Need help! Mexico, CR, Peru, or Ecuador?

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Dec 2nd, 2005, 04:44 PM
  #1
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Need help! Mexico, CR, Peru, or Ecuador?

Or somewhere else?

Hi all,

I am planning a two week trip for me and my boyfriend in Feb or March. We are on a very tight budget.

Originally we were planning a combined trip to Ecuador (where we have a place to stay on the beach) and Peru (focus on Machu Picchu), but my research so far leads me to believe such a trip is out of our budget, plus that is the rainy season in Peru. (FYI, our budget is about $1500 each, but we have miles to cover one flight).

We went to Costa Rica (mostly Malpais/ST) last year and absolutely loved it. We enjoy places where nature is pristine, where we can hike, swim and possibly surf (warm water a plus), enjoy delicious but cheap food, and interact with locals. Nightlife is not incredibly important (we live in NYC so we get our share) but a couple fun bars or dance joints would be cool. Our Spanish by then will hopefully be passable!

We are not big box resort types, but prefer small places, eco-friendly if possible. We generally like to move from place to place (we stayed in 5 different places over 8 days in CR) rather than stay put.

So any ideas out there? I am so tempted to head back to CR, and try some of the areas we missed the first time (maybe Man Antonio, Arenal, or further south?)... but I know there is a lot out there, and so much travel expertise on this board (which I used exhastively last year, and where I posted my CR trip reports).

Hope that you can help us make up our minds!
Muchas gracias,
Amy
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Dec 2nd, 2005, 06:25 PM
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Have you looked at Nicaragua? I've not been, but it's next on my list of 'new' places. Unfortunately for my new place, I've already booked trips elsewhere for this winter. From my preliminary searches, Nicaragua appears to have beaches, volcanos, colonial cities and good food at cheap prices.
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Dec 2nd, 2005, 07:52 PM
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Well of course CR is wonderful - but so is Mexico - if you were interested in Macchu Pichu what about Palenque, Teotihuacan and many many other wonderful ruins in Mexico - combined with some beach and beautiful colonial cities? We love CR and Mexico, but have been to both a few times so next for us is: Panama! Have you looked into it? Nature, beaches, some surfing, some nightlife in Panama City, etc.
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Dec 3rd, 2005, 03:48 AM
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Panama is fabulous. Check out the article on cnn's website which ran Nov 28 to get a flavor of this beautiful country.
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Dec 3rd, 2005, 05:28 AM
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If you are the adventurous types fly to Toluca or Mexico City. Travel around via first class or deluxe bus. You might go to Taxco and Cuernavaca then head down to Puebla and Oaxaca with the bulk of you time spent in Oaxaca. Stay away from tourist hotels but stay in nice places nationals would use. You will have plenty of money for travel, good food, lodging, etc. If you visited the above you would see a lot of Mexico and have a varied and interesting experience.
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Dec 3rd, 2005, 05:51 AM
  #6
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Hi all,
Thanks so much for these great recommendations. I'll start looking into them. Meanwhile if anyone out there has more ideas, keep 'em coming!
-Amy
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Dec 3rd, 2005, 08:14 PM
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Amy-I understand your dilema. I face it every time I think about going someplace new vs. the "really great, last place". Fortunately, over the years people have advised me to "keep moving" and seeing different places and not once have I ever regretted visiting a new place as opposed to going back to an old place. I have been to CR and agree it is great. But also hear great things about the other 2 places mentioned here, Panama and Nica. I have also been to Ecuador and can't wait to go back-it is neat. I think for reasonable costs and close, central Mexico is hard to beat. Advice from Dude is good. Having said all that, I have made repeat visits to countries but only as an additional trip during the year and not to replace a trip to a new country. If I were only going on 1 trip per year, I would keep moving and see the rest of the world.
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Dec 4th, 2005, 08:00 AM
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Hi Amy,

We (friend/I)went to Peru in March a couple of years ago and the rains did not cause any problems. It did not rain at all on us the 2-3 days we were in Lima or the 3 days we were in Arequipa. In Cuzco, it did rain every day for about 30-45 minutes, usually at night or late afternoon . . . that gave us a great excuse to pop in someplace and have a drink/snack.

We also went to Panama in Mar . . . again, no problems with the rain.

I think your budget sounds good, esp if you can use miles for one ticket.

I have been to lots of places in Mexico, all of Central America, and Peru, Brazil, Ecuador in So. Amer . . . I have typed up detailed notes ( travelogs actually) on some of my recent trips. If you'd like them, just email me ([email protected]) . . . they are very long so I won't post them here.

Have you considered Guatemala? Everyplace mentioned so far are fantastic and you'll have a great time no matter where you decide.

Buen viaje,
Sandy (in Denton)
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Dec 5th, 2005, 03:07 PM
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Hey nonstop, I was thinking of you the other day. How did your language study in Ecuador go? The last time we spoke you were getting ready to go and it sounded like a great deal.

What made me think of you was driving by the San Marcos restaurant. You mentioned that you guys eat there occasionally. I still never have, but will one of these days! Good to see you "on board" again!
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Dec 5th, 2005, 07:25 PM
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Hi Shillmac: It was great!! One of the best ever!! I haven't spent much time on these boards because I am busy planning my next trip. I'll send you an e-mail.
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