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Nasrid Palace at the Alhambra

One of the most impressive things about visiting the Alhambra is the amazing plaster detail work, with elegant yet geometric shapes. This close up detail of a pattern shows just how complex the designs are, but in reality whole walls and rooms of the building are covered with panels like this.

Antigua Corpus Cristi Festival - Flowers and Pine Boughs in Street Before Parade

It's not unusual to happen upon a religious ceremony when in Latin America, with its strong Catholic roots. We ended up in the middle of the annual Corpus Cristi festival in Antigua, Guatemala, and enjoyed watching neighbors decorating the streets with confetti, pine boughs, and flowers.

Antigua Guatemala Street Scene

Antigua, Guatemala has been an increasingly popular destination for tourism looking for the charm of a colonial town in Central America. The town itself is adorable, with colorful building facades, ruins of huge churches destroyed in earthquakes, and plenty of restaurants, hotels, and tourist activities. Although Antigua is pretty well set up for tourism, it's a good idea to have a some ability to speak Spanish.

Alhambra Courtyard

The Alhambra in Granada, Spain is one of the most famous and well-preserved examples of Mudéjar-style architecture typical of the Andalucia region in the south of Spain. The amazing patterns and detail used in the Alhambra palaces and the Alcazar in Sevilla are truly breathtaking.

leaves from Las Palmas, El Salvador

This picture was taken from a hammock at my hotel in El Salvador in the town of Las Palmas. Las Palmas is a nice cool mountain, a definite contrast to the hot, jungle air of Suchitoto, El Salvador. Learning some Spanish is definitely a good idea before heading to El Salvador, since its tourism industry isn't as developed as neighboring Guatemala and Honduras.

leaves from Las Palmas, El Salvador

Casa Popenoe in Antigua Guatemala - Detail from Wood Carving

Casa Popenoe was my favorite attraction in Antigua, Guatemala. A beautifully restored colonial home, Casa Popenoe gives a window into how a royal official lived in the 17th century. With an impressive courtyard and garden, a rooftop terrace, beautiful woodwork and period furniture, and pigeon holes formerly used for carrier pigeons, the house is well worth a visit.