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Cen.Am/Cuba/Carib Included are Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Honduras, plantains, and club med!

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Old 12-10-2005, 12:24 AM   #1
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hi tpunks!

well it's been about a month and a half and i'm slowly recovering from my 5 week tour of central america. i flew in from belize last weekend and started my new job first thing monday morning so my mind is half way between the whitesand beaches of belize and...corporate america.

saw some amazing things, met great people, had lots of crazy moments...all too much to say right now. i HIGHLY recommend backpacking through c.america because you'll get so much for your time and money. Caye Caulker in belize has made its way to my list of favorite places in the world.

here's a list of countries and cities/islands i went through. if you are interesting in going, i can give you lots of info on....everything. please email me for any advice on any of these places!!!!!!!!!!!!! and excuse my spelling mistakes.

Panama:
Panama City
Bocas del toro

Costa Rica:
cahuita
san jose
la fortuna

Nicaragua:
Granada
Managua
san juan del sur
ometepe island

Honduras:
la ceiba
roatan island
tela
san pedro del sur

Guatemala:
rio dulce
el remate
flores/santa elena
tikal
poptun

Belize:
belize city
caye caulker
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Old 12-10-2005, 12:53 AM   #2
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correction.... in honduras the city is called san pedro sula....
we also took some side trips in between all those cities so if anyone has any Q's let me know!

fyi...half way through the trip we started calling "the bible" AKA Lonely Planet.......Lying Planet because we found so many inconsistencies. so please dont rely on it heavily or you'll be a little shocked! for example, the prices of plane tickets between and within countries were way off.

here's a list of my fav places in central america

caye caulker in belize...snorkeling, falling asleep on the whitesand beaches, friendliest locals, best cuba libres

panama city...BEST NIGHTLIFE, clubs don't close until people leave (and they never do)

el remate in guatemala....cleanest, bluest, warmest lake i've ever swam in

tikal in guatemala....amazing ruins, climb temple4 on a clear day!

san juan del sur in nicaragua....great surf

not-so-fav places in c.america

managua in nicaragua...its very dangerous everyone...we almost got robbed at gunpoint...the books aren't exaggerating on this one!

san jose in costa rica....dirty, empty, expensive for no reason. although it has a great hostel...CR backpackers!



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Old 12-10-2005, 01:12 AM   #3
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Do you speak spanish? i have always been interested in c. America but i have never learned spanish and i was wondering what the communication barrier would be like in some of the smaller destinations. did you have any problems?
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Old 12-10-2005, 02:31 AM   #4
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Welcome back! Damn, that trip sounds like a whirlwind but a blast.. 5 weeks for all that? Shit, it took me 9 days just to do Costa Rica, and that was a quickie When do we see the pix??
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Old 12-10-2005, 10:57 AM   #5
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No doubt . Sounds like you were on the move, daily?!

Welcome back and please, ohhhh pretty please, post some pictures ! (One for the members gallery too !)
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Old 12-10-2005, 11:02 AM   #6
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Great trip, Laurie!

I agree...the view from atop Temple IV in Tikal was amazing. Did you know that the original Star Wars movie, circa 1970s or whatever, has a scene shot from the temple platform? Awesome view with the tops of the temples poking up through the jungle canopy beneath you.

As for the "Lying" Planet, honestly, I never expect the prices in them to be the same. I assume it's a year old, essentially, when it comes out, so everything has likely gone up. I've found the maps and general recommendations useful, though.

I'll take your word to watch out in Manangua -- it's the last country in Central America that I haven't visited.

Oh, and like Omi said: Pictorals! We want Pictorals! Make an album on TP -- it's free!

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Old 12-10-2005, 02:38 PM   #7
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Welcome back!!
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Old 12-10-2005, 08:41 PM   #8
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Sounds like an amazing trip! I wish I would have gotten around more in Central America...caye caulker is such a beautiful place
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Old 12-10-2005, 08:44 PM   #9
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Thanks for the update Lauriel! It does sound like an amazing trip. There have been a few T-Punks to grace Central America with their lovely presences this year. Another part of the world I must see one day. Glad you are back safe and sound.
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Old 12-10-2005, 10:10 PM   #10
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omg that trip is amazing...hopefully ill get to do it someday
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Old 12-10-2005, 11:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Do you speak spanish? i have always been interested in c. America but i have never learned spanish and i was wondering what the communication barrier would be like in some of the smaller destinations. did you have any problems?
no, i didn't speak more than a few words of spanish before i left. my vocab was limited to "puta" and "el banos". Don't ask me why I know those two phrases.

Unlike what LP (lonely planet) said, i felt that almost no one spoke english (not counting belize, and parts of costa rica). we were lucky enough to travel with spanish speakers for parts of our trip. and when we weren't with spanish speakers, we still managed ok (although finding food, catching chicken buses, and getting to hostels took MUCH more time). we didn't have any major problems but like everyone says....knowing spanish is not necessary, but knowing even a little will help greatly. we found that barely anyone spoke english, even in the larger/popular cities. But if you dont want to learn some spanish, dont like the language barrier stop you from going! you can get by w/ a good guidebook, creative gesturing, and a friendly smile.

ok, i promise i'll get the photos up as soon as i can. the problem with me is that i seem to be the only person in the western world without a digitcal camera. so on backpacking adventures i always insist on bringing a sack of cheap disposible cameras that i never get around to developing....so it may be a while folks.

and btw, thanks for the warm welcome-backs, everyone!
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Old 12-10-2005, 11:51 PM   #12
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Thanks for the advice..i'm trying to learn as much as i can. i have to take a few classes of a foreign language anyway so i'm usin spanish! I will know the basics by the time i go so that will be great. i can't wait!
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Old 12-11-2005, 01:40 AM   #13
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Just curious, but I'm wondering what you mean by "almost" robbed at gun point.

I would love to travel around central america and south america....but that probably wont be for a long time. I have 1 week in Roatan...and thats a packaged diving deal so I really wont get to see much other than Roatan.
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