Panama
Hmmm...should you? Oh, definitely. On Isla Flamenco, treat yourself to a crave-worthy gelato milkshake from Dolce Idea. There are plenty of indoor and outdoor tables, but walk around the causeway and yacht-filled marina and any worries about...
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Panama
I kick-off my offending footwear, grab my book and retire to the common area on the top floor. Blissfully supine in my hammock, I read a page, gaze out at the treetops, read another page, and gaze out at the treetops again. At 6:00 the staff sets...
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Panama City, Panama
Wall art in Casco Viejo, Panama City's old town. Panama City, Panama.
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Avenida La Reforma 13-89, Guatemala 01010, Guatemala
After a full day of sight-seeing, make your way to Melancolía Blues Café to unwind with a drink and live music. The soothing jazz and blues played by these local musicians set the mood for a perfect night. While one wouldn't immediately associate...
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5 Avenida Sur #22, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
During a religious parade through the streets of Antigua, two young men pause to keep the incense supply going strong.
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Interior Of Finca Filadelfia, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
I'm not really a coffee drinker although I've always thought it would be cool to be one. On the rare occasion I order coffee, I usually put so much milk and sugar in it, I might as well just order hot chocolate because that's what I really want...
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Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
A chicken bus is a colloquial English name for the colorful modified and decorated US school bus and transit bus in Guatemala. The word "chicken" refers to the fact that rural Guatemalans occasionally transport live animals on such buses, which...
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2 Avenida Sur, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
We stumbled upon this place on an evening stroll in Antigua. I vote this bar run by an energetic couple, Carlos and Carolina, the most AFARish place in the city. You feel like you are in their living room because you basically are. You can dine...
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In the marketplace of Antigua, colorful sawdust piles hint at the beginning of Semana Santa. Starting at midnight on Holy Saturday, artists all over Guatemala labor through the night designing giant sawdust carpets to blanket the cobblestone...
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Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
Aside from the religious events, what makes the Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebration in Antigua, Guatemala so unique are the flower and sawdust “alfombras” (carpets) created on the cobblestone streets of the town. These huge works of art are...
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1a Avenida Sur, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
"No visit to Antigua is complete without stopping in Cafe No Se!" I was told this several times, by different people, before and throughout my trip to Guatemala. Unfortunately, my itinerary left me with very little time to spend drinking "Illegal...
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1a Avenida Sur 15, Antigua Guatemala 03001, Guatemala
Having traveled to Antigua many times, I'm always drawn for an afternoon drink to Cafe Sky. The rooftop bar offers panoramic views of the city, as well as the looming and beautiful Volcan Agua. The staff is friendly, food so-so, but the ambience...
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6 Ave. Norte 1-A, Antigua, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
Walking around Antigua is quite the painless experience. With the streets set up in a very navigable grid, working one's way around the city centre is a must-do. You can't help but be charmed by the colourful collection of buildings bracketing the...
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1 Avenida Norte, Antigua Guatemala 03001, Guatemala
Antigua is one of the few Latin American cities where it's possible to really find extraordinary coffee: roasted and prepared to specialty standards, but with an intuitive knowledge of origin and varietal that only comes with living in a place...
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6 Ave. Norte 1-A, Antigua, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
An early morning walk through La Antigua offers a very peaceful outlook on this beautiful, historic town. Roaming around the streets as everyone is waking up will give you a different experience from the rest of the day. The locals are minding...
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No. 9, 1a Calle Poniente, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
Hector's was my favorite restaurant in all Guatemala. The meat was delicious and tender - It was perfectly cooked. The tiny restaurant only has 8 or so tables and a mini bar overlooking the kitchen where Hector works his magic. The place is dark...
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Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
For delicious French cuisine and old world ambiance Bistrot Cinq can not be beat. Have a seat at the intimate bar for an afternoon glass of Sancerre (or absinthe!) or a delicious dinner of steak frites. The escargot was amazing and the staff...
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4 Avenida Sur, Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala
Lent is a particularly sacred time of year in Guatemala. Residents show their devotion by hosting weekly processions in Antigua, one every Sunday in Lent. Each week, a float depicting Jesus is carried into Antigua's Central Park by a group of men...
