Hello there... I'm new here and have been browsing a bit and there seem to be many friendly, helpful and experienced people so I thought I'd look for feedback.
I'm planning on a big (for me) trip, hopefully beginning January '09 (length of time to be determined) to Central/South America. I have never travelled solo before but am excited about the adventure.
My tentative plan is 1 week in Costa Rica and then 1 week surfing in Nicaragua (a friend will be meeting me for this week). Then off to (still tentative) Mantanita, Ecuador for Spanish classes and hopefully some more surf for 2 - 4 weeks. After that, I'm fairly open. I'd like to do some volunteer work, and I've looked at volunteersouthamerica.net as well as wwoof.
1) Is travelling by bus from Costa Rica to Ecuador an option, worth looking at? Or should I just look at air travel from San Jose to Quito?
2) Anyone have feedback on any specific volunteer organizations/opportunities in SA? I feel like this could be a great way to experience a new country, keep costs down and do some good while at it.
3) Any feedback on this time of year (Jan - May) in SA?
4) I'm planning on Spanish classes before I go as my Spanish is quite limited and I said immersion classes while in Ecuador. Anyone have experience taking classes in Ecuador, living w/ a host family, etc?
My finances are in order and desire is strong, now it's down to logistics. If there are kinks in my tentative plan, please let me know. Thank you for your time and input, any advice is most appreciated.