Placencia Belize, One of 25 sexiest beaches

From ForbesTraveler.com Placencia Belize.

Jungle birds and iguanas jockey for space with diehard scuba divers and mellow hammock-swingers in this Central American destination. Wedged between sea and lagoon, the crystal cays and lush mangroves of Placencia are an ecological eyeful. The rich fertility of Placencia inspires a tropical sexiness.

Videos of Honduras

The Honduran Institute of Tourism is launching a series of interesting short videos, showing the wonders and must-see places of this tiny but beautiful country. The production is highly professional, and the footage is superb. They are publishing one different every week on Wednesdays.

Please come back weekly, because there is still a lot to come on the next weeks. This week featuring Roatan island:

Meals - Hotel Marina Copan, Honduras

Aren't these dishes delightfully inviting? Part of the regional cuisine of Western Honduras, some samples of what you can enjoy in Copan Ruinas.

Upper left (and clockwise): 1: Breakfast at the Junior Suite's balcony, Hotel Marina Copan. 2: Coffee Flan dessert. 3: Brochetas del Sol (Sun Sheesh Kabob), Fresh marinated cubes of beef and chicken tenders, corn, and vegetables, covered in champignon sauce, plus guacamole, rice and 'tostones' (fried green plantain). 4: Tropical chicken salad: Chicken, champignons, yogurt, celery, spices, served on a pineapple half, plus watermelon.

Some more exquisite delights:

Cine Hispano - Santa Rosa de Copan

Santa Rosa de Copán is the departmental capital of the Honduran department of Copán. It is set at an altitude of approximately 1000m.

Santa Rosa de Copán, Honduras, is the largest and most important city in western Honduras with a population of 42,803. Santa Rosa is the governmental hub of the department of Copán. The city is connected through the International Highway of the West with San Pedro Sula to the east and with the borders of El Salvador at El Poy and Guatemala at Agua Caliente to the west. Santa Rosa benefits from a beautiful setting, surrounded by hills and pine trees, and enjoys a subtropical climate with temperatures ranging from 25-29° C in the summer (March-June) and from 13-15° C in the winter (December-February).

Santa Rosa has a rich cultural heritage and is an appealing stop for tourists. The historical center of the city has been declared a Honduran national monument. Visitors can enjoy the colonial architecture, cobblestone streets and colonial-style houses that demonstrate the preservation of Santa Rosa's culture and history, with its origins in tobacco farming. While visiting the city center you will notice several different architectural styles of the historical buildings. Santa Rosa is situated at a strategic point between Copán Ruinas and Gracias, Lempira. Here you will find two of the most important tourist attractions in Honduras: Copán Ruinas and Celaque National Park. The city also has the advantage of being within 2 hours of the borders of both El Salvador and Guatemala, which makes it the perfect place to rest up and explore its historical downtown. Santa Rosa is also an ideal spot to use as a base to explore nearby towns such as Lepaera, Corquin and San Marcos, among others.

The city offers a wide selection of hotels and restaurants. It was founded in the early 18th century by Spanish settlers as Los Llanos de Santa Rosa and was picked as the site for La Real Factoria del Tabaco, the Royal Tobacco Company a Spanish crown company in 1765. Later, it was the capital city of the department of Gracias before that department was split into Copán and Lempira. In 1865, it was renamed Santa Rosa de Copan. ~via Wikipedia

Uploaded by Adal-Honduras on 27 Jun 09, 8.02PM CST.

Honduras Videos

Check out Honduran Institute of Tourism - YouTube Channel featuring a series of short videos filmed in July and August 2009:

~via YouTube

Why it is Important to Use a Travel Agent

I stumbled upon these on-line readings recently regarding travel, and I decided to share extracts and links that you may find useful:

Ruthanne Terrero the Editorial Director of the Questex Travel Group —which includes Travel Agent magazine, Home-Based Travel Agent, Luxury Travel Advisor, Premier Hotels & Resorts and Premier Spas & Romance— was approached by CNN recently to talk about how consumers can take advantage of the current situation in order to find the best travel deals.

Utila - One of 10 Best Scuba Diving Destinations

Utila, in the Bay Islands, Honduras is one of the 10 best scuba diving destinations, according to OpenTravel  site. Other places include: Australia, Mexico, Indonesia, Belize, Micronesia, Vanuatu, Egypt, Thailand, and Maldives.

If hours under the water watching wild and abundant marine life is your type of thing, these are some of the world’s most spectacular dive destinations. Probably you have already visited one or even a few of those locations but I bet there’s at least one place you haven’t yet explored.

Cozy kitchen - Copan Ruinas, Honduras

Our thanks to Karen Walrond writer from AOL travel blog Gadling.com who has chosen another of our flickr photos as yesterday's Photo of the Day 6.29.09.

