Yo Paul, what's up? When are you heading south? A group of us are heading to Ecuador in mid-October around the world whitewater rafting championships. Both U.S. mens and womens teams are from Vail. Solid paddlers and plenty of logistical support for shuttles and the like. I'm thinking at least 2 weeks there, possibly doing a week in Honduras on the way down.
Good friend of mine, Paul St. Ruth, lives on the island of Roatan, Honduras and offers ocean-front lodging at a place called Marble Hill Farms if you're interested (email: email@example.com
). It's about 2 hours by ferry to the Rio Congreal, super-fun any time, and I expect even better during October rains. Several other nearby rios available with support from Struth, and great diving and partying on the island if you're into that sort of thing.
I've done Turialba, and it's pretty cool I suppose, but definitely more expensive, somewhat logistically taxing and really not such stellar ambiance. The rivers aren't that close to town, but there are rafting companies that will take you. A better option is Boquete, Panama. Check in with John Miller through NOC (email: firstname.lastname@example.org
) and he will style you out with lodging, shuttles, guide service and anything else you might need. If the water's on (which is should be most of October, especially late), he's got about 30 quality runs dialed within 2 hours of town and a driver to take you there. Town is sleepy, but nicer than most anything in Costa. Roads and access are awesome, beer and food are cheap and they take U.S. greenbacks. I'm kind of torn between heading back there or doing the Honduras thing again.
Either way, let me know if you want to coordinate something. I'm planning on three weeks down that way in October.