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First time traveller...

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean First time traveller...

1. Posted by Beaner (Budding Member 2 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!


I'm a first time backpacker, I am planning on travelling to Central America for 4 months this winter (Mid-November to March or April 2009/2010) I have never travelled before and I am planning on going by myself. I was wondering how safe it is for the average female, travelling alone in Central America. Also, if I could get some feedback on where to start (leaving from Canada, unsure where to go to first)...whats needed (visa's?) and If anyone can explaine what the "backpacker highway" is. Thanks :)

P.s. im interested in learning to dive, looking for hikes, just a wicked adventure..
-also, on average how much of a budget do I need for four months?

2. Posted by Chatobrian (Budding Member 2 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

hi there!

That sounds nice to have the oportunity to travel for four months !!
I live in Cozumel isalnd in Mexico, some of the better places to dive around the world, we have more than 25 reefs here. If you really want to get your open water certification this is a nice place to do it, from here you can go to guatemala and belice in a very easy way and discover amazing places, pristine blue lagoons and underwater canals, luxuriant mayan jungles to hike and watch hundreds of different species of fauna and flora in some of the beautiful ecological reserves .
I ´m planning a trip for Guatemala for 2 weeks soon. Check they have great options to explore the Mayan Route from Mexico, Guatemala and Belize.

Enjoy your trip !!;)

3. Posted by BedouinLeo (Inactive 698 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

The first thing to take on board about travelling in Central America is that within reason it will be hot no matter what time of year you go. Winter off peak tickets, C.A. perfect.
I work abroad a lot and my visas are arranged for me so I cant help you with that one but I can tell you that I have travelled from Canada to Mexico and beyond southward. It is just so easy whichever mode of transport you take. I would thoroughly recommend the Greyhound Pass and that you go via New York then down towards Lousiana and into either Texas or Arizona before crossing into Mexico. Forget Southern California and New Mexico unless you want a much less interesting ride. Arizona is just so amazingly weird on the road. A stop off in New Orleans is a must too. Once in Central America dont avoid Costa Rica. Its almost a sin to bypass it. A country full of thousands of species of everything. Dont swim in the rivers without advice though. There are frogs on the banks and in the trees smaller than the the size of a postage stamp thatll do you more damage in a few seconds than if you were hit by a train.

4. Posted by L.Cough (Budding Member 6 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

I am planning a trip to CA as well, I am flying from chicago to cancun, then down the yucatan along the coast diving and checking out ruins, then on to belize for more world class diving, and into the maya mountains for more ruins and hiking. Probably going to spend awhile in guatamala, number one on my list really, mabe pick up some short volunteer stays with or ( both great organizations for traveling volunteers).Definately want to summit some volcanoes, mabe Tajumulco. Not sure about honduras, I'm just going to play it by ear when I get there, ya know feel it out.but the bay islands are a must, and if your into surfing dont pass up el salvador, the best in the world, so they say. Really looking forward to costa as well. If you are travelling same time same area and any of this sounds of interest your more than welcome to tag along. I leave sept.1 and am hoping to make it at least 6 months. Sorry I can't offer a whole lot of advice, it'll be my first time in that part of the world also. All I can say is light clothes for Hot weather, and waterproof clothes for Wet weather. I am planning on 20 us dollars per day, but I am a minimal expense kind of guy. Enjoy your trip, you'll be fine, and continue travelling, its the best thing you can do!
Love and Laughter

5. Posted by Wildeone (Budding Member 5 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

im flying out to mexico city with my flatmate and we too are both female travellers who have never done anything like this before. we fly out on 16th sept and plan to travel across to yucatan then down east coast of central american countries. going to spend a while in guat and study spanish for few weeks then continue on down towards south america where we travel through venez, columbia, ec, peru, bolivia, argentin and finally leave from brazil from 5-7months later.

if anyone is going to be in central at same time as us we'd love to meet some more people to travel with...exciting!!