Advice wanted on travelling to South America

Discussion in 'Travel' started by NorthernMonkey_1, Jul 22, 2009.

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  1. Evening ladies and gents. I am thinking of taking a trip to somewhere in south america and i'm looking for some opinions / advice / suggestions on places to visit over there.

    Ideally I would like to go somewhere where there aren't too many brit tourists, there are some nice beaches, good night life, interesting things to see and the women are friendly (goes without saying really) !

    Any advice would be appreciated

  2. Not as far South but reckon Costa Rica can't be beaten. San Jose (the capital) is a bit of a concrete jungle but you can get away and have the Atlantic coast one side and the Pacific coast the other. A couple of great, volcanic national parks (El Arenal and Poas) to visit. El Arenal is quite spectucalar some nights as it spews lava out and you can sit at a beach bar watching it. Poas has a lovely park but the volcano is a stinky, sulphur spewing one. Magnificent, untamed rainforest with huge amounts of wildlife.
    To really get away, spend a few days at Manuel Antonio on the Pacific side. You have to fly down on a white knuckle airways (about an hour) or 4WD in about 7 hours (pot-holed roads all the way). Marvellous beachs, not a Brit in sight and an abundance of wildlife. If you're single, loads of single Septic females getting away from it all. Bit difficult to find a place to stay that has hot water (but what the heck) and brilliant lagoons for taking a dip when it get too hot on your walk. Sitting on the beach watching the monkeys swinging through the trees, giant sloths etc. Go on the Jaguar trail. We didn't see a Jaguar but loads of other stuff. The night life in San Jose is really good, lots of bars, clubs and casinos around and some pretty posh, but inexpensive, hotels. Ideally, a couple of nights in San Jose, a couple of nights at El Arenal, 4 nights at Manuel Antonio and last couple of nights at San Jose should set you up quite well.
  3. Exbleep many thanks for your advice and responding to my thread i think you have sold Costa Rica to me ! Just a couple of questions; would i need to book at these places pretty far in advance to get a room and on internal flights or can you just pitch up and find a place to stay / jump on a plane ? Also what is the best time of year to go ?


  4. We booked a place in San Jose for the first 2 nights (to be safe) but found we didn't have to. Stayed in the Bouganvillea hotel and it was fantastic. Breakfast was all you could eat (catered for Americans) but it was a little way out of the centre. Rooms were £90 a night (double inc breakfast) but next time we just pitched up and got a hotel in the centre. Can't remember the name but was around $50 a night (double, American plan). Bit noiser as it was in the centre but much closer to the action. Can recommend a restaurant called Esmeraldas. We thought it was a Mariachi band competition going on but seems its the same every night. Great food and dead reasonable. At Punta Arenas (where you get the views of the volcano) just pitched up again and booked in. Manuel Antonio (think the flight was about 30 bucks each way) we stayed at the Si, como No hotel. However, this was around $60 a night whereas just across the road in the Casitas Eclipse hotel (little cabanas for 2) was only $45 a night and literally right on the beach. No problems just turning up.
    Only drawback was the flight from Miami to San Jose with TACA or TAN SAHSA. Flies to Belize, takes off, 40 minutes later you stop in Honduras, take off and 40 minutes later stop in Nicaruagua, take off again and 40 minutes etc etc (you get the picture).
    Best time to go is June or Sept/Oct. July and August are far too hot. May and November are too humid. Quite chilly in San Jose in the other months as it is a few thousand feet above sea level.
    Oh, and take US dollars with you as they are accepted everywhere. Change some at the airport when you arrive (not the official ones, lots of guys giving you a far better exchange rate). Lots of reasonably prices taxis to the city centre. And have breakfast or brunch in the patio of the 5 star hotel in the centre of San Jose (can't remember the name but is a very old building with lots of pillars outside, you can't miss it if you walk through the centre). Crisp linen, silver service etc for around 10 dollars and the place is full of old Germans with scars (quite funny as I think most of them escaped the 3rd Reich in the 40s). Also, a visit to the Gold Museum is a must. One side is ultra modern and the other is the pre-Colombian Aztec museum.
    Oh, and finally, the beach at Manuel Antonio is about 2 miles long with palm trees literally on the side of the beach. The water is fantastic and, if there are more than a dozen people on the whole beach, you've hit rush hour.
  5. Costa Rica is not exactly South America is it??

    anyway if you go to S. America...don't forget to pack a can be rather dodgy :D
  6. I have spent a bit of time round south Americia when i was on Endurance. Top places that thought were Montevideo Uruguay, Buenos aires Argentina or even Sao Paulo Brazil, but if you go there you really gotta keep your wits about you, and really dress down try not to stand out. For me Argentina or Chille are very good places, friendly people and cheap booze. It is a risk if you go there but its a cracking place and would love to go there again.
  7. For parts of South America you will need a yellow fever vaccination which takes 10days to become effective so get it done early. Also need anti malarials, typhoid, hepatitis A, tetanus and polio.
  8. Blindfire: in exbleeps first post he said he realised that Costa Rica wasn't in south america but decided to give me advice anyway... but you been a rock i know that reading and absorbing a full paragraph might be a bit beyond your abilities :D thanks for advice on the glock though !

    Cheers for the advice on vacinations fairy_nuff, i think i'm fully jabbed up after going to thailand a few years ago but i'll check.

    Bootneck: Thanks for the advice originally i fancied going to Montevideo so i might look into that a bit more, when you went was it full of brits ? I don't want to go somewhere that is full of chavs sat outside english cafes eating their full englishes !
  9. Hey Northern Monkey.
    Did my 22, then a stint in the Private Security Game in Iraq and decided to settle somewhere "quiet and peaceful" so relocated to Colombia.... best move I ever made. Meets ALL your requirements and more, and Im not referring to anything "illegal" or which appeared on "Miami Vice". Couple of suggestions; Cartagena in the North or Santa Marta just up the coast from there are Fiesta hot spots and next to no Brit or Spam tourists, you can live for a King for next to nothing and the Senoritas go like "belt fed mortars!". Alternatively come down to Bogota where the climate is milder but the Muchacha`s y Muchacho`s party from dusk till dawn, 24/7/365....
  10. Advice: Never be apprehended with proscribed drugs about your person.