Central America Driving Route (time lapse): El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua & Costa Rica

Since we had to get to Costa Rica before Christmas to meet visiting family we covered more territory in December than we usually do. This unusual run also required 3 border crossings as we touched a record (for us) four countries in one month. We began the month of December, 2011 in Alegria, El Salvador and visiting it's namesake volvano and crater lake. From there we drove down to the Pacific Coast to visit the beaches of El Cuco and Play Maculis. Following this beach time it was back to the mountains for our last stop in El Salvador. We drove to the Perquin, a rebel stronghold during the war via a visit to the petroglyph caves in Corinto. After visiting Perquin and the somber town of Mozote noted for the worst massacre to take place during El Salvador's was we headed back into Honduras. In a long day we drove from Perquin to the capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa. After checking out this not so exciting capital city we drove toward the Nicaraguan border with brief stops in Yascaran and Danli. After visiting one of the famous cigar factories of Danli we crossed into Nicaragua, heading to the mountain town of Jalapa. From there we sped through Nicaragua with stops in Esteli, Masatepi and Rivas. After a brief 6 nights in Nicaragua (we'll be returning after we spend some more time in Costa Rica) we crossed into Costa Rica and headed to the capital, San Jose to meet some visting family members. From there we headed off on a little family vacation visiting the beautiful beaches of Mal Pais at the bottom of the Nicoya Peninsula. From there we visited the famous cloud forests of Monteverde. Our final stop of themonth, and year was La Fortuna/Arenal Volcano.