Central America & Cuba

Our Central America Blogs

Delightful Dunks

You know you're officially on holiday when you dive head first (or climb gracefully, or bomb, you get the picture) in to the cool, refreshing water of the hotel's swimming pool. And we're not talking about any old 25m situation, we're talking infinity pools with beautiful views, romantic private plunge pools and child-friendly pools to keep the little monsters busy for hours. So without further ado, here are seven of our favourite hotel swimming pools around the world...

The Best Honeymoon Destinations in Central America

Your honeymoon is arguably the most important holiday you'll ever take… no pressure, then. Well that's where we come in, as your travel guardian angels it's our mission to make sure you have the most superlative-ridden honeymoon of all time. And the first step to such honeymoon heaven is choosing the right destination. Enter, stage left, the ancient ruins, vibrant colours, buzzing cities, beautiful beaches and fabulous food (and pretty much anything else you could every wish for on your honeymoon) of Central America. And here's a few of our favourite countries for a Central American honeymoon...

Happy Chinese New Year!

Clever, lively, flexible - no, we're not trying to simply flatter you into booking a holiday (do let us know if that would work, though), these are in fact three central traits attributed to those born in the Chinese calendar's Year of the Monkey. Ironic really, given the cerebral association, that there's so much confusion over the various suborders of primate (ape, monkey and prosimian, so Wikipedia tells us). Anyway, the advent of Chinese New Year brings not only a good excuse for a party but also another Year of the Monkey, which got us thinking about the best places on the planet to spot these cheeky beasties. And here's a few of our favourites…

What's Hot Right Now

January is a month generally associated with New Year blues, dark days and distinctly British weather. That is to say it's not necessarily a favourite. In fact one of the only things it is good for is planning your getaways for the year ahead, and that's where we come in. Whether it's finding a perfectly secluded beach to relax on, tracking game with bushmen in the Kalahari or learning to mix the perfect caipirinha at a Brazilian beach bar, our team of experts is on hand to create your perfect holiday. And our first mission of the year is to bring you a collection of the hottest destinations for 2016 - the temperatures will be peachy and availability is going like hotcakes so it's time to get the diary out and start planning!

Seven of the Best: Boutique Boltholes

What do the words 'boutique hotel' mean to you? Perhaps it's the independently owned and run element? Few rooms, bespoke interiors, secluded locations, impeccable and personal service? - They're all on the list. And it has to be said that the place you rest your head at night is a hugely significant part of your holiday, whether it's a tented camp in the middle of the desert or a secret hideaway in the heart of a city. While the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of a place are the stuff that treasured memories are made of, the hotel could, and should, take your holiday to the next level. So here they are, seven of our favourite boutique boltholes in the world…

Where We've Been in 2015

'Twas a crisp and icy morning on the 6th of January 2003 when Original Travel was officially brought into the world. Its mission? To make sure you have the most wonderful holiday experiences imaginable, down to the very last detail. And 12 years, 8 months, 3 days and a few hours later that statement still stands. Which is why our team of destination experts regularly pack their suitcases, grab their passports and selflessly jet off around the globe in search of the best destinations, hotels and experiences out there, whether getting off the beaten track and exploring a newcomer to the luxury travel world, or revisiting an old favourite. It's a tough gig, but someone's got to do it, and here's just a few of the places we've been to in 2015.

Where You've Been in 2015

As your travel guardian angels we often write about and share our experiences of the destinations we've been lucky enough to visit, but enough about us, let's talk about you. Let's talk about the amazing places and experiences we've organised for our lovely clients this year. We're talking intrepid honeymoons, adventurous sabbaticals, secret beach breaks, fun-filled family getaways, cultural escapades and much, much more. We've sent people to over 100 countries so far this year (102, to be precise) and here are just a few of our favourites...

Christmas Getaways: Time To Start Planning

Talk of Christmas already?!? Before you think we've gone all Argos on you, the majority of great festive season holiday spots do get booked up well in advance and as travel guardian angels we naturally only want the best for you. So, if the thought of doing one of Nigella's coke soaked hams (now, now) is not on the agenda this year then why not think about jetting off to pastures new? Whether you want to embrace yuletide traditions or get away from them, here's a little selection for you.

My Perfect Day In Mexico

What would your perfect day entail? Perhaps spending it in a beautiful location, with a dash of adventure, a splash of culture and a decent dollop of sunshine, washed down with some delectable cuisine? Mexico is the perfect place for just such a day and if geography and time were not an issue, here's how I'd spend it…

Late Summer Sun

If you've not managed to get away this summer and you're tiring of sun-kissed colleagues and friends, September and October are perfect months to soak up some late summer sun. Whether you want to jet off to somewhere in Europe for a long weekend or fly and flop further afield, we can arrange it all. Maybe you've already had your fix of vitamin D this summer and just fancy topping up your glow? Who knows…what we do know are the destinations that will make perfect SUNNY getaways.

The Foodie Tour of America

As a nation of immigrants, the US of A is home to some truly diverse dishes. Here we take a look at some American Classics from the American Grill menu by our friends at Deliverance.

