Eight Central American Surprises: Quakes, Quinceañeras and Kenny G

Experiencing the unexpected is one of the great pleasures of travel, and often it’s the memories of unplanned moments that I treasure most when I return home (even if they weren’t particularly pleasant at the time).

My recent trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua provided numerous such moments, and these are some of my favorites.


While en route from San José, Costa Rica, to Hacienda AltaGracia, our driver suggested that we listen to some music. Since he said his parents were Jamaican, I thought he might play some reggae, but it was Yanni he turned on. “I love Yanni,” he explained, “because it’s relaxing, and it’s clean music. Boom boom boom, no, no. I don’t like rock music.” We listened for a while, and just as Yanni’s bland world-music sound was beginning to grate, our driver asked, “Do you like Kenny G?”

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