Recommend August 2011 - (Page 32)

central america Austin-Lehman Adventures offers a Maya to Moho Cay program with stays at Moho Cay Lodge in Belize. S carla hunt 32 august 2011 RoADS LESS TRAvELED Scenically stunning, culturally captivating, ecologically exciting. Correct, we’re talking about Central America. And we’re looking at a region that is easily accessible from a dozen U.S. gateways and we’re highlighting seven nations—Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama—that individually and collectively offer your leisure travel clients: n Natural wonderlands of reefs and rainforests, beaches and volcanoes, national parks and private islands—habitats for hundreds of species of exotic birds and butterflies, flora and fauna. n Action-packed adventures for those who want to accent vacations with hiking and mountain biking, scuba diving and deep-sea fishing, river rafting and sea kayaking, canopy touring and canyoning. n Cultural encounters with magnificent Mayan monuments and colonial towns, cosmopolitan capitals and meet-the-people country markets. n Tour packages for everyone and every occasion—locally hosted and escorted, tailored to special interests and wishes of families or honeymooners, golfers or anglers, birders or medical travelers. n Creature comforts ranging from rustic (and not-so-rustic) jungle lodges and mountain inns, to seaside resorts liberally laced with sybaritic spas and all-suite treats. While the countries of Central America have moved decidedly upmarket in products and services, they certainly haven’t lost their appeal for travelers looking for involving experiences and new horizons—somewhat exotic places of discovery, if you will. This special section highlights just samplings of some of the roads less traveled within each destination. And next year, one historic “highway,” La Ruta Maya, is due to find a special place in international travel demand, as the Mundo Maya countries of Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Honduras observe the historic year (2012) and date (Dec. 21) when, after 5,125 years, the official “long count” Mayan calendar comes to an end and creation begins anew. These pre-Columbian people fashioned brilliant societies, remembered today in monumental temples, palaces and royal tombs— most often in wildlife areas. Luckily, this wondrous world is linked by a network of upgraded roads and TACA’s regional air services to a whole new world of special interest and soft adventure travel: along the Route of the Maya. continued on page 34 central america

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend August 2011

Editor"s Notes/Agent Speak
Hotel Desk: Regent Hotels & Resorts
Tour Talk: The Wayfarers
Africa Travel Options Mix the Classic with the New
Thailand's Koh Samui
Jade Mountain, Saint Lucia
Escaping to San Juan's Condado
San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Central America: Roads Less Traveled
In Search of Flanders' Holy Ale
Downtown L.A. in the Thick of Things
Scrumptious Savannah
Cunard's Queen Elizabeth

Recommend August 2011