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Old 04-19-2005, 02:22 PM   #1
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Hi-all,

I am planning a trip around Nov 2005-Feb2006 to Cuba, Central America, and South America. I plan on flying to Cuba through Mexico City. As of now, I am in it alone...but I speak no Spanish...so hopefully I will be able to find at least one buddy to go with me. Anyone who's traveled through these areas (especially Cuba)--your advice will be greatly appreciated!!! How's the transportation, spoken English, safety, standard of living, etc. ? I just got back from SE Asia, and to anyone who has traveled through there as well...is transportation/safety/money comparable? What's the best way of transport? I know I'm covering a large part of the world...so just throw any advice at me.

Thanks!!
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Old 04-19-2005, 04:09 PM   #2
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I just got back for living in Belize recently....In general you'll want to expect lower standards as regards transportation/safety/standards of living. Lots of redeveloping countries in turmoil in Central America right now. Not a lot of English speakers (with some exceptions).

The main thing is to be smart...these are some great places and you should expect to have a great experience...but do your research

Happy Trails
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Old 04-19-2005, 08:49 PM   #3
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I'll be following this thread closely as i also need information on these things. I'll be in central and south america from august to early november this year.
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Old 09-23-2005, 02:38 PM   #4
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I spent six weeks backpacking in Cuba this summer by myself. I was petrified because it was my first trip ever and I was doing it solo with no spanish (I speak french fluently which helped a little). It was a shock at first but I ended up staying in a really nice house for my first few nights and the man who owned it helped me out alot. A few things I learned were 1) Don't use the lonely planet guide. It's very innacurate and every single other traveller will be going to all the sites in it (which means higher prices). 2) Overbudget. You'd be surprised how expensive it is there in comparison to surrounding islands.
The best places to stay are in people houses "casa particulares" look for the green triangle stickers on doors that say "habitacion". For the best transport (good luck hitching a ride - it's illegal) take the Viazul buses they're for travellers or well to do cubans and you'll meet some great people there. For beaches stick to the north coast gorgeous white sand and turquoise waters. I found a great hotel there that charged $30/night but if you booked it through Cubatur it was only $15. Most of the smaller towns on the island can be kind of dull but Trinidad, Camaguey, Santa Clara and several others are worth a few days. All in all i felt very safe in Cuba (which was a concern for me being a girl alone). I hope this helped you a bit. PM me if you have any questions. Take care
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Old 09-23-2005, 02:48 PM   #5
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Excellent tips!

Man, I wish I could go... at least without subterfuge and ducking away from the G-men.
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:27 PM   #6
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I'm also gonna follow this thread... I'm heading to Central America/Mexico/Cuba in the Winter/Spring, and have very little idea of how or what to expect. I'm working on my spanish (a mexican girlfriend helps a lot with that!) and I speak french pretty well, so I think I should be alright in that front. But in terms of culture, safety, travelling, and living I'm not sure yet how I'm going to do it.

Does anyone know which countries have strong musical and specifically percussive links in their culture? I'm planning on drumming and studying music as much as possible while travelling. If anyone has seen anything really cool, or knows of someplace I should visit please let me know! Obviously Cuba is an amazing place for this, and I plan on spending a good couple weeks at least in Cuba, but any info would be great!

Thanks everyone!
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Old 02-22-2007, 01:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ear
muphs;76823
I spent six weeks backpacking in Cuba this summer by myself. I was petrified because it was my first trip ever and I was doing it solo with no spanish (I speak french fluently which helped a little). It was a shock at first but I ended up staying in a really nice house for my first few nights and the man who owned it helped me out alot. A few things I learned were 1) Don't use the lonely planet guide. It's very innacurate and every single other traveller will be going to all the sites in it (which means higher prices). 2) Overbudget. You'd be surprised how expensive it is there in comparison to surrounding islands.
The best places to stay are in people houses "casa particulares" look for the green triangle stickers on doors that say "habitacion". For the best transport (good luck hitching a ride - it's illegal) take the Viazul buses they're for travellers or well to do cubans and you'll meet some great people there. For beaches stick to the north coast gorgeous white sand and turquoise waters. I found a great hotel there that charged $30/night but if you booked it through Cubatur it was only $15. Most of the smaller towns on the island can be kind of dull but Trinidad, Camaguey, Santa Clara and several others are worth a few days. All in all i felt very safe in Cuba (which was a concern for me being a girl alone). I hope this helped you a bit. PM me if you have any questions. Take care

hello!
Me and two friends (all of us girls 20 years old, hope it`s safe!!?!) are going to peru, bolivia and equador, and also maybe colombia and brazil from march-june (2008) we have never been backpackers like that before! scary!! Thank u for shearing your experiences here! It`s nice to read! we are trying to plan the trip now, reading catalogs,trying to learn some spanish! If anyone have good advice, what we should see,do, what we NOT should do/see, how much money we need, anything!! please tell me!, contact me, send e-mail shear your experiences!! thanks!!
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Old 02-22-2007, 01:56 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Going South America! View Post
hello!
Me and two friends (all of us girls 20 years old, hope it`s safe!!?!) are going to peru, bolivia and equador, and also maybe colombia and brazil from march-june (2008) we have never been backpackers like that before! scary!! Thank u for shearing your experiences here! It`s nice to read! we are trying to plan the trip now, reading catalogs,trying to learn some spanish! If anyone have good advice, what we should see,do, what we NOT should do/see, how much money we need, anything!! please tell me!, contact me, send e-mail shear your experiences!! thanks!!

I`m sorry, just have to corect my self! We are going to south-america in march-june 2007!! weee!! planning nerves and travel nerves!! :D
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Old 02-22-2007, 04:25 AM   #9
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Hi Girl!! Welcome aboard!! Where are you from??

Tons of TravelPunkers have been to (or actuallly live in) South America (I'm the latter) so just ask away. You can start your own thread if you feel like you have a new question or something like that.

I hope you have fun planning!!
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