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Mexico and Central America travels

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Mexico and Central America travels

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1. Posted by oddgrace (Budding Member 13 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone! Next trip: Mexico to Costa Rica via Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Feb-May next year, for about 3 months. I like to travel slowly but also end up hitting half the places I think I will, instead taking a bit more time exploring the places I fall in love with. Is three months enough? I've never had a time schedule before and I can extend it if necessary but looking at buying return tickets trying to at least plan that much! Also budget....I see so many different budgets for this area! I stay in hostels or guesthouses, and if it's the right place to do so happy to pitch a tent at a backpackers as well (advice there would be great...solo gal, too!). And I prefer busses, local transport. But I do love to eat out and drink wine and local beverages and don't want to think about a budget for activities like zip lining or kayaking or horseback riding. So....any general idea about a backpacker budget without the backpacker budget stress? $50 USD a day or more like $80? Or less? Any advice on the areas would be so amazing thanks!

Cheers
Oddgrace

2. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 912 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

There is a place on San Pedro where you can pitch a tent, should you wish. I would try to cross at Corozal and then take the Thunderbolt if the Cayes are your interest. That was you can go across to The Cayo and thru the north part of Guat to see Tikal.

3. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 640 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

From Tulum, down the coast to Chetumal by bus will mean you can get to San Pedro in BelIze with access to Caye Caulker by boat. From Belize City, it's a bus journey to Tikal in Guatemala. The Rio Dulce area is worth visiting as is the area down river to Livingston. Also unmissable is Antigua and the Lake Atitlan area. Copan Ruinas in north Honduras is another unmissable place (but that term is subjective). In Nicaragua there's Grenada and Lake Ometepe and then into Costa Rica for Monteverde, Arenal, Tortuguero and Puerto Viejo. (From there you could go into northern Panama and Bocas del Toro.)

There are lots of hostels in these countries and some cheap eats but, with transport included, USD50 per day might be a bit tight (but again, that's subjective depending on how you like to eat, whether you drink and many other things).

Bear in mind that Belize City, Guatemala and Honduras have a poor record of violent crime - be very careful.

4. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 912 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

After years of travelling to Guat and Belize..( I was in in Guat just two months ago), I can't agree that Guat and Belize are any more dangerous than a regular American city. Honduras can be dangerous. Just be on guard.
I agree with pretty much of all of your suggestions to go, but think, if the OP is a diver, they should look at Utila in Honduras, if they are a surfer, they should look at all the small villages south of Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica.

5. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 640 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Piecar

After years of travelling to Guat and Belize..( I was in in Guat just two months ago), I can't agree that Guat and Belize are any more dangerous than a regular American city. Honduras can be dangerous. Just be on guard.

The OPer is from New Zealand - so a regular American city would be relatively violent too.

Not that I'd suggest anyone to take any notice of the Daily Mirror but http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/50-most-dangerous-cities-world-7262615 is worth a read. Two Honduran places near the top and Guatemala City at 25. Lots of Brazilian and Venezuelan ones in there too and several American ones.

Incidentally, I was in Caracas, Cuidad Guyana, Belem and Manaus over the Christmas/New Year break and survived. I did witness a shooting in San Salvador three years ago though.

As Piecar says, "Just be on guard."

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Apr-2017, at 18:55 by Borisborough ]

6. Posted by oddgrace (Budding Member 13 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Wow, these suggestions are amazing, thank you so much! And I appreciate the word of caution.... I've spent time in a few "dangerous" places, most notably in Brazil and South Africa, and will apply the same level of caution to the above mentioned places, so thank you.
On that note... are there any particular DO NOT GO HERE places you can think of?

Thanks for the tips on budget, too. I'll save for the more $80 a day end and will be pleasantly surprised if it ends up being less. 😊 I'm guessing Costa Rica most expensive?

Thanks again and please keep em coming! Any favourites and unmissables (subjective or otherwise ) places hostels ruins museums anything!

PS... I am actually from Baltimore and LA in the states hehehehe. 8 years in Nelson New Zealand is certinaly on the quieter side....😀

7. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3794 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Your trip sounds fantastic- I went to Guatemala, Belize and Mexico in January and loved it all!

When you're in Belize, don't miss the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) caves - you have to do an organised trip there with a guide and it's amazing! I loved Belize and the caves were the highlight for me.

The previous posters have pretty much covered the other places that I would recommend. Have fun!

Post 8 was removed by a moderator
9. Posted by oddgrace (Budding Member 13 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

Thanks Bex, that and the other replies are exactly what I'd hoped for....first account experiences! I'm so excited! Wish it wasn't nearly a year away! Argh!

10. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 912 posts) 5w Star this if you like it!

San Pedro Sula, in Honduras, is famously dangerous. The core of Guatemala City is pretty rough at night. There really isn't much in the core for you to see anyway, so I wouldn't go there. It DOES have the second biggest (literal!) Eiffel Tower in the world, though. I've stamped around dozens of other places on the exact route you seem to be taking and have never seen any kind of trouble. The caveat is that I'm a VERY big guy. Your history will keep you safe. Baltimore, from what I am told, is no Munchkinland and LA.....well.

On another note, I am CERTAIN you can do better than 80 dollars a day, if that is your hope. Belize is tied to the American dollar, so can be more expensive, but Guat thru Nica are really inexpensive. Costa Rica goes back up again.

[ Edit: Edited on 17-Apr-2017, at 08:38 by Piecar ]