A monkey in a tree on Monkey Island. Photo © Paul Schlindwein/123rf.

The Natural Beauty of Nicaragua’s Las Isletas

The 365-island archipelago of Nicaragua formed when Volcán Mombacho erupted some 20,000 years ago, hurling its top half into the nearby lake in giant masses of rock, ash, and lava. The natural beauty of the isletas is spectacular there is plenty for history buffs to enjoy as well. The islanders themselves are interesting and friendly, maintaining a rural lifestyle unique in Nicaragua: Children paddle dugout canoes or rowboats to school from an early age, and their parents get along by fishing and farming or by taking camera-toting tourists for a ride in their boats.

Rafters passing through lowland rainforest on the Río Naranjo. Photo © Christopher P. Baker.

Outdoor Activities Near Quepos, Costa Rica

The small yet booming port town of Quepos is the gateway for travelers heading to Costa Rica’s Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, seven kilometers south over a sinuous mountain road lined with hotels, restaurants, and bars. It’s a great base for all kinds of outdoor activities and adventures from sportfishing to horseback riding. You can mangrove estuaries, wildlife habitats, embark on an in-depth farm ecotour experience, and all of that is just for starters.

Ancient petroglyphs along the Reef Bay Trail are a reminder of the Virgin Islands' early history. Photo © Susanna Henighan Potter.

Family Fun on St. John

St. John is a playground, and every child loves to play. Beaches, hiking, snorkeling, and sailing provide diversions for all ages. Leave the iPad at home, but bring a camera to record your family’s encounters with sea creatures like turtles, dolphins, rays, and conch.

Rio Miel bridge, part of Alejandro de Humboldt National Park.

Ecotourism in Eastern Cuba

Eastern Cuba receives relatively few visitors despite boasting many of Cuba’s preeminent national parks and historic sites. Here are some great cultural immersion and ecotourism ideas.

Sunlight comes in at an angle illuminating a farmouse and fog laying low in a pastoral valley.

Ecoutourism Treks in Guatemala

Community tourism initiatives, whereby local Maya guides take travelers to seldom-seen locales in Guatemala’s rugged countryside, make for some extraordinary cross-cultural opportunities. Here are some recommendations for where to start your trek.

View of the upper torso of a crocodile with its mouth open.

Tárcoles, Costa Rica: Crocodile Safaris, Birding Tours, and More

Tárcoles offers many recreation options and wildlife viewing opportunities. Take a zipline tour of the jungle canopy, enjoy a thrilling crocodile safari in the estuary, or keep an eye out for the more than 400 species of birds that inhabit the area. In addition to sharing tour information, author Christopher P. Baker recommends where to stay and eat in Tárcoles.