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2 In Central America/ Travel

Costa Rica’s Little Drummer Boy Welcomes The Gringos

On Costa Rica's Rainy Season - JoeBaur

Note: The following is an excerpt from the forthcoming travel memoir, Talking Tico.

  Despite the research, casual reading, following local news and boning up on the language – I still had no idea what to expect. Traveling in of itself can be the most stressful portion of any trip or move, let alone to a foreign country where you fumble through basic sentences at the speed of a 1985 Macintosh computer.

  I tried to picture everything from landing at the airport to arriving in Ciudad Colón. The airport, I imagined, looked like any other capital city airport. Clean, modern and relatively easy to navigate. In other words, I’m wasn’t expecting chickens to be running around as I had seen in a certain airport that shall go unnamed.

(Truth be told, I rather enjoyed the livestock presence at the aforementioned airport. It brought some aspect of character to the experience. I’m still not quite sure what exactly that character was, but it was definitely something.) Continue Reading →

4 In Central America/ Travel


Costa Rica Spider - JoeBaur

There was always the question of bugs, insects, spiders when considering the move to Costa Rica. For all its utopic promises, there was never escaping the reality that paradise is also a draw for creepy crawlers. Beasts of the underworld. What we humans find preferable in our weather is pretty much also agreed upon in the world of horrific, nightmarish creatures that bring out our most murderous instincts. Continue Reading →

In Central America/ Travel

Traveling Around Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula in 16 Photos

Rocky Osa Peninsula Costa Rica Beach - JoeBaur

Back in March Melanie and I joined her parents for a tour of Costa Rica’s western coast from the hippy beach town of Dominical through Uvita and down to the Osa Peninsula — a mecca of all things nature. In fact, the father of Costa Rica’s national parks system was quite vocal about this being his favorite region of the country as well as criticizing the ongoing economic challenges and illegal lumbering that continue to threaten the health of the Osa Peninsula.

Below are 16 shots from those travels. Through their beauty — that any dunce with a camera could capture — hopefully it sheds a bit of light on how important it is to preserve this region. Continue Reading →

In Central America/ Travel

Why It’s Impossible not to Love Antigua, Guatemala

We came into Antigua after a five-hour shuttle ride from El Tunco, El Salvador that included the obligatory bureaucratic wait at the Salvadoran-Guatemalan border. Inevitably Melanie and I were some of the last to be dropped off at our hotels, bouncing along the Antiguan cobblestones as fellow travelers were left to their respective hostels. Some of course hadn’t bothered to reserve anything in advance. I’m all for the carpe diem, impromptu spirit when it comes to travel, but not when it screws with my eating schedule.

Those minor inconveniences aside, our excitement was beyond description to finally be in Antigua, Guatemala. Continue Reading →

6 In Central America/ Podcast/ South America

Slapped in Nicaragua with Travel Journalist Laura Blake

Travel journalist Laura Watilo Blake of Far Flung Travels talks with Joe about her career behind the camera, living in Peru and how getting slapped in Nicaragua got her published with Frommer’s. If you want to ignore my nonsense, skip ahead to Laura around the seven minute mark.

Special thanks to RØDE Microphones and Master & Dynamic. Music courtesy of Los Waldners‘ “Papalotes.”

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Photo: Laura Watilo Blake

In Central America/ Travel

16 Photos Through the Ruins off Antigua, Guatemala

Arco de Santa Catalina Antigua Guatemala - JoeBaur

I’ve been in a bit of a funk. Three weeks ago I was hit by a car, crashed a mountain bike and sent to surgery to fix some arteries with cow parts. Suddenly my travel schedule was wiped clean and I had to give up physical activity for six weeks.

While forced to the couch, my Costa Rica anniversary came and went. Like any other anniversary of a momentous occasion, it felt impossible that a year had already passed. I found myself missing Costa Rica, Central America, Latin America like a normal person might miss a significant other.

To put a band-aid on these — what are they called? — feelings, I went searching for a connection back to those adventures in my library of work from Central America that I still need to edit. With that, I landed back in Antigua, Guatemala — without question one of the most popular destinations in all of the Americas. Below enjoy 16 photos from our four days in Antigua, fresh off a week in El Salvador back in January before heading to Lake Atitlán. Continue Reading →