rio%20san%20juan%20nicaraguaJoshua Berman, author of the guidebooks Moon Belize and Moon Nicaragua and host of today’s Travel Bloggers’ Caravan site-of-the-day,  The Tranquilo Traveler, wrote to tell us about Mark Twain’s travels down the Rio San Juan in Nicaragua. Although we certainly knew that Twain was a globetrotter, visiting Europe several times and even traveling by steam ship to Polynesia, we weren’t as familiar with his explorations of Central America.

“Twain was traveling on Cornelius Vanderbilt’s cross-isthmus route between New York and California, which crossed Nicaragua with a series of steam ships and land transport,” says Joshua.  Twain documented his 1867 journey in the San Francisco-based newspaper, Alta California, and his account of the trip reveals his wild-eyed enthusiasm for the verdant Nicaraguan scenery he encountered along the way.  

“As we got under way and sped down the narrowing river, all the enchanting beauty of its surroundings came out…. The changing vistas of the river ever renewed the intoxicating picture; corners and points folding backward revealed new wonders beyond, of towering walls of verdure – gleaming cataracts of vines pouring sheer down a hundred and fifty feet, and mingling with the grass upon the earth – wonderful waterfalls of green leaves as deftly overlapping each other as the scales of a fish – a vast green rampart, solid a moment, and then, as we advanced, changing and opening into Gothic windows, colonnades – all manner of quaint and beautiful figures!”

For more information about all things Central American, visit The Tranquilo Traveler. Be sure to post a comment there today for a chance to win a copy of Moon Belize, accompanied with personal travel advice from the author about your trip.