Round the world trip 12 month itinerary 16 countries
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Jan 21, 2013 9:04 PM Last Post By: aslukas
Jan 21, 2013 8:44 AM
Round the world trip 12 month itinerary 16 countriesI am currently planning a RTW trip with y boyfriend starting October 2013.
We have found a great deal for a rtw ticket and have planned a rough itinerary (haven't planned any details yet).
But now I am worried that we are trying to see too many countries, has anybody done a similar trip before?
Our plan is as follows:
Peru 1 month then fly to Panama city
Panama overland to Mexico (Yucatan and Chiapas area) around 3 to 4 months
California 3 weeks
Fly to Fiji for 2 weeks
Australia fly into Sydney overland to Cairns for 6 weeks
South East Asia 3 months (Thailand, Bali, Vietnam, Cambodia and maybe Laos)
India 2 months
Is this crazy? It's our first round the world trip and most probably our last so we'd like to see as much as possible and do many overland trips.
Any advice would be much appreciated.
Jan 21, 2013 9:58 AM
1Peru a month?
Cali 3 weeks, without a car rental, not worth it.
Fiji is not cheap and a lot of time
What about Eastern EU/North Africa?
Peru>Colombia>Sailboat to Panama>Mexico>LA> 2 week loop with rental up coast and back via Yosimite/GC. Fly SE Asia 3 months, do Bali or islands from there, (Bali). Then to Turkey/Greece/Morocco...
Jan 21, 2013 10:12 AM
Do you think 1 month in Peru is too long or not long enough? We are planning on doing the Inca trail and would also like to visit the Amazon rainforest.
Maybe we should cut Fiji down to one week to save some money.
I have traveled in Europe before so we won't be visiting any European countries this time, although I agree it's a great place to visit. And we wen't to Africa last year so that one was left out too.
How long would you suggest for the Panama > Mexico leg of our route?
Jan 21, 2013 10:17 AM
Jan 21, 2013 11:04 AM
4I was thinking that myself, that 1 month might be too long for Peru, especially as we have so many exciting things planned afterwards. Bali isn't sure yet, we basically land in Singapore and will make our way around the region, will have around 3 months before we fly to India.
Our interests are culture (which sites do you recommend in Burma, Laos and Thailand?) nature (hiking etc) and food, lots of food!
Ok, will definitely try to take 4 months for the central america leg of the route.
Jan 21, 2013 11:34 AM
5Its a pretty solid outline plan- 16 countries in 12 months is not unreasonable. Sure-plan to shave some time off Peru, California and Fiji (which isn't expensive outside of those deluxe resorts) and always allow some time for those places you haven't yet thought of (Samoa?..Cook Islands?...Lombok?)...
Jan 21, 2013 11:42 AM
6Panama- Kuna/Yula Indigenous Indians San Blas/Darein Gap
Costa Rica- All about nature, wildlife and national parks, key parks with most contrast and wildlife, Osa-Corcovado (most bio diverse park on planet), Tortuguero, Cano Negro, Tenorio. Endless adventure, surf beaches and other great parks, 3 weeks needed.
Nicaragua is about culture, and nature, Granada, Leon and the Corn islands.
El Salvador is more about surf, though many people skip it- Sochitoto is nice too.
Honduras- Copan Ruins, and the Bay Islands 0 second longest reef in world, get your PADI here if you have not got it, will want it in SE Asia/Fiji/VBali. You also have the Miskito coast, time consuming and not cheap.
Guatemala is the cultural highlight of the region, Mayan ruins and ethnic villages, lot of volcanoes to hike and great places to east drink and hang, Tikal, Flores, Antigua, Atitlan, Xela, Rio Dulce/Livingston.
Belize, diving and ruins.
I suggest taking spanish Immersion, either before you go or in Guatemala/Peru, then you will be able to travel a lot easier and with more confidence.
Burma- go before it changes, it is the mecca if all things buddhism, Bagan, Mandalay,Inle Lake, Kalaw. Need to fly from BKK, foreigners can cross borders overall a pain due to military restrictions. safest country on earth too.
Thailand, a great intro to SE Asia, north Chainmai, Pai areas, South Islands galore-
Laos- Take slow boat down Mekong from norther Thailand, then Luang Prabang>Vang Vieng>Vientiane>Pakse>Bolevan>4000 islands
Cambodia- Angkor Wat Temples/Siem Reap
I would hit Borneo over Fiji...
