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Outrail
Jan 4, 2009

www.sapphicrobotica.com


Stupid I pod and crappy hostel wifi.

A friend and I are in BA, heading to Uruguay and up the coast to brazil. We have about 1 week in Ug before we hit Chuy and i think we have that sorted (mostly camping and beaches, Cabo Polonia etc). After Chuy we're a little stuck. We want to get up to florinopolis and spend a week there before heading to foz de iguazu, then ill be heading to Paraguay. Do you guys know of much to do between chuy and porto algere? It looks pretty cool on the map with the lagoon and that but not much in the way of infrastructure and I'm not keen on being raped by beach hobos or whatever lives there.

Also is there anything in the south of brazil that is must see (aside from all the water falling and sao Paulo)?

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Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004
CLICK ON MY AMAZON ASSOCIATES LINKS


I don't think there's enough infrastructure out there to support hobos, even. I came down from Florinopolis->Montevideo and crossed through Chuy around midnight and didn't see many lights along the highway. Other than the various settlements (with the bus stops) that part of the world (seems to be) largely uninhabited, besides the odd gaucho every couple of miles.

Brazil, on the other hand, is peppered with small towns every couple of miles where you can buy drinks, snacks etc. I remember seeing an abundance of video/dvd rental shops along the highway for some reason. Chuy->Florinopolis would be fun do do in combis over a couple of weeks probably. There is some really stunning, Rio de Janerio-class scenery along that stretch of coast.

I come from flat/brown Dallas Texas so your standards may be higher than mine. Atlantic ocean is to the left of this photo. 4-6 hours south of Florinoplis



double edit: lame "i am bored on a bus" scenery videos from the brazilian coast. protip: don't do 12+ hour bus rides in south america.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNyCDFgZZ0k
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1hfN6eNghc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufh3Ph_dixQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0UM0ohewQU

Hadlock fucked around with this message at Feb 15, 2012 around 23:28

TheLizard
Oct 27, 2004

I am the Lizard Queen!

What is there to do in Quito for a few days? I'm thinking of taking a riding vacation to Ecuador but will have a few days prior to the ride to acclimate.

hecko
Nov 24, 2005
¿donde estoy?

You can visit Gramado near Porto Alegre , a small mountain town founded by german immigrants ( I think it's the only place in Brasil where it snows). Laguna is another cool place to visit, for it's history or at least to see the dolphins helping local fishermen (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/d...est-secret.html)
Maybe you can visit Curitiba too, http://wikitravel.org/en/Curitiba
Or if you are driving you can head to the Serra do rio Rastro and drive one of the most insane roads in Brasil

Miike
Nov 7, 2003
Free Mandela

TheLizard posted:

What is there to do in Quito for a few days? I'm thinking of taking a riding vacation to Ecuador but will have a few days prior to the ride to acclimate.

My number one recommendation would be La Capilla del Hombre, a museum designed by Guayasamin. We took the bus to the closest station and then a taxi up. It's pretty high up the hill. It is probably one of the best museums in the world I have been to a lot of musuems in Europe and the US. Take the tour though, without the meaning and stories behind the pieces I would not have been so impressed.

On Sundays (I'm not sure if its every Sunday) they close down some major roads and you can go biking. We rented a bike from the park and its a nice chill way to see the city.

We stayed in the old town part of Quito, both times paid $12 per night for the room. Hotel Melanie and Belmont, Belmont was a bit ghetto though.

Mitad del Mundo is just okay, nothing wow. My highlight there was getting close to some wandering llama's. The teleferico to the top is pretty cool, you have a nice hiking path there. Bring some warm clothing, quite windy and chilly there.

They have this weekly show in the Cultural center which was cool. It shows the traditional dances and music from the different areas in Ecuador. It was a bit expensive but worth it.

Outrail
Jan 4, 2009

www.sapphicrobotica.com


Hadlock posted:

protip: don't do 12+ hour bus rides in south america.

Cheers, well definatly give it a shot.

My favorite so far has been Santa Cruz to Asuncion. 36 hours including 16 hours waiting at the border and not bein let through due to protesters (yeah, now I realy give a crap about your plight), then waiting around for a few hours and then taking dusty as crap back roads. All in 40C heat and no
aircon. Other highlights included a mosquito ridden drug checkpoint and the Bolivian border guard contemplating detaining me before stating very plainly "No regresas a Bolivia.. No, no tu regressar".

Cometa Rossa
Oct 23, 2008

I would crawl ass-naked over a sea of broken glass just to kiss a dick

Would 3.5 or 4 months (about May-August) be enough to get a good idea of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina? Obviously it's not a thorough look at each but will I be too rushed? Stuff can be shaved off if necessary. I'm into whatever cool poo poo + partying + adventure stuff I can find. I've lazily budgeted about 2 weeks for each country and a little more for Peru and Bolivia, is that a good plan?

Cometa Rossa fucked around with this message at Feb 23, 2012 around 03:33

Hot Jam
Feb 23, 2005


So I'll be on the Inca Trail in June, we are trying to decide if we will be doing Wayna Picchu while we are at Macchu. Some people in my group are a bit intimidated by the looks of it, but I feel like they wouldn't let 400 people a day up there if it was too dangerous. All of us are experienced hikers. Can anyone who has done this shed some light? Also any other general Peru/Lima/Cusco/Inca Trail advice would be much appreciated.

Hot Jam fucked around with this message at Feb 23, 2012 around 20:37

kidhash
Jan 10, 2007


Hot Jam posted:

So I'll be on the Inca Trail in June, we are trying to decide if we will be doing Wayna Picchu while we are at Macchu. Some people in my group are a bit intimidated by the looks of it, but I feel like they wouldn't let 400 people a day up there if it was too dangerous. All of us are experienced hikers. Can anyone who has done this shed some light? Also any other general Peru/Lima/Cusco/Inca Trail advice would be much appreciated.

Don't do Wayna Picchu, do Machu Picchu mountain instead - it doesn't need tickets, it's a much quieter hike, and you end up much higher on the other side of the site, so the views are even better!

Destroyenator
Dec 27, 2004
"Don't ask me lady, I live in beer"

Hot Jam posted:

So I'll be on the Inca Trail in June, we are trying to decide if we will be doing Wayna Picchu while we are at Macchu. Some people in my group are a bit intimidated by the looks of it, but I feel like they wouldn't let 400 people a day up there if it was too dangerous. All of us are experienced hikers. Can anyone who has done this shed some light? Also any other general Peru/Lima/Cusco/Inca Trail advice would be much appreciated.
It's pretty safe, there are hand rails on all the difficult bits. It takes twenty to thirty minutes to get up there and it's a nice view. Also there're no guards at the top so if you brought a packed lunch you can eat up there instead of having to leave the site completely. I didn't do Machu Picchu mountain so I can't compare but I think that takes quite a bit longer.

Hot Jam
Feb 23, 2005


kidhash posted:

Don't do Wayna Picchu, do Machu Picchu mountain instead - it doesn't need tickets, it's a much quieter hike, and you end up much higher on the other side of the site, so the views are even better!

Is there another name for this trail? I am trying to look up info for it but searching "Machu Picchu Mountain" just gets me information on Machu Picchu proper. I would definitely like to do one or the other as I really want to get away from all the tourists and get a better view.

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004
CLICK ON MY AMAZON ASSOCIATES LINKS


Hot Jam posted:

Is there another name for this trail? I am trying to look up info for it but searching "Machu Picchu Mountain" just gets me information on Machu Picchu proper. I would definitely like to do one or the other as I really want to get away from all the tourists and get a better view.

It's not well marked! It's sort of hidden, a brown sign with white lettering buried back in the bushes. 2-3 trails near the upper agricultural sector lead up to a lower observation point. Just head up there and look for breaks in the wall of shrubs/brush and keep walking uphill.

Sort of map:


Let me see if I can dig out my good map and see if it has a name. It's a pretty brutal climb though, about 1500 vertical feet of really rough switchbacks. I'm a pretty steady person but the mountain just oozes water and you're sort of skidding up bare wet rock faces at points. I probably fell over/down/skidded down 20 ft to the next lower switchback 3-5 times. Maybe they've improved that trail somewhat since 2009 but while it's a trail, it's not an "improved" trail by any strech of the imagination. The rock is very brittle and the diagonal slant it's at doesn't lend itself to making wide flat load bearing trails.

Going up I only saw three people and coming down I only saw one, took me about 4 hours round trip (hard labor at those altitudes is pretty murderous if you aren't fully acclimated).

A lot of the trail is natural (but brittle) jade/opaque emerald looking stuff. Very neat! The view is amazing and 100% completely breathtaking. Clouds form from the rapids of the river just left of the frame, and the wind blows east-west and completely loving obscures Machu Pichu for 20-30 min at a time. When I got up there there were two guys who had been waiting for almost 2 hours for it to clear long enough to get their photos taken from that vantage point.



Click for bigger

Hadlock fucked around with this message at Feb 24, 2012 around 21:18

rum sodomy the lash
Nov 24, 2007

by Fistgrrl


What would be the cheapest way to get from Lima or Buenos Aires to La Paz? Would a bus be feasible?

I have standby passes, but those two cities are the closest the airline flies to Bolivia.

SEND SPIKE JONEZ
Dec 31, 2006
spike jonez sent

i hear the bus is preferred if you have the patience, as it is a more gradual ascent

Skeleton Jelly
Jun 30, 2011

Kids in the street drinking wine, on the sidewalk.
Saving the plans that we made, 'till its night time.
Give me your glass, its your last, you're too wasted.
Or get me one too, 'cause I'm due any tasting.


rum sodomy the lash posted:

What would be the cheapest way to get from Lima or Buenos Aires to La Paz? Would a bus be feasible?

I have standby passes, but those two cities are the closest the airline flies to Bolivia.

I really recommend the bus, by flying you will ascend pretty fast and altitude sickness can be a real bitch.

Aimee
Jan 2, 2007



Skeleton Jelly posted:

I really recommend the bus, by flying you will ascend pretty fast and altitude sickness can be a real bitch.

Is this still an issue if you take Diamox (altitude sickness pills) in advance? There's a good chance I'm going to be flying from Lima to Cuzco/Machu Picchu. I have the pills for myself. The guy I'm going with doesn't though.

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004
CLICK ON MY AMAZON ASSOCIATES LINKS


The chance that both of you ending up with altitude sickness is pretty astronomical. If he ends up with it, a prescription will be a snap to get in Cusco. Alternatively I am pretty sure you can get that med as an OTC in Argentina (to say that their OTC laws are lax is an understatement).

During my 4 days in Cusco I only heard of one person with a mild case of alt sickness.

Edit: I am not a doctor. Advice from the Internet etc etc

Hadlock fucked around with this message at Feb 26, 2012 around 09:48

LankyIndjun
Jul 11, 2002
There is nothing in this world more hapless, irresponsible, and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge. And I knew we'd be into that rotten stuff soon enough.

I posted a full thread on this, but I wonder if I may also get some answers here (so apologies for the cross-post):

I'll be spending about 3+ months in Bolivia starting in mid-May to conduct research on forest conservation policies (happy to share more on that if you're interested).

I'm looking for some insider info on what living in Bolivia is like as an ex-pat.

I'm a 25 year old Indian American male graduate student, proficient in Spanish (but not any indigenous languages).

I'll be based in Cochabamba, but will be traveling to various sites around the country to collect data.

Specific questions:
(1) What's your experience been like in Bolivia? Interested to hear free-form responses to this one from Bolivians and ex-pats alike!

(2) What cultural norms exist in Bolivia that I might not be as privy to as an American? For example, how are interactions between men/women? Is there much racism? Are people generally formal, or fairly informal?

(3) What should I expect traveling to villages in forest communities in Bolivia in terms of these issues? Are villagers often skeptical of outsiders, or not so much?

(4) What are some fun things to do in Cochabamba? What are your favorite places that you've been in the country?

(5) What's your favorite thing about Bolivia? Least Favorite?

These questions are mostly just prompts, I'm looking to gather a broad set of information from a variety of people before I ship off, so any input is certainly appreciated. Salud!

HiredGoon
Dec 30, 2005


This thread is brilliant, I'm hoping you guys could help me out for my trip to Medellin, Colombia.

- I'm around for a week. I want to see as much natural beauty, panoramas, waterfalls and colonial towns as possible—what are the musts?

- I've already got accommodation covered—how much should I budget per day for food and partying?

- Should I convert my cash before I get to Medellin?

- Any cool, left of field activities I should try? I'm open minded. How much do they cost?

- Best area for nightlife?

Thanks in advance!

TheImmigrant
Jan 18, 2011

Arrogant Yankee Cokehead

HiredGoon posted:

This thread is brilliant, I'm hoping you guys could help me out for my trip to Medellin, Colombia.

- I'm around for a week. I want to see as much natural beauty, panoramas, waterfalls and colonial towns as possible—what are the musts?

Take the cable cars up the hills from the monorail in Medellin. They are integrated systems, and you can transfer from the monorail to cable cars at San Antonio and Acevedo stations. The ride is stunning. Medellin sprawls along a valley, with shantytowns climbing up the hillsides. The trip is incredible at dusk. The stations on the hills can be dodgy, so don't wander around alone after dark.

Santa Fe de Antioquia is a good daytrip from Medellin.

quote:

- I've already got accommodation covered—how much should I budget per day for food and partying?

Depends on what you mean by 'partying'. Poblado (probably where you're staying) and La 33 are the nightlife areas. Poblado is more upmarket, while La 33 is more for pub-crawling. Mango's is the nightclub everyone talks about and outside the center, but kind of lame if you ask me. Unless you bargain really hard, coke (perico) is $5-7/gram for gringos, and usually so good it'll feel like your face is falling off. Ask a taxi driver to hook you up - it's everywhere.

You can spend a lot of money partying in Medellin, but you don't have to. If you sit down at a place on Parque Lleras at night, someone should buy a bottle of rum or aguardiente for the table. That'll run you anywhere from $25-75, depending on the spot and what you're drinking. The last time I was there, I averaged about $120/day in Medellin, all in. You could get by on as little as $25-30, if you're a skinflint backpacker type.

quote:

- Should I convert my cash before I get to Medellin?

No. Use ATMs. Last time I was there, the Colombian peso was 2000 for one US dollar.

quote:

- Any cool, left of field activities I should try? I'm open minded. How much do they cost?

Local dudes run drug tours out of the Poblado hostels. It'll be something like $10-20 to see various sites linked to the drug war of the late 80s and early 90s, including Pablo Escobar's grave in Itagüí. I did that tour with an Irish junkie who overdosed at the hostel a week later. He was obsessed with doing a line off Escobar's gravestone.

quote:

- Best area for nightlife?

Poblado and La 33. If you can dance salsa, hit Eslabon Perdido downtown, at Parque Periodista. It's kind of a lovely area, but as a gringo salsero you'll have your pick of the girls in the place. Take a taxi. In Poblado, hit El Blue in Parque LLeras - I really liked that place.

Aimee
Jan 2, 2007



I'm in Cusco right now and *everywhere* I go, the Internet sucks rear end. I'm staying in a hostal a few blocks from Plaza de Armas. I've found a single cafe that has semi-decent wifi. Even the Starbucks in the plaza is absolute poo poo (router crashes that eventually result in a 40 second ping to the router... that's right... second, not millisecond). Anyone have any tips on where I might try to find something better? I'm here until Sunday but the guy I am with and I both work telecommute online (we're both web developers) and rely on stable Internet to get by.

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004
CLICK ON MY AMAZON ASSOCIATES LINKS


Pirwa Hostel Colonial on Plaza San Francisco (2 blocks west from Plaza d Armas) has great wifi and an even better bar + nightly bar crawls. That was in December 2009 though.

Speed is going to be slow though, you and 100,000 other tourists are probably sharing the same 2001-era pipe that snakes it's way through the mountains to get there.

Fromage D Enfer
Jan 19, 2007
Strawbrary!

I was in Peru pretty recently and a bunch of people I traveled with stayed at http://www.lokihostel.com/en/cusco in Cusco. I'm not sure about the internet quality though. I never truly was able to get a great internet connection anywhere I went in Peru.

Miike
Nov 7, 2003
Free Mandela

HiredGoon posted:


- I'm around for a week. I want to see as much natural beauty, panoramas, waterfalls and colonial towns as possible—what are the musts?

Thanks in advance!

A nice day trip we did was to Guatape. A very cool and interesting village. All the fronts of their houses and stores were unique. Its next to the water and a cool little village. Nearby is El Penol of Guatape. Which is this major rock you can climb. The landscape around is really nice, full of lakes and islands. You can take a local bus there, is cheap and takes about 2 hours if I recall correctly.
My photos of Guatape village
My photos of El Penol

Outrail
Jan 4, 2009

www.sapphicrobotica.com


Hot Jam posted:

Is there another name for this trail? I am trying to look up info for it but searching "Machu Picchu Mountain" just gets me information on Machu Picchu proper. I would definitely like to do one or the other as I really want to get away from all the tourists and get a better view.

I did MP twice in august last year, doing MP mountain the first time and WP the second. You have to pay to do MP mountain as well as WP now. MPM is slightly cheaper. Both are kinda hard physically but not going to kill you. MPM is harder as it is way higher, it also seems to have less people. If you do WP be sure to get down the the bottom (cave of the jaguar or something). It's a bastard of a hike (all steps up and down) but if you treked in it's fine.

Try go do it in the morning (you have to choose the time you go) as it'll be cooler and you'll have more time to do that and other stuff. Like take a photo at the right spot so you can have the same facebook profile as 80% of everyone who goes to Peru, I hate that photo. If you walk up from aguas calientes (5am or so) you can be the first one in the gate, beating the wimpy bus takers gives you a very great smug feeling.

Thesaurus
Oct 3, 2004
Professional Noun

Outrail posted:

You have to pay to do MP mountain as well as WP now.

I did MP Mountain in July and did not have to pay. Where did they make you pay and how much?

I'd describe the hike as difficult... it's a long and very steep trek the whole way up.

Alfajor
Jun 10, 2005

The delicious snack cake.

I'm going to be in Chile in a couple of weeks with my wife and my parents. I'm looking for restaurant suggestions for both Santiago and Viña Del Mar. Of course one of them will have to be seafood! Factors besides quality are restaurant's ambiance, bonus if it has a great view or location (like it's on a cliff overviewing the ocean). If a place has a famous dish, that'd be awesome, or if the place is just straight up famous, let me know. It's a bit hard to find trustworthy opinions about far-flung places.
Also looking for a suggestion for the best place to get a "completo" in Santiago. Mmmmm, hot dogs.

Only registered members can see post attachments!

Alfajor fucked around with this message at Mar 25, 2012 around 01:40

Programmable Soda
Aug 8, 2008


Alfajor posted:

I'm going to be in Chile in a couple of weeks with my wife and my parents. I'm looking for restaurant suggestions for both Santiago and Viña Del Mar. Of course one of them will have to be seafood! Factors besides quality are restaurant's ambiance, bonus if it has a great view or location (like it's on a cliff overviewing the ocean). If a place has a famous dish, that'd be awesome, or if the place is just straight up famous, let me know. It's a bit hard to find trustworthy opinions about far-flung places.
Also looking for a suggestion for the best place to get a "completo" in Santiago. Mmmmm, hot dogs.



El Hoyo is a really famous place in Santiago. I recommend the terremoto (delicious Chilean wine-based cocktail) and the lengua con papas. You can also try Vega Central, the city market with lots of different eateries. Not so sure about fancy places in Santiago though.

For completos, you could try Dominó. It's a Chilean restaurant chain with none of the negatives; the completos are delicious. If you want a more mom-and-pop feel, try El Completo (Mac Iver 263), the self-proclaimed King of completos.

In Valparaiso, check out the Mercado Puerto. It's the traditional seafood market, loaded with small eateries with plenty to choose from. If you want something fancier, try El Bote Salvavidas. It's got a pretty nice view overlooking the ocean.
Café Brighton offers an excellent view of the bay. I've never been there, but I've heard it's not cheap.

I'd suggest you also go to Concón, a city that's located next to Viña del Mar. There you can find the best place to get seafood empanadas. It's called Las Deliciosas and it's loving awesome. The empanadas are absolutely delicious and really, really cheap. There's also La Picá de Juan Segura in Concón for some great seafood. It's more expensive than Mercado Puerto though.

