2) Mexico – Wow, what a total surprise. Originally we planned to drive straight through in 1-2 weeks, but instead we spent 4 months zigzagging our way south. Highlights included Baja, Sayulita, the Pueblos Magicos tour, tequila tasting, butterfly sanctuary, Oaxaca, and Palenque.
3) Guatemala – This is the most beautiful country we drove through. Breathtaking landscapes and warm friendly people. Our favorite, Rio Dulce.
4) El Salvador - Most people would not rank El Salvador very high, but this is where we got married and it’s where we had the best waves of the trip.
6) Honduras – We consider this the most dangerous and corrupt country in Central America. But with that reputation comes excitment and I love excitment! (read more). And for the record, Honduras is ridiculously beautiful.
7) Panama – Super cool country and a nice change after spending so much money in Costa Rica. It is beautiful, the food is great, and the beaches untouched. We loved Bocas Del Toro. And Panama Passage is legit.
8) Costa Rica - I would have ranked this higher back in the early 90s, but now it’s WAY to expensive. Are you serious, $10 for a brick of cheese? Get real. Beautiful country that has clearly been tarnished by foreign investment. Having said that, we loved Pavones and Uvita.
9) Belize – We really enjoyed our time on the island of Caye Caulker, and the western slopes of the country were beautiful. It offers world class scuba diving as well.
10) USA – The only reason we ranked the US so low is becasue we already knew it so well. But don’t let the ranking fool you. Our 4 month wine tasting tourwas nothing short of epic. Seriously, I’m still buzzed. Our highlight was the 16 day solo trip down the Grand Canyon where we got engaged!
11) Canada – F’ Canada. (read more)
Best buzz – It’s a tie between Napa Valley wine tour and Tequila school in Tequila, Mexico
Best beer south of the border – Belikin from Belize
Best food - Mexico
Best sunsets – Playa Aserradores, Nicaragua
Best waves – Tunco, El Salvador, Trestles, CA
Thuggiest surf line-up – Tunco El Salvador
Most beautiful country – Guatemala
Buggiest country – Panama
Prettiest lake – Lago de Atitlan, Guatemala
Coolest activity – Waterfall jumping in Hondurasor Pacuare River Costa Rica
Most inspirational - the French overlanding families
Best kept secret – Baja, Mexico and El Salvador
Best tacos - Bull Taco, Cardiff California
Best pizza - El Triunfo Mexico and Pavones Costa Rica
Worst roads – All of Mexico, and the road driving into Pavones CR
Worst border crossing – Costa Rica to Panama
Worst cops – reportedly Honduras, for us Mexico
Most nervous – Crossing the border into Mexico. We had no idea what to expect!
Scariest moment - Narco gang, Honduras
Most frustrated - Shipping the van in Panama
Biggest myth – Mexico is dangerous. It’s fine
Hottest – the blacktop in Jaco, Costa Rica
Coldest - Oregon coast in July
Should have, would have, could have…
Gone zip-lining, done the hot springs at Rio Dulce Guatemala, visited Crater Lake in Oregon, gone to Mexico City, gone to the Caribbean side on Honduras.
Living on the road:
Hardest part - diet/eating well
Most complicated part - finding dog friendly hotels
Best part – different view every night
Saddest part - being very far away from family and friends
Most useful item – the funnel
Most useless items – Malaria meds, stun guns
Most under used item - bikes
Most appreciated – refrigerator
Most under appreciated - refrigerator
Missing in my life on the road:
Stevie - full length mirror
Kiki - squirrels
Tree - consistent surfing
Biggest Sprinter Life fans measured by posts read, and quality/number of comments on the blog: Angela Polito, John Simko, Alexis Schulman
And so one epic chapter closes and a new one opens. This afternoon we fly to Cartagena, Colombia where we plan to spend the next two years exploring every country in South America. The only thing we know for sure is that we’re going to need more pages in our passports (see photo above). Adios North and Central America.
Thanks for following! TREE, Stevie, Kiki