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Old 07-01-2008   #1
st2eelpot's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2008
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Central America, South America winter trip

Anyone interested?
I'm brainstorming buying a car in the states, putting the kayak on top, and just driving south. No real plans other than to boat, travel, drive, etc. Should be fun.

I think this type of trip would be more fun with at least 1 other boater, so if anyone is interested feel free to chime in. Likewise, any friends you may know would be sweet.

That being stated, if anyone has any suggestions on must-hit rivers for any of the spots in Central America or South America that would be fantastic, though it's not my first time going down there.

Also, if anyone has done this drive (Cali to Chile or some such) I'm open to any pointers or thoughts. So far talking to a few ppl that did it, I've only had the suggestion to avoid Columbia.


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Old 07-01-2008   #2
Join Date: Oct 2003
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As you head down, some good places to stop and boat would be near Ciudad Valles and Veracruz, Mexico; Turrialba, Costa Rica; Boquete, Panama; and Pucon, Chile.

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Old 07-01-2008   #3
Join Date: Feb 2006
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I would buy your car down there and start in Costa Rica and just drive around from there then sell the car for a little less then you paid for it when you return to Costs. While in Boquete check out Boquete Outdoor Adventures. Ask for Jim Omer hes part owner and from Ridgway CO. They have great boats down there and are awesome people with lots of knowledge.

I think the website is : Boquete Outdoor Adventures Specializing in Unique Custom Adventure Travel Vacations in Panama
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Old 07-01-2008   #4
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Check us out in Ciudad Valles.. from Nov till March..
Kayak Huasteca - Welcome to Mexico!

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Old 07-01-2008   #5
littelton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2004
Join Date: Jun 2008
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paddler mag did a 4 page articel a while back i there march/april 2006 issue all about boating guatemala, it includes the places to stay, rivers, and helpful travel hints. Check it out and please tell me how your trip was afterwords with any tips of your own, goodluck
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Old 07-01-2008   #6
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Well, I've done 2 trips with Boquete Outdoor Adventures, and I'd definately recommend them as well. They put together a great trip if you want guides on the river and shuttle and everything else, but it costs. You can also hire a guide and shuttle on a day to day basis, I think. The owner is John Miller, and I've never heard of Jim. Any guide John sets you up with will be worth the money, in my opinion. They all know the rivers well and are good folks. They can probably set you up with some very reasonable housing too. Keep in mind, they do not have a paddling community down there, and without a little help, you'll be missing a lot of stuff!
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Old 07-01-2008   #7
Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 141
Darien Gap

You can't actually drive all the way through Central America due to the Darien Gap in Panama. I've never done it but I think its pretty pricey to ship a car around it (in paddler economic terms) so you might want to just stick North or South of there. If South, definitely spend some time in Ecuador, its amazing. You may want to recruit a third party (non-paddler) and pay for their trip so they can be your shuttle monkey. Most of the paddling down there would be really difficult to arrange a shuttle and while you will generally be safe, an unattended car may not.
Vaya Con Rios!

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Old 07-04-2008   #8
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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When?I might be interested ,and know my way around BZ,Guat.,Honduras,and Chiapas pretty well,including some things to explore if you're into that.There are are a couple areas not far off the Pan American highway that need exploration in MX,E S, and Nic.

Driving all the way to Chile is going to be very expensive and time consuming,probably have to scale it down,just to Panama would be a helluva[n] adventure.One route you could take passes thru Valles,Veracruz,across the Isthmo de Tehuantepec to coastal Oaxaca[Copalita and Zimatan rivers] and down the Soconusco[explore] into Guatemala pac coast and down the Pan American.Or you could go to Agua Azul from Veracruz then across the base of the Yucatan to Belize[know where all the goods are] and into Guatemala and Honduras.Finish up in CR and Boquete.Very ambitious and again time and money consuming.Guatemala and Honduras are dirt cheap[except for gas] though.Keep us posted, please.
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Old 07-04-2008   #9
Denver, Colorado
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I can give you the contact info for the guy who wrote the -Paddler- article,they edited the hell out of his beta.
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Old 07-05-2008   #10
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I spent a few months paddling in Ecuador. There is a small jungle town called Tena with 8 or 9 rivers flowing through and right around it. It's a paddler's heaven. I know a few Ecuadorians who live down there year-round and can put you in touch with them if you want. I guess you'll have all the equipment you need, but if you lose something along the way, you can borrow/rent stuff from them. Also, they know all the rivers really well. If you want to read about stuff ahead of time, there is a book out there called. The best time to go paddling down there is December, January, February...but there is still plenty to run earlier than that. Here is the link to Small World Adventures where you can purchase the book. Guidebook Ecuador River Kayaking self-guided trip I'm not sure if that link is visible to you...if not, go to their webpage and you'll find a link to the book there. Have fun. Oh, there is a ton of stuff to run (mostly creeks) in a different part of the country closer to Quito and higher up in the mountains. The name of the place is skipping my mind at the moment.

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