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Gap Year Travels

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Hello Everyone,

I am going travelling in February. I am starting off with a friend flying into San Jose, Costa Rica and then we are going to Panama then onto Colombia and going all the way down and flying out of Buenos Aires in July. Basically, having saved up the money I am now in the process of decided what to do and where to go. I have various guide books but they are only as good as the day they were published and its good to get a variety of opinion. Ultimately could you tell me the most interesting and fun things you can do out in Costa Rica and Panama, and Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina if you want to! As clichéd as it is, my friend and i want to have the best time of our lives! (when else can you go travelling like this without a care in the world). So i would like to know any weird but fun things to do, any of those secret places off the beaten track, where to go out in the evenings like clubs etc and good restaurants and hostels. If anyone could also give me suggestions of a specific route to travel down that would be great.
Also, one of the more important things is getting from Panama to Colombia. I have heard that you get boats from Colon to Cartegena that take about 4 days and go via the San Blas islands which look amazing. Tips and advice on how to do this and cheapest (not dodgy) boats would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Toby

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