The seven most impressive Central America enclaves4 April 2019
Despite the small size of the countries that shape Central America, each of them hides true natural treasures. It is an ideal destination for lovers of nature, which manifests itself in all its splendour.
The biodiversity of the region has made ecotourism the backbone of Central American tourism, which goes beyond the classic definition of this modality, finding a model that merges with the philosophy of establishing a link with nature, becoming aware of the environment and support the conservation of these places. `
Down below, a series of destinations are listed, one per country, which no lover of nature should miss.
Útila – Honduras
The island of Útila is the smallest island of La Bahía. However, the Island has beautiful sandy beaches and one of the largest coral reefs in the world, specifically the second after the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.
Útila was declared the best place in the world to diving by the UN in 2017. While diving, the traveler can discover the beauty of the Arrecife, a unique place that is decorated with sunken pirate ships and mysterious caves.
In addition to the diverse fauna of which the Arrecife is composed – more than 500 species of fishes -, the island of Útila counts assiduously with a very special guest; The Whale Shark, one of the largest sharks in the world, and one of the most peaceful. Dive instructors usually let the shark approach, up to a safety distance of approximately 3 or 4 meters.
Tortuguero – Costa Rica
Tortuguero is a striking place. Its unique landscape has made this place a stage for several films, including El Dorado (1988), one of the most budget-priced Spanish films in history.
The endless canals and tropical forests make up the Tortuguero National Park, one of the country’s most precious jewels. Few countries have been able to protect this treasure as Costa Rica has done.
Four of the eight species of sea turtles on the planet reach Tortuguero to spawn. It is an exclusive event, since during the night tour that is offered to tourists, photographs are prohibited, in order not to interrupt the turtles in the spawning process.
The Park, in addition to the night tour, offers a variety of guided excursions so that the traveler can know the place in an intimate and silent way. The excursions range from guided hikes through the jungle, to boat rides and kayaking through the canals.
Although the turtles are the protagonists of the zone, the Tortuguero National Park has a great biodiversity, with more than 400 species of trees, more than 2,000 species of plants, and about 500 different species of animals; crocodiles, butterflies and sloth bears, and among them are even the dreaded jaguar.
Cayo Miskitos – Nicaragua
In the Coast of Nicaragua there are about 70 land formations, ranging from islets to estuaries and coral reefs, which are known collectively as Cayo Miskitos. Most of these islets are surrounded by wooden huts, built on the sea by the inhabitants of the area.
The special Cayo Miskitos, apart from the idyllic Caribbean landscape, is that tourists can live with fishermen, see their fishing activities and share their culture and food, in a space with a great variety of plants and animals.
Lake Atitlán – Guatemala
Lake Atitlán is in the heart of Guatemala. It is possibly one of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet, where Maya culture and nature come together.
Lake Atitlan is already impressive because of the blue colour of its waters, but what makes it a natural enclave is to be surrounded by three different volcanoes, the San Pedro Volcano, the Atitlán volcano and the Tolimán Volcano, and twelve towns on its shores.
What makes this destination special is the possibility of during the stay, being able to all the villages that surround the lake. Among them, the best form of transport is to go by boat, which can be both public and private. From Panajachel, the largest on the shores of the lake, to San Cruz la Laguna, the smallest without access to the road, the traveler can soak up the personality of the villages and their deep Mayan culture.
The possibilities of excursions and activities are endless, from the most relaxed ones, such as boat rides on the lake to the most adventurous, such as the zip lines or the volcano route, will not let the good experiences in Atitlán be exhausted.
Bocas del Toro – Panama
Bocas del Toro offers everything a Caribbean destination has to offer. The sun, the beaches of crystalline waters, and its festive atmosphere makes of Bocas del Toro a place where there is no place for boredom.
Among the places that can be visited, Cayo Zapatilla is one that nobody could miss. It is an island in the middle of the sea, with white sand and coconut trees. Playa Estrella is another top destination in Bocas del Toro. Its charm lies in the fact that you can observe a starfish sky under your feet while you bathe. Of course, you cannot leave Boca del Toro without finding the famous and tiny red slit that lives on the beach to which it gives its name: Playa Red Frog.
Big Blue Hole- Belize
Although its image is known worldwide, many find it difficult to locate the Big Blue Hole or Big Blue Hole on the map.
The Great Blue Hole is in Belize. It is an immense dark blue circle in the middle of the sea, about 300 meters wide and more than 120 meters deep. Originally, it was a limestone cave system. When the water level rose, the caves were flooded, and because of the material, the roof sank to form this hole.
The tourist is offered the opportunity to enjoy this wonder from the air, flying over it by helicopter from a bird’s eye view, or, for the more athletic, swimming and diving. Of course, you can always do both.
Dunes of Baní- Dominican Republic
In the Peninsula of Las Calderas is the Caribbean desert. Yes, a desert in the Caribbean! It is about the Dunes of Bani, a unique phenomenon of the Antilles, declared Protected Natural Area since 1996. The dunes can reach a height of 35 meters and their sands are fine and of a dark color, due to the content of quartz It is dragged by the rivers that flow into the bay. From the highest, you can see the beach of Las Salinas, drawing a unique landscape that mixes sea and desert. Las Salinas beach is named for being one of the saltiest waters in the region, in fact, travelers are offered the chance to visit it and learn how salt is extracted from these waters, famous throughout the island.