Tag Info

Hot answers tagged

17

I spent four and a half months backpacking in the 7 countries you mentioned in 2009. Just based on my own experience I would say the difference in how dangerous a place felt was not between the countries but between places within each country, or even parts of a city. Some parts of the bigger cities should be avoided, especially at night. However many ...


15

I've found regardless of destination, that people are far less offended by cultural faux pas-ses then by behavior that would be rude anywhere. In India, I've accidentally paid with my left hand, and I've seen the person in return get a little uncomfortable, and accept the money with his right. What I did, however, is just apologize and ask, at which point he ...


13

In general you shouldn't see what you're seeing here - especially for multiple dates, which makes me think that it's possibly either a website error, or a scam of some form. Airlines do have multiple prices for each flight, and a limited number of seats available in each class. ie, one specific flight might have 5 seats available for $100, another 10 seats ...


12

All of the capital cities are dodgy, but some only in certain areas. Belize Belize City and Belmopan both have bad reputations, but they're the only capital cities in Central America I haven't been to. Costa Rica The most developed and safest country in Central America. San José feels safe compared to the other capitals and people do go out at night. ...


12

I was in South America (Argentina to Colombia) and in Ecuador & Colombia met a lot of people coming down from (and afterwards friends I'd met travelled up into) Central America. With just one exception (who flew), the others had all gone via the San Blas Islands. http://wikitravel.org/en/San_Blas_Islands Which to me look simply stunning! I'd seen ...


12

My method is to keep valuables in a piece of luggage that locks. It won't stop seriously determined thieves from slashing open your luggage, but if they're that determined, they could probably break open a cheap safe, too. For documents/money and other small items, I try to hide them on a hidden or hard-to-access interior pocket within my locked luggage so ...


12

For one thing, you should choose a reputable hotel/hostel with employees you can trust. Then just leave your valuables in the room (or a locker in a hostel dorm). I stayed in cheap (but good) places (USD 8-11 / night) and had no problems in Costa Rica or Panama. To find out which places are "reputable", I'd rely on online resources (reviews on Hostelworld ...


10

In general, don't be paranoid as it spoils the fun! Here are some specific tips I've gathered over the years! At the Hotel Ask the owner to take valuables such as passports into safe keeping. Lock your stuff inside your baggage and strap your baggage to the bed - It might slow down an opportunist enough to reconsider. If they have to break in to your ...


10

Backdoor Jobs is probably my favourite resource for out of the ordinary job adventures. It includes a variety of different jobs for different people with different backgrounds and experiences. A lot of the jobs listed are leading groups or hiking / trekking, BUT there are a lot of other ones available too. The owner / writer of the site Michael Landers ...


10

Take a look at http://www.claudiocorallo.com/ His story is amazing, and he is probably one of the best cacao producers in the world. They do the whole growing of cacao to sell and they produce their own chocolate also. I know of a friend that went to Claudios farm in S. Tome e Principe and they have a guided tour where they explain the whole process of ...


9

When I was in Panama City about 4 or 5 years ago all the hostels had ads posted by private people, sometimes families, that sailed back and forth in their yachts and wanted travellers to come along to help with costs. There was a waiting list for each yacht. At the time the price to sail was pretty much the same as a flight which was in the region of $300 ...


9

Several people already mentioned the sail boat option, but as none of them has done it themselves, I will add my experience from May 2009: As said elsewhere the hostels in Panama city act as intermediaries between travelers and the boats. They have a list of boats leaving on certain dates with prices which ranging from 250 to 350 US dollars. While some of ...


8

I only have a partial answer. If you are in Europe and you lack the funds, a substitute for the sensation of chocolate and cacao can be found in the Chocolate museum (DE) in Cologne, Germany. They actually have a greenhouse with cacao trees. Although you will not be allowed to pick them. You can also go to Suriname. There is no commercial plantation ...


8

If you are really on the lookout for cacao and chocolate form start to finish, Chuao in Venezuela is the place to go. They do not have an official 'assist on the plantation' arrangement, but local life revolves around the process, and you will certainly be able to see every part of it, and taste the products at various stages. In my opinion, the BEST ...


7

There are at least 2 tours that I could find that could fit your criteria: Undiscovered Carribean and LeatherBack Volunteer Vacation I am sure that you could probably get to those beaches on your own if you choose to but I think these would be better. There is actually a whole slew of tours just like those at SeeTurtles.org EDIT More on Turtle ...


