Central America

Aug 202017

a. Season Matters When Traveling to Costa Rica: Living in Costa Rica I figured a way to enjoy traveling without spending too much but most importantly without having to spend my vacations among the crowds. And this is my conclusion: December to early April are the driest months and the peak of the tourist season, so you can expect higher prices, less rooms available and crowds. But late April, May, and October offer good weather with lower rates. Also between June and September and someties even November you will get good rates but not a very nice weather.

b. Costa Rican Water: Most people traveling around Central America are very concerned about how clean the water really is. And I have to admit was one of them until I found out that unlike most Latin American countries Costa Rica has a fairly safe water supply. Want some Proof?

Here is the fact that it is the only country of the region where Heineken allows its beer to be brewed. Salads are generally safe to eat because they usually use clean water to irrigate crops.

c. Money To Change or Not to Change! One of the most common questions travelers worry about is to change money before coming or not?

If you are going to change the money here are some recommendations:

1. Every country is different, but in Costa Rica don’t change money anywhere except BANKS and always bring a passport. Here is where you will get the best rates.

2. ATMs are plentiful, you’ll get the best rates however, you’ll pay the small ATM fee.

3. Very few places exchange travelers checks these days, and even fewer give good rates, plus they charge 1-2% on top of it.

Cash or Credit?

Cash is king in Costa Rica. Plus, whenever you go out, ask if for the cash (Efectivo) discount and chances are you ‘ll get 5-10% off. This can be done anywhere from tour operators, to hotels, to restaurants to pharmacies.

You’ll escape some places charging you 8% for credit card usages. Plus if you go to a local market, local currency goes much further than the dollar. You stand out less and feel more comfortable.

d. Waiting Is the Hardest Part That’s right, if you’re coming to Costa Rica be prepared to wait! In this country this is a norm. Nothing is on time in Costa Rica. Just doesn’t happen. Sorry to break it to you, but it’s so true. So come with lots of patience and besides, what’s the rush?

e. Bring plenty of Ziploc bags: Nothing stays dry there and since most people do rafting, swimming, waterfalls, or just crossing over streams, you’ll need bags to separate your wet stuff from your semi-dry. I recommend the “Big Bags” for clothes and shoes (bring at least two or three) and several quart-size bags. I tried to do laundry in the sink and air dry, but found it very difficult to dry most articles. I would also recommend bringing plenty of changes of clothes, especially if you’re an adventurous spirit.

f. Emergency Numbers: Luckily in Costa Rica the emergency number is 911. They speak English and are quite helpful. The problem though, is where are you? Costa Rica has one of the trickiest address and direction systems in Central America. So learn your address well!

Marina K. Villatoro, has lived in Central America – Costa Rica and Guatemala for over 10 years. She’s traveled these parts extensively and now loves to organize vacations to these amazing parts of the world. With her first hand experience, she can recommend the best options for you. Contact her for advice and to plan your perfect trip!

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Aug 232017

The tayra (Eira barbara), also known as the Tolomuco or Perico ligero in Central America, is an omnivorous animal from the weasel family Mustelidae. That is why tayras have an appearance similar to weasels and martens.

It is a long, slender very good climber with strong claws, resembling a thin-haired, very large mink with a long tail. This chocolate brown to black mustelid is related to the mink and the otter.

Tyras are pretty much small in height growing up to 60 cm. However, they have a tail of almost 45 cm long. Most of them have either dark brown or black fur with a lighter patch on its chest. The fur on its head changes to brown or gray as it ages.

These guys make the tropical forests of Central America its home. They make hollow trees, burrows in the ground, or nests of tall grass their home. They travel both alone and in groups during the day and the night. They eat mainly fruits but they also like carrion, small mammals, reptiles and birds.

They are also expert climbers, and can leap from treetop to treetop when pursued. They can also run fast and swim well.

They are intelligent animals and can become pets. Indigenous people, who often refer to this animal as “cabeza del viejo”, or old man’s head, due to their wrinkled facial skin, have kept them as household pets. Wild tayra populations are slowly shrinking, especially in Mexico, due to habitat destruction for agricultural purposes. Though the species as a whole is listed as a Least Concern species, the northernmost subspecies, Eira Barbara Senex, is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.

Wild tayra populations are slowly shrinking, especially in Mexico, due to habitat destruction for agricultural purposes. Though the species as a whole is listed as a Least Concern species, the northernmost subspecies, Eira Barbara Senex, is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN.

