Jan 24th
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Home Adventure Travel Ideas Destinations Mexico & Caribbean Treks about Mexico & Central America

Treks about Mexico & Central America

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Deb's Favorite Treks and about Mexico and Central America

    Along the east coasts of Mexico and Central America lie the Gulf of Mexico and one of the world’s largest coral reefs. Dotting the calm blue green waters are islands laced with palm trees and white sandy beaches. Coastal marshes and lagoons are home to exotic birds, nesting turtles, lumbering manatee, prowling jaguars, and swinging monkeys. Inland are mountain ranges, plateaus, deep canyons and flat lowlands with spewing volcanoes, lush jungles, baking deserts, and rushing rivers.  On the west coast, the Pacific ocean carves long sandy beaches with ample surf, rocky cliffs, and craggy lone islands.
    The nutrient rich waters attract an awesome array of marine life. And, nestled in the quiet lagoons and bays, are whale and turtle nurseries.  Throughout the land is historical evidence of the Maya culture and the Spanish conquistadors. While most locals welcome visitors, families with children are most often met with warm smiles and generous hearts.
    Here are a few favorite adventures to share with the kids in Mexico and Central America...

    Now what’s cuter than a baby.... whale!? California Gray whales migrate some 6000 miles from the rich feeding waters of the Bering Sea to the winter calving grounds of Magdalena Bay, Baja California, Mexico–one of three favorite calving grounds along the Baja peninsula. In the warm protected shallow waters of the bay, mother Grays spend several months nurturing their young calves for the return trip in spring. Pangas–small boats–take visitors out to spot the Grays. Catch them breaching water, popping their heads up for a peek, and blowing spoutfuls of spray high into the air. Quite often “friendlies” come along side the panga for a friendly pet.

    Imagine your family donned in life jackets and floating in a gentle current down a winding stream – underground! Scattered throughout the state of Quintana Roo in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula are cenotes, underground fresh water springs. Water flows through a system of caves to the coast and creates crystal clear lagoons, a mix of fresh and saltwater, which are as popular with fish as they are with visitors. Xel-Ha and Xcaret are two such lagoons that have been developed into water parks. Maya ruins are just as numerous, from small outcroppings to grand cities like Tulum and Coba. Tucked into coves are mangrove swamps full of colorful birds and curious monkeys; along the white sandy beaches are sea turtle nestings; and off shore extends the second largest coral reef in the world and a multitude of sea life.

    Now about a swim with a pod of playful dolphins? The Roatan Institute of Marine Sciences on Roatan, Honduras conducts dolphin research as well as educating visitors about these incredible marine mammals. Once learning a few interesting facts, like how they like to be petted, you’re rewarded with a wet kiss. Your family then joins several other curious dolphins for a frolicking swim in the lagoon. These talented dolphin performers can also be seen showing off their stuff in daily shows. Roatan is a perfect home for these mammals–an island of white sandy beaches lined with palm trees and bluegreen waters abundant with corals and fish. It is rich in culture, from a history of marauding pirates to present day’s colorful Garifuna community. http://www. anthonyskey. com/eng/rimsintr.html

    If your family enjoys finding the missing pieces to a puzzle, then a trip to the ancient Maya city of Copan in Honduras will provide hours, even days of exploration. Read the symbols telling about their culture at the Hieroglyphic Stairway–72 steps of more than 2500 hieroglyphics. The Court of Inscriptions links the Maya kingdom to the cosmos. Heroism is carved into the walls of the Ball Court and a tribute to Copan’s 16 rulers, like Moon Jaguar, 18 Rabbit, and Yax Pac sculpted on Altar Q. Compared to Mexico’s Chichen Itza and Palenque and Guatemala’s Tikal, Copan shows the most carved monuments and the most intricate and decorative art of all the Maya cities. http://www.honduras.

    With one short plane flight or boat ride, your family can step back in time and experience village life with the Kuna, native Americans of the San Blas Archipelago in Panama.  Since the 16th century, the Kuna Indians have lived in federated villages on several of the 367 islands that run along the southeastern coast. They won the right to self-govern in 1926. Many of the traditional lifestyles and traditions have survived, like the sahila (chief) and shaman(doctor), matrilocal marriages, fishing and farming methods, and the mola–cloth applique of birds, fish and other designs. Visitors can observe daily life of the Kuna and learn of their customs. Join them fishing, snorkeling, and trekking the mainland rainforests.


Where is Alyx?

Alyx is near the 10,677-ft elevation of this Ski Resort offering awesome views and super ski slopes. Where is she? Click here to find out.

Tips, Tricks & Tactics

Camping the Great Outdoors
...ideas to consider

   "Since that first camping trip, all of our trips have been only partially planned, with itineraries set more as ideas than as fixed schedules.  We usually take each day one at a time, and do whatever feels right for that particular day.  Slowing down to smell the roses has never been so sweet as when we travel with our two kids!"  -- David, Westminster, MD

 Take it from David, there's a time to plan and a time to take one day at a time.


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