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North America Articles, Information, & Ideas

If your trip will include North America, be sure to browse through all the North America articles below. We at The Cheap Route have already done a lot of first hand research about North America, we've been there done that when it comes to North America, continue reading to gain first hand insight. Our goal is to to provide the hard to find information and photos about North America.

Jardin Zoologico de la Habana, Havana Zoo, Cuba

Monday, August 16, 2010
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Entrance to the Havana Garden Zoo
Jardin Zoologico de La Habana, is located in the Vedado District of Havana, Cuba

The Jardin Zoologico is a Zoo centrally located in the Vedado area of Havana, Cuba. The admission to the zoo is 3cuc, but you may be able to get in for free if it is a Cuban holiday. Don’t go expecting modern facilities or to see extremely rare animals, go because this zoo is frozen in the 60’s, and will provide a really unique zoo experience.

Coast Camp: Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Wednesday, August 4, 2010
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Campsite 12 at the Coast Camp site in Point Reyes
One of the more exposed campsites, number 12 of 14, in the Point Reyes National Seashore, Coast Camp.

Coast Camp is one of 4 backcountry campsites in the Point Reyes National Seashore in Northern California. Like the 3 others, access is limited to hikers, bikers and horse riders, so whatever your method, you will have to haul in your own stuff, but it will be worth it because the hiking is awesome and the coast has a lot to explore.

Callejón de Hamel – Havana, Cuba

Tuesday, August 3, 2010
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Entrance To Callejón de Hamel, Havana
The entrance to the Afro-Cuban cultural mecca of Callejón de Hamel, Havana

Callejón de Hamel is a city block in Havana Centro, dedicated to the preservation and expression of Afro-Cuban culture. The entire block is covered in bright abstract murals and sculptures, many made from everyday objects like bathtubs and hubcaps.

Semuc Champey Pools – Lanquín, Guatemala

Semuc Champey, Guatemala
A view of Semuc Champey from the Mirador viewpoint

Semuc Champey is a natural attraction tucked away in the mountains of an isolated jungle in Guatemala. Situated in the town of Lanquín, get ready for a bumpy ride if you plan on visiting the pools. Semuc Champey sits above the Cahabón River, in an area where the harder rock on the surface has held strong while the river eroded the softer rock beneath. Now the pools sit a brilliant turquoise color while the muddy river runs beneath them and out the bottom of a large waterfall on the other end. The water in the pools is all rain water, which is why it’s so clear, unless it rains extremely hard for a long period of time, in which case the river may flood over the pools as well.

La Flor Sea Turtle Reserve – San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua

Wednesday, July 21, 2010
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Baby Sea Turtles Entering The Sea, Nicaragua
Several baby sea turtles making their way to the ocean

When visiting San Juan Del Sur, consider spending a night at the La Flor Sea Turtle Reserve on the Pacific Coast. Board the shuttle from the Casa El Oro at about 8 or 9pm and spend an hour driving the bumpy dirt roads through the jungle out to the reserve. When you arrive, depending on season, expect to see a handful of armed guards to protect against poachers, and a bunch of white sacks containing turtle nests. If you’re lucky, a short walk to the beach and you could be amongst a mass arival of hundreds if not thousands of turtles.

Surfing Maderas Beach, San Juan Del Sur – Nicaragua

The Barreling Wave Of Maderas Beach, Nicaragua
An empty right barrel at Maderas

Central America is full of empty beaches with great waves, you just have to know where they are. While travelling Nicaragua recently I booked a shuttle from my hostel in San Juan Del Sur to Maderas Beach. The posted surf report said 4-6 foot waves with light offshore winds. Not sure exactly what to expect, I arrived to find exactly that, perfect 4-6 foot barrels with a light offshore wind, and for some reason the water was empty.

Deep-Sea Fishing in Varadero, Cuba

Thursday, July 15, 2010
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Marina Chapelín, Varadero
The Docks of Marina Chapelín in Varadero

Varadero is located on the Hicacos Peninsula in the province of Matanzas, Cuba. Varadero is a resort town known for its 12 miles of white sand beaches. It is not known for its deep-sea fishing out of Marina Chapelín. The lack of notoriety of the deep-sea fishing should have been a good indicator of what to expect, but having already acquired my transdermal scopolamine patch, I pretty much had to go.

Line Up For Ice Cream At Coppelia, Havana

Thursday, July 15, 2010
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Coppelia Heladeria, Havana, Cuba
The giant open-air ice cream parlor, Coppelia, in Havana, Cuba

Coppelia is a massive open-air ice cream dispensary in the Vedado district of Havana, Cuba. I was told the ice cream is amazing, that I had to go to Coppelia to get a taste of Cuba. I wouldn't say that is partially accurate. The ice cream is good, and you will be eating it on a hot day, which makes it really good, but the real Cuban experience is wait.

Cayo Jutias, Pinar del Río, Cuba

Saturday, July 10, 2010
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Cayo Jutias, Cuba
A View of the Caribbean and the beach at Cayo Jutias, Cuba

The clammy heat in Cuba can really wear you and your inner thighs down, and sometimes the only thing that will provide temporary relief is a cool swim and a couple of mojitos. Luckily, there is always a beach relatively close by to calm your chaffed thighs and a mojito to restore your spirit. Cayo Jutias is an exceptional example of one of those beaches that also serves mojitos. The 4 mile white sand beach of Cayo Jutias, Pinar del Río, is the perfect spot to cool down, and if you are in the mood, drink up. Cayo Jutias is a small islet just 40 miles outside of Viñales. You can catch a bus for the day, or take a rental car toward the town of Minas de Matahambre and then take the stone causeway that leads to the secluded beach on the Caribbean.

Mural de la Prehistoria, Viñales, Cuba

Friday, July 2, 2010
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Mural de la Prehistoria Viñales, Cuba
View of the Mural de la Prehistoria from outside the gates in Viñales, Cuba

The Mural de la Prehistoria is 2.5 miles west of the town of Viñales in the Pinar del Río province, Cuba. When I went to see this mural I had done zero research and thought it was some kind of prehistoric mural, painted by a prehistoric people. It's not. Its a mural of prehistory, or at least the artists rendition, and no, it wasn't a giant child's finger-painting lesson using only primary colors. It was painted in 1961 by Leovigildo González Morillo, not a giant child, and even after being recently touched up, the grossly colored mural of giant snails and dinosaurs smeared onto the side of a mogote is definitely not worth the 1 cuc entrance fee, especially when the view outside the gates is a little better.

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