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Playa Maderas Maderas, Nicaragua
We had an unforgettable experience staying at Buena Vista Surf Club, while visiting San Juan del Sur. The eco-lodge is set into a hill overlooking the jungle and Playa Maderas with a giant sundeck where guests could enjoy the view. It was a great...
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Arenal Volcano Main Road 3 Blocks West From Centra, Alajuela Province, La Fortuna, 68241000, Costa Rica
Arenal Backpacker's Hostel beats most five star hotels in Costa Rica. You can purchase a private room, dormitory, or tent for less than 30 dollars. (Don't assume the tents are the worst option simply because they are the cheapest: they include...
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Calle 10 y Avenida A, Calle 10a Oeste 8 - 13, Panamá, Panama
Had a great stay at the PanAmerican Hostel in Panama! It is clean and safe. Located in Caso Viejo, it is close to many tourist sites. It is not in the safest area, but is closely patrolled with police and is locked up safely with 24/hour front...
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Matagalpa, Nicaragua
If you're visiting Nicaragua, you shouldn't miss Matagalpa - a beautiful, mountainous, cool area where you can hike around the Selva Negra nature reserve and take coffee or cocoa tours. A great place to stay is a little hostel/hotel called La...
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Panama
A visit to the incredible 365-island archipelago (also called the San Blas Islands) within the communal lands of the Guna Yala indigenous nation provides some extraordinary seaside experiences. The islands making up the outer archipelago...
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San Antonio, Limón, Costa Rica
One of the most amazing places I have stayed, and would stay again in an instant, is the Pacuare Eco Lodge in Costa Rica... I stayed in the above cabana high in the rain forest canopy above the ground. The cabana has its own private bridge and hot...
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Negroman Rd, San Ignacio, Belize
Black Rock Lodge is the ultimate Belizean jungle lodge, located a few miles outside San Ignacio and down a dirt road that leads you into a high-walled, karstic river valley. All the cabinas are perched on the hillside with spectacular river views...
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A private boat tour of the protected mangrove forests in El Paredon, Guatemala gives you a front-row seat to nature at it's finest. Locals will guide you through the waterways in boats often made from hollowed-out tree trunks. You might catch a...
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Unnamed road, El Paredon Buena Vista, Sipacate, Sipacate, 00000, GT, El Paredón Buena Vista, Guatemala
Paredon Surf House is steps from the Pacific Ocean. Black volcanic sand lines the beach from where you can watch the sun both rise and set each day, since El Paredon faces directly south. The area is known by surfers as a great place to catch a...
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La Fortuna - El Castillo, Provincia de Alajuela, Costa Rica
Viewing Arenal Volcano from the thermal hot springs at the base of the mountain. The peak is rarely clear but when the clouds break it's an awesome sight.
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Maderas, Nicaragua
You may not know it, but in the middle of Lake Nicaragua – a lake that makes Lake Tahoe seem like a swimming pool, lies the magical island of Ometepe. It’s home to not one, but two volcanoes, a seemingly endless shoreline and a plethora of organic...
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On the horizon just NE of León, Nicaragua, you can make out the giant black mound of Cerro Negro--Central America's youngest volcano. Until 1850, there was NOTHING here! Since then it's erupted dozens of times--coating the surrounding countryside...
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Santa Ana Volcano, El Salvador
After working all week in San Salvador a group of colleagues and I decided we needed to fit-in a quick adventure. Without knowing much about any local sites we decided to visit the Volcan de Santa Ana. It took 90 minutes across empty highways and...
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Alajuela Province, El Castillo, Costa Rica
The volcano in Arenal spouts hourly, and provides visitors with enchanting views that change as night turns to day. The area has no shortage of accommodation services, with Tabacon Hot Springs being the flagship resort operator.
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Costa Rica
Standing and watching the power of the earth is mesmerizing.
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Parque Nacional Volcán Poas, Provincia de Alajuela, Costa Rica
Costa Rica, like most of the rest of Central America, is volcanically endowed. Climbing up to the summit of one seems to be on everyone's list--who doesn't want to stare into a steaming crater? Do this easily near San José. The Volcán Poás...