Skip Navigation

over land mexico city to panama in 2 months

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean over land mexico city to panama in 2 months

1. Posted by dannyg (Budding Member 45 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

trip for next year any body with any clue if this will be enough time to take in all 7 for the central americas i am used to swift travel but could miss out anywhere that is not worth it, any general advice would be good thanks

2. Posted by wanderer84 (Budding Member 21 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

i think thats not nearly enough time. You could easily spend the 2 months in 2 or 3 countries and still miss out on a lot. You'll spend most of your time on a bus trying to make your timeframe. (CA looks small, but its quite large and transportation is slow compared to western world)

3. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

In either a vehicle or buses you'll require from 4-6 months to "see" Southern Mexico through Panama, going by your own vehicle from USA/Canada is a big responsibility and you WILL run into a few 'mordida' situations enroute with authorities, and if involved in any type of minor or major traffic accident with locals, their 'fault' or yours, well, all I can say is once you cross USA Border into Latin America, no more 'level playing field', you are kicking the football uphill, they (natives) run downhill. Border crossings by vehicle in C.A. very stressful, so bone up on your Spanish if required. There are many excellent websites and bloqs, those who have made the trip and returned. do a good in depth Google Search. Start "pounding" SEO.
Always keep in mind people are more important than "destinations", I myself, driving years ago in Guatemala (national plates) dropped my differental on remote stretch of Pan Am highway in Highlands, 30 minutes later a friend from capital city drove by, stopped, took me to a telephone in nearby village (no cell phones existed then) and my mechanic was able to tow my vehicle out before night.

4. Posted by lilywhite (Budding Member 23 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

We are thinking of doing similar next year, by public transport, and adding on a month to go to columbia/venezuela either before or after? Is 2 months really too short to see the highlights of CA without being run off your feet? I spent 3 months in SA last year and covered a lot of ground and didnt feel like i rushed... We're only starting to plan now, the LP books were just taken out of the library so dont have a clue yet! thanks

5. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru 1851 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Mexico is very well served by buses. There is a lot to see there and even a few weeks is just a quick look around. Belize is a disappointment and few stay there for more than a day or two (other than islands off of the coast). Guatemala is a bit primitive with bad roads so bus travel can take a long time for little distance. Tikal and Flores is about it there. Honduras and Nicaragua are sometimes a little risky. I have to admit I would not visit either country as there are many alternatives. Costa Rico and Panama are fine though not much to see there.

Your main problem in Central America and notably Mexico is petty theft. Especially Mexico City. Mexico has some 1300 historical sites with about 450 uncovered. Lots to see, with entry to them and museums free on Sundays). A little Spanish goes a long way in Central America.

If you get diarrhoea, a small spoon full of salt washed down by a sugary drink works. Traveller's tip is never miss a toilet stop and always carry some toilet paper with you.

6. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Cyberia is way way off base on many issues, I was once a guide, oral interpreter, driver, volunteer and more based in El Salvador and Guatemala in the 1980s and 1990s and still reside in C.A.
There are many ways to skin a cat and if you wish to learn more message me
I am not a travel "ex spert" who lives abroad.
---have driven, bussed, hiked, trekked over 1.2 MILLION km. of C.A. exception Panama
Want some simple hassle fr:)ee tips...message me.

Petty to violent theft becoming a Worldwide travel problem, not just a Latin American problem Safer here than in many large USA cities........

7. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Unless you've already been to Mexico your time is better spent there than in any CA destination, there's better travel infrastructure, more to see/do, much much better food.

With a few small exceptions (ruins in Guatemala, surfing in El Salvador, fishing in Panama) Central America is an altogether underwhelming place.

8. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 980 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

And I again disagree with the Fish. There is lots to see and do in CA. There are many great people(and lots of bad ones too, to be honest) There are beautiful jungles to explore, lots of little towns to spenda day in. Plenty of places to go where it doesn't cost you anything. The food is not always great, but I think that TheManWhoSwamUpstream (his Indian name) lives in Colombia, which has some pretty bland ass food. Sam, what are you eating that is so tremendous in the land of The People Who Fear Pepper?

Everybody's experience is different...But I have been in every country in CA half a dozen times. I have seen two thirds of SA and have lived in Colombia and AM living in Santiago....and I can't wait to get back to CA. If I were going to SA for the first time, though, I would go to Colombia.

Cyberia's advice is dismissive and off that I have to shake my head. Guatemala is an amazing country. Belize is more than just two islands (thought BZE IS a shithole of the first order.) Honduras CAN be dangerous at times. But I have had far more trouble in Santiago, which, according to some, is the safest city in SA.

\Two months is lots of time to get from Mexico to Panama. You're just not going to see everything. Don't let 'em get you down. They are just saying it's too short because they love the place so much. TONNES (and for you Americans TONS) of people do this trip in two months. I have myself. I have seen a lot. Enough to make me go back. You'll be fine.


[ Edit: Edited on 16-Nov-2009, at 19:15 by Piecar ]

9. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Sam, what are you eating that is so tremendous in the land of The People Who Fear Pepper?

Food in CA is fine-for about three (3) days-after that.........

(ps-You don't know this place at all.

Thai, Japanese, Lebanese, Ethiopian and then some Mexican, more Japanese, Turkish, Sichuan and how about that new Bulgarian place everyone is talking about?)

10. Posted by Piecar (Travel Guru 980 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

Know what's not on that list? Colombian. Put that in your smiley and smoke it. You're playing the same tune you always play when someone disagrees.

Anyhoo. Lots of food to eat in CA for two months. If you want Haute Cuisine, go to Paris, or apparently, the international block of IKnowYouDontville where Sam lives.

Have fun up there. I'll be there soon myself...After I try that Bulgarian place everyone is talking about.