Marina K. Villatoro, lives in Central America – Costa Rica and Guatemala for the past decade. She has traveled all over these areas with her family and now she loves to organize vacations to Costa Rica and Guatemala. Contact her for advice and to plan your perfect trip!
Jul 192017

Traveling to Central America isn’t like traveling to the rest of the world, there are some things to keep in mind to make the trip as enjoyable as possible.

Here are some things you must keep in mind when you travel specially to Central America to keep in mind to make the trip as enjoyable as possible.

The first thing you have to know is that children need paperwork

If only one parent is planning to go to a Central American country and is taking a child, you have to get a notarized letter from the other parent granting permission for the child to travel abroad. You wouldn’t believe the stories I have heard. The problem is that they won’t let you get into the country without that letter, and if they do, they won’t let you leave until it’s done somehow.

Always Be Vigilant

I’m not saying that you have to become a human radar, you just need to be a little more careful than usual. Thieves are usually around busy public areas where careless tourists congregate. The problem is that most of them look like regular people, so make sure that all of your possessions are kept away safely somewhere under your clothing or even better in your hotel room.

Bedbugs Are Everywhere!

When checking into your hotel room it is a good idea to do a pest inspection before unpacking your luggage. It’s not that Central American hotels are not clean but bedbugs can be lurking, even in the cleanest and most respected hotels. This is because Central America is filled with forests and wildlife. Wherever you look there are mountains, rivers and volcanoes and most of the towns are placed very close to these.

A Great Way to Hide Valuables

For this part I’m going to talk about a great product to hide away your valuables, they are called Passport security socks. What is so great about them is that they have a zipped pocket that can hold cash, passport, keys, and other small valuables. They come in different sizes and heights, from ankle socks to over-the-calf styles.

Marina K. Villatoro, the Travel Experta, lives in Central America – Costa Rica and Guatemala for the past decade. She’s traveled these parts extensively and now loves to organize vacations to these amazing parts of the world. Having first hand experience of all the places with her family, she can recommend the best options for you. Contact her for advice and to plan your perfect trip!
Jul 212017

a. Passports in the Black Market: Did you know that an American, Canadian or European passport goes for $ 60 – $ 120 on the black market? Well to renew them you will have to pay the same. So to avoid problems and unnecessary expenses keep your original in your hotel and always carry a copy. In Costa Rica and Guatemala is totally cool. Everyone understands. And if they don’t, tell them that your passport on the black market can be bought for $ 60 and they’ll back off.

b. Safety Tips When Traveling in Guatemala: The Central American countries have a bad reputation, but don’t get paranoid. Here is some advice on how to avoid being robed:

1- Leave expensive jewelry and watches at home,

2- Don’t carry purses, camera bags and phones or carry them close to your body,

3- Take along only as much cash as you need,

4- Carry a photocopy of your passport, leaving the original in your hotel safe,

5- At night stick to well-lighted and transited areas.

c. Register Your Trip to Guatemala And Feel Safe! The US Gov’t recommends you secure your trip to Guatemala City by hiring, for a super low price, the Tourist Police. You can arrange all of this before heading to Guatemala. Security escorts for tourist groups and security information are available from the Tourist Assistance Office (ASISTUR) of INGUAT (the Guatemalan Tourism Institute). INGUAT’s ASISTUR division has 24-hour/seven days per week direct telephone numbers for tourist assistance and emergencies. These are (502) 2421-2810 and (502) 5578-9836. The fax is (502) 2421-2891. INGUAT may also be reached by its toll-free number within the United States at 1-888-464-8281 or contact INGUAT by email – asistur@inguat.gob.gt. Requests should provide the itinerary, names of travelers, and model and color of the vehicle in which they will be traveling.

The normal fee is 50 quetzales ($ 6) for a few hours, 200 quetzales ($ 26) if you have them for longer and they need to be fed. 400 quetzales ($ 50) if you have to keep them overnight. Plus you have to pay their gas.

d. Register Your Trip: The US government has a great new feature that EVERYONE who is traveling must take full advantage of! Travel Registration! From now on, no matter where you travel to in the world, head to the Travel Registration section of the US Department of State website and register your full trip!

