Along the Panamericana – Introduction

Past Travels:

Central America

(1) Why?

Well, why not? I had never been to the American continent before, and why not start right in its center. It has a nice climate and lots of things worth seeing – lots of things that require a certain amount of physical fitness as well, so I thought it’s good to go backpacking once more before I find myself on the sofa in front of the TV one day, realizing that I’ve become to lazy to even get up and go out for a round of jogging… Of course I hope that day will never come, but if it does, at least I’ve seen my fair share of the world before.

(2) Where?

There are seven countries I travelled through: Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

With less than two months time, I had to skip a lot of places and saw long stretches only from the bus window, but it’s still a good route to take. It can only get better with more time.

(3) When?

I travelled Central America in the months of July and August, for around seven weeks. After my first travel experiences in tropical areas in Australia and South East Asia, I got sick of worrying too much about rainy seasons, so I just dared to go there, although it was going straight towards the wet and hurricane season in Central America. It turned out to be alright, except for a few rainy days – which you will always have. Costa Rica is known to have a little more rain than the other Central American countries.

(4) Organisation?

Obviously, the normal pre-travel organisation: Travel insurance, checking bank balance and expiration dates (credit card, passport), getting Traveller’s cheques as cash reserve…
In Visa-terms, there is not much to do for Central American countries (for EU-citizens). For some countries though, you might need an onward-travel-ticket to enter, so if you don’t have a return flight, you might want to prepare an old flight ticket with a new date/destination.
Learning a few phrases in Spanish before arrival can be very helpful. If you want to learn Spanish properly, you will find a lot of good and reasonably priced language schools in Central America; especially in Guatemala.

'Chickenbuses' in Guatemala

‘Chickenbuses’ in Guatemala


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