A boy studies a preserved specimen in the San Ramón Museum.

San Ramón and the Nectandra Cloud Forest Garden

San Ramón is a gateway to Costa Rica’s northern lowlands via a mountain road that crests the cordillera, then begins a long sinuous descent to La Tigra. This agricultural and university town is known for its Saturday feria del agricultor (farmers market). A mere nine miles north is the Nectandra Cloud Forest Garden, where superb hiking trails and truly wonderful places to stay.

The canal in Dewey, Culebra. Photo © Suzanne Van Atten.

Discover Culebra

As laid-back as Vieques is, it’s practically Las Vegas compared to Culebra. Culebra has yet to be discovered by the tourism industry, but experienced divers know it as one of the best diving spots in the Caribbean. Home to 1,568 acres of land preserved as a National Wildlife Refuge and one of the last vestiges of pre-tourism Puerto Rico, visitors are advised to embrace the island’s quirky inconveniences and sleepy pace of life to fully appreciate its many rare charms.

Los Amigos Youth Hostel in Flores. Photo © John Barrie, licensed Creative Commons usage.

Tips on Staying in Guatemala on a Budget

Guatemala is a major stop along the Central American backpacking circuit, so it’s no surprise that there are a plethora of low-budget hotels to choose from, and most national parks allow camping. Expert author Al Argueta gives an overview on what sorts of rooms you’ll find and to look for to ensure your stay is comfortable.

Playa Sardinera in Hatillo. Photo © Suzanne Van Atten.

Planning Your Time on Puerto Rico’s North Coast

The north coast of Puerto Rico is a wild expanse of rocky coastline and gorgeous ocean views, hilly karst country, and green farmland. It’s also thick with industrial plants, shopping centers, fast-food restaurants, road construction, and traffic. Despite the urban sprawl, though, the north coast has a lot going for it.

View of Lake Atitlán from Casa Palopó. Photo © Al Argueta.

Best Boutique Hotels and Jungle Lodges in Guatemala

Guatemala has some of the hippest digs anywhere on the planet. If you’re sick and tired of hotels that all pretty much look the same and enjoy the opportunity to check out unique boutique hotels and jungle lodges near worthwhile attractions, then this list is for you.

Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend National Park. Photo © Steven Prorak/123rf.

Hiking, Camping, and Backpacking in Big Bend National Park

Big Bend offers more than 200 miles of hiking trails ranging from short, easy nature walks and day hikes to primitive mountain trails for experienced hikers and overnight backpackers. There’s truly something for everyone here—families can take their time on moderate trails with printed interpretive brochures as a guide, while hard-core backpackers have the option of taking backcountry trails into the desolate wilderness for challenging treks at their own pace.

Fire Ginger at Esquinas Rainforest Lodge in Piedras Blancas National Park, Costa Rica.

All About Piedras Blancas National Park, Costa Rica

Centered on the village of La Gamba, Piedras Blancas National Park was split from Parque Nacional Corcovado in 1999. The rainforest has no shortages of unique plants to admire, wildlife to watch, and plenty of other ways to spend your time. Here are suggestions for your visit, along with the best places to stay.

A room in the Hotel Grano de Oro, San José, Costa Rica.

What to Expect from Accommodations in Costa Rica

To get the most out of your trip to Costa Rica, adjusting your expectations for your accommodations before departing is key. In this article, expert author Christopher P. Baker gives a rundown of what to expect from budget to high-end room rentals, dealing with staff, the importance of reservations, and tips on getting the best rates.

Hostal del Ángel. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

The Best Casas Particulares in Havana

Havana is blessed with accommodations of every stripe. The most enjoyable are arguably private room rentals (casas particulares) of a single room in restored buildings full of ambiance or an entire suite of rooms offering an intimate, unique experience. Of the many available, here are Havana’s best.

Hang loose and kick back at the Humpback Turtle hostel in Playa Almejal. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Where to Eat and Stay in El Valle, Colombia

El Valle is an authentic fishing community in Colombia. Here are things to do on your visit, from yearly festivals to local daily habits, interesting places to stay, from hostels to private cabins, and the best places to grab a snack or meal.