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Costa Rica to Mexico - First Time Traveller

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Costa Rica to Mexico - First Time Traveller

1. Posted by Solo Leo (Budding Member, 5 posts) 18 Jul '12 13:17

Hi Everyone!

I've got a couple of questions and am in need of advice. (I'm sat here trying to do insurance and all sorts!)

I am going to Costa Rica in September and flying out of Cancun, Mexico. I'm not sure how long I am going to spend travelling through each country but I know I am staying in Costa Rica for 3 months on a permaculture farm which when contributing $10 a day will cost £546 total, then would like to see more of Costa Rica then onwards. I want to do most countries slowly but surely, I want to experience them not rush through it all, I am hoping for a total of 8-9 months.

And yet again I am probably going to ask the usual questions that depend on who you are as a person and how you intend to travel but here goes..... :)

1.) How long did you travel for the first time you went? Being the first time, is there ever a point you feel like you want to go back home (doesn't feel likely to me but you never know)

2.) If I am looking at budget hostels, sharing rooms, budget food and buses....once a while splashing out on an ensuite hotel room for a couple of nights, will the rest of my estimated savings of £3,100 be enough for 6 more months?

3.) In the UK does your backpack go in the usual check-in luggage or awkward baggage?

4.) My flight from the UK is at 6am and my flight gets to San Jose at 15:00pm, should I give myself 2 days in a San Jose hotel to recover or will 1 be enough?

5.) Are side effects from Malaria tablets inevitable?

Sorry if any of this seems dis-jointed or doesn't make sense...its just how my brain works lol. ;)

Leo

2. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru, 1722 posts) 19 Jul '12 08:20

1. I've done these countries at different times over a dozen years. Getting around by bus is easy though you can spend a very long time on them sometimes. Border crossings usually aren't too bad.

2. hostelbookers, hostelworld, travellerspoint and the like will get you cheap rooms. Most of the countries you will travel through are cheap anyway so the money should last. BUT you should be careful of pick pockets and petty theft anywhere in Central and South America. Consider:

http://www.moneysupermarket.com/prepaidcards/?feature=PrePaid&cardtype=CreditCard&p=0&ef_id=AFhP2J3QODkAABrG:20120613140400:s

3. It depends on the size of your back pack as they come in all sizes. If it takes up as much room as a case, it will go in the hold.

4. A 16 hour flight is not much these days (9 hours plus 7 hours time difference). After such flights I will stay up late so I quickly acclimatise to the time difference.

5. I have never had any side effects from malaria tablets. Most are effect free nowadays. You MUST take them for the period needed, which is 2-4 weeks before and afterwards. The afterwards period is especially important as malaria parasites might still be in your blood stream.

Go to your local Boots or whoever and they will tell you what tablets and maybe inoculations you need for the countries you are visiting.

Only drink bottled water you have had to break a seal to open.

A year insurance is not too expensive and is worth considering in case the unexpected happens.

I have travelled all around Mexico a few times but that was a number of years ago (and even then, armed soldiers would stop and search coaches for drug dealers and the like in some areas.)

It has become an increasingly violent place in recent years with drug cartels committing murders on the streets and hanging headless bodies from motorway bridges. You could spend a few months there and have no problems but then again, you might, so be very careful, especially since you are a woman on your own.

Cancun should be OK as it is a major tourist trap. Do visit nearby Chichen Itza (free on Sundays as are all historic sites and museums in Mexico).

Tikal in Guatemala is worth a visit, and there are lots of other historic sites about, unfortunately many in Mexico (some 450 of it's estimated 1300 sites are open).

Take a photocopy of the information page of your passport and keep it somewhere safe, but not with your passport.

[ Edit: Edited on 19-Jul-2012, at 08:43 by Cyberia ]

3. Posted by Solo Leo (Budding Member, 5 posts) 24 Jul '12 08:23

Thanks for the help Cyberia, and taking the time to write your reply :)

I'll take it all on board.

Leo x

4. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member, 622 posts) 26 Jul '12 10:08

Arming yourself with scissors is one way to deal with the heck of travelling in Latina America.

5. Posted by beerman (Moderator, 1631 posts) 26 Jul '12 10:28

Quoting SamSalmon

Arming yourself with scissors is one way to deal with the heck of travelling in Latina America.

Sam, not really necessary, it this?

6. Posted by Solo Leo (Budding Member, 5 posts) 26 Jul '12 11:23

Yeah, I'm afraid you speaking to someone who's ears do not comprehend totally useless information.