We first heard about Cocos Island, a verdant dot in the ocean 350 miles (560 km) off the coast of Costa Rica, more than a decade ago. Between the pirate treasure still buried on the island to the shark-rich waters around it we’ve been dreaming of the place ever since. It was worth the wait, as we explain in our feature about new marine protections and the thrill of diving with hammerheads off Cocos Island for the Minneapolis Star Tribune travel section.
We made different kinds of dreams come true during stays at some of Central America’s best boutique hotels including Jicaro Island Ecolodge and Los Patios in Nicaragua, Las Flores Resort & Surf Club in El Salvador and Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge & Gallery and El Silencio Lodge & Spa in Costa Rica.
We even ventured back to the United States just to check out the newly opened Eilan Hotel Resort & Spa which made us love San Antonio, Texas even more.
Visit our Travel Features page and our Hotel & Restaurant Reviews page to see all of our published freelance travel stories.
We haven’t yet had the thrill of diving with hammerhead sharks. Lucky you! But we’ve dived with plenty of sharks – the latest being tiger and bull sharks in Cabo Pulmo near Cabo San Lucas. See our post: https://www.sandinmysuitcase.com/scuba-diving-in-cabo-san-lucas-underwater-world-of-wonders/
Hello there! I first discovered your blog through the star tribune as I live in Minneapolis. Each year I pick a place to spend a week volunteering and last year enjoyed lovely Guatemala. I also did a week in Costa Rica before as well. I love Central America (what I’ve seen) and want to go back for a week in January to perhaps Honduras or Nicaragua. Have you come across any good organizations there that you would recommend to volunteer at? Please let me know as sometimes it is hard to research and I like to go by word of mouth too. Thanks! Nicole
As you know, there’s no shortage of international aid orgs to volunteer with in Central America. What we tend to respond to are the local, grass-roots groups doing really meaningful focused, small-scale work. In Nicaragua we’d encourage you to look into volunteer opportunities with the Arlen Siu Zoo https://www.arlensiuzoo.com/?lang=en in Leon. It was established in 1982 and is home to quite a few animals but it has been unfunded for years and relies entirely on volunteers and donations. If you like animals that could be a great option and Leon is a wonderful place. We’re in Leon right now! I know you didn’t mention El Salvador, but if that country interests you we can totally recommend volunteering with the Love & Hope Children’s Home https://www.loveandhopechildrenshome.com/outside San Salvador. It acts as a safety net for children who have run away from or been removed from abusive homes or from parents who simply can’t care for them properly.
Very cool guys and congrats on the article.