Picture-perfect beach in Piñones. Photo © Angel Xavier Viera-Vargas, licensed Creative Commons usage.

Fun in Bosque Estatal de Piñones, Puerto Rico

There’s no other place in Puerto Rico like the spectacular Bosque Estatal de Piñones. Stretching from the eastern tip of Isla Verde, San Juan, to the town of Loíza, this pristine reserve is a natural wonderland of deserted beaches; mangrove, pine, and palm forests; sand dunes; coral reefs; bays; salt flats; and lagoons.

Mmmm, chocolate. Photo © Cindy Eccles/123rf.

A Taste of History: Aztec Chocolatl

The refreshing drink chocolatl enjoyed by Aztec nobility is a remote but distinct relative of the chocolate consumed today by hundreds of millions of people. In Mexico, chocolate is more than mere dessert; used to spice the tangy moles of southern Mexico, it’s virtually a national food.

Cochinita Pibil is a traditional dish of slow-roasted pork. Photo © Alexander Mychko/123rf.

Traditional Food in the Yucatán

Like many regions of Mexico, the Yucatán Peninsula has a cuisine all its own. The base is recognizably Mexican, but the dishes here are strongly influenced by traditional Maya ingredients and techniques, with dashes of Caribbean and Middle Eastern flavors. Here are some popular menu items.

Pollo Campero. Photo © Jerry Huddleston, licensed Creative Commons usage.

Pollo Campero: Guatemala’s Cult of Fried Chicken

If like most people traveling home from Guatemala you fly out on a commercial airline, don’t be surprised by the distinct smell of fried chicken onboard your aircraft. Meet Pollo Campero, which, along with coffee and bananas, may be one of Guatemala’s main exports.

Nacatamales. Photo © Daniel M. Hochbaum.

Food in Nicaragua: Corn, Corn, and Corn

Maíz (corn) is central to the Nicaraguan diet. Beans are just as critical a staple, but in Nicaragua, corn is prepared with more variety, taste, and frequency. Corn here is eaten and drank in more than a hundred different ways.

Dobladas de queso (folded tortillas stuffed with cheese). Photo © Al Argueta.

Traditional Guatemalan Food

Guatemalan food may at first seem a bit odd to gringo palates, though the freshness and pungency of local ingredients, including a bounty of tropical fruits and vegetables, soon have many people enticed by the local flavors.

A small bowl of shrimp ceviche sits on a wooden table.

Where to Eat in Cartagena’s Old City

Seafood reigns supreme in Cartagena cuisine, and though many restaurants in the Walled City sport Manhattan prices, an inexpensive meal is not impossible to find. Here are local favorites from Caribbean-influenced dishes to always-popular pizza and pasta to truly authentic fritos, all with an Old City touch and a perfectly-matched drink.

Pan de bono and buñuelo. Photo © Edward Zuniga Jr., licensed Creative Commons.

Where to Eat Colombian Food in Medellín

The revitalization and resurgence of Medellín beginning in the early 2000s has also led to culinary revolution, with countless new dining options popping up throughout the city. While the best neighborhoods for dining are Provenza and El Poblado and the Zona M in Envigado, these specific restaurants do it best when it comes to excellent Colombian cuisine.

Kriol stew. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

The Evolution of Belizean Food

The very idea of a national cuisine is as new as every other part of Belizean identity. Since the times of the Baymen, Belize has been an import economy, and with independence came renewed national pride where “Belizean” has been gradually applied to the adapted varied diet of many cultures.

Porta Coéli Chapel and Museum of Religious Art. Photo © Suzanne Van Atten.

Things to Do in San Germán, Puerto Rico

San Germán is the second-oldest colonial city in Puerto Rico, a lovely town to explore the streets and plazas while admiring the 18th- and 19th-century architecture and, thanks to an expanding restaurant scene, to treat yourself with a few remarkable meals. Here are the sights, events, and how to get there.