Swim with dolphins in Honduras

One of thirty ways to live a longer and healthier life.

I stumble upon this page a while ago on healthy living from SAGA Magazine: "Thirty ways to a healthier life" ,  and I am particularly fond of #19 related to Interaction with Dolphins, an activity you can perform in Honduras —easily and less expensively than in other destinations:

Swim with dolphins: People with mild to moderate depression showed significant and lasting improvement after spending an hour a day swimming with dolphins for two weeks in Honduras, according to a study published in the BMJ. They did much better than a control group who took part in water-based activities but without the dolphins. The psychiatrists from the University of Leicester medical school were testing brophilia - the theory that human health and wellbeing are linked to our relationship with the natural environment. —SAGA Magazine, Read complete article here:  Thirty ways to a healthier life.

Ceviche, the other raw fish dish

Copan Canopy Tour - at Lonely Planet forum

One of the most fun parts of Copan was doing the zipline. Its called the Canopy Tour de Los Sapos. Its about a mile walk from the south of town, or you can arrange a pickup from some of the tour operators in town. Its fairly pricey, I think it was $35 US per person, but it was definitely worth it. Its several kilometers of zipline over the canopy, and you can see the ruins from the zip line. The longest zipline was about a kilometer. - travelinggnome08

Check ANY Flight Status live here:

You can check any Airports and any Flights status from here. Just write in your Airline name or code and flight number, or Departure/Arrival Airports and dates and click Go:

Flight information is provided by FlightStats, and is subject to the FlightStats Terms of Use.

Museum of Maya Sculpture: Rosalila Temple replica

Inside the Sculpture Museum at Copan Ruinas, Honduras. This magnificent full-scale replica of the Rosalila Temple, restored to its original colors and high relief 'stucco' façades, lies showing all its splendor.
Undoubtedly a unique sample of the beautiful Maya World art.

Awesome sunset, West Bay Beach, Roatan

May, 2009 - West Bay Beach, Paradise Beach Club

Posted via web from adal's posterous

Traveled to Central America? -- ...share your photos on Flickr!

We have created a Flickr.com Group named Visit Central America and another one called Visit Honduras, where you are welcome to share your photos of your travels to this enchanting region. Please feel free to publish as many photos as you like, and also please add the following 'tags' for easier handling and display: geotagged, geotag:Honduras, Honduras (or corresponding country accordingly).

You can also pin-point your photos to a map (check out the Map) for the Group (or any other Flickr Map) just use 'geotags', there are several methods, but I found this one very easy: You can use Google Earth plus Trippermap Tool as explained here

This is a sample of some of the photos added lately:

Visit Central America - View this group's most interesting photos on Flickriver

Visit Honduras - View this group's most interesting photos on Flickriver

Be more productive. Go on vacation.

"...time off is an important component of hardcore achievement and productivity." — Darren Hardy

Self-improvement coach Darren Hardy wrote recently an interesting post about how important it is to go on vacation to improve your productivity:

How does America regain its supremacy in the productive world? How do you improve your personal productivity?

ANSWER: Go on vacation.

438 million. That is the number of vacation days American’s failed to take in 2007 according to Harris Interactive research group. More than any other industrialized nation.

Here is the result: America ranks #1 in depression and mental health problems. Americans are experiencing burnout, reduced productivity, diminished creativity, failed relationships, stress or stress-related ailments such as depression, heart disease or stomach ulcers in record levels.

It reminded me of this quote I read somewhere:

"When I am … traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that ideas flow best and most abundantly." — Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Check out the full post here:  Workaholics Anonymous—A 12-Step Program of Recovery and Personal Transformation (Step 11)

Big Ben and Parliament Square, London

Big Ben, London, originally uploaded by Adal-Honduras.

It is rewarding to learn your photos are appreciated by some important information sources such as Schmap guides. They have for the second time added one of my photos to the just released seventh edition of their Schmap London Guide: Big Ben and the Parliament Square (my first photo included was the Cloister of St. Jerome in Madrid).

Big Ben

Parliament Square
London, SW1A 2NE
"Big Ben" is the name of the clock inside the famous tower that also forms part of the Houses of Parliament. Its impressive mechanism weighs in at over 13.5 tons, and the pendulum, which beats once every two seconds, is 13 feet long and weighs 690 pounds. The clock was named "Big Ben" after the First Commissioner of Works, and since 1885 a light above it has been lit while the House of Commons is in session. — Review © 2009, Wcities
Their London Map:

Color and texture - Chichicastenango, Guatemala

AOL travel blog site Gadling.com has honored us by choosing one of our flickr pics as Photo of the Day 4.27.09 a few weeks ago.

