Roatan is part of the Bay Islands, which are located in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Honduras. This island quickly became one of our favorite places in the world to unwind. From Washington, D.C., it’s a quick flight to Miami and then another quick flight directly to Roatan. A 25 minute and $25 dollar taxi ride takes you from the airport to either of the two most popular spots on the island for vacationers, divers and snorkelers: West Bay and West End. We’ll break down everything you need to know about both spots.Continue reading
We all have our wish list of places in the world that we want to see sooner rather than later and most of us also operate on a time and money budget. So these three destinations may not rank high on your list of places to visit, but we want to tell you why they are highly ranked on our list of memories.Continue reading
Many times, when international travelers set out to explore Central America, they start with Costa Rica and Belize. Perhaps they check out the Tikal ruins in Guatemala and the beaches of Roatan, Honduras and Bocas del Toro, Panama. The adventurous wanderer might continue on to Nicaragua’s colonial city, Granada, or island beauty, Ometepe. Us, too! But many travelers overlook El Salvador. That’s precisely why we went and WOW!Continue reading
We thoroughly enjoyed our trip to Roatan. The island is so beautiful, and the people were so kind. We tried out scuba diving for the first time and swam and snorkeled every day in the most outstanding waters. What a beautiful way to spend LiAnn’s 40th birthday!Continue reading
We travel a lot. I know, right, you’ve met us. Anyway, I wanted hubby’s birthday to be extra special—so I let him pick where we went for once 😝 I have to admit the Belizean islands that we visited were very touristy, but sometimes that’s a welcome change and we definitely had a wonderful time. San Pedro was fun. Caye Caulker was laid back and lovely for bike riding, swimming and lounging at the Lazy Lizard. The snorkeling at Hol Chan in between the two islands was incredible, too! We swam with a sea turtle, a moray eel and nurse sharks.
What really made the trip special, though, was our visit to the jungle.
We stayed outside of San Ignacio at Table Rock Jungle Lodge in a villa near the Macal River. We had so much fun hiking by the river, watching the wildlife from our balcony and chatting with the staff about life in Belize.
The most adventurous part of our trip was taking a day to trek into Guatemala to see the Tikal ruins. It was a long day but worth every minute! Personally, I found the Tikal ruins and the jungle setting even more fascinating than Chichen Itza. We rode through Guatemala on Carnival, too, so we got to see a few local parades along the way.
The world is more accessible than some people think, and traveling through its great lands helps us to see that we are all one big tribe with the same hopes and fears.
The idea of world travel is exciting–it can be scary and costly too. BUT it doesn’t have to be.
We’ve been enjoying our travels through Central and South America over the last few years and have found the places we visit to be friendly, beautiful and unique.
We’ve also felt very safe everywhere we’ve been, from Bogotá to Managua. We say that while also cautioning that every place in the world has crime and tourist traps and scams to look out for.
We do to feel safer pre-booking transportation from the airport and have the hotel call taxis for us. This can be a bit more expensive, but it makes us feel comfortable as we’re getting to know a place.
We’ve used uber all over Colombia and Panama and wish it was available in even more places.
What we also love about Central America is that it’s close to the U.S. and affordable.
Here’s how you can do Nicaragua for about $1,000 – and we promise there are no chicken buses or hostels involved!!! Although, that can be a great way to travel too!
Flight from Washington, D.C.: $400
Hotels for 7 nights (per person based on double occupancy): $230.
You can easily find great rooms in San Juan del Sur (SJDS), Granada and Ometepe for $55 plus tax and fees, so let’s say $65 per night–which is exactly what we paid. So that’s $32.5 per person per night or $230 for a week.
Transport: $138. Note that this can be done for a lot less. We took prescheduled shuttles with private companies everywhere and we traveled to three different locations (SJDS, Ometepe Island and Granada).
We used Iskra Travel and Adelante Express for our transportation. Both were excellent.
From Managua airport (we bypassed Managua itself), we took a 2.5 hour private shuttle ride down to SJDS for $40 pp.
We took a shared shuttle from SJDS to the port at San Jorge ($15 pp) to catch the ferry to Ometepe ($3 pp round trip) and then had the finca arrange a four wheel drive taxi to take us the 1.25 hour trek across the (sometimes unpaved) island ($30 pp round trip).
Our shuttle from San Jorge to Granada was $25 pp and from Granada back to the airport was $25 pp. It could’ve been cheaper, but we liked the security of prescheduling and the shuttle companies didn’t offer shared shuttles for the times we needed.
——–Food and Drink—————–
San Juan del Sur
OK – that’s $768 so far, which only leaves $30 per day for food. That’s a tight budget but it’s totally realistic. A giant and delicious Nica breakfast was included everywhere we stayed: Gallo pinto, huevos rancheros, fresh papaya, watermelon and banana, fresh squeeze juice, and toast.
When you’re hungry again, you can pick up a $5 sandwich or afternoon snack, $1 beers and 2-for-one cocktails at happy hour (which sometimes runs from 2 pm to 7 pm) and your all set. $15 is plenty for a good dinner–or you can get a decent $10 dinner and have a few more cervezas 🙂
You can tour around by renting a bicycle for $1/hour or $6/day.
Adding $125 to your budget would be plenty to do some really fun activities like kayaking ($25), horseback riding ($25) and volcano viewing ($20), with an ample amount left over to tip your guides, drivers and housekeepers.
There you go! Think about everything you waste money on. Stash a $20 bill every week for the next year and you’ll have enough saved for your adventure to Nicaragua!
It was a wonderful trip and one of the absolute best for meeting great people from Nicaragua and from around the world.
February 19, 2017
We ended our Nicaraguan adventure in Granada–a busy town with a colonial feel, great restaurants and close volcanoes. We even got to see flowing lava at the Masaya Volcano. Super cool!