Monday, July 13, 2009

Day 120: Central America by the numbers.

countries visited: 6
# of buses:53
# of boats: 14
# of long-distance taxis: 5
# of planes: 2 (in and out)

Average daily spend:
Mexico: $94
Belize: $137
Guatemala: $88
Honduras: $121
Nicaragua: $77
Costa Rica: $116
Panama: $121

most expensive bed:$40/night for shared bath private room in San Jose, Costa Rica
least expensive bed: $3/night at language school in Xela, Guatemala

biggest surprise: Mexico which was a lot less touristy and 10x more amazing than I thought it would be
biggest letdown: Costa Rica (minus Cahuita) which was far more touristy than I even suspected
best value: Mexico City, awesome street food, cheap subway, lots to see.

best meal: tie - Panama Canal buffet; any meal made by Aska at Hotelito Perdido
worst meal: almost any one we had in Belize, thanks to Semana Santa we ate more much gas station food than I ever hoped to

nicest people: Overall Guatemala or Nicaragua, although the town of Cahuita gets two thumbs up too
rudest people: Honduras overall, but all taxi drivers specifically (would rather walk for 45 minutes than take a 10 minute taxi ride anywhere)

best buses: Panama
worst buses: Belize
worst road: Ometepe

best ruins: Palenque (beats out Tikal because it's a fraction of the cost)
best beach: San Blas
other highlights: ATM caves, diving in Utila,
lowlights: losing my bank card, Honduran taxi drivers, Tamarindo


Donna and Neil said...

Let's start a 'we hate taxi drivers' club...we completely agree with you that we'd rather walk 45 minutes in 38 degree heat and 88% humidity than pay those robbing b*stards!

Wow, your costs were a lot higher than we expected for Central America, we thought it was meant to be cheap (presume the costs are Canadian $?)

Ayngelina said...

costs include scuba diving as well right?

liz and adrian said...

Yup those are Canadian dollars. Which probably makes it seem more costly too because every US price is 20% more Canadian dollars . But certain things were more expensive than expected, like accommodation and ruins .
However we did splurge on some high cost things.
•In Belize that included 3 nights on Tobacco Caye at $270US as well as the ATM caves which was $150US
•In Guatemala that includes 5 days of Spanish lessons for both of us for $350 US
•In Honduras that includes the scuba diving which ended up being $590+6% surcharge for using a credit card
•In Panama that includes half of the cost of plane fares to Colombia or $130US

Taking those things out of the total would bring the costs way down. Also we only bought groceries about once a month, mostly because we didn't find as many hostels with kitchens. So we spent a lot of money on restaurants.

Another tip would be if you're willing to be antisocial, small hotels are often much cheaper and comfier than hostels. But it's ALOT harder to meet other travellers and can be kinda lonely.

If you check out
you'll get the breakdown of what we spent in each category.