The World Heritage Sites visited
in Central America
2008/2009

In Central America the whole experience was a little different. Due to security reasons and actual threats we passed by some sites. Especially in Guatemala and Honduras we rushed through. As we want to give you an impression, what the sites are like for an ordinary traveller, maybe this is also important to know.

Always ask for actual security information if you plan to go there.

Joya de Cerén Archaeological Site
Ref: 675

Joya de Cerén was really impressive, because nowhere else you have the possibility to see a pueblo how it really was 1400 years ago. How the people managed their live, grew their crops.

Here the Laguna Caldera vulcano preserved everything under a thick layer of ashes. It was very interesting - and the free guide also told us a lot about the history and the plants grown here.

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Ruins of León Viejo
Ref: 613rev

León Viejo is one of the oldest Spanish colonial settlements. The village did not develop further, so you can see it in a really undisturbed state of live. Unfortunately it was closed for 4 days when we got there, so this was definitely too long to wait for us.

The road to get there was very interesting on its own...

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Area de Conservación Guanacaste
Ref: 928bis

To give ratings on a whole area is quite difficult, because you will find so many different classifications. The beauty of the landscape and the National Parks in this area is really magnificent. A lot of wildlife and plants are there to explore, as are the thermal features of the Rincon de la Vieja National Park.

What we did not like was the pricing: You have to pay for everything; there are no possibilities even to hike in this area without doing so.

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Part of the Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves / La Amistad National Park
Ref: 205bis

The whole area is not developed so far, therefore it is really hard to get a grip of this site. You need a jeep, a guide and a lot of time for walking even to the different entrances of the La Amistad National Park.

The richness in fauna and flora is enormous, but still difficult to experience. Maybe in a couple of years it is a wonderful trip. Expect to pay a lot of money also.

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Part of the Talamanca Range-La Amistad Reserves / La Amistad National Park
Ref: 205bis

Here in Panama the situation is a little different. Still the area is not easily accessible, but there are roads and the pricing is lower than in Costa Rica.

But Panama tourism is developing fast, expect to get easier access and a higher pricing in a couple of years.

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Archaeological Site of Panamá Viejo and Historic District of Panamá
Ref: 790bis

This site consists in reality of two different places in the east and the west of Panama City. It was the first settlement on the Pacific coast in the 16th century. The architecture is great, although a lot of buildings are in really poor condition. We really liked it to walk around and feel the old lifestyle.

You can see that the government is doing something about the situation, but there is still a lot to do. Rumours can be heard, that money from foreign investors can change everything. Not to the good, but more to the bad, by destroying old building in favour for a new hotel to be built.

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Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo
Ref: 135

This was an interesting experience. The two fortifications from the 17th and 18th century on the Caribbean coast are similar in architecture, but totally different in their today's environment.

Portobelo is a dirty village with a lot of doubtful people, nobody cares about the fort, and there is not even a guard to keep people away from writing their names on the walls.

San Lorenzo is situated in a National Park, there is a family and a guard living there, it is clean and friendly. A very nice and secluded setting makes it really pleasant to visit.

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