Central America

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Central and South America, or Latin America, has long been considered one of the top destinations in the world for hiking. And not just those seemingly impossible hikes that only the fittest would undertake, such as Mt. Everest, but awe-inspiring hikes for everyone from the family of novice hikers to the experienced climber.

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On your next Costa Rica ecotour with International Expeditions keep an eye out for the shining honeycreeper. This diminutive tanager is found throughout Central America and in parts of Colombia, and is easily recognizable due to its prominent royal blue coloration.

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Although the country of Nicaragua may not be as high-profile as its neighbors in Latin America, this land boasts some of the most diverse wildlife on the planet, making it an animal lover's paradise. If you're looking for a country where you can glimpse sea turtles on the beach one minute and spot monkeys in the jungle the next, Nicaragua is the place for you.

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Costa Rica is one of the most popular ecotourism destinations in the world, and the 2012 Happy Planet Index (HPI) recently named the Central American nation the happiest country on the planet. To determine the ranking of 151 nations, the New Economics Foundation (NEF) in the U.K. analyzes countries based on their average life expectancies, ecological footprints and experienced well-being.

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Welcome to Lake Nicaragua. When it comes to Latin America, you probably think raging rivers and large ocean bodies like the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. However, while both of these oceans are an important part of the coastline of Nicaragua, Lake Nicaragua exists as the country's largest lake and one of the most unique lakes in Central America.

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Southern Nicaragua's Mombacho Volcano is unmistakeable. Wherever you seem to turn, there it is hovering over the landscape. Whether it's walking the streets of Granada, taking a panoramic photograph from the top of Iglesia de la Merced, or boating around Lake Granada, Mombacho captures your attention. And that with Mombacho not even being one of Nicaragua's tallest volcanoes, at just below 4,500 feet. However, for the outdoor adventurist, Mombacho has a lot to offer.

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What do you think of when you think about Costa Rican cuisine? Just because it's considered Latin America, doesn't mean that Costa Rica is the land of tacos, quesadillas, and burritos. Costa Rica's food features many types of cuisines that you've probably never even heard of, let alone actually tried. While you may find variations of it in other Latin American countries or specialized restaurants, there is a uniqueness to Costa Rican cuisine.

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