7

An example of what I found out in Brasil: I was in a restaurant with friends, and my nose was running (spicy food, you know ;) ). In my own country (Holland) the polite thing to do is to blow your nose while facing away from the table. When I did that, I received surprised comments from my friends. Apparantly it was better to just snort it up and blow your ...


7

According to the Bureau of Consular Affairs: A visa is not required for U.S. citizens; however, a tourist card must be purchased for $10 upon arrival. Tourist cards are typically issued for 30 to 90 days. You can see all pertinent information here. It is accurate.


6

Short answer: Sometimes. Long answer: it depends on a LOT of factors - the airline, their policy, whether it's over international or continental borders, whether you're using an agency or website that has access to certain TYPES of tickets (even in economy class there are several categories that they sell). It's frustrating. When I'm searching, I open up ...


6

You can certainly drive it. You can get as far as Yaviza in Panama, but no further. Mexico is very picky about the paperwork needed for your car. I'm sure the other countries vary. Expect to have to pay some bribes sometimes, for this I was recommended to take lots of cigarettes to be used as "gifts" before officials start to give you grief. Don't drive at ...


6

Depends on which Central America country you're visiting, but for the most part the Pan American highway is your safest bet. Also, you probably want to read the answers to this question: Driving from San Antonio to Copan Ruinas, Honduras


6

Like you I only took chicken buses but there are some long distances options. For example from San Jose in Costa Rica you can go to Panama City (15 hours: 1pm or 10pm) San Salvador (48 hours, 6am, 7:30am) or even Guatemala City (60 hours 6am, 7:30am). However when looking at an itinerary it turns out the buses are stopping overnight in places in El Salvador ...


6

I don't know the current situation about Wifi in those countries but I am a developer and I've travelled in all of them. I did not have a laptop nor did I do any work but once in a while I did some coding just to keep my brain in shape and learn new things. I general expect the Wifi to be better in Chile and Costa Rica than in the other countries and again ...


5

I think Nicaragua is a relative safe country. You can read the information provide by travel.state.gov It is acquire but also consider that like any country there are good places and others are not a good idea. They focus about the bad stuff because they are talking about the crime and safety. travelig safety Nicaragua I have traveled to US and met a lot ...


5

I've heard several reports that the Darien Gap is quite dangerous due to drug trafficking. Personally, I would fly although I understand it's possible to cross by hopping on small boats on the Caribbean side. One of the Lonely Planet books (sorry I forgot which one) has more details, but they also don't recommend it.


5

The Pan American Highway is probably the most popular route. Mexico and possibly other countries require insurance from an underwriter in that country. It will probably be a lot cheaper to arrange that before the trip. It would be worth checking to see if it is unsafe to travel in certain areas, and at night. In Nicaragua, for example, there have been ...


5

There are probably two acceptable answers here: Pacaya - an active volcano in Guatemala, it's erupted 23 times since the Spanish conquest of Guatemala. It then erupted in 1965 and has been erupting basically continuously since then. Santa Maria - also in Guatemala (which makes it easy for you), which appears on this list of 10 most active volcanoes ...


5

I can confirm after checking in person, that nappies are available pretty much everywhere in Panama and Costa Rica (at least in the locations indicated in the question). Obviously, don't count on finding your favourite brand though. Sadly this information is not the only one that hasn't been updated since the first edition of the guide book years ago :(


5

When I have priced tickets to South and Central America the cheapest places to get to were Columbia and Panama. Spirit Airlines has some cheap deals including to Lima Peru but I have heard from friends that their service is bad. They also only let you have one 40 lb bag on some flights. But in your case that might not be an issue. Also check out where in the ...


5

They do ask for a ticket to show that you are leaving the country but when you are at immigration you can buy a cheap bus ticket out of the country and they will accept it (even if you don't actually take the bus). There are always plenty of bus operators selling tickets. If you are on a tight budget you can print out flight details (without having paid for ...


4

Twisted's suggestion of taking the keyring off any hotel/hostel keys you get is a great one. They're always bulky to carry and they both provide access to and identify your hotel room. Very bad! Here's a clever idea for hiding your valuables in clear sight while you're taking a dip. I imagine it would do a great job of preventing opportunistic theft which ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible