40 ~ 50 days in Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



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Old 08-04-2006, 10:36 PM   #1
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Hi all,


My friend and I are planning to go backpacking in Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. We have had a rough itinerary, and hope people who have been to these countries can kindly give us some advice!

DAY
1 Taipei--L.A--mexico city
2 mexico city
3 mexico city--teotihuacan--mexico city
4 mexico city--taxco
5 taxco--mexico city--oaxaca
6 oaxaca--palenque
7 palenque--merida
8 merida
9 merida--uxmal--merida
10 chichen itza
11 chichen itza--cancun
12 cancun
13 cancun--playa de carmen
14 playa de carmen
15 playa de carmen--cozamal
16 cozamal--tulum
17 tulum--chetumal
18--20 chetumal--belize city--flores--tikal
21-23 tikal--livingston--rio dulce
24 copan
25 copan--antigua
26-27 antigua
28-31 lago de atitlan--quetzaltenango--chichicastenango--antigua
32 antigua--guatemala city--san jose( by air)
33 san jose
34-35 san jose--volcan arenal--laguna de arenal
36 playa tamarindo
37 playa tamarindo-- san jose
38 san jose--cartago--parque nacional volcan irazu
39 parque nacional volcan irazu
40 turrialba--san jose--tortuguero
41 tortuguero
41 tortuguero--san jose
42 san jose --parque nacional manuel antonio
43 parque nacional manuel antonio
44 parque nacional corcovado
45 parque nacional corcovado
46 san jose
47 san jose--L.A--Taipei

And now we got some questions while planning our travel:

Q1: Since we don't want to stay in Belize, we are finding any possible way to reach Flores from Chetumal without going through Belize (the visa fee of Belize is too expensive for us). Is there any way to go across the north border of Petn, Guatemala by bus without having to going through Belize?

Q2: What is the price of the plane ticket fare from Guatemala City to San Jose provided by Guatemala City's local travel agency? The price we saw in TACA's website is about 200 usd (one-way), and again, it's too expensive for us

Q3: The spots we are going to meet in Costa Rica are too dispersively-located, and so for the itinerary in a mess (we just don't know how to arrange the itinerary in Costa Rica...). Can someone please give us some advice or even rearrange the itinerary for us?

Any comment is highly appreciated, thank you!!


Benson
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11月要去瓜地馬拉自助旅行,有人要一起去嗎?
Af i i Guatemala ym mis Tachwedd! Pwy sy'n gallu mynd 'da fi?
Bedithon na 'Uatemala al lend nedin Hithui! Man beditha go-nin?
Lennauvan Guatemalanna mestan Hsimess! Man lennauva ni?
Ukhub Guatemala-u zr-r ran-ishi galashrz! Mirz ukhubat izish-sha?
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Old 08-05-2006, 10:25 AM   #2
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Okay, here's the Joker's stock response to any intinerary that's heavily detailed.... Use it as a guide, but not gospel. I attempted to try and hit all these different places in Costa Rica, and I wound up saying fuck it to the whole notion and went with the flow. Wound up having a MUCH better time. It sounds like you have a pretty good grasp on a lot of the things you want to see, but keep this in mind: you don't wanna break your neck trying to get to every beach, every volcano, every hike through the cloud forests. Have an idea of it, and realize IMMEDIATELY that Central America doesn't work on the same type of high-speed, fast paced schedule like the rest of the world. Things move MUCH slower there, and it would do you well to remember that.

Beyond that, one of the advantages of Central American travel is the availability of busses is that they go damned near everywhere! Yes, you may have to share 'em with some livestock occasionally... :P But the reality is that if you allow some time, the trip is a helluva lot cheaper. Example being: I took a public bus from San Jose to Monteverde for about $2. The "Interbus" minibus would have been around $40. Took the same amount of time, but FWIW, saving over $30 was worth it.

Question for you: You're gonna try and see some volcanoes, but you're skipping Nicaragua?

