Nicaragua was the first rainforest I ever explored. I was 15, brought my family into the remote Bartola Reserve down the Rio San Juan, and found the butterflies and monkeys and spiders that made my dream of being a rainforest-immersed entomologist seem not only closer than ever, but more essential than ever.

I've since been back to Nicaragua several times- documenting sea turtle research conducted by Paso Pacifico, or taking my family along to see this gorgeous country. The people, the rainforest, the surf, the food- this is a country that should be at the top of your list for you next trip. Here are a few videos I've put together from my time there: