We can now summarie our travels, we spent 80 days in Central America visiting every country except for Honduras, we averaged $32 a day per person. This includes every penny of spending from the attraction costs, accommodation, transport, food (our big expense) as well as our flight to Colombia. Costa Rica ended up being the most expensive country, followed by Beliz and Panama. On the other end Mexico and Guatemala were the cheapest with El Salvador and Nicaragua in between. To note, we spent quite a few nights couch surfing and hitchhiking, especially at the beginning, so our spendings might not always be the most accurate.
Costa Rica was the most expensive country so far this trip. We ended up spending almost $50 pp a day. This time transportation was our biggest expense since we hired a 4×4 for a week. We ended up spending $322 for the hire and fuel. This was half the actual cost as we traveled with another couple. It was the best decision ever, since it allowed us to see a lot of places in a really short time frame. Also public transport in Costa Rica isn’t ideal, Buses are expensive and don’t come as often as in other Central American countries, sometimes as little as twice a day. Many tourist attractions are well of the beaten track where public transport doesn’t run, or work time wise. Accommodation made for number 2 since we only stayed in hostels and hotels this time with no use of Couch Surfing, although we were still able to find reasonable accommodation.
First day with a car and a/c and o my god we cannot even imagine what are we going to do when we will have to return it. A huge contrast form the cramped, hot, sweaty public transport we’ve endured for the last two months. Now with a set of wheels the now inexcessable locations through public transport were possible. We are so thankful to get to meet Dee and Brink, a South African couple, living in Australian and traveling around the world on their honeymoon. It was so lucky, that we all wanted to see similar things and were able to team up to enjoy Costa Rica together. It was lovely to travel in a bigger group, share past experiences and find out that we have pretty much been following each other since Mexico.
We arrived in Costa Rica over 10 days ago and what a trip its been. Its taken untill now to have the time/ internet to sumeries what we have been upto.
Not planning sometimes leaves us in bad situations. What was only a short trip between the Nicaraguan island of Ometepe to Liberia, Coasta Rica was one of those nightmare journeys. Not having internet for some days before, we weren’t able to check or make plans. Getting to the border of Costa Rica and not realising we needed an out going ticket to enter the country costed us an expensive last minute ticket choice. Continue reading
Nicaragua was one of our favourites of Central American, this country has so much to offer! From stunning lakes, including the largest lake in Central America, an amazing 19 volcanos and stunning beaches. You can spend alot of time in this beautiful country soaking in the chilled out life and beauty.
Did you know that since 2001 El Salvador is using the American dollar as its currency?
The currency change made everything a bit pricy. El Salvador was the most expensive country we have visited so far this trip, we saved money where we could and couch-surfed for over a half of the visit. This kept our spendings down as we had bbq most nights instead of eating out. We averaged $22 per person and most of this was entertainment. We had surf classes and climbed a volcano along with boat trips, and some restaurant meals. Groceries prices in the supermarkets are horrendous. We were asked to pay $4 for 2 peppers, where at the outdoor market stand you can get a whole bag of veggies for the same amount.
You can see a massive influence of America in El Salvador – shopping malls, a significant number of fast food chains and even a waltamart supermarket. While driving around the capital we started missing Belize, where all the franchise are banned and all you can see are local comedores (canteens) and food markets.
☄we took an air conditioned bus (always bring warm clothes with you as they are freezing!) from San Salvador to Leon for $25 each. Initially, Transporte del Sol said it would cost us $50 pp, but after some negotiating we ended up paying $50 for the two of us – great deal, and it had breakfast, horrible lunch and drinks included.
☄ border crossings to Nicaragua were really slow, we ended up waiting for about 2 hours until our passports went through. You will be asked to pay $3 to enter Honduras and $12 to enter Nicaragua.
☄public transportation (chicken buses) are extremely cheap in El Salvador, ex. 60c for an hour journey.
We are in San Salvador, a city surrounded by volcanos – el Salvador’s capital inhabiting 2 million people, and known for its sky high crime rates. A real wake up call to how safe Europe feels. It’s one of these places you are warned not to walk around after 6 pm in most of the neighbourhoods. Luckily, thanks to our host Rony we were located in one of the nicest parts of San Salvador.
We are in El Salvador! The country known more for its crime rates and tattooed gangs than its incredible coastline and nature. Wanting to explore the Pacific coastline for the first time on our travels, and having spent a long amount of time in land of Guatemala, we headed to el Tunco. A world famous surf town with huge swell and 3 meter waves. Here you don’t need to make it for tournaments, just watch the locals surf these massive waves – they are incredible.
We spent 16 days traveling around Guatemala, averaging about $23 a day per person. Guatemala seemed to be much cheaper than Belize and about the same price as Mexico. Unfortunately we ended up getting ill for a week, spending a lot on accommodation and eating in a hostel as we didn’t have the energy to leave. We only couch-surfed once, so our accommodation was our biggest expense. Being a huge country with not a lot of cars driving around (hard to hitchhike) we ended up spending a bit on traveling in-between places.
We’re back on the move, unfortunately one street food meal to many, we have spent the week recovering from illness. Our journey continued on some of the scariest bus rides through the mountains from Flores across the country to Antigua, lake Atitlan and then on to the market town – Chichicastenango.