Beer in Guatemala: “A dream for fans of canned dishwater”

Musician Frank Zappa famously said that “you can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.” In his memory, I embarked on a quest to find the best beer in each of the Central American countries we visited. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it. Right?

Next up: Guatemala. Continue Reading →

Beer in Belize: “No working during drinking hours”

Musician Frank Zappa famously said that “you can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.” In his memory, I embarked on a quest to find the best beer in each of the Central American countries we visited. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it. Right?

First up: Belize.

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Dangriga, Belize: things you should and shouldn’t do in Belize’s cultural capital

First of all, before anyone gets any big ideas about the concept of cultural capital: Dangriga is no Paris, Rome or even Mol. It mainly got its status as the hub for Belize’s contingent of Garifuna.

But even though Dangriga does not feature highly on most tourists’ lists of places to visit in Belize, we thoroughly enjoyed our time in this scruffy seaside town.

Here are the five things you should and one you definitely shouldn’t do in Dangriga:

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Between Gratitude and Hope on the Lenca Trail: travels into the mountainous west of Honduras

When thinking about indigenous people in Central America, the Maya are usually the ones that come to mind. We had our fair share/overdose of Maya culture in Belize and in Guatemala. Honduras has Maya too – exemplified by the ruins of Copán which we’d visit later in our trip. The most numerous indigenous group in this country, however, are the Lenca. They’re famous for their tenacity and their fluorescent headdresses. A sharp tourism marketing genius dubbed their homeland the Ruta Lenca or Lenca Trail. We were keen to explore those rugged and inhospitable mountains of southwestern Honduras and the string of traditional villages that lies within them. Continue Reading →

7 Things to do in and around Cobán, Guatemala – coffee, crocodiles and orchids

For most backpackers, Cobán is no more than a stopover on their way from the Guatemalan highlands to Semuc Champey, Tikal or Rio Dulce. But it’s not the worst place to stay for a couple of days. The capital of Alta Verapaz was our first proper stop in Central America with a slightly bigger city feel – sorry, Belize City, you don’t really qualify. We breathed in the cold mountain air and ended up staying for a week. These are our favourite things to do in Cobán. Continue Reading →