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  #1  
Old 9 Nov 2012
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Advice for spending 1 month in Central America

Hi guys,

I am traveling with my wife towards Argentina (ride report here). We are now in Guatemala and we have 1 month until our boat ride from Panama to Colombia.


We would like to use this time to stay on a beach for 1 week and just relax and also, if there are not to expensive and we find nice places, maybe to experiment with some "activities" like snorkeling, scuba diving and maybe surfing (of which I have never done any before).
But the question arises: where could we do the above? Central America is quite big, diverse and we don't know much about it.


What would be the best approach to spend these ~3weeks and a half in Central America?
- I know that Costa Rica and Panama are more expensive (budget is also an issue of course ) than Honduras and Niacaragua. And El Savador and Honduras are (supposedly) more dangerous in some areas than Niacaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.
So what would you recommend to do? Where should we go, where should we speed up and where should we linger?

Thank you!
Alex
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  #2  
Old 9 Nov 2012
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I spent a coupe weeks in Mal Pais, Costa Rica, a couple years ago. Fairly inexpensive, food and lodging, and great Pacific location. Really laid back and felt safe the entire time.

Look forward to reading about your trip and seeing pictures. On my list.
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  #3  
Old 11 Nov 2012
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mal pais has fantastic surfing and is one of the few places in Costa Rica where you can avoid the crowds. stay at Charlie's place and you can walk to the beach, past a place that rents boards.

Nicaragua is lovely. check out las penitas - there is a laid back place called playa roca where you can see the waves from the dining area and rent surf gear and lessons.
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  #4  
Old 13 Nov 2012
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Filling a month with travel through Central America will be no problem .If in Guatemala now at some beach resort and you have not yet visited Tikal it would be worth your trouble to take the nice loop ride to that spectacular Mayan site. Maybe take the boat tour to Livingston from Rio Dulce. Livingston , I found was not the main entertaining part, it was the boat ride there and back.But tastes differ .
For entry to Honduras FloridoCopan is the easy-goingest but the crosssing from Entre Rios to the road up to the Honduran gulf of Omoa and Puerto Cortez and san Pedro Sula is usually pretty good (after rebuild from a storm)
Each country is good for at least a short week of wandering around, so you actually may run short of time. The story that Costa Rica and Panama are "more expensive" is a bit misleading.I have found that,yes although things may be slightly so compared to the very poor neighbour countries they are still absolute bargains by north American and western European standards . It is just a question of keeping your eyes open and finding value in your choice of restaurants and small family run hotels . In Costa Rica seek out the "cabinas" - small budget hotels .
No doubt you have found out that you indulge in " activities " theat these can cost a lot-- because these things are aimed at getting the foreign tourists to spend their cash. Most any cluster of trees now has a bunch of cables strung between them so that the tourist can have a" canopy tour" . Nothing wrong with that but it tends to get overdone.
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  #5  
Old 13 Nov 2012
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Alex
I found El Salvador's beach life and street food to my liking. The pupusas and sea food in La Libertad were fantastic and very inexpensive. I stayed for a week at Playa El Tunco Hostel El Sombra($10.00) Nice yard to park the bike and 100yds from the beach. Surf board rentals and lessons at the hostel and in the little village, a lot of surfers hang out at this beach. i'm a little old to surf but enjoyed the swimming. It has black sand beachs. Good night life next door with live music.
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  #6  
Old 14 Nov 2012
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@Calvin: I wish I had read your message earlier, we could have went directly to the hotel suggested by you. We ended up yesterday in El Tunco but not at La Sombra. We found it just later in the night and we moved today as it is indeed a good choice. Singlre rooms are still $10 and for double you pay $16. It is basic but you get clean room, private bathroom, a hammock and internet Good enough.

I totally agree with everything that Sjoerd Bakker said. And indeed, in the end filling a month in CA is not that hard to do... in fact it is quite little time for all that can be done. And this is because time has a different speed here
I will plot out a route through Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, checking out also the places that you guys suggested.

Thanks for all the ideas. If you have anything else feel free to shoot.
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  #7  
Old 16 Nov 2012
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Diving, snorkeling, beach...

Sounds to me like you want to go to Caye Caulker in Belize. All the above is available and reasonably priced.
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