Modern life seems to be moving in a direction of fast paced multitasking and constant activity. As smart phones and computers continue to consume more and more time in our lives, it’s important to take a step back and chill out for a moment to maintain a healthy mind. Here’s a list of places to get away from the grind and slow down your life.
Bocas del Toro, Panama
On the Caribbean coast of Panama up near the border of Costa Rica lies an archipelago of islands that can truly be called an island paradise. The slow pace of life for the locals in the area moves at a pace that most North Americans can hardly even comprehend. The deep blue waters, gorgeous sandy beaches and lush jungles make just sitting on a fishing boat and staring at your surroundings a pleasurable activity. The locals survive on a diet of fish and the lobster in the area is some of the best you will ever come across.
Up in northern Guatemala lies a sleepy town on the banks of Lake Peten Itza. The old portion of the town is located on an island in the center of the lake connected by a small bridge. The area was once part of an ancient Mayan city and when you see the stunning location you can understand why. While it’s not uncommon to see a plethora of tourists at times due to it’s proximity to the Mayan Mecca of Tikal, the town still manages to hold it’s slow-paced charm.
Caye Caulker, Belize
Just 5 miles off the coast of Belize and into the Caribbean Sea lies a small limestone coral island. What is basically a glorified sandbar with some buildings on it, Caye Caulker is a place where the words ‘busy’ or ‘rush’ simply don’t exist. Some locals will tell you that the official slogan for the island is ‘Go slow’ which the majority of the people on the island seem to be embodying on a daily basis.
Isla Omtepe, Nicaragua
Isla Omtepe is the largest volcanic island that is located inside a freshwater lake on planet earth. The island is composed of two volcanoes called Concepion and Maderas that form an hourglass shaped paradise. While there are 42,000 people that call the island home it feels like there are far fewer. Only one road connects the two major towns on the larger part of the island and small farms and villages can be found spread along the coast. It seems like the majority of people either walk or ride a bicycle and they have absolutely nothing to be in a hurry about.
The Bay Islands off the Caribbean coast of Honduras create an environment that makes it hard to get out of a hammock. They are located at the tail end of the second largest barrier reef in the world which make for some epic scuba diving. Utila is the third smallest of the islands and is slowly becoming a haven for young backpackers looking to unwind. The local cuisine of fruit and fish combined with an extremely laid back attitude make it a great place to slow down your life.
La Libertad, El Salvador
Although La Libertad is a very popular surf destination for locals and tourists alike, it still holds on to a very slow paced mentality. With a gorgeous coastline and some seriously rugged breaks it’s a must visit for hammock enthusiasts, surfers and those who like to just hang out and eat some good street food. The Pacific seafood and shellfish is said to be some of the best in South America and it can be bought fresh from the sea on a daily basis.