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Old 04-25-2007, 04:07 PM   #1
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Default Darien Gap

Alright, so after a few weeks of searching for a way to cross/fly over the infamous Darien Gap - I'm going to ask the advice of my fellow Tpunks.

Darien, for those of you who aren't familiar, is a 200km long untouched, dangerous jungle that seperates Panama from Columbia. Narco-terrorists and drug cartel members retreat to this area to hid out and rest, which results in a decent amount of kidnappings, murders and dissappearances. Now, crossing the Darien Gap is basically insane, because there isn't a road. Darien is the end of the Pan-American Highway, the US stopped funding for the road many years ago because for three main reasons: the threat of the South American foot/mouth disease spread mainly by livestock, pressure from environmental groups and the dangers from terrorists.

Anywho, my question is have any of you guys heard of ways to get to either Columbia or Ecuador?? Ideally, we'd want to get to Quito, Ecuador but if it's cheaper to take a flight to a Columbian city and bus it to Ecuador that's fine. All the flights I've found are around the $400 from Panama City to Quito or Bogato. I found one to Bogato for $200 but it's via a shady Spanish-only airline site, and all I could understand was the $200 part.

Other options include taking a least five ferries (some may be transporting drugs though) to get to the first town in Columbia and then waiting for buses to the main Columbian cities. While that sounds like a great adventure to myself (and I'm sure a few other Tpunks) my boyfriend isn't fond of the idea.

Also, if anyone knows what city is best to catch a flight from South America to Australia/New Zealand (as far as price wise) let me know. We were hoping to catch a freighter from the Panama Canal (for roughly 1200$ each) but we'd have to back track quite a bit.
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Old 04-25-2007, 06:54 PM   #2
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Have you checked TACA's flights? That's the main carrier that I know of for Central America. Barring that, I'd say start looking at South American airlines and see ones that fly Panama City.

I'll do some checking for you in the next few days, if I get a chance, daughter o'mine...

Looking forward to your visit in June...

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Old 04-25-2007, 06:56 PM   #3
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All i've ever been told was to take the ferry to venzuela...
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:22 PM   #4
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Mike: If I remember correctly, when I searched TACA they had me re-routing to San Jose then back to Quito. Another one I checked was Avianates (s/p?), I ran down the Wikipedia list of Columbia/Ecuador airlines. If you get a chance, I'm not too worried about it because we're not planning to cross into SAmerica until next March...I was just trying to budget out tansport. I was curious to see if others had down that journey. And I'm looking forward to seeing you and Jenny as well!!

Jake: A few guidebooks recommended that also. The only issue with that is Venzuela doesn't have many WWOOF hosts for us to stay with...and the travel distance overland to Ecuador would be heafty; both $$-wise and time-spent-on-the-bus-wise. Although Ven. is supposed to be b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l.
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:11 PM   #5
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Oh darlin don't go via land thru the darian gap..I read a scary article on it that still haunts me.

I know that going from south america to oz/nz is pretty expensive. I've been researching circle pacific airfares and basically no airline includes in in their package. dammit for me..I think there is a direct flight from santiago, chile to auckland..Sorry i can't be of more help/
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Old 04-26-2007, 06:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diorama View Post
Oh darlin don't go via land thru the darian gap..I read a scary article on it that still haunts me. /
Well I'm glad I'm not the only one frightened by this trip.
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Old 04-26-2007, 09:05 AM   #7
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i totally want to hitchhike through there someday....
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Old 04-30-2007, 10:19 AM   #8
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Amber, some folks I met in CR wound up hitching a ride on a sailboat from Panama to Ecuador. Their blog is on globenotes.com... a link: http://www.globenotes.com/diary.aspx...d=169&lid=3464
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Old 04-30-2007, 10:39 AM   #9
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Thanks Steve....that's a freaking awesome trip for them. Minus the sea-sickness.
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Old 05-01-2007, 11:29 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkchick2134 View Post
If you get a chance, I'm not too worried about it because we're not planning to cross into SAmerica until next March
I see Copa Airlines flies from Panama City to Quito, Ecuador
http://www.copaair.com/

I'll keep checking...

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