Central America Itinerary - 2 month travel. Where to go?
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Jul 20, 2013 8:53 PM Last Post By: wazoozaw
Mar 23, 2013 4:01 PM
Central America Itinerary - 2 month travel. Where to go?Okay, so I’m sure there are several threads around that do cover this topic and I know I shouldn’t have the audacity to expect you to help me collate an itinerary of a life time, but, and it’s a big but, id consider experience to have significantly more gravitas than a LP guide book in choosing direction.
In brief: my girl friend and I are leaving London mid June flying into Cancun and returning mid august flying from San Jose and we need some ideas of what to do in-between. I know its perhaps not the best time to travel weather wise but it’s the only time we will have to do it in the near future due to career constraints.
We are looking for some pretty adventurous stuff and don’t mind roughing it a little although are still looking to do some of the touristy stuff. On the agenda is surfing, a lot of surfing. White water rafting, tubing, diving, fishing, kayaking … well anything to do / in water. Climbing; I’ve not heard too much about any walls in Central America but I’m a fairly avid climbing back in the UK so would like to spread my wings a little. As well as some rainforesty tree trails and high wires.
So far we’ve got:
Chetumal (Costa Maya)
Ambergris Caye, Belize
Tikal National Park, Guatemala
Pacaya Volcano National Park, Guatemala
Copan Ruins National Park, Honduras
Masaya Volcano National Park, Nicaragua
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Arenal Volcano (La Fortuna)
Corcovado National Park, Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
Poas Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
But it needs some considerable filling out. Any comments would be much appreciated!
I would love to hear of some of your really good experiences. We are based in the Uk and have travelled abroad before but its mainly been for European festivals and for periods of no longer than 2 weeks so any traveling pointers would also be appreciated especially in this part of the world.
Mar 23, 2013 7:11 PM
You might want to add Tulum to the list.
Costa Maya is Mahahual and Xcalak. Mahahual is a cruise ship port, so has the usual tourist shops and attractions.
Chetumal is a nice city that doesn't get a lot tourists (that's what I like about it).
Also consider Bacalar and the cenotes in the region.
Water taxi services operate between Chetumal and Ambergris Caye with a connecting water taxi to Caye Caulker (CC is in Belize).
AC and CC are quite different. Without knowing you, I can't say which one you would prefer but any guide book will outine the differences -- AC is bigger and gets more tourists; CC is smaller, cheaper and gets more backpackers.
San Ignacio is a popular base for some of the activities (cave tours & tubing, Mayan sites, ziplining, etc.) in that region.
Mar 24, 2013 6:44 AM
2It all depends on your interest. 6 countries in 6-8 weeks is a lot of moving around. I would focus on one or the other for scuba diving, either the Cayes in Belize, or Bay Islands/Roatan Honduras. Getting to from Roatan from Copan is not easy and takes entire day alone each way.
Weather is not a big deal, rainy season is best time IMO.
Here is some other thoughts.
Ambergris Caye, Belize (Scuba Diving?)
Monterrico, Guatemala- Forget this, is not a great beach or beach town, and you are missing a ton in Guatemala, you could spend 4 weeks in Guatemala and not get to everything, but I would for sure focus on Atitlan and also what about Semuc/Lanquin?
Copan Ruins National Park, Honduras
Roatan, Honduras (scuba diving?)
El Tunco surfing
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua-this not a great beach town, you have to commute to the nice surf beaches, the town is so so compared to all the great surf towns in Costa Rica. What about Leon, Granada or Ometepe? Nica is more a cultural/nature destination.
Arenal Volcano (La Fortuna) (Its not active but great climbing/outdoors), also, consider Rincon area.
Tamarindo- This is a very developed beach, great for partying and surfing, but out of the way for where you are needing to go.
Jaco-Most people avoid Jaco. But good for a day surfing, you also have Playa Hermosa, and Playa Dominical area.
Corcovado National Park- This should be the main focus. Allow 4 nights for hiking the loop, reservations/permits/guides needed.
Manuel Antonio National Park, 1 night max, very touristy and small park.
Poas Volcano National Park,- this is a day trip from SJ and not worth the time unless you have a car, need to be there early morning.
Rios Pacuare- this is a blast
You need to realize getting to from Osa-Corocovado is 11 hours bus from San Jose. Break it up and go via Pacific coast and hit Manual Antonio 1 night, or Dominical/Uvita. Or fly to/from. Longest left break in Pavones, across Osa from Corcovado, end of the road, great place to chill at end of trip and then fly from Golfito back to SJ.
If you want to you can go to Tamarindo, shuttle to Montezuma, surf Mal Pais too, then water taxi to Jaco, surf more, then head south...
Mar 24, 2013 7:52 AM
I'm matts girlfriend, thank you so much for your advice, you sound like you have spent a lot of time in Central America! We do understand that that is a big hit list for 8 weeks, could you say which country(s) could be missed out for the best itinerary. Also we have read that Costa Rica is a lot more expensive than the other countries, is this an obvious issue you've found during your travels?
Jun 10, 2013 2:59 AM
Check out all our reviewed and recommended accommodation and book online.