Also, gently caress you. It's 1:20 AM and that photo makes me crave a completo.

*edit* Just realized you said Viña and not Valparaiso. In my opinion, Viña is really lame. It's nice, yes, but it lacks that special charm Valpo has. I've met foreigners who've told me Viña feels plastic and cookie-cutter like after seeing Valparaíso. Can't say I disagree with them.

Programmable Soda fucked around with this message at Mar 27, 2012 around 02:01

Alfajor
Jun 10, 2005

The delicious snack cake.

No worries, we're going to Valparaiso for at least a full day trip.
Thank you for all those suggestions! I'm also getting loving hungry just thinking about fresh seafood, empanadas and hot dogs smothered with avocado and mayo.

Cometa Rossa
Oct 23, 2008

I would crawl ass-naked over a sea of broken glass just to kiss a dick

Cometa Rossa posted:

Would 3.5 or 4 months (about May-August) be enough to get a good idea of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina? Obviously it's not a thorough look at each but will I be too rushed? Stuff can be shaved off if necessary. I'm into whatever cool poo poo + partying + adventure stuff I can find. I've lazily budgeted about 2 weeks for each country and a little more for Peru and Bolivia, is that a good plan?

Bump. Most of my posts in travel threads are purely hypothetical but I'll probably actually do this one

Destroyenator
Dec 27, 2004
"Don't ask me lady, I live in beer"

Cometa Rossa posted:

Bump. Most of my posts in travel threads are purely hypothetical but I'll probably actually do this one
It's doable as long as you can leave out the south of Chile and Argentina, and are aware that unless you're flying a lot you'll spend lots of time on busses. From top to bottom of Peru you can easily spend four whole days on busses taking the most direct route. When you count up the hours of travel time (and recovery time) and compare it to how long you have there in total you might want to consider a less spread out trip.

Maybe plot out which things you really want to see or experience. Party-wise you'll be pretty set most place you go. Cool poo poo I guess work out if you want to do the skydiving/extreme/etc stuff, hiking/mountain climbing, sights (Machu Picchu, Iguazu...), food and wine...

Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



Cometa Rossa posted:

Bump. Most of my posts in travel threads are purely hypothetical but I'll probably actually do this one

Echoing what the other guy said to plan out a trip, that's doable as long you know exactly what you want to see. Travel is going to be a bitch and eat up a lot of your time in the countries that you're spending two weeks in such as Argentina. So, I'd suggest only checking out 2-3 areas in bigger countries such as Argentina and skip the southern parts. I'd suggest doing Santiago-Mendoza-(maybe Salta if you have time)-Iguazu-Buenos Aires in Argentina if you're going to cross from Chile.

I did 3 months in Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina (with a short sidetrip to Uruguay) and it was a bit rushed at the end but it was because I got sick in Bolivia and ended up staying there a lot longer than I planned. Make sure that your plans are flexible in case you get delayed (illness/injury/protests closing roads). I had planned to do Paraguay too, but decided to drop it after getting sick and that was a good idea because I would have missed out on some places in Argentina or Uruguay entirely that I wanted to see due to the lack of time.

Thesaurus
Oct 3, 2004
Professional Noun

Most experienced travelers usually recommend spending more time in countries and keeping your focus smaller. Some people are happy spending a month or more in one country, and all of those countries have plenty to see. If you are going to travel by bus, I'd cut down so you aren't on buses the whole time.

I spent about six weeks each in Bolivia and Peru. Originally I also wanted to include Ecuador, but I think it would have been rushed. Ultimately I didn't even see everything I wanted to see in Bolivia and Ecuador!

Cometa Rossa
Oct 23, 2008

I would crawl ass-naked over a sea of broken glass just to kiss a dick

Thanks for the advice guys. I'd never really looked at and thought about how huge some of these distances are

Testikles
Feb 21, 2009


I wonder if anybody can help me out here.

I'm thinking about heading to South/Central America for a week or two to unwind and get some work done. I'm looking for something that's urban but not overly touristy but at the same time where I won't be completely screwed over by my lack of spanish or portuguese. I'd be travelling alone and would most likely be staying in the immediate area. It's a bit of an odd request, and I was originally thinking the carribean but everything seems to be a resort town which isn't quite what I'm looking for. Essentially I want a place that's hospitable to strangers but a little bit off the beaten path.

