We spent over a year in total cycling Central America going from north to south through Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Here are a few pictures from the road to give you a brief glimpse of what it’s like to travel by bicycle through Central America.
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CRUISING ALONG THE HUMMINGBIRD HIGHWAY – BELIZE
One of our favorite stretches of cycling in Belize was the Hummingbird highway for it’s impressive views, quiet roads and lush green road side jungle.
COOLING OFF AT THE COCKSCOMB JAGUAR RESERVE – BELIZE
The Cockscomb Jaguar Reserve is a great overnight side trip. A dirt road takes you through the rainforest to a remote campsite and bunkhouse. Here you can stay the night then hit the trails early in the morning to spot birds and if you are very lucky, a jaguar. A short walk from the top of the steepest trail you’ll find this swimming hole to cool off in.
JAGUAR CROSSING – BELIZE
Here is the dirt road we were talking about on the way to the Cockscomb Jaguar Reserve. Drivers have to watch out for jaguars crossing the road, although such a sighting is rare because jaguars are very shy.
BEACH CAMPING – COSTA RICA
One of the best things about bicycle touring is that you are independent. Since we carry a tent and stove, as long as we have fresh water we can stop off and camp just about anywhere we like. Here on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica we found this secluded beach to pitch our tent for the night.
TAKING IN THE VIEWS OF LAKE ATITLAN – GUATEMALA
Lake Atitlan is one of the highlights of visiting Guatemala. We enjoyed the morning of cycling around the lake stopping off to enjoy the views of the volcanoes.
CREEPY NEIGHBOR – BELIZE
It’s funny what you can get used to. After months of cycling in the tropics we had come across all kinds of creepy crawlies. Tarantulas crossing the road is almost a daily occurrence in some parts. After a while you don’t even mind them. Here’s a shot of our campsite neighbor peaking out from it’s hiding spot.
ROADSIDE VIEWS – COSTA RICA
Costa Rica’s Pacific coast is about the rainforest meeting the ocean.
LIVING ON THE EDGE – GUATEMALA
Road conditions in Guatemala are far from great but here is an exceptionally bad bit where the road fell off the cliff.
CROCS – COSTA RICA
When we spotted a group of tourists looking over a bridge we decided to pull over to see what the big deal was. Here on the river bank a group of crocs was sunbathing.
STOPPING OF IN ANTIGUA – GUATEMALA
We stopped off in Antigua for a few days to rest our legs. It’s surrounding volcanoes combined with the colonial architecture make it one beautiful place to take a break from the bike.
LAND OF LAKES AND VOLCANOES
We left our bags in the hotel and took the bikes for a ride around Isla Ometepe, an island of Lake Nicaragua. The islands volcanoes made for some impressive backgrounds.
TASTY TROPICAL FRUITS – COSTA RICA
Cycling in the tropics, there are seemingly endless possibilities to try exotic fruits. In Costa Rica we made it just in time for the season of mamones chinos, (also known as lychees or rambutans) the fruit that Antonio is holding here. This light and refreshing fruit quickly became one of our favorite cycling snacks. We hit the jackpot when a man invited us to stay with his family and in the garden was a mamon chino tree!
CRUISING BY WATERFALLS – COSTA RICA
One of the best parts of cycling Costa Rica is all the roadside waterfalls.
TRAFFIC JAM – PANAMA
Getting off the main highways in Central America usually means pleasant cycling because the majority of the big trailers don’t take these backroads. Here we stopped for a different kind of traffic as this family trotted across the road.
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Great photos you two. It looks like you had an amazing time!
Thanks Justin! Yep, you’re right, we had a great time cycling Central America 🙂
Absolutely gorgeous! Keep on keepin on
Thanks Udaya! Will do 🙂
What a wonderful photo essay! I’ve been learning, very quickly, that there really is no better way to travel! I look forward to getting on the road myself!
Thanks Stephen, glad you enjoyed it! When are you taking off?
Not for another five years, Amanda. I have a few debts to pay, before being able to save properly.
Best of luck and hope you pay it off soon! Have you ever read Ytravel Blog? They have an interesting post on how they overcame credit card debt, maybe it will give you some inspiration 🙂 http://www.ytravelblog.com/overcome-credit-card-debt/
This came as perfect timing since I am planning a Trike trip to Ometepe. I may have to re-think my tour now. Thanks for the great photos & since I have to pick a favourite I would say the Beach Camping in Costa Rica – What’s not to like?
Thanks Glen, that was one of my favorite campsites in all of Central America. Where are you planning to tour?
WoW! This is a nice post from Amanda Zeisset. I love to see all crazy images. I am very interested to travel this place. I am a hardcore biker. So it would great travel destination for me. Is not it?
Hi Al, it’s an interesting region for bicycle touring because you can cover a lot of countries in a short period of time. Every time you cross the border there’s some changes in the landscape and culture. If you want some hardcore cycling head to the Andes, the mountains will give you a real challenge.
You guys are taking bike rides to a whole other level! I really enjoyed the Lake Atitlan photo and the photo you took of Antigua. I think what I like most about this series is that, as I look at each photograph, I feel myself riding alongside you guys and enjoying the verdant environs, the rain, the humidity and everything else you encountered!
So happy to hear the post made you feel like you were there J.R!
The photo of Lake Atitlan is my favorite. Looks like you had an amazing adventure!
It’s one of my favorites too! It was so nice cruising down the curvy road checking out the views of the lake around each turn.
have you guys done africa
Not yet, but will do one day for sure 🙂