All you have to do is give them your travel dates. All the places you are staying or plan on staying. Other people you are traveling with. Your passport number. And don’t forget emergency phone numbers so they know who to call – Just In Case!

e. Blend with the Crowd: This is a pretty simple one don’t dress like a tourist if you don’t want to become a target for scams and theft.

f. Emergency Number: Luckily in Costa Rica the emergency number is 911. The great thing is that they speak English and are quite helpful. So all you have to do is to learn the address of the hotel you are staying at the Costa Rican way.

g. Diamonds are a Girl’s Worst Enemy: This is another plain and simple tip but very important for your safety. Don’t bring your jewels when traveling to ANY Latin American country. Leave them at home!

h. How to Keep Your Money Safe and Dry: Have you ever been on vacation having a great time on the beach or the pool and suddenly you remember that your wallet is still in your pocket? I know that it can rally ruin you day. This great product will be very helpful to help you to keep your documents and money safe in those cases I thought you might want to know. It is a waterproof wallet that you can find in almost every scuba dive shop.

i. Guys Get A Mugger’s Wallet: Anywhere you go there will always be thieves. So to avoid them why not carry a ‘mugger’s wallet’ when travelling. So in case of an emergency, you can surrender it easily. In it you can carry a big bill in front and a half-dozen or so smaller bills behind, along with your photo ID library card, some other papers, hotel coupons, etc, for bulk.

j. Eat Safely When Traveling To Central America: Are you traveling to Central America and concerned about what foods are safe to eat?

1- Any foods that have been boiled are generally safe, as well as fruits and vegetables that have to be peeled before eating. Avoid eating uncooked or undercooked meat.

2- You should also stay away from foods that require a lot of handling before serving.

3- You’ve probably heard that you shouldn’t drink the water in some countries overseas. This is why: Water supplies in developing countries are not treated in the same way as water supplies in developed countries. I would suggest you drink only bottled water when traveling.

k. Women: A New Use For Old Pantyhose: I learned that airports can be an easy place for others to prey on unsuspecting travelers who are unfamiliar with their surroundings. So to avoid being robed you can cut off a leg of an old pair of pantyhose and put the money/credit cards in the leg then tie the leg around your waist underneath loose-fitting clothes. But always keep a small amount of money in your pants/skirt pocket for necessary expenses.

Marina K. Villatoro, lives in Central America – Costa Rica and Guatemala for the past decade. She has traveled all over these areas with her family and now she loves to organize vacations to Costa Rica and Guatemala. Contact her for advice and to plan your perfect trip!

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Jul 242017

When we talk about the vacation the first thing that comes in our mind is fun, excitement, beautiful places, amazing sports and relief from hectic schedule. Therefore we want a location or place which is ideal for us to enjoy all these activities. If you want such kind of holiday destinations then visiting to Central America countries is best choice. It is the ideal destination for the all tourists who wants to take full advantage of their holidays with fun and enjoyment. If you want to know all about the countries of Central America then you can see the Map of Central America Countries. This will help you to find out the most wonderful location of world.

There are seven most beautiful countries are in Central America region. These are Belize, Guatemala, Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama. Most of these countries are considered favorite destination by the tourists. The places in these countries are stunning that mesmerize the visitors with their beauty. Central America is the narrow Isthmus extended from north Mexico to South East through Panama which connects to Colombia on the northern part of the South America continent. The countries of Central America are mixture of adventure, beauty, culture and some amazing natural habitats. There are many national parks located in the Central America countries where you can find world most beautiful, colorful and attractive native as well as migratory birds.

The countries like Belize and Guatemala are full of jungles where you can see most endangered and rare species of animals and plants. Visiting these jungles and national parks is great adventure. Costa Rica is also famous for its national parks. Costa Rica is one of the most popular country of Central America. It is quite known for its exotic beaches in the world. These beaches are full of beauty and are best place to get relief from hectic life style. Here you can enjoy many water sports. The other attractive feature of Costa Rica is its live Volcanoes. Many tourists visit Costa Rica to see these stunning volcanoes. Belize is other beautiful country of Central America. It is the smallest country but blessed with many amazing and beautiful location. It is also very affordable place as compare to Costa Rica.

The largest country of Central America is Nicaragua. It is great place to enjoy rafting and other water sports. There two fresh water lakes named Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua. You can find fresh water sharks in Lake Nicaragua and also see many other water creatures. So here are few interesting things about the Central America countries. To get more interesting information about these countries you can drill down the Central America Map with Countries. With the help of these maps you can explore different places of your interest in Central America.

