Backpacking Central America

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Backpacking Central America

1. Posted by lazygoblin (Budding Member 2 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

Hey, my name's Ian, I'm 20/M/Canada, and I'm planning a backpacking trip through Central America (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica) from Sept-Dec. 2006. I'm basically looking to see if anyone out there is planning a similar trip and has any advice, furthermore, if anybody might be down there during those times definently give me an email, cause any company on the road would be great for a solo traveller.

email: -snip-



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[ Edit: Removed e-mail address. ]

2. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

Hi Ian,

what in particular would you like advice on? Means of transport, places to go, hostels to stay at? I'm happy to give you all the info I can if you'd ask a more specific question.


3. Posted by timdunford (Budding Member 15 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

Hi, I'm Tim. I don't have any info I'm afriad but I'm planning a trip around central america with 3 friends in July/August.

I'd like any advice on what are the best nature sights to see, things like waterfalls, volcanoes etc. -- that people can recommend.

I'd like to know about accomodation as well. I want to make it a cheap trip so can anyone tell me if there are any cool hostels, beach huts etc. and how expensive they are.

Also I'd LOVE to go to any local festivals or events (music, food, whatever), any tips?


4. Posted by steff (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

Hi Tim,

concerning accomodation you might be interested in reading this thread Most of the hostels I stayed at cost around 5 to 9 Dollars.

Amazing nature sights around Central America are definitely the Tikal ruins in the jungle in Guatemala, the Volcanos on Isla Ometepe in Nicaragua and I also liked volcano Arenal and the cloud forest in Monteverde in Costa Rica.

About local events I can't tell you much unfortunately, the market in Masaya/Nicaragua is supposed to be nice, but the best thing is probably inform yourself when you're there.



5. Posted by timdunford (Budding Member 15 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

Thanks Steff, that's great. (can't believe hostels so cheap! )

6. Posted by tcdunnic (Budding Member 2 posts) 18y Star this if you like it!

Hey Ian-
I am a 24/F/californian -going to be taking Spanish classes in San Jose, Costa Rica for a month until mid October, but then have 4 weeks or so to go wherever.

7. Posted by MissL (Budding Member 4 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Hi Tracy,

I don't know if you've already made arrangements or got your heart set on a particular language school in San Jose, but if you're interested, I can thoroughly recommend a great school in the Orosi valley, just 90 minutes from the capital.

With so many schools in Costa Rica to choose from, I was pleased to find a time-saving comparison site ( which was really useful and helped me choose Montana Linda – and I'm so glad I did!

If like me you're serious about learning Spanish in a relaxed setting away from distractions like the beach, then Orosi could be the place for you. It's a peaceful village nested in the mountains, with plenty to do if you like nature and prefer to explore the surroundings at your own pace rather than sign up for organised tours. There's a friendly atmosphere and you’ll not only receive a genuine 'hello' from the locals you pass in the street, but they'll also encourage your attempts to speak Spanish in the supermaket, bakery and internet cafe.

Montana Linda Spanish School offers great value for money and caters for all levels. As a complete beginner I was relieved to find that my teacher had heaps of patience and tailored the classes to my own interests and needs. I expected that there might be up to three students in my class, but was fortunate enough to have one-to-one tuition and felt that the three-hour sessions were just the right length (any more would have been too much!). In just five days, my teacher gave me the confidence to travel alone around Costa Rica and Nicaragua, which would have been a real challenge had I not taken some prior tuition.

Classes run from Monday to Friday, but the school and lots of flexibility with regards to lesson times (8-11am, 12-3pm or 3-6pm) and accommodation (guest house, hostel or homestay), as long as you arrive by Sunday afternoon or call to make reservations in advance. I chose the cosy hostel as the budget option, but fellow students had a great time with their friendly homestay families, which were all within five minutes walk from the school, and often invited the students to join them at family gatherings and salsa nights!

When I was studying in Orosi I took a morning excursion to Irazu volcano, which has a spectacular pea-green lake in the crater. I went on to visit Monteverde cloud forest which is beautiful, and Arenal volcano (but I think you have to be lucky with the weather -when I was there it was cloudy so I didn't see any lava - but the hot springs made up for it, so I still had a good time!).

I hope you find this useful and enjoy your time in Costa Rica as much as I did! For more information on the Spanish classes, check out the school’s website,, or Lonely Planet pages 122 and 143 (6th edition).

Best wishes for happy and safe travels!

8. Posted by dbloom (Respected Member 586 posts) 17y Star this if you like it!

Why stay all the time in "hostels" (a few are nice in C.A. but many are just cheap hotels catering to travelers and all you meet is other travelers) Join the Hospitality Sites (if you're interested message me and I'll help you) and stay with locals many places along the way..eating home cooked food..I'll help fix you up in el Salvador..stay a week if you want! The host is native who teaches Spanish Lit. in the American educated people instead of hustlers on the beach..and get tips how to travel around Central America worry free from your hosts.