Hall of Fame

This page is dedicated to those places and services that have been extraordinary during our trip. We recommend these hotels, restuarants, and tours to anyone travelling to these cities!


***Chihuahua - Las Grutas de Nombre de Dios
This natural cave formation can be found outside the city and the guides are very knowledgable. Better take a cab, as we got lost on our way there and had to get a ride back with a guide! You can read about our experience here.

***Mazatlan - The Time Machine
This bar in Olas Altas is run by a real Amerukhun named Bill. His prices, including 10 peso draft beers, are excellent and the atmosphere is great. He gets NFL football and other sports and has movie nights and live music nights. Definitely a great place to stop for a drink and some popcorn.

***Melaque - Patas Bar and Posada Agueda Hotel
The beach side restaurant is reputed to have the best burger in town. There are a few hotel rooms and a suite with a kitchen for rent with extremely good prices. The owners, one American and one local, were extremely friendly. Contact at patasbar@aol.com.

***Oaxaca - Mezcal Tour
You can pay someone to take you on a tour or you can take yourself in a taxi as we did here.


***Quetzeltenango/Xela - El Portal Spanish School
If you are going to spend some time learning spanish, or even just a week, Xela is the city to do it in and El Portal is the school. The teachers are nice and fun, and they all help out, even if you are not their personal student. The atmosphere is relaxed but you definitely learn a lot in the 5 hour sessions. The families that you can live with for home stay are all very welcoming and the home cooked meals are delicious. We also had a great time getting to know other students during the afternoon field trips and activities. The are now offering one-on-one classes online through skype!

- El Cuartito
An excellent cafe and bar, we used to go there to study in the afternoon. At night, the Cuartito turns into a bar and local bands often play music. There is also free wifi.

***El Mirador
Please read about our adventure to El Mirador here. Then, if you ever do plan on doing this trip, which I recommend, contact the Carmelita Cooperative at tono.centeno@gmail.com or dventura@asociacionbalam.org.


***Copan - Copan Ruinas and Sepulturas
By the time we got to Honduras, we thought we were a little "ruined-out", but the Ruinas in Copan are quite different than anything else we´ve seen. The museum is definitely worth the admission free as most of the original stellae are located inside the museum and of a much higher quality than the replicas outside. Just a short distance north of the main Ruins are the Sepulturas and the cost of entry is included in the ticket to the ruinas. The get there, walk out of the main parking lot of the ruins and walk or take a taxi/tuk-tuk about 1 mile north to the sepulturas. This area is very well excavated and much more secluded, so you can take your time to look about without the hustle of other tourists.


***Santa Ana - Casa Verde Hostal
Definitely one of the nicest hostals we stayed in, our private room for $22 included a hot show, large room, flat screen TV, free coffee and use of a beautiful, clean, and well equipped kitchen. The rooftop patio offers beautiful views at sunset.

***El Tunco and El Zonte Beaches
The black sand beaches of El Salvador are beautiful. El Tunco is a surfer town but has better amenities, and El Zonte is a very tranquil place. Both are worth visiting for some fun by the ocean!


***Leon - NicAsi Tours
This tour agency, run out of the Siesta Perdida Hostal and Bar, is run by Harry, a Dutchman who now lives permanently in Nicaragua. The aim of the tours is to show you how Nicaraguans live, Nicaragua as it is. We recommend the cooking tour, which includes a trip to the market and a visit to a local family home to prepare a delicious meal. We also did the Gallera, or Cock Fight, which is a real insight into true Nica Life.


***Quepos - Miguelito´s
This pizza shop is run by a friendly US ex-pat named Todd. The pizza flavors are a little eccentric, but tasty and the customer service was superb.

***Manual Antonia - Parque Manuel Antonia
The National Park entry fee costs $10 a person and you do NOT need to hire a guide. There is tons you can see on your own and often times, groups gather around animals, pointing them out to everyone. The beaches are beautiful and wide and the water is warm. There are tons a reptiles, birds, deer, and Mapache, a type of raccoon.


***Boquete - Finca Manana Madera - www.mananamadera.com
We met Randy, the owner, on the Pipeline Trail and he invited us to his farm for a cup of coffee. The estate was beautiful and the coffee was the best we´ve ever had. There are three guest houses where you can take in the beauty of Boquete.


***Cartagena - The Mud Volcano
This is a "volcano" of decomposing plant matter that has been towered upon itself over the years forming a small mountain. The inside is liquid, but is very thick and it´s virtually impossible to sink yourself inside because it is so thick. For 3000 pesos you get a massage in the mud!

***Medellin - Parque Lleras Hostel
This is not a good place or area to stay in if you want to go to sleep early, but Medellin is a great city, and Maria Borja works in this hostel. She is probably the kindest person we have met on our trip, she took us to Parque Arvi, and really went the extra mile to help us all the time, even when we didn´t know we needed it. Be sure to brush up on your spanish, although she is quick to pull up google translate while at the hostel.


***Baños - Yolanda at Puesto 19 in the market
Baños is like many other cities in that it has a mercado where you can buy fruits, vegetables, entire meals, and all kinds of other goods. In Baños all the comedors serve the same thing and the prices are set by the mercado, so after trying several we decided that Yolanda´s food tasted the best, and if you speak Spanish, she is very friendly. Try the yaguarlocro!

***Quito - Teleferiqo
Of all the different places to get a cool view of the city, this really takes the cake. It is a little pricey to get to the top, but well worth it. Be sure to bring warm clothes and a good camera. Also, when you climb to the top you can have a little grilled meat for a few bucks.

If you can figure out a way to visit, you absolutely should. The Galapagos have definitely been the highlight of our trip, awesome wildlife, amazing landscapes, a truly breathtaking experience.


***Mancora - Guacamayo B&B
This is a very affordable B&B run by a couple that has made a habit of taking in and rejuvenating sick dogs. That said, the dogs are well fed, friendly, and act as a secondary security system. Even with my allergies, I had no problems, and the owners are very knowledgeable about the Peru and the local area.

***Huanchaco - Hostal Sudamerica
This hostal is not exactly up to proper building code, and can get noisy at night in some places, however the atmosphere is well worth it. The fellow who runs it, JJ (jotajota), basically funnels all the profits into a soccer program for street kids, and they have gotten quite good, winning on the national level. Also, he promotes a true family atmosphere, everyone shells out 8 soles a night to eat dinner together, cooked by a local Señora.

***Cuzco - Yhoner Mamani - Tour Operator
Yhoner is located at 372 Calle Procuradores in the "touristy" street off the plaza de armas in Cuzco. After our terrible experience with Lorenzo Expeditions, Yhoner basically took the attitude that he would "soluccionar todo" which he did. At the end of the day we probably overpaid by about $5 US, but it was well worth it as he was able to take care of all our reserving needs, and took it upon himself to solve problems instead of blaming the the stupid tourists (us). In addition he planned a small birthday party for Sarah with cake, Inca Tekila, and songsinging! Check him out for all your Sacred Valley/Cuzco/Machu Picchu travel needs.