American Chef and adventurer planning to spend 6 weeks traveling Central America late this summer. I am not flying because I love to engage the people and the culture and most of all the food.
I plan to fly from NYC to Oaxaca and then bus it to Tapachula where I will board the TICA Bus system for my journey south until I reach Tegucigulpa where I plan to fly to Santo Domingo. Planning on stopping in Managua and Grenada
Please share your experiences and ideas for this journey. Someone has suggested ADO Bus over Tica but ADO does not service all of the areas and I am hoping not to make so many transfers and diversions.
Has anyone used Tica Bus along these routes? Any suggestions of reasonable places to stay in Oaxaca and along the route
Years ago when I could have took a short hop on a plane ($60) from Flores to Guatemala City, I thought go by bus. You don't see anything from 30,000 feet up.
What I thought would be not many hours on the bus for the 264 km journey turned out to be an uncomfortable 12 hours, with me arriving near midnight.
A lot of the journey was boring plain landscape with the rare town thrown in, then we were out again.
Such buses are often crowded and uncomfortable. Even good buses can become uncomfortable after sitting in the same place for hours and hours, maybe with the sun blasting down on you.
Connections are not that good, as in maybe next day and travelling across countries you find yourself having to change bus companies.
When travelling between Lima and Santiago many years ago I did consider a bus for the 30 hour journey but wisely decided on a flight and was in my hotel in Santiago in not many hours instead of not looking forwards to another full day on the coach. And coach is not cheap either. You also need to check at stops, even in the middle of the night, that someone is not stealing your luggage.
I don't have a clue as to where I stayed when in Oaxaca but there has been considerable trouble there in recent years. A nice town then but not a place I would visit nowadays.
I did not think a lot of Santo Domingo. I don't know whether it was the slums across the river from the town or the dead dog left lying in the gutter. Tourists go to the other side of the Dominican Republic and pay a fortune to stay there. I would prefer Cuba, given the choice.
I presume you are fluent in Spanish? You will need to be to talk to most locals.
Yes, I do some Spanish. I find the bus to be part of the experience and culture of the people and adventure. I think ultimately I will use more flights but will still coose to do at least 30% of the trip by bus to talk and engage locals and practice my Spanish especially in the beginning in the food regions.
Thanks so much for your insight and advice!