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Central America- Recommended Places

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Central America- Recommended Places

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1. Posted by alextravel (Full Member 75 posts) 11y

Hi there,

I will be travelling through central america overland from about the 15th Dec 2005 to 10th Jan 2006.

I dont know too much about the place outside of Mexico, but am wondering what are some archaelogical sites and cities that must not be missed. I am interested in Mayan sites, natural geographic locations, scuba diving, and just lively and interesting cities.
Any ideas?

Also, are many cities within central america dangerous? Ie, high rates of crime against tourists, places that i should avoid.

Any cool places to stay within these interesting cities, sites, etc would also be appreciated..

Thanks peeps for your help

Alex.

2. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

I'd definitely spend some time in Guatemala. Tikal is possibly the best Mayan site in the World. Guatemala is also a beautiful country with mountains, lakes, volcanoes, etc.. Also try and visit lake Atitlan in Guatemala. The indigenous people in Gautemala are very colorful & the market seens are great.

By the way, you're visiting during the same time of the year when I visited, the weather should be great while you're there.

Where are you thinking of visiting? What's on the list so far?

3. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1160 posts) 11y

Hi alextravel,

my flatmate is living in Costa Rica at the moment and I'm more than likely going to visit her for Christmas and New Years 2005/2006. I've already been there once and totally loved it. And if you're also into diving maybe we can buddy up for that;)
Travel100, I absolutely agree with you Tikal is fab, I prefered it a lot to Chitzen Itza in Mexico, have you been there?

Steff

4. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Quoting steffbo

Travel100, I absolutely agree with you Tikal is fab, I prefered it a lot to Chitzen Itza in Mexico, have you been there?
Steff

Hi Steff,

I've really haven't traveled around mexico. Only to Tijuana (I used to live in San Diego and TJ was only 20 minutes South). The only other Mayan site I've visited was Copan in Hondorus. But Tikal was way better. I especially like the way Tikal is IN the Jungle (with monkeys jumping through the trees and howling, etc.).

5. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1160 posts) 11y

Quoting Travel100

I especially like the way Tikal is IN the Jungle (with monkeys jumping through the trees and howling, etc.).

True the atmosphere is very authentic, in Chiapas in Mexico there's a similar mayan ruin in the jungle called Palenque. Definitely another amazing place

6. Posted by JerryC (Budding Member 9 posts) 11y

There's a place in Oaxaca, Mexico as well, as far as I've heard. Of course, you shouldn't miss Teotihuacan about 30 KM northeast of Ciudad de Mexico.

There are smaller ruins in each Central American country south of Mexico.

7. Posted by alextravel (Full Member 75 posts) 11y

Has anyone been to Palenque and tried the mushrooms?
Now that is an experiance. You dont need drugs to enjoy the ruins and jungle...just to enhance it. Apparently, these same types of musrooms were taken by the Mayans during their ceremonies.

It was one of the most amazing experiances of my trip and I hope to get back there one day.

8. Posted by Eefs (Budding Member 77 posts) 11y

I am 100% in agreement with Alex on this one!;) Palenque was amazing-definitaly worth the trip. Theres also a small villiage in the mountains before you get there called San Cristobal de las Casas which is also worth a stop. We were there for the annual food festival and loved it. Once there go on a horse trek (wooden saddles-couldnt walk for a day after!) to a place called Chamula where you can see the traditional mexican rituals being carried out in the church (this involves some sort of local alcohol, cocacola, lots of spitting & chickens-NOT for the squeamish). Watch out for the beggars&children outside though they can put curses on you!

Tikal is also awsome but beware for promise of 'sunrise' trips as they often mean 'sunrise on the bus there!'. Lago Atitlan is also a must if climbing volcanoes & markets are your thing.

Also a trip to Belize is also an optio as it has some great diving (check out the blue hole-scary!) & there is amazingly cheap&fresh lobster to be had on Caye Caulker!

Enjoy i'm jealous!

9. Posted by travelnica (Budding Member 6 posts) 11y

Hey Alex,

Did you consider Nicaragua? The country is not yet overrun by tourism as its neighboring countries, but it does offer some great places. Nicaragua does not have any Mayan sites, but it does have lots of interesting places. There are some colonial cities - León and Granada being the most important ones - and there are also for instance ruins of an abandoned city (León Viejo). Furthermore, Nicaragua is a great place to either hike or climb volcanoes. There are lots of them, and they are all different. Some are covered in thick cloud forest, others are nothing but a bare hill with a spectacular view. And for Scuba Diving the Corn Islands are a great place to see rays, sharks, and many other fish. Well, there is a lot to do in Nicaragua and most of it is cheaper than in the other Central American countries and there are fewer tourists. Check out www.vianica.com where there is a lot more on what you can do there.

Paul

10. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

Quoting travelnica

Did you consider Nicaragua? The country is not yet overrun by tourism as its neighboring countries, but it does offer some great places.

I've thought of going to Nicaragua.

What's the weather like in July & August?

I thought of flying into Managua then going South overland and flying home form Panama City.

I've to the other countries in Central America but missed Nicaragua & Panama.