Guatemala's impressive Maya Biosphere Reserve. Photo © Al Argueta.

Guatemala’s Biosphere Reserves

Guatemala has more than 90 protected areas encompassing about 28 percent of the country’s total land area. Among the different types of protected areas are biosphere reserves, national parks, biotopes, natural monuments, wildlife refuges, and private nature reserves. Several of these are encompassed within larger areas, as is the case with the national parks and biotopes making up the larger Maya Biosphere Reserve.

Quito Ecuador 123rf

Discover Quito, Ecuador’s Capital City

Ecuador’s capital is a city that scales many heights, not least in terms of elevation. Quito is an intriguing mix of old and new: colonial squares and concrete office blocks, traditional markets and modern malls, indigenous artisans and fashion-conscious professionals—and this diversity allows visitors to have the best of both worlds.

View of Antigua from Cerro de la Cruz. Photo © Al Argueta.

Planning Your Time in La Antigua, The Old Guatemala

The former capital of Guatemala destroyed by earthquakes in 1773 is now known as Antigua, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rather than rebuild, the country’s aristocracy opted for a fresh start. What remains today is a pleasant mixture of Mayan and Spanish colonial influences. Plan your time around exploring the town, its ruins, museums, and churches, maybe climbing a volcano, visiting a coffee farm, and some shopping.

Four-eyed butterfly fish along the Belize Barrier Reef. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

Plan a Visit to Bacalar Chico National Park Marine Reserve

Located on and around the northern tip of Ambergris Caye, Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve hosts an incredibly diverse array of wildlife, offers excellent snorkeling and diving, and is rich with history. Here’s your guide to planning a visit, from all about the reserve’s sights to where to stay, what to eat, and how to get there.

The Bermudian Heritage Museum once belonged to the Grand United Order of Good Samaritans, which aided newly freed blacks before and after their emancipation in 1834. Photo © Rosemary Jones.

Key Sites Along Bermuda’s African Diaspora Trail

Bermuda’s black heritage and the 200-year legacy of slavery on the island is remembered through a chain of monuments and museums. The African Diaspora Trail has a dozen points of interest throughout the island all officially designated UNESCO Slave Route Projects. Here are some of the key sights and points of interest along the trail.

Stone carving at Tierradentro Archeological Park. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Explore the Tierradentro Necropolis in Colombia

Tierradentro is the site of a major indigenous necropolis that includes monumental funeral statues and hypogea (underground burial chambers), our only link to the extinct culture that thrived here for 400 years. Learn about what you’ll see on a visit and how to best tour the many archeological sites.

Aerial view of northern cayes. Photo © Lebawit Lily Girma.

Where to Go in the Belize Cayes

Regardless of where you go in the Belize Cayes, days are spent alfresco: kayaking, sailing, fishing, feasting on fresh catch, swimming alongside rays and turtles, gazing at magnificent frigatebirds hovering in blue skies. Or mastering the art of dolce far niente: the sweetness of doing nothing. Here’s an overview of island highlights.

Mayan village of San Pedro Columbia. Photo © Lebawit LIiy Girma.

Planning Your Time in Punta Gorda and the Deep South of Belize

Just an hour and a half on a regional flight from Belize City will land visitors in the real backcountry of Belize, where they’ll find all that is authentically Belizean in one place: virgin rainforests, waterfalls, five Mayan archaeological sites, a diverse population, and, more importantly, proximity to the most pristine and uncrowded of Belize’s offshore islands for snorkeling, diving, and sportfishing in two adjacent marine reserves.

The picturesque Río Magdalena runs through Mompox. Photo © Andrew Dier.

Sights in Mompox, Colombia

Mompox is what Cartagena looked like before it became a tourist destination, and it’s hard to deny the melancholic charm this oppressively hot town retains even today. The attraction here is strolling the wide streets, admiring the magnificent whitewashed houses decorated with intricate iron latticework, and watching the river flow by. There are also a few historical sights–plazas, churches, museums–to explore.