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Travelling by train in Central America

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Travelling by train in Central America

1. Posted by one_two (Budding Member 9 posts) 7y

Hi there,

A friend of mine is working in Belize during the summer and wants to meet myself and another friend who will be staying in Cartagena, Colombia.
Apparenetly the flights between the two countries are pretty expensive so I will suggest he takes the train if its possible to do so.

I know it wouldnt exactly be a simple or speedy journey but is it possible?
He would have to travel through:
Costa Rica
North coast of Colombia

If anyone here has undertaken a similar journey or has knowledge of the transport systems in any of these countries your wisdom would be very much appreciated!

2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 7y

Trains in Central America (apart from a few local lines) are close to non-existent.
Buses (and for shorter distances mini-buses) are the way to go, this applies to most of South America as well.

3. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 7y

Also, there is no train through the Darien Gap which separates Colombia and Panama... You may have found a website that deals with the completely mythical Monorail which links the two...It's a gag.

To my mind, there are two real ways through the Gap...The boat option, or the plane option. I have met two German girls who swear that they walked through the Gap...but I doubt it. Only a guy like Extreme Packer SamSalmon could pull something like that off. He'd even be able to find a non electricity powered TC kiosk. Sorry to burst the bubble.

The sailboat option takes a long time. At least a week. I don't know what else to tell you.


4. Posted by Drav (Budding Member 9 posts) 7y

I'm also heading down through Central America into Colombia and down into Ecuador, I've not been able to find any trains, the best way seems to be a bus down to panema then either fly of find a sailboat (takes a few days via some islands - brilliant if you've got the time) to colombia.

you can fly from panema to Barranquilla in colombia for about £85, flights to Medellin look to be around £225

5. Posted by one_two (Budding Member 9 posts) 7y

Thanks a lot for all the info and suggestions.

Any idea how long a bus from belize to panama would take?

6. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 894 posts) 7y

I say at least three days....and I mean solid days.

BZE to Flores, four hours

Time out the night bus from Florese to GUA..a few hours waiting....and then another eight hours.

GUA to SAL eight hours.

SAL to Leon, six hours

Leon to SJO at least eight hours

SJO to David at least six hours

David to PTY....Well, I'm spotty there....I think it's five, but I might be way off.