Now, beyond that, Costa Rica... Although Omi knows more because he's seen more there, I'll offer this:

You may want to try flying from Guatamala to Liberia in the Northwest part of the country, then hit Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio, etc. Then shoot up into Monteverde, see the Cloud Forest (and do the ziplines there and nowhere else!), then via taxi-boat-taxi (around $22 or so) from Monteverde to La Fortuna/Arenal. From there, all roads lead into San Jose, and you can take either Interbus or Public bus to connect into SJ and beyond.

There are plenty of options around. My blog and Omid's blog list a lot of the different stuff and ways to get around. Also, check out the blog of some folks I met while there for their Central American leg of their round-the-world trip... www.globenotes.com/robandsara

Good luck, and welcome to the boards!
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Old 08-05-2006, 10:37 AM   #3
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Okay, here's the Joker's stock response to any intinerary that's heavily detailed.... Use it as a guide, but not gospel. I attempted to try and hit all these different places in Costa Rica, and I wound up saying fuck it to the whole notion and went with the flow. Wound up having a MUCH better time. It sounds like you have a pretty good grasp on a lot of the things you want to see, but keep this in mind: you don't wanna break your neck trying to get to every beach, every volcano, every hike through the cloud forests. Have an idea of it, and realize IMMEDIATELY that Central America doesn't work on the same type of high-speed, fast paced schedule like the rest of the world. Things move MUCH slower there, and it would do you well to remember that.

Beyond that, one of the advantages of Central American travel is the availability of busses is that they go damned near everywhere! Yes, you may have to share 'em with some livestock occasionally... :P But the reality is that if you allow some time, the trip is a helluva lot cheaper. Example being: I took a public bus from San Jose to Monteverde for about $2. The "Interbus" minibus would have been around $40. Took the same amount of time, but FWIW, saving over $30 was worth it.

Question for you: You're gonna try and see some volcanoes, but you're skipping Nicaragua?

Now, beyond that, Costa Rica... Although Omi knows more because he's seen more there, I'll offer this:

You may want to try flying from Guatamala to Liberia in the Northwest part of the country, then hit Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio, etc. Then shoot up into Monteverde, see the Cloud Forest (and do the ziplines there and nowhere else!), then via taxi-boat-taxi (around $22 or so) from Monteverde to La Fortuna/Arenal. From there, all roads lead into San Jose, and you can take either Interbus or Public bus to connect into SJ and beyond.

There are plenty of options around. My blog and Omid's blog list a lot of the different stuff and ways to get around. Also, check out the blog of some folks I met while there for their Central American leg of their round-the-world trip... www.globenotes.com/robandsara

Good luck, and welcome to the boards!
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Misadventures of a Crazed Kitchen Pirate

"Steve is the prototypical cool American male. Y'know, I'm talking about Steve McGarrett, alright? Steve Austin, Steve McQueen. Y'know, he's the guy on his horse, the guy alone. He has his own code of honor, his own code of ethics, his own rules of living, man. He never, ever tries to impress the women but he always gets the girl."


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Old 08-13-2006, 11:46 AM   #4
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Joker, thank you so much! We'll modify our itinerary later after a further discussion according to your precious advice and post it here, and hope you could still give us any opinion

Benson
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11月要去瓜地馬拉自助旅行,有人要一起去嗎?
Af i i Guatemala ym mis Tachwedd! Pwy sy'n gallu mynd 'da fi?
Bedithon na 'Uatemala al lend nedin Hithui! Man beditha go-nin?
Lennauvan Guatemalanna mestan Hsimess! Man lennauva ni?
Ukhub Guatemala-u zr-r ran-ishi galashrz! Mirz ukhubat izish-sha?
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Old 08-13-2006, 05:39 PM   #5
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wow, that's some detailed itinerary you've got there.

