Never say we’re not ambitious. What started as a trip to South America with a view to visit Bolivia, Peru and Colombia quickly took on a life of its own as we crazily added several more countries into the mix, and then just for the hell of it, Central America too. Oh, and California while we’re at it. Hmm, might need another 6 months… Anyway, here’s the order of travel and a few highlights.
Venezuela – Here’s where we’re starting! Several reasons why; a friend went and loved it, it never gets visited, it’s in a really interesting post-Chavez phase, and it’s also an affordable gateway to fly into. While here, we’ll be enjoying a relaxing Caribbean holiday on the beach of Puerto Colombia, some Capybara spotting, and trek down south to see waterfalls.
Brazil – To be honest, you could use the entire 6 months to see Brazil. So instead we’re essentially using it as the world’s best short-cut to Bolivia. Which means a visit to Manaus and a 4 day river boat trip through the Amazon sleeping on hammocks next to Brazilian families just to reach our destination…
Bolivia – A country which promises a lot. The surreal salt flats, a genuine dinosaur park, the world’s highest capital city, and the amusingly named Lake Titicaca.
Peru – Still on Lake Titicaca for an amazing home-stay with the locals, then taking on a trek to Machu Picchu, before heading to the coast for some sand-boarding, Inca tombs, and surfing.
Ecuador – To Galapagos or not Galapagos? That is the question Shakespeare sadly never asked. But it’s one we’ll have to deal with. Time and budget will decide this one I think. Otherwise, we’ll be taking on the Devil’s Nose train-ride and seeing the beautiful Quito, as well as crossing the Equator for the second time.
Colombia – What’s not to do here? Coffee plantations, Medellin, the colonial charms of Cartagena, the beautiful splendour of Parque Nacional Tayrona – the list goes on. We hear the most amazing things about this country, and can’t wait to find out for ourselves. This may also play home to our tropical Christmas!
Panama – If all goes to plan (which it won’t) we should be seeing in New Year in Panama City, which would be pretty cool. We’ll also make friends with a giant canal, before heading north to some coffee plantations and Caribbean islands.
Costa Rica – All about sloths. Visiting a sloth sanctuary, going on a night trek to spot sloths, illegally buying sloths on the black market (just a joke!)… We’ll also squeeze in some beach time and check out some volcanoes I guess.
Nicaragua – Could be the dark horse of the entire trip. Here we have colonial towns, a twin volcano island in the middle of a lake, ex-pirate islands it takes days to reach in the Caribbean, and cowboy country up north.
Honduras – As we’re going overland, we luckily get to visit Honduras. Which means a quick stop to see some Mayan ruins and hopefully spend time in the ex-capital of Central America.
Guatemala – Another big hitter. Here we’ll see volcanoes, incredible waterfalls, hot springs, Garifuna culture, jungle lodges, and the ultimate Mayan temple at Tikal. We also will be joined by a friendly face, Craig, who is using up some precious holiday days to share one of our adventures.
El Salavador – A Nick only visit this one. Being close by, I’d love to see it if only for a few days. Not sure where I’ll go, but it’s bound to be exciting! Look forward to that blog entry…
Belize – Another beautiful stepping stone country. We’ll be forced to reach Mexico by going to Caye Caulker, and drinking cold beers while sat in a hammock. Damn you Belize!
Mexico – Stopping off to admire the Chichen Itza, we’ll try and squeeze in some more quality beach time before braving Cancun and the Spring Breakers in order to catch a flight to…
USA/California – it may be the end of our trip but we’re going out with a bang. Arriving in LA to visit Bee’s cousin, we’re then being joined by friends David & Amii (who I think just want to check we haven’t grown dreadlocks by this stage) to road-trip up the Pacific Coast Highway stopping for yet more wilderness in the Big Sur. It’s then on to see Nick’s friend Anish who lives in San Francisco. We’ll high-tail it back to Los Angeles for a day of California Dreamin’ with Kate before flying back to the UK in March 2014.