From August to December in CA and maybe part of SA?
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Feb 20, 2013 6:54 PM Last Post By: SoloHobo
Feb 20, 2013 5:01 AM
From August to December in CA and maybe part of SA?Hello,
I'm planning to do a trip of around 4 months (from beginning of August to mid December) starting in the Yucatan and going south through all Central America and possibly visiting Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. My question is, is this too ambitious?? Should I just spend the 4 months in CA or would it be too long?? How fast can I go through Colombia and Ecuador if I want to get quickly to Peru? And by how fast I mean going overland, skipping some but not all of the tourist attractions but also having enough rest (like a couple of days) between long bus trips. And finally, once in Peru, how long do I need there if I want to visit the highlights of the country??
I know it is a bit ambiguous the questions but any help/advice would be great!!
Feb 20, 2013 5:39 AM
1It is ambiguous...depends on so many things.
Physically it can be done for sure.I'd say 3 months is a decent amount of time from one 'end' of CA to the other...of course,that will differ depending on exactly where you go,how long you stay in each place etc!
That would leave you only a month for Colombia,Ecuador and Peru which IMHO is nowhere near enough time.
Personally I would do (and have done) them as separate trips...not together...with only 4 months available.
Feb 20, 2013 6:03 AM
2It depends on your interest- do you plan to get to the Cayes in Belize and go diving, as well as Bay Islands off Honduras, and Corn Islands off Nicaragua, as well as the the various and spread out national parks in Costa Rica? 8 countries in 3 months, is 10 days per country, 4 months would be 15 days per country. Now some countries deserve more time for most than others, Guatemala 3-4 weeks, Costa Rica 3-4 weeks, to see highlights and get around. El Salvador is usually the least amount time spent for most, unless you surf. Many of the best parts of these countries can be far flung and off the beaten path too, and requires time and energy, just to get to them via public bus/transport, then you have to double back to get to the next area.
I would also be considered about rainy season, which is from April to Dec, and its gets worse the closer you get to Oct/Nov, and Oct/Nov is peak, resulting in some areas be off limits, parks closed, or just too wet/muddy to hike the trails or access the highlights. This is especially a major factor in Costa Rica/Panama, for instance, Corcovado is closed in Oct, the Osa and southern zone is a mess, the top park in the entire region. Beaches and coast can be polluted with mud and run off from the rivers and mountains above as well.
Lastly, getting from Panama to Colombia, there is no road, you will need to either fly, about $500, sometimes, more or less, or take a sailboat charter, $550PP, and this requires a good week when all said and done from time you find a boat to yoru liking, then the departure may have to wait for more travelers, then the trip itself, 2 nights via San Blas Islands. Also, Dec the weather is not good, many boats dont make the trip, and the seas can be very rough and conditions not so fun on a sailboat...
You can go via surface, on a series of busses and cargo boats, though its no set schedule and a roll of the dice as your hop and skip from port to port, with no real infrastructure for lodging/comforts, need a flexible and fluid schedule and just wing it.
Also, you may want to get some Spanish Immersion for such a long journey, interacting with the locals and getting about will be much easier, best to do this in Guatemala as they have many language schools and nice atmosphere to learn, all rather cheap, in Antigua, Atitlan or Xela areas.
Only real issues will be Dengue Fever outbreaks, usually in coastal areas, delays due to landslides/road washouts, especially the mountain areas...
Also keep in mind, the areas and distances in Central America, are small, though still time consuming, compared to Colombia alone, where the entire CA region can fit into the size of Colombia alone, when traveling overland...so with 3-4 months, pick one or the other IMO, CA or SA, but not both.
Feb 20, 2013 6:39 AM
3Thank you guys for your quick answers! I was realising, as I was typing my previous post that it did sound quite ambitious, but having the opportunity to spend 4 months in America and me being from Europe, I want to get as much as I can. What I'm looking for with this backpacking trip is to find good diving spots and lay-down beaches but also find Mayan/Inca culture and do trekking/hiking in the Andes and possibly visit some of the Amazon.
So I've been thinking the following option: 3 months in CA and then take a plane from Panama City to Lima and spend 1 month in Peru (So skipping Colombia and Ecuador). Does that sound a bit more reasonable?? With a quick search, flights straight to Lima don't look a lot more expensive than those to Cartagena or Bogota. That way I can still have most of Central America, and still do some hiking in the Andes and perhaps have a taste of the Amazon Basin?
Feb 20, 2013 7:43 AM
Feb 20, 2013 6:54 PM
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