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Old 07-02-2012   #11
zurich, zurich
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 11
wow so many answers
guetemala sounds nice too.

We would want to travel independently by car or localbus and paddel as many rivers as possible. doesn't matter if this are waterfalls, creeks, playboating...or what ever if it is in the III-IV range. Maybe a longer trip with a company would be nice to, if not to expensive. We are thinking about staying a month...

@BrianK safe, you mean in terms of criminality or enough water? lueckely I don't have any balls to squeeze in.In which month have you been there?Is boat rental possible in both places?

january would fit us better because, we are in december in grand canyon, in terms of logistic...anyone was in mexico or costa rica in january?

or maybe we sould drive down to chile from grand canyonanyone experiences with that?

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Old 07-02-2012   #12
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Wolcott, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2006
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Posts: 432
Check out Ecuador too and if you are looking for totally dialed in guided
check out:
I went down there in Feb and it was awesome!!

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Old 07-02-2012   #13
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Danville, California
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Costa Rica certainly has a ton of fun river miles with big hydraulics; as for creekin' there I have no experience with the smaller streams. Some watersheds are remote and it might be good to hire a local driver for some of the rivers. One thing I would want to know would be whether the maps had improved since I was there, and/or how well one's GPS might function.
October/November seemed like a good time as the rain was tapering off when we were there at the period.
One thing in Mexico's favor is that the rivers in the south truly look primordial - like tarzan is going to come riding out of the bushes on a triceratops. Not to say that Costa Rica isn't "jungle-ish", just that Chiapas and Tabasco are moreso. I have not been in Veracruz.
You can truly get out in the middle of nowhere on many of Mexico's rivers, with help far away. Driving a shiny newish SUV is akin to painting targets on your back. And car rentals in Mexico can be tricky. Brain K. mentioned San Luis Potosi, which has traditionally been safe, but there was some nasty business both in and outside the city last year. Drug runners have apparently changed some of their routes. The SF Chronicle had another article about some shootout there more recently too.
The southern states are supposed to be safe, but there is a feeling of isolation - for better or worse - that I did not get in Costa Rica. If none of you have been in Mexico before, I would probably go conservative and opt for C.R.
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Old 07-02-2012   #14
Join Date: Feb 2005
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I meant safer as in less chance of being murdered and buried on the side of the road in an unmarked grave. Parts of Mexico are very violent right now.

I was in Mexico sept-oct and there was plenty of water - my understanding is that the water lasts through December most years with it getting low by late December. There are places to rent gear in the cities near the runs (valles for SLP, Tlapacoyan and Jalcomulco for Veracruz runs) but don't count on the latest boats. We drove and brought boats so I don't have better info for you. There are tons of III - IV runs in both these areas with waterfalls, low volume creeks, big water and play boating.

I have been in costa rica a few times but always in the fall. On average I think November is better for water than january, but I think there is a better chance there will be water in costa rica in january than Mexico in january. Costa rica is a III/IV river running paradise so if you like traditional river running book a trip to turrialba and you will have a great time.

As the guy above me said Ecuador or better yet chile will be great in jan, but those are a little further away.
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Old 07-02-2012   #15
Join Date: Feb 2005
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One more thing...

Because you mentioned Guatemala, we were in Guatemala for a bit as well. There has got to be tons of great boating there, but the beta is limited and the logistics are tough. We only ran two rivers while there (The Cahabon and Lanquin - both III-IV with a big V+ on the Lanquin that we portaged) because those were the only rivers we had reliable beta on and we weren't in a position to start exploring. I can't imagine there is any where to rent kayaks in Guatemala. Maybe around the Cahabon, but I wouldn't count on it.

I have seen more beta in recent years - probably here on mountainbuzz - for other Guatemala runs, so there are probably more runs you could get info on now.

I would make your choice based on what sort of trip you want. Go to Costa Rica for an easier trip. Go to Mexico if you want waterfalls. Go to Guatemala if you want more of an adventure.
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Old 07-02-2012   #16
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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Much more info available on Guatemala (and Bz,Hond,ES, and Chiapas) now!!!
Mayan White Water . November better. There may be boats available,but not like Costa Rica ,Valles, or Jalcomulco.( Best bets would be in La Ceiba/ Las Mangas,Hond.( on the Cangrejal ),Lanquin or Antigua ,Guatemala.)However,it will be much cheaper to travel (maybe not to boat ),more adventurous by far,and more culturally interesting .

If you will be in Arizona anyway ,you might check into the Copper Canyon area; SierraRios: Kayak, Raft, and Protect Rivers in Mexico and Peru. not sure on the season. Rocky is working on having boats available at different places in Mexico. Hopefully Chiapas is one of them.Tuxtla would be most centrally located and the biggest city.If you could get a boat there Tapachula is surrounded by IV- to V- runs,hair to explore higher up,play spots in town ,and the ocean 1/2 hour away. There are many 3-5 rivers to explore up the coast.

If you want to maximize your boating time it is hard to beat Costa Rica,Ecuador,or the popular areas of Mexico (Boquete, Panama too). Driving all the way to South America is an ordeal.
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Old 07-03-2012   #17
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 221
Originally Posted by vada82 View Post
wow so many answers
guetemala sounds nice too.

or maybe we sould drive down to chile from grand canyonanyone experiences with that?

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Vada..... the road doesn't go to south America. you would have to ship your vehical from Panama to Columbia. The Darian Gap stands in your way.
Enjoy your travels......
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Old 07-06-2012   #18
zurich, zurich
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 11
wow you guys are great! thanks for the many answers, very helpfull.
we will think about all you proposition on the way to norway i am sure i will have more questions soon.
i guess january is little late to drive down south
@? yes of course the panama canal....
cheets vada

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