Here's just a few quick pointers that you may want to consider:
- Mexico City has an excellent subway, so it's an easy place to get around
- Mexcio is a BIG place, the distances of some of your trips are quite large so you're gonna have to go the night bus on more than one occasion to keep to your itinerary. That's a very draining, but achievable, method of travel.
- You are missing Puerto Escondido, it's a little surfing village on the south coast of Mexico, it has no ruins or major tourist drawcards, but it was probably my favorite place in Mexico.
- San Cristobel was also an ok place in Mexico
- Tulum is an absolutely beautiful place with some great snorkeling
- Belize City is a place to avoid IMO, it's pretty rough (although KCL may disagree with me). However, Caye Caulker is an awsome little island just a little way off the Belize coast that you may wanna check out if get the chance.
- The absolute best village to stay at when you go to Lake Atitlan is San Pedro, it is one of the best places i have ever been.
- There's a good volcano hike from Antigua.
- Guatemala City is a pretty dodgy place, i wouldn't spend too long there if i was you.


ummmm, that's about all i can think of for now.

Have fun!!
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Old 08-13-2006, 11:42 PM   #6
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(cwch @ Aug 13 2006, 11:46 AM) [snapback]134747[/snapback]</div>
Quote:
Joker, thank you so much! We'll modify our itinerary later after a further discussion according to your precious advice and post it here, and hope you could still give us any opinion

Benson
[/b]

Thanks, I try to help And I didn't realize I double posted, either!

FWIW, the best advice I can hope to impart upon any Central American trip-taker is to relax and take it all as best as you can. By the third or fourth day of my trip, I was so used to going with the flow of things that the sight of ugly American tourists made me ill... Attempting to cover a territory as large as CA in a tightly-rigored schedule is pointless and foolhardy (no offense) because its so much to see and so little time to do it. You may find a town that you fall in love with and want to stay for a while. I sure as hell did. The point is, and I think this is valid for any multi-country trek, be it CA, Europe, SE Asia, etc, is to have a good idea of things you'd like to see, and go from there.

Don't be afraid of not seeing it all. Those Mayan ruins aren't going anywhere, they've already been there for thousands of years. That volcano or lake will be there for generations to come. The point is: Relax. Take it in, take an adventure, and be spontaneous. I would have never dreamed I'd climb an 1850+M mountain at 1am. No way I'd have ever hitch-hiked drunk at 2am. Never would have taken a 6 hour bus ride shitfaced (Omi, well, nevermind )

Any other questions, fire away!
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Misadventures of a Crazed Kitchen Pirate

"Steve is the prototypical cool American male. Y'know, I'm talking about Steve McGarrett, alright? Steve Austin, Steve McQueen. Y'know, he's the guy on his horse, the guy alone. He has his own code of honor, his own code of ethics, his own rules of living, man. He never, ever tries to impress the women but he always gets the girl."


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Old 08-28-2006, 09:37 PM   #7
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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Joker @ Aug 6 2006, 01:25 AM) [snapback]133775[/snapback]</div>
Quote:
You may want to try flying from Guatamala to Liberia in the Northwest part of the country, then hit Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio, etc. Then shoot up into Monteverde, see the Cloud Forest (and do the ziplines there and nowhere else!), then via taxi-boat-taxi (around $22 or so) from Monteverde to La Fortuna/Arenal. From there, all roads lead into San Jose, and you can take either Interbus or Public bus to connect into SJ and beyond.
[/b]
After a second thought, I decide my journey from Guatemala to Costa Rica would be more straightforward to arrive at Liberia and then continuing to other sites in Costa Rica; however, the international bus company Ticabus we'll take seemingly won't stop at Liberia.

So here is my question: should I stop at Nicaragua's capital and change another bus to Liberia, or is there any other international bus company from Guatemala to Costa Rica would stop at Liberia?

Thx a lot!! Any advice is appreciated!
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11月要去瓜地馬拉自助旅行,有人要一起去嗎?
Af i i Guatemala ym mis Tachwedd! Pwy sy'n gallu mynd 'da fi?
Bedithon na 'Uatemala al lend nedin Hithui! Man beditha go-nin?
Lennauvan Guatemalanna mestan Hsimess! Man lennauva ni?
Ukhub Guatemala-u zr-r ran-ishi galashrz! Mirz ukhubat izish-sha?
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