Jan 21, 2013 12:38 PM
7Generally speaking I think you outline is fine. I don't think you're being overly ambitious with your number of countries and time. Plus I'm sure planning on flexibility as needed. I think your biggest problem is timing.
October - Peru shoulder dry to wet season in Andes
Nov, Dec, Jan, Feb - Central America - good weather
March - California - mixed bag; can be rainy; good time to visit Death Valley, not so great for Yosemite
March/April - Fiji hey, it's Fiji
April/May - Oz - depending on where you go good to vg weather
May, June, July, Aug - SE Asia Welcome to Monsoon Season! Heat, humidity and downpours. And mud. Lots of mud.
Aug, Sept, Oct - India - not much of an improvement; most of the country will still be in the latter part of monsoon season, although by the time you leave it will have improved
I realize it's probably impossible to make it so that the weather is ideal everywhere. I would look at the possibilities of structuring your itinerary to aim for as little bad weather as possible. I would even consider entirely reversing your itinerary, and start in India in October and finish in Peru in Sept/Oct. This would put you in CA during the rainy season. However, I personally would rather spend a rainy season in CA than in SE Asia/India. In CA it's not rainy all day, and it's cooler, rather than hotter. For example, beaches in Costa Rica are sunny a lot of the day on the Pacific side, and it's sea turtle egg laying season on the Carribean side. In SE Asia duing the monsoon season it's just ....vile. YMMV
Jan 21, 2013 3:20 PM
Jan 21, 2013 3:23 PM
All the info is greatly appreciated. That was one of our worries, getting to SEA during monsoon season. We have thought about reversing the trip but I didn't really want to throw myself into India straight away, rather ease ourselves into it I guess. But it might actually be worth thinking about it. Will ask the travel agent for a quote for the reverse route, should be a similar price.
Is India quite bad in September then? I'd like to visit the golden triangle, Kerala, Goa, Mumbai and if the political situation allows it Kashmir. Would the weather be a problem for any of these places?
Jan 21, 2013 4:31 PM
10Above you mentioned having been to Africa previously, so I wouldn't worry too much about throwing yourself directly into India (unless you only visited the cities of South Africa). It will rain in Kerala in September and October. I was in Kerala in January. To me, it was hot and humid even then (as in wanting to lie naked in front of an air conditioner). I can't imagine how it feels in the hot and monsoon seasons. Some people say they like travelling during the monsoon. I would do anything I could to avoid it. For most of India September is still monsoon time. For most (but not Kerala) places it tapers off by early October. When I was in Mumbai in mid-October it was hot during the day, but not unbearably so, and it cooled off at night. Having been in the Golden Triangle in the October/November period, that's mostly how it was: warm to hot during the day (but not unbearably hot), and cool at night. I haven't been to Kashmir.
I have been to SE Asia at the tail end of the hot season, at the start of the monsoon season, and at the end of the monsoon season (it ended late that year). I just dripped and poured sweat all the time. I mentioned it was hot and humid in Kerala in January. That was nothing compared to early monsoon season in SE Asia. I had the misfortune to live in Washington, DC for two years, and I thought that was hot, humid, and miserable in the summer. Again, nothing compared to the heat and humidity of SE Asia in early monsoon season. If you enjoy that sort of weather, more power to you, but I would do anything to avoid it.
As I mentioned above, in CA the rainy season is cooler, rather than hotter. It was usually sunny and warm for most of the day (great for swimming, snorkeling, surfing), and then later in the afternoon the clouds would roll in and it would pour for a while.
Jan 21, 2013 9:04 PM
11I can't comment as authoritatively on your itinerary once you leave the Western Hemisphere, but I think your overall plan seems doable--ambitious to be sure, but that's what RTW trips are for, right?
I don't think you should try and "shave" Peru; as a country it contains more natural and cultural variety than all of Central America. And while I love Central America (enough to base my career there), I think it's a tad silly as a gap year traveler to trade the archaeological, cultural, and natural gems of a place like Peru for what's on offer in Belize or Honduras. Both those countries are wonderful, it's true. But the entire site of Altun Ha could probably fit inside one of the pyramids in the Lima suburbs.
You could fill a very satisfying moth in Peru with ~10 days in Cuzco, the Sacred Valley, and Machu Picchu; a few days in Lima (food! music! archaeology! surfing!); and another ~10 days for the "hump" over the northern Andes from Chiclayo to Iquitos (you'll run the last leg by boat down the Amazon). You can arrange for a few days' jungle excursion from Iquitos or in the jungle near Cuzco (Manu or Tambopata).
Anyway, just my two cents' worth.
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