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Seeking Unique Info on Costa Rica and Guatemala

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Hi! I'm heading w/my father down to CR and Guatemala in the middle of Sept.
What is the weather like? Is it a good idea to get a car and drive around, or better to try and take public transportation?
What are the must-sees? We are most interested in sports-like, physical activities, great photography, and scuba diving - we know that to truly taste the soul of the country, we must voyage beyond the standard tourist realm. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks. Email is Sblack@iceomatic.com

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    We've been to Central america several times, and guatemala and Costa Rica are our two favorite places. some of the best scuba diving in the world is located off the shores of Belize and Roatan in Honduras. there is white water rafting on the rivers of Guatemala in some very high classes. Also visiting the Mayan ruins is very physical--all those steps to climb! We rented a VW CamperVan from Siesta Campers and drove ourselves around Costa Rica--great way to see this very beautiful country. The beaches in Guanacaste around Tamarindo are the BEST but I don't know how the diving is there.. In Guatemala, we depended upon the local bus system, which can get you just about anywhere. Transportation is very cheap and the public buses are often times retired school buses from the States--always spurting out diesel fumes that aggrevates your asthma/allergies. Buses are always over crowded sometimes with twice as many people as the capacity sign indicates. Tour buses are of course more expensive, but you get an assigned seat, with many bonuses like air-conditioning, faster driving time, more comfortable, etc. In both countries, the drivers are very macho, and the roads can be very dangerous with pot holes, etc. There are also taxi cabs, which you take at your own risk. Always barter and decide on the fare before getting into the vehicle--and check the tires and general worthiness of the vehicle. Always carry your passport with you, as road checks are not
    uncommon.

    Good luck--Buena Suerte!

    Cathy

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    Guatemala and Costa Rica are two of Latin Americas best. See the Mayan ruins in Guat. then spend some time outside Guat. City. The country is Cheaper to visit than Costa Rica but Costa Rica is by far more diverse. You have the need to travel around and depending on how much time you have and $ it is always cheaper to take the busses. But if there are a couple or more then try renting cars but that gets steep but the countries are small. The bestway to do it is to use public transportation tpo get an overview then rent the car for a follow up in areas you want to explore in more depth. Also in Costa Rica the buses are great and don't worry to much about places to stay, there are many. Try to utilize local help and see in Costa Rica the Arenal Volcano, Monteverde, Cahuita and if you need a E-mail in the Country then try Desafio@sol.racsa.co.cr they were a big help in setting up activities all over Costa rica for us and we had nothing but good experiences and they can meet you budget in all catagories. I hope this helps you some

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    I've been to Guatamala twice, and absolutely loved it. Everything is totally inexpensive, and shopping for traditional items is fabulous. I was there in Sept. once, and I froze (but I live in Puerto Vallarta). The evenings and nights were cool, while the days were warm to hot, although I never visited the coast. There are many interesting places to visit near the capital. Atitlan, on Lake Panahchel is beautiful. You can tour, fish and visit indian villages by boat. Chichicastanango is a great spot also, the scenery on the way is breathtaking. The market here is lots of fun. Antigua is the old capital, a must see. There are some great, quaint hotels here, very cheap. Many churches and monestaries to visit, etc. Well, have fun!!!!

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