Man, if there was *ever* a study in colour and texture, this fabulous photograph is it. Shot and shared by Adal-Honduras, you can almost hear the sounds and smell the smells of this Guatemalan market. Beautiful capture! — Gadling

It is indeed our region landscapes and people —like these Chichicastenango kaqchikelswith their colorful and elaborate textures who provoke those reactions. It is truly a proud for Central Americans to have such a diverse culture and riches, all contained in such small area of land.

Central America has a lot to offer to the traveler eager to experience living cultures, lush forests, abundant wildlife, artistic samples of ancient sculpture, mystical archeological sites, colonial towns, breathtaking white sandy beaches in the Caribbean Sea of crystal-clear pristine waters and home to the World Heritage Site Belize Barrier Reef spanning down to Roatan, second in size yet number one in biodiversity in the world —and closer to the Northern Hemisphere.

There are indeed 15 places in the region declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO:

El Salvador



Costa Rica


Central American main cities are around 2 - 5 hours flight from main gateways in the U. S. there is wide connectivity to/from Europe and South America as well.

Birds of Honduras

Copan Ruinas based naturalist Robert Gallardo  has compiled an extensive and most interesting repository of valuable information about the birds' species found in Honduras in his website Birds of Honduras .

Turquoise browed Motmot

The interactive way of presenting this info becomes a valuable treasure for every birdwatcher interested in this region. Here you can read information on the species, enjoy nice photographs, and listen to some of the birds calls recorded by Robert himself. There are more than 380 species listed in the Website and include: Lovely Cotinga (Cotinga amabilis), Honduran Emerald (Amazilia luciae) endemic to the country, Harpy Eagle (Harpia harpyja), several species of Motmot and the elusive Resplendent Quetzal (Pharomachrus mocinno).

His experience and knowledge of Honduras flora and fauna, including orchids, butterflies and specializing in birds, is a result of his numerous travels throughout the country both as a scientist doing field work and as a Tour Guide including Olancho, the World Heritage Site of Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve , Pico Bonito National Park, and Copan Ruinas.

Born in Southern California, Robert's interest in nature developed during his numerous family camping trips. He has a degree in Natural Resource Planning and Interpretation. Thanks to joining the Peace Corps and being sent to Honduras in 1993, his passion for tropical natural history took off.

Robert has identified and added more than 20 new species of butterflies to the country's list and 17 new bird records. Two orchids he has collected are currently under investigation as being new for science. Robert and his wife Irma had completed the country's first work on native orchids in compact disk. It features over 170 species with around 350 wonderful photographs and bilingual English/Spanish text.

The natural history tours have continued to grow with each year seeing new companies coming to Honduras. They have been a good source of field data and personal satisfaction. — Robert Gallardo, Birds of Honduras

Their property in Copan Ruins in western Honduras: Enchanted Wings Butterfly Farm  is a fine Nature Center, unique in Honduras. It has a butterfly house, collection on display, native orchid exhibit and botanical gardens. Soon they will add an insect museum, reptile exhibit and an eco-lodge.
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Cloister of St Jerome the Royal - Madrid

I was surprised when I received a flickr message asking permission to include this photo in the newly released 7th edition of Schmap Madrid Guide

This photo was taken on February 2, 2008 during a trip to Madrid to attend FITUR. A really nice church from the XV Century, located in front of the Museo del Prado, besides the Real Academia de la Lengua.
Cloister of St Jerome the Royal — Calle Moreto 4 — Madrid, Madrid 28014
A church, popularly known as Los Jerónimos, that's full of history - kings and queens sought refuge here, Spanish parliaments were sworn in here, Alfonso XIII was married here and King Juan Carlos I was proclaimed King of Spain in this very building. It dates back to the 16th century, but has been restored several times and only a few external features remain from its early days. Inside, you'll see famous paintings by Carducho and José Méndez along with valuable sculptures like Juan de Mena´s 18th-century Cristo de la Buena Muerte, neo-Gothic lamps and stained-glass windows. It's close to the following museums: Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza and Ejército (Army), as well as the Ritz and Palace hotels. — Review © 2009, Wcities

Schmap Madrid Map:

White hibiscus - Chaa Creek Lodge - Belize

Hibiscus, especially white hibiscus, is considered to have medicinal properties in the Indian traditional system of medicine.
In Mexico, the red variety is also popular to make a refreshing beverage. The drink is known as agua de Jamaica and is quite popular for its color, tanginess and mild flavor; once sugar is added, it tastes somewhat like cranberry juice. Dieters or persons with kidney problems often take it without adding sugar for its beneficial properties and as a natural diuretic. It is made by boiling the dehydrated flowers in water; once it is boiled, it is allowed to cool and drunk with ice. — Wikipedia

Did you know that infusion from this flower is also believed to benefit hearth disease? A 2008 USDA study shows consuming hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure in a group of pre-hypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults.