Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama - Help

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama - Help

1. Posted by Stormforce (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

We are looking to visit Cenral America in October/November for just over three weeks.

there are obviously a lot of options so we have had to narrow down a bit and are currently planning

Diving at the Bay Islands North Honduras
Granada and lake/ Ometepe Island Nicaragua
San Jose Costa Rica
somwhere on pacific Coast Costa Ricaor Panama
Panama City and Canal

The best priced flights I can find to/from UK fly into either Tegucigalpa (Honduras) or El Salvador and fly ou of Panama City.

I am after information on travelling between these countries, would it be viabale to buy a cheap car in Honduras and drive, all the way through to Panama,I guess a hire car would not be an option. What are the roads like. Alternativly how is transport generally, has anyone done a similar trip. Is there anywhere we should be adding into our trip (that is practical).

Thanks in advane for any help/advice


2. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 1162 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Interesting that the lowest price flights are to Tegucigalpa...

But that is the place you want to start if you are going to the Bay Island first. It is possible to buy a cheap car. The condition of these cars can be pretty dodgy, and I have seen some cars LITERALLY held together with Gaffer's Tape and Baling Wire. But if you know vehicles at all, you can pull this off.

The main roads are fine. Driving them is not an issue. Be warned that latin American drivng is a lot more freestyle than your British driving.

If'n I were you, on the Pacific coast of C.R. I would go towards Quepos and the Manuel Antonio park, which is beautiful... stay away from Jaco if you can. In the north, if you are not tired of Volcanoes, or just want some amazing country side to explore after Ometepe, try La Fortuna, which you pass close to anyway.

On Ometepe, stay at Don Fernando's. The guy is way nicer and he bends over backwards to help. He forced his son to take us up Concepcion one day. We stopped when we found out his shoes were fricking footie shoes and found someone better suited. When you see Aquilar, tell him we're sorry about that.

I'd say Utila over Roatan in Honduras.

Teguz is interesting, but not for too long.

Good luck

3. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5672 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I guess you are into the beach and dive stuff?
In general 3 weeks for 4 countries may be a little to short. Or a little too much planned. If you skip Honduras, it will be a little more relaxed. Of course you can fit in Honduras but then add Guatemala and/or Belize.
In Panama, the are around Boquette and Bocas del Toro is nice.

4. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

I wouldn't recommend buying a car. I would just take buses. The roads between all the major cities are pretty decent, and the buses are good. Some of the roads to more remote spots can be rough.

There isn't much in San Jose worth seeing. I'd only consider going there as a transfer point.

I agree with Utrecht that 4 countries in three weeks is too much. I would suggest doing no more than 3 countries (one per week), and think about maybe just doing two countries. I think you'll find it a lot less rushed. I've been to Honduras (Bay Islands), Costa Rica and Panama. Of the three, I liked Honduras best (though the bugs in the Bay Islands were really bad).

5. Posted by marlis (Travel Guru 1167 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

take a bus,less stress.
less quantity means more quality.