Author is a travelling veteran and has explored all the beautiful places of Central America. He has discovered all the places in the Map of Central America Countries. So if you don’t know about Central America Map with Countries then must visit to beachcomberpete.com/central_america.
Jul 272017

The countries of Central America are best known for their beauty and hidden adventures that is why it is considered as most attractive place to visit by the tourists. If you are also want to visit some world’s best places, then travelling to the Central America countries is the best option for you. Here you can enjoy watching most exotic locations, beautiful beaches, national parks full of greenery, variety of animals and many adventure water sports. A Map of Central America Countries will help you to get more information about the beautiful places of Central America and what all sports you can enjoy there.

From the tourism prospective, Central America has best potential places to visit in the world. It is quite interesting to visit Central America counties because these countries have divers culture and it is wonderful to know about their unique cultural heritage. It is also one of the attractive feature of Central America that makes it more popular from tourism point of view. Central America is the perfect destination to enjoy and have lot of fun with your family. If you are great adventure seeker then you can also enjoy many adventure sports that include water sports, biking, tracking, bungee jumping, visiting live volcanoes etc.

Water sports of Central America are most popular as you can have a wonderful experience with great fun. The most famous destination of Central America is Costa Rica, here you can see world’s most exotic white sand beaches. These beaches will offer water sports like water surfing and best place to have fun and enjoyment. There are many clear water rivers in the Costa Rica where you can enjoy the real thrill of rafting. Visiting live volcanoes of Costa Rica is itself an adventure, so while visiting this place you can enjoy as well as can see most beautiful and stunning places in the world.

Some of the other beautiful locations of Central America are Panama, Belize and Nicaragua. These places are very affordable to live also. You can find good accommodation and restaurants at affordable prices. You can locate these best and affordable places through the Central America Map with Countries. These countries are less expensive as compare to Costa Rica but here you can also enjoy many more things. You can see some of the best sights and also find out most amazing varieties of animals and plants. Also you can have experience of best scuba diving. These places are best to explore and you will have great fun while visiting Central America countries.

Author is a travelling veteran and has explored all the beautiful places of Central America. He has discovered all the places in the Map of Central America Countries. So if you don’t know about Central America Map with Countries then must visit to beachcomberpete.com/central_america.

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Jul 312017

10. Any type of reading material such as books or magazines. One of the cons of traveling is that it includes lot of sitting and waiting. It might seem like a minor thing to pack right now, but trust me: when you’ve got hours to kill on the plane or in the train, and the too-friendly person sitting next to you wants to talk (and talk and talk), you’re going to want that book to tune him out. Also, you will be lucky to find any reading material in your native language when you’re in a country where almost no one speaks it.

9. Medicine. If you’re on prescription it is not likely to be forgotten. But you should always have with you a pain reliever and an anti-diarrheal too. You will probably be able to get some wherever you’re going. However, often dosages in different countries differ.

8. If you are taking medicines under prescription, I don’t think I have to remind you about taking them! But the problem arises when you forget to take over-the-counter medicines such as pain reliever and anti-diarrheal(just in case you can’t resist the cuisine that your stomach isn’t ready for). Of course, you can probably get over-the-counter medicine wherever you’re going; however, often dosages in different countries differ. And don’t forget the pediatric versions if you’re traveling with a child.

7. Camera and related accessories. Okay, so I love to take photographs and related accessories for me include my laptop with Adobe Photoshop installed (since I like to download often) and a few lenses. But I realize that for most, this might be a bit too much. So you should at least take an extra memory card, if you’re not planning on downloading images while you’re on holiday. Just don’t lose it. And while we’re talking about it …

6. Chargers. What can be more disappointing that arriving at your destination, ready to get out there and take some pictures and realizing that your camera is dead, and you forgot your charger at home! The same thing could happen with your laptop or cellphone, so always remember to pack your charger.

5. Guidebooks, phrase books and maps. There are so many great ones in the internet so why should you pick up a mediocre one at the hotel’s lobby? My advice is to grab a couple of guidebooks, maps and phrase books and tuck them into your carry on luggage.

4. Travel documents, and photocopies of travel documents. If you’re going to travel overseas, you’re going to need a passport for sure. If you’ve never applied for a passport, be sure to give yourself plenty of time ahead of your trip to apply for one. Once you have it, hold on to it like Grim Death because this is your way in and out of foreign lands. Also, be sure to check if you are also required to have a visa to visit your vacation destination. Often this information is available on the web. What if you lose your passport? That’s where your photocopies come in. Yu should make copies of your passports and keep them in a different place from where you keep your passport jus in case you get robbed.

