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Old 01-19-2010   #11
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 34
Enjoy the surfing

Don't know about Nicaragua but check out Greg Schwendinger's website Mayan White Water has great beta for the region. If you really want to boat I would recommend Costa over Honduras just due to the drive, roads are way better in Costa than Honduras in my experience. No matter where you are be aware of your surroundings, most people are warm and friendly but there are arseholes in every country. For the record there is no civil war going on in Honduras, and it is just as safe as Nicaragua.

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Old 01-19-2010   #12
Horserump, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1975
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 458
Check this out

Rio, Aventura y Diversion : Adventure Trips to Mexico and Beyond

CHeck out this site. Leo puts a good trip together and may have some information for you.
Drop him a line.

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Old 01-19-2010   #13
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San Juans, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2001
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Posts: 485
Originally Posted by atg200 View Post
After the month I spent driving around Nicaragua, I found Nicas to be very nice to me as a traveler aside from the touristy area near San Juan del Sur. I wouldn't worry overmuch about traveling around Nicaragua.
I cant say that i agree. I am into my 6th week in Nicaragua. Staying in San Juan for work. This area is safe because it is the nicest place in the country with the exception of Masaya and Grenada.

People here are very poor, like living on $2-$3 a day poor. They see you buying cokes, or Tonas that cost 1/3 of thier days wages and there is contempt. While MOST people are very nice the main problem is with the police. I have been hasseled many time around managua and jinotepe. Even with a coworker that is fluent I have had to pay bribes, been threatened to be jailed, fined, etc...

Corruption is the way of the land here, from the Ortega to the local shopkeeper, every one is on the 'bite'

either way its beautiful place, surreal place, but I have not seen much for water, I'd imagine that floods would hold great boating, but would be unpredictable, and you;d be dodging houses and cows.

I do enjoy this place over CR as it seems more genuine, and less sanitized, which is nice unless you need urgent medical care..

Sport Climbing is Neither
--The Verm
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Old 01-19-2010   #14
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Pejivalle, Costa Rica
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 188
Civil war fears in Honduras as political crisis talks fail - Times Online

Nicos are violent people in relation to Ticos. There is simply not enough money for a stable economy. Travel is difficult and, not that I wouldn't be under the same conditions, everyone is an opportunist.

If you're looking for somewhere safe to spend your first out of the country experience, go to Costa Rica or Panama. I've been to all three countries and I speak enough Spanish to get by. Still, I don't enjoy being on edge and cautious all the time. When I travel, I want it to feel like a vacation or an adventure, not a luck of the draw chance of getting out safely. If you have people to go with, go check out the lack of paddling in Nic. If you don't go Paddle in Panama or Costa Rica.

Don't forget, you're a gringo man. Whether it's your fault or not, we're not looked upon highly everywhere. Before you go charging into a country to find great boating, find out what relationship that country has with the U.S. governement. We've done some pretty shady things in alot of these countries. It's not wonder there is some animosity. HONDURAS for example.

Do your own research. Word of mouth isn't sufficient.
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Old 01-19-2010   #15
Bozeman, MT
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 106
Originally Posted by hotchkiss View Post
Just like being careful in foreign countries, be careful what you believe in this forum. These guys are suggesting you throw caution to the wind in the country with the second highest murder rate in Latin America and going boating in another country that's in a civil war!

I've lived in Costa Rica for 3 of the last 10 years. I've never boated nor heard of the Patria River, I know for certain it's not in the top 10 rivers in that country, and I don't buy the idea of Ticos being, "dishonest pieces of shit."

They don't "charge way too much," they bargain and you pay too much and it's not because you're white, it's because you grew up in a country where everything has a labeled price tag so you're not adept at making deals.

Costa Rica is the first country in the world to have constitutionally abolished their army. That should give you a good idea of how they feel about living peacefully.
I'm not trying to piss any one off, but I've formed my opinions about a few places while kayaking and discovering wonderful new people and cultures. My opinions about Costa Rica are compared to my travels with a kayak in Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Panama, Honduras, and Costa Rica (ranked in that order). The Rio Patria is in fact considered a very top contender for the best Class V two day expeditions in the country, Ask Ferdinan! Assuming that you live there you should know who that is! I might say that Costa Rica is a wonderful place if you enjoy class IV rivers and a large amount of American influenced culture and Vacation style Eco-lodges and resorts. There is nothing wrong with that at all. I'm just glad that we all enjoy having fun on the river, wherever that may be. My opinion about dishoest Tikos was formed when a San Jose Taxi driver held our bags for randsom in his locked trunk and threatend to drive away with it if we didn't give him a $80 for a 5 minute taxi ride to a bus terminal. Compared to my other travels the other countries i've listed have kayaking that I enjoyed more, and had better interactions with the local people and that's it!

