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Old 01-21-2010   #21
hotchkiss's Avatar
Pejivalle, Costa Rica
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 188
Eddie, you're right. The fact of the matter is, I would feel more comfortable traveling in most any of these countries than in the vast majority of major American cities. New York and the west coast make me considerably more nervous.

I haven't been to Honduras Eddie. You're absolutely right about my falling victim to mainstream media portrayals of the countries politics. I'm disappointed I did that. I believe I would enjoy Honduras a great deal and I'm certainly not interested in offending someone's latina wife by insulting her country.

I don't mean to justify my bashing this or that country, I simply got away from what I intended to do and that was squash the idea that Costa Ricans are, "dishonest," and that the country, "sucks." I don't think that's a fair assessment.

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Old 01-21-2010   #22
ftc, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 41
so.... anybody know of any boating in Nicaragua?

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Old 01-21-2010   #23
Bozeman, MT
Paddling Since: 2000
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 106
Wow!! A little to intense with the bashing! I guess I used the wrong words and lit a fire under some dudes ass. Your right, I shouldn't say that the whole country sucks, perhaps just a few people (hotgkiss)!

The whole concept of Costa Rica being a name drop for a first time group of intermediate kayakers is just fine. You can very easily go there and not even feel like your away from the US. Simply get a ride with an english speaking tourist company that'll zoom you down the road, pamper you in an eco-lodge, and send you down the river.

I've paddled in 8 different countries, and Costa Rica is the one place I would not go back to. In fact there are a few nice people, and the Surf in Pavones is fun, but thats about it. I felt that Costa Rica has lost it's culture because it's been influence by so many americans. This is also most likely the major reason why the locals have gotten used to taking advantage of the hords of tourists, it makes perfect sence to me! The taxi drivers fight over americans so they can jack up their prices, especially if these tourist can't speak spanish. In my opinion this is dishonest.

Also, the supposed boater towns had tons of crime and poverty, such as a town wide new years eve violent fight in the streets, young girls living on the streets whoreing them selves out, hypodermic needles all over the place, and a lot of really sad things. Surely these things could all be avoided if you stay at an eco-lodge, sipping chai lattes, and reading books about saving the rainforest. Costa Rica will always be a popular place for people that haven't experienced the sad truth behind the way people actually live down there.

If anyone is interested in a quality vacation that has great people, way better whitewater, and a fabulous authentic culture I would highly recommend a place like Ecuador. Boating in Ecuador is wonderful in all aspects. The locals want to get to know you, and it gives you a great chance to emerse yourself in a wonderful country.

Hotgkiss, no I'm not wierd, crazy, or anything like that. Simply i'm sharing my experiences with other boaters to help the boating community out, so we can all have a great time on the water. Isn't that why you kayak? To have fun, right?
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Old 01-28-2010   #24
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,239
Well everybody has their own perspective and experiences.I would not hesitate to go to Nicaragua and would like to boat in CR.Generally prefer more authentic cultural experiences and cheaper places. Nicaragua may not be the best choice for rookies ,but I don't think he said he was. People could jump to the conclusion Belize is all sanitized if they only went to the Cayes and fancy resorts,but that is not at all representative of most of the country. Costa Rica is a lot more developed, but my guess is you can still easily find the real Mc Coy if you get away from touristy parts.

Went to Honduras after Mitch ,no way is it worse now,San Pedro Sula was sketchy at night.La Ceiba and back country areas the people were really nice. Went to Chiapas during an actual revolution of sorts,no worries.Tourists are usually not victims of violence,but there is serious violence under the surface in ES,GUAT, HOND.Just look in their papers ,some dead dude lying in a pool of blood on the front page. not so under the surface now in no. Mex.

Ain't been to Nicaragua, but have studied the shit out of it for travel.There are no whitewater outfitters ,unless very new.There are some rivers run, I guess in canoes,around the Castillo on the San Juan.There are some rapids/waves right by the fort that might be good play at some levels.Don't get eaten by bull sharks like Capt.Morgan's men did.Sounds like one of them[Bartola] might be class 3,maybe a section above their put in[?].I read about some people running class 4 rapids in dugout canoes with no life jackets somewhere over by the Cocos[Hond. border].There are flat water sections with big falls and tributaries with potential,like the awesome sounding Rio Whamblam,on the mid/ lower Cocos.The upper Cocos around Somoto canyon would be the first place I'd look,there is fledgling eco- tourism in the area.

Some boater, Dgoson,needs to go scout the Somoto and the areas/rivers around/above Matagalpa,Esteli,and Jinotega.Large cities so maybe pollution issues,but probably trails into the surrounding hills too.Also hiking in Natl. parks could yield some finds.
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Old 01-29-2010   #25
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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There are a bunch of pictures of the Somoto at really low water[GOOGLE],looks like a really cool canyon but not much whitewater.The town of Somoto has two tribs coming together above the canyon that have to have gradient ,it's the headwaters of the supposedly biggest river in C A,i've heard them say the Usumascinta is the biggest too.
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Old 01-29-2010   #26
No seas pendejo
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Bonedale, Ra'do
Paddling Since: Nam
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 119
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Nico good

My wife and I spent about 3 weeks traveling Nicaragua. The people were super nice and of course its always respectful to start a conversion in Spanish. It was definitely cheap and easy to get around the country as well. My biggest word of advice is when you are down there, talk to other travelers. You can quickly assess the vibe of a town after a short conversion with a fellow traveler. Use your common sense, dont be drunk (or sober) on the streets late at night and you should have little worries.
salvation is in the mind, be mindful at all times
J. Kerouac
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Old 02-01-2010   #27
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 15
I have traveled through Nicaragua from the beautiful Caribbean islands of Big Corn and Little Corn to San Juan Del Sur. There are many creeks in Nicaragua that are worthy of kayaking, but little has been explored. I saw a few viable creeks in the Masaya region, and the Jinotega and Matagalpa highlands. The latter area is similar to the Boquette area of Panama.

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