Hadlock
Nov 9, 2004
CLICK ON MY AMAZON ASSOCIATES LINKS


The number of people who speak english in Bogota is alarmingly high. I think the great number of universities there may have something to do with that. Other than the candalaria you probably won't run in to many tourists there, but you're a short trip from Medellin and the coast, if that's more your bag.

Aimee
Jan 2, 2007



Testikles posted:

I wonder if anybody can help me out here.

I'm thinking about heading to South/Central America for a week or two to unwind and get some work done. I'm looking for something that's urban but not overly touristy but at the same time where I won't be completely screwed over by my lack of spanish or portuguese. I'd be travelling alone and would most likely be staying in the immediate area. It's a bit of an odd request, and I was originally thinking the carribean but everything seems to be a resort town which isn't quite what I'm looking for. Essentially I want a place that's hospitable to strangers but a little bit off the beaten path.

I just got back from Lima, namely the Miraflores area. It's urban, not super touristy, and pretty accommodating to English speakers, or I think it is anyway. I was there for 4 weeks and was a bit rusty on my Spanish when I got in and seemed to get by just fine until I assimilated in enough to speak. I telecommute and only took one week off for vacation, so I was working remotely from there for about 3 weeks and it was definitely nice. If you need an Internet connection for whatever work it is you're hoping to do, I'd recommend being super cautious about that when it comes to traveling in South America. I had numerous problems with that while there... to the extent that it's worth it to check out the Internet connection before deciding to stay somewhere. My company still resents me for my complete inability to participate in conference calls over Skype while there.

CancerCakes
Jan 10, 2006

THIS IS HOW I THUNDERDOME

I am planning on going to Mexico and Guatamala in October with my girlfriend, starting in Cancun / Playa Del Carmen and ending in Antigua. I am planning on doing some scuba and having a generally relaxing time but is there anything in particular I should know? The weather looks like a bit of a crap shoot, but I don't mind getting wet as long as I don't get blown away!

TheImmigrant
Jan 18, 2011

Arrogant Yankee Cokehead

CancerCakes posted:

I am planning on going to Mexico and Guatamala in October with my girlfriend, starting in Cancun / Playa Del Carmen and ending in Antigua. I am planning on doing some scuba and having a generally relaxing time but is there anything in particular I should know? The weather looks like a bit of a crap shoot, but I don't mind getting wet as long as I don't get blown away!

This is a fun trip, one that I've done several times. There are two possible routes: one through Belize, via Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Chetumal, Belize, and Flores/Tikal; the other through Chiapas, via the same beach spots through Chetumal, followed by Palenque, San Cristobal, Xela, Atitlan, and Antigua. The Chiapas route is longer, but much more varied, and you can also choose to turn east at Palenque instead of San Cristobal to see the ruins at Bonampak, Yaxchilan, and Tikal.

Scuba off Playa del Carmen and Cozumel is amazing. Tulum also has some good dive spots. Belize has excellent reefs, but is significantly more expensive and poorer value than Mexico. There are Maya ruins all over the place. I rate them in descending order Tikal > Palenque > Yaxchilan > Uxmal > Bonampak > Coba > Chichen Itza > Ruta Puuc. Calakmul is supposed to be incredible, but I haven't been. It's off the highway from Chetumal to Palenque. Lake Atitlan is a must, particularly if you're looking to chill out for a few days and watch the lake breathe. Antigua is impossibly charming, and very heavily visited by tourists.

Mexico has by far and away the best food, Guatemala the worst. Food in Belize is okay. There's a lot of seafood, as well as Chinese and Indian options.

You will be traveling at peak hurricane season, so be prepared to alter your route away from the Caribbean. Merida is a really nice city, and would be a good place to sit out a hurricane.

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Tomato Soup
Jan 16, 2006



Potentially thinking about taking another trip, but I'd like to go to a new country to me (last trip took me to Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Uruguay) and I'm a bit of a foodie so other than the countries I mentioned, what others have awesome food?

I miss Peruvian food, practically everything I ate was amazing.

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