What to say - travel is my passion just as everyone else's here.
My natural instinct is to choose the travel destinations based on the following factors:
1. "Strong cultural exposure",
2. "Lower number of visitors", and
3. "Existence of exciting (read: touristy) attractions".
Sometimes I do step away from this golden rule and I end up being in strictly touristy area or in an area where no tourists have ever stepped before. In the end balancing all of the above works the best for me.
My latest trip was the most exiciting one I've ever had so far in my life. I spent 56 days in Nov/Dec 2006 and Jan 2007 travelling independently though Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Belize.
I got to know several amazing cultures, improve my Spanish, experience great adventurous trips, and see beautiful natural places. I am currently slowly building the pages, and for now, here is my "good and bad experiences" top 5 here:
Most beautiful towns/cities:
1. San Cristobal De Las Casas (Mexico),
2. Antigua (Guatemala),
3. Suchitoto (EL Salvador),
4. Placencia (Belize),
5. Mexico City (Mexico)
Most exciting independent authentic experiences:
1. La Union - Isla Meanguera (El Salvador)- organization and transportation with a boat to the island including the stay there.
2. El Salvador - entire country - feeling that you are the only tourist in entire country.
3. Bermudian Landing (Belize) - contact with howler monkeys as well as with local people.
4. San Salvador (El Salvador) - Evening walk around historical center of the city with horrible reputation.
5. Transport with the boat of suspicion origin and quality from Honduras to Belize. (Honduras/Belize).
Most exciting organized tours:
1. Caye Caulker (Belize) - Snorkeling with the sharks and rays (shark and ray alley).
2. Chiapa De Corzo (Mexico) - Canyon Sumidero boat ride.
3. Placencia (Belize) - Snorkeling tour in coral reefs.
4. San Cristobal (Mexico) - Tour of surrounding Maya villages
5. Placencia (Belize) - Jaguar reserve jungle tour
Most beautiful beaches:
1. Isla Meanguera (El Salvador)
2. Puerto Escondido (Mexico)
3. Placencia (Belize)
4. Tulum (Mexico)
5. Cancun (Mexico)
Most uncomfortable moments:
1. La Ceiba (Honduras) - Being followed and called on the street by local bums.
2. Ocotepeque (Honduras)- Day spent due to unfortunate circumstances in this sad village and waiting for the bus in the morning in disturbing environment.
3. Placencia (Belize) - Experience with the owner of the house where I stayed with some people including the towel theft.
4. La Union (El Salvador) - Staring of the people on the street.
5. San Salvador (El Salvador) - walking downtown with hardly any light and any people around after hearing horrible gang-related stories.
Cheating, ripoff, etc....:
1. Guatemala (no competition)
3/4. Honduras/El Salvador.
2. El Salvador (except for the capital that is a garbage epicenter)