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Presenter : Brianna Barnes

Honduras & El Salvador

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Brianna Barnes travels to Honduras and El Salvador, 2 of Central America’s least known but most rewarding destinations for the adventurous traveller.
Brianna Barnes
Starting her journey in the Honduran capitalTegucigalpa, Brianna heads to the Caribbean coast, catching a ferry to the gorgeous Bay Islands, the country’s most popular tourist attraction. On the island of Roatan she not only swims with dolphins, but also descends over 2,000 feet down into the offshore Cayman Trench in a miniature submarine, coming across weird and very rarely seen deep-sea fish species and marine life.

In the early 20th century Honduras was renowned as the archetypical “banana republic”, and even today the banana is of vital importance to the country’s economy. Back on the Caribbean coast, near the port of La Ceiba, Brianna spends a day at a huge banana plantation, discovering the amazing lengths to which the growers go to keep the fruit utterly unblemished, to meet the expectations of Western supermarkets and consumers.

Travelling inland, Brianna visits the remarkably beautiful ruins of Copan, once one of the most important cities of the Mayan empire, before heading on to the nearby town of Santa Rosa Cigar rolling, Santa Rosa de Copande Copan, where she learns how to roll cigars.

Moving on to El Salvador, a country now recovering from more than a decade of civil war which tore the country apart in the 1980s, Brianna heads to the spectacular National Volcano Park. Located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, El Salvador is a volcanic hotspot, prone to devastating eruptions and earthquakes. After climbing the perfectly symmetrical cone of the dramatic Izalco volcano, now dormant, but once known as the “Lighthouse of the Pacific” for its virtually constant eruptions, Brianna goes waterfall trekking in the nearby El Imposible National Park, then mountain bikes down to the beautiful Pacific coast.

From the coast, Brianna travels to the capita lSan Salvador, where she learns about the tragic history of the civil war, before heading to the Guazapa volcano, which was a guerrilla stronghold during the war. Here she meets Marisol Galindo, a former guerrilla commander, trekking across the volcano on horseback, visiting the remains of underground hideouts, bomb craters, destroyed villages, and now overgrown guerrilla cemeteries.

Izalco volcanoAfter enjoying the rodeo at the annual fiesta of the lakeside village of San Luis del Carmen, Brianna’s final destination is the mighty 7,800 feet high Santa Ana volcano, the highest volcano in El Salvador. Santa Ana last erupted in 2005, and Brianna is granted special permission to climb the still dangerous volcano with a team of vulcanologists who are monitoring the volcano’s activity.

Brianna ends her trip on the summit of the majestic volcano, with spectacular views all around, hoping that the team is right when they conclude that another eruption isn’t imminent!

Places Mentioned - El Salvador, Honduras

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Central America and the Caribbean

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El Salvador

Central America and the Caribbean

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Central America and the Caribbean

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