Nicaragua: Under-rated but Utterly Enchanting

How much do you know about Nicaragua? This little gem of a destination (well, it's actually the biggest central American country) is oft-overlooked as a holiday destination when placed next to the big boys of Latin America - Brazil, Argentina, Mexico. Nicaragua was my first venture outside Europe and, although I've travelled a lot since, still holds a special place in my heart. This incredible country is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes you could hope to find, not to mention some of the most welcoming people and a history that'll knock your socks off.

The Happiest Place in the World

Why does Denmark always top the 'happiest place in the world surveys'? A combination of cycling and summerhouses? The fame thrust upon them by Hamlet? My favourite answer is that they generally have very low expectations in life, so they're rarely disappointed. Regardless, there has been an 'upward trend' of happiness across the globe (well, at least in the 52 countries they researched) since 1981 according to the World Values Survey organisation. They attribute this burst of happiness to economic development, democratisation, and increasing social tolerance - but is this really a true measure of happiness?

My First Trip to Panama

More than anywhere else in Central America, Panama symbolizes a contradictory mixture of old and new, North American and Latin American, rich and poor - making it one of the most dizzyingly exciting and diverse spots to visit. Oh, and beaches are in abundance...

Our Top 5 Winter Sun Holiday Destinations

As the weather gets colder, it's only natural to think about jetting off to somewhere warmer. Here are some of Original Travel's picks for well-earned and completely unique 'winter sun' holiday...

Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations

In need of some inspiration for your honeymoon? We are here to help! Want to know where in the world is best at a particular time of year? Or where you can dine alone on the beach at sunset? Or even where you can be pampered at a spa under the sea? We are here to help you create a completely bespoke luxury honeymoon. Give us a starting point and we will guide you through the process with your own personal travel consultant. Here are our top 10 honeymoon destinations...

Summer Honeymoon Destinations

There are a whole plethora of places to jet off to once you've tied the knot and here are just a few of OT's top places to escape to in the summer season...

Scrambled Egg Recipe from Mexico

If you fancy a breakfast with a twist, try this scrambled egg recipe for huevos a la Mexican picked up by Jules during her travels in Mexico!

Top Honeymoon Destinations

Original Travel's honeymoons, be it a pampering mini-break or a far-flung exotic escape, will provide a welcome respite from wedding stresses and prove the most happy of starts to life as man and wife. Here are just some of our top honeymoon destinations …

Where To Go On Holiday To Escape Those Monday Blues

Today - the 23rd of January - is officially the most depressing day of the year, known colloquially as 'Blue Monday'. It's not surprising, considering that naked Christmas trees line our streets, we haven't been paid since the Christmas splurge and we're all on a diet. The solution? An exclusive escape, of course!

80 Senses: #12 - Costa Rica Wildlife

Meet nature's best alarm clock... Being woken up at sunrise might not sound like an ideal holiday scenario, but for some reason it feels right in Costa Rica. This charming Central American country sells itself as one big wildlife sanctuary, and visitors often find themselves abiding by more natural sleep patterns, waking at dawn and tucked up in bed not long after sunset. The reason they are up with the birds? Well, it sometimes sounds as if every feathered thing (and animal inhabitant besides) in this most eco-diverse country is hiding under your bed and that - on cue - they kick off.

Oh so Central America

Guatemala and Belize have long been among the most popular countries to visit in Central America, but on a recent trip to the region I went in search of something new, which I found in spades in El Salvador and Honduras.

80 Senses: #5 - Day of the Dead Mexico

Mexico is proving a more and more popular destination, thanks to improved flights and the recent fashion for Mexican street food championed by chefs Tommi Miers and Jamie Oliver. There are beautiful beaches, spectacular Mayan ruins and vibrant cities to explore, but our favourite slice of Mexico is the Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos, a fascinating insight into the Mexican mindset. While, technically speaking, the actual Day of the Dead Mexico is November 2nd, the tradition has evolved to include October 31st (thanks to Halloween influence from across the northern border) and November 1st as well. Halloween celebrations involve costumes and partying with friends but in Mexico, Halloween is seen as 'fun and games' whereas the 1st and 2nd of November are far more serious.

Where to go in Mexico

It's hard to believe quite how different each trip to Mexico can be, the astounding diversity which makes Mexico the ultimate holiday destination to suit almost any criteria. Here is my advice on where to go in Mexico...

Cuban Culture: Cuba Before Castro Dies

I've wanted to go to Cuba for a long time and probably just because everyone else says so, I wanted to go before Castro dies and it changes too much. And having just come back, I'm very glad I did.

Holidays To Belize and Guatemala

One of our favourite pairings for a truly original holiday, Guatemala and Belize are still relatively unhindered by heavy tourist trade. Latin America expert Sas divulges her favourite - and most poignant - moments of a recent trip...

We were particularly impressed by the level of contact from you. We have fairly intense jobs and the fact that you were so communicative and helpful made organisation so easy.


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