I guess you may not of heard of it because, but Hotel Charly II thought it was cool !

And yes! That's a pic of myself running the 75fter on it a few years ago.
The Shuttle Rig
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Old 01-20-2010   #16
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 403
I agree with P-Ro. I have paddled in 19 countries and I have never seen more blatant crime and more dishonest POS's than Costa Rican's. Not sure if it's their culture or if they are just so overrun with Gringo's that make them that way. My experience in Panama and Nicaragua was that they had less petty crime than Costa. That being said, it's not like Costa is all that bad, it's totally chill actually. I would'nt drive at night in your own car in Nicaragua though. My friends got robbed at AK-47 gunpoint and almost killed driving a rental car at night in Nicaragua 2 years ago. A major deal. I would stick to daytime travel. BTW the places I have been with the most recent wars, have been the nicest people. What a bummer there's no sick paddling in Nicaragua. Also you can skip Managua completely by staying at Lago Managua, which is a little paradise.
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Old 01-21-2010   #17
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Pejivalle, Costa Rica
Paddling Since: 1993
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Posts: 188
I'm sorry you vacationers have had such a bad time in Costa Rica. It doesn't bode well for people like me and my friends who work in Costa Rica. When people like you, who may have influence in the boating community, bash Costa Rica, it takes work from all of us because you prevent tourists from coming down.

Listen, I'm not sure if Podger just got into a strange situation or is just strange himself, not sure what the deal is, but this is what I think: if you get into an argument in Costa Rica because you're trying to stiff a driver out of his fare, the worse that happens is just what happened. He keeps your bags until you pay.

Try that move in one of these other countries you mention Podg. Stiff a driver of his money in Honduras. Try that with a Nico and tell me how bad your experience was with your mad Tico taxi driver.

Ask Craparadon's friend. You stiff a Nico of his money and you're taking a ride to his cousin's farm at gunpoint and they'll decide what to do with you AFTER they TAKE your money. I'm not even being a LITTLE histarical.

Come on man, you can't stay a WHOLE country, "sucks" and that EVERYONE in that country is, "dishoest," because you got into an argument of taxi fare. I will repeat, yes, Costa Rica has TONS of gringos living and working there. But, that is part of the reason it is SO safe!

Stop making silly suggestions that may get inexperienced people hurt. This guy sounds like he is going alone. Doesn't sound like he has tons of experience traveling. Sounds like he's just looking for a good little adventure.

What you are suggesting is almost neglagent on your part. Think about his situation and again, ask yourself, Nicaragua, (incredibly violent and very anti-american. Heard of the Sandanistas? Do you know what America's roll has been down there in the last 30 years?) or Honduras (in the throws of a violent revolution.)

Progers, doesn't sound like you learned much about these countries on your one week excursions.
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Old 01-21-2010   #18
Salt Lake City, Utah
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Don't worry about us hotchkiss - you are your own worst marketing for Costa Rica.
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Old 01-21-2010   #19
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Pejivalle, Costa Rica
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Posts: 188
Fair enough. I'll just leave it be.
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Old 01-21-2010   #20
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 34
Feel the Central America Love

Wasn't going to respond but Hotchkiss keeps rambling. I can tell you stories of of a friend who new a guy that had a bad experience in just about any country. The company I work for is 95% latino and from jjust about every country in Central America. I have been to Panama, CR, and Honduras. My wife is Honduran and we just got back from 3 weeks there, trust me there is no civil war. The Times article Hotchkiss referenced from last year was way way off as were 95% of the media reports in the US regarding Honduras at that time. Remember drama, controversy, etc are all good stories.

A good rule of thumb anywhere in Central America is be on guard in the big cities no matter what country you are in. Once outside the big cities crime is less of an issue and 99% of the people you meet are warm and friendly. If you have never traveled to Central America and don't know Spanish, Costa Rica would probably be a good first trip for you. Good white water, lots of gringos, and a good odds of finding English speaking locals.

Hotchkiss - try not to bash other Central American countries, that community as a whole needs the tourist dollars. You can give people advice without telling the worst story you ever heard and perpetuating the stereotype of Latin America in general.

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