3. Cell phone. It might not seem a good idea to carry a cellphone on vacation — after all! you’re immersing yourself in a whole new land! a whole new culture! — but even if you never plan to turn your phone on while you’re vacationing, it’s good to have it, if only to make sure your ride will be pick you up when you return, or you plan on meeting someone locally, and they need to contact you, or, God forbid, you find yourself traveling during a state of emergency.

2. Small travel bag. I’m talking about a small bag that holds nothing more than a wallet, the cell phone, the travel documents and my passport. This accessible bag will be very helpful specially in the airport.

And finally, the Number 1 thing you must pack first before going abroad:

1. An open mind. Traveling means experiencing a new culture and sometimes, that whole new culture doesn’t include things like a McDonalds, or even Starbucks. So relax, and soak it all in.

While I was writing this, some of my friends helped me out with some other important things that must be mentioned.

* Lip balm and moisturizer. It was startling how many people, men and women, said that they would die without their lip balm and hand moisturizer. “It’s the airplane air,” was the common statement. “It dries me out.”

* Earplugs and/or MP3 player. If you’re a light sleeper, these can be invaluable.

* Journals. Even if you’re not much of a journal writer, go ahead and toss a small one in your bag you never know when inspiration might hit. There’s something about travel that brings out the Ernest Hemmingway in everyone.

Marina K. Villatoro, the Travel Experta, has been living in Central America – Costa Rica and Guatemala for the past decade. Traveling with her family to all parts of Costa Rica and Guatemala, she now loves organizing vacations for people and offers first hand experience. Contact her for advice and to plan your perfect trip!

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Aug 082017

A speculator wishing to invest with international property should be aware that the crucial variable is buying at the ideal time. You will want to get in the market once the real estate price is on an upward trend or, if possible, just before prices begin to rise. Now as we emerge from the financial crisis, buyers can find great real estate prospects within Central America on both the Pacific and Caribbean. One particular location that stands out for entry level deals is Nicaragua. Investors are attracted by its low property prices and very affordable cost of living. If you’ve missed out on other emerging areas in the past it makes to see what Nicaragua has to offer.

Another country worth researching with regard to potential property earnings is the little nation of Belize. This is the only English speaking country within Central America and has significant status as a vacation destination. Real estate along the breathtaking coastline, which features an incredible barrier reef, cannot help but be considered a good investment given its inherent appeal. The country is internationally renowned for diving and snorkeling in its dazzling turquoise Caribbean sea which laps the seemingly endless miles of gorgeous beaches and with exotic private islands. Also, there are amazing tax benefits found in Belize which, along with strict banking privacy laws makes it an appealing retirement living choice.

Close to the equator, the Central American country of Costa Rica is known as a relatively established locationa for investment, retirement life or merely for an excellent exotic vacation. The market for Costa Rica property is emerging strongly from the recent economic downturn. The seaside playground of Playa Hermosa delivers surf fanatics world-class waves and draws in expert surfers from throughout the world. With beaches that stretch for miles, Playa Hermosa real estate has solid rental potential. Surfers also flock to close by Jaco – featuring exciting night life and a wide range of amenities and services. Definitely a location to consider if you want to cash in on the tourism boom.

The compact country of Panama lies at the most southern part of the Central America isthmus. Given it’s close history with the US (due primarily to the Panama canal), Panama is emerging as a top spot for international investors and US buyers in particular. But Panama is not just about the canal. It’s a small country but packs a great deal of culture and biodiversity within its borders. Investors take comfort from the fact the the US dollar is the prime currency in the country and that there are no restrictions on capital flows. Panama is currently beating regional economic indicators and with President Martinelli at it’s helm is attracting record levels of foreign direct investment (and not just for the canal expansion). Definitely a country to watch if you’re considering Central America.

In order to reduce your risk in the current market it makes sense to stick to completed property rather than off-plan. Choose quality products in prime locations. Above all take your time and proceed with caution.

Follow these links for more on international real estate in Central America and Belize investment options.
Aug 122017

Central America is an area filled with natural beauty. Its people have been preserving their nature by creating protected areas and national parks. There are tons of great parks in each country so it can be hard to decide which ones to visit as you travel through this part of the world. To make it all easier here is a list with the ones you absolutely can’t miss:

1. Corcovado National Park – Costa Rica

This is the ‘most biologically intense place in the world’ and is home to 4% of the world’s total fauna species. Some common wildlife sightings are monkeys, exotic birds, iguanas and tapirs.

This national park is located in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. It consists of beautiful white sanded beaches and pristine rain forests.

The entrance fee is $ 10. The hours are from Monday to Friday 7:30 a.m. to noon, and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

2. Manuel Antonio National Park – Costa Rica

This Costa Rican national park is located on the Pacific coast and offers the perfect combination of rain forest, beaches and reefs. Here you get to see white faced monkeys, coatis, whales, bats and dolphins. This is one of the best places to enjoy all sorts of water sports and up close encounters with wildlife!

If you want to visit it make sure you get there between 7am and 4pm and always remember it is closed on Mondays. The entrance fee is $ 10 per person and children under 12 free.

3. Poas Volcano National Park – Costa Rica

This national park is home to an active volcano with a beautiful turquoise colored lagoon in its crater. It is located in the Central Valley region, just a short drive away from San Jose City. This is Costa Rica’s most visited park and one of the only places where you can walk up to the crater of an active volcano.

The entrance fee of this national park is $ 7 per person and it is open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. if you are a student and have your ID you might get a small discount.

4. Tikal National Park – Guatemala

This national park is located in Guatemala’s Northern department. It was the country’s first national park and was created to protect the rain forest. It is also home to the most important Mayan Ceremonial site that has ever been found. Here you may find jaguars, crocodiles and tons of monkeys.

This park is open from 6am to 6pm every day of the year and the entrance fee is between $ 25 and it is valid only the day it is purchased.

5. Pacaya Volcano National Park – Guatemala

This national park is located on the southern department of Escuintla and hosts the active Pacaya Volcano. It is popular among travelers interested in seeing lava flows just one meter away from them. In this park you may find some bats, snakes, frogs and different kinds of birds.

I don’t recommend visiting this park without a guide because it can be dangerous if you don’t know the terrain. The entrance fee is of $ 5 and is open from 7am to 7pm. But the most popular tours start at 1 pm for night lava viewing.

6. Copan Ruins National Park – Honduras

This national park is located on the western region of Honduras, just a short drive away from Guatemala. It is home to the Copan Mayan ruins which are known for having some of the most beautiful and most elaborate Mayan stelae. It is also surrounded by really old towns with beautiful hotels and lots of history.

The park is open every day from 8:00am to 4:00pm and the entrance fee is $ 15 if you want to visit the museum you will have to pay an extra $ 7 and an extra $ 5 for the tunnels.

7. Masaya Volcano National Park – Nicaragua

This national park was created in 1979 as the country’s first national park. It is home to twin volcanoes -Masaya Volcano and Nindiri Volcano and a total of 5 craters. The Masaya Volcano is also known as Popogatepe meaning the “Mountain that burns” in the language of the indigenous Chorotega. In this park you will also find coyotes, raccoons, iguanas, deer and monkeys. If you want to see a crater expelling gas and hot lava inside of it visit the Santiago crater.

Marina K. Villatoro is an expat living with her family and traveling in Central America. Central America has some of the best national parks in the world.

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Aug 142017

The Turquoise-browed Motmot is a migratory bird very well-known in its range that lives in fairly open habitats such as forest edge, gallery forest and scrubland. It inhabits Central America from south-east Mexico mostly the Yucatn Peninsula, to Costa Rica, where it is common and not considered threatened.

There is a bright blue stripe above the eye and a blue-bordered black patch on the throat. The flight feathers and upperside of the tail are blue. It has a mostly green body with a rufous back and belly. The tips of the tail feathers are shaped like rackets and the bare feather shafts are longer than in other motmots.

Motmots eat small prey such as insects and lizards, and will also take fruit. In Costa Rica, motmots have been observed feeding on poison dart frogs. The bird is approximately 34 cm long and weighs about 65 grams. These guys have been known to live from 12 to 14 years. It has also been chosen as the national bird of both El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Motmots often move their tail back and forth in a wag-display that commonly draws attention to an otherwise hidden bird. Research indicates that motmots perform the wag-display when they detect predators (based on studies on Turquoise-browed Motmot) and that the display is likely to communicate that the motmot is aware of the predator and is prepared to escape. Males apparently use their tail as a sexual signal, as males with longer tails have greater pairing success and reproductive success. White eggs (3-6) are laid in a long tunnel nest in an earth bank or sometimes in a quarry or fresh-water well.

The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (30% decline over ten years or three generations).

Marina K. Villatoro, lives in Central America – Costa Rica and Guatemala for the past decade. She has traveled all over these areas with her family and now she loves to organize vacations to Costa Rica and Guatemala. Contact her for advice and to plan your perfect trip!

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