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Rank the Central American Countries

IG

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  • Added on: September 17th, 2010
Piecar wrote:But CR is like a pretty girl who KNOWS she's pretty.

Panama City, the town Felix talks up so much, has an area of nightclubs, and it has an "American" section. This seems to be what people like about the place. I didn't go to CA to go to a nightclub, and I didn't go to enjoy American conveniences. .


LOL, that sums up CR so well...and in general the best sentence ever!!!!
I digress...I love CR everytime i go, but it doesn't have that same 'shme'...i can't describe..The other countries have more genuine spirit if that makes sense. I wish i went to El Salvador or Colombia even...but i didn't want to push my luck as a single girl with minimal spanish, consisting of competence for ordering food, hotel or buying dresses in different colours.

As for Panama..i also conquor with the above statement...it's like miami beach or something...if i'd want that, i'd go to miami beach...the rest of Panama was 'meh' but it could've been because i wasn't keen on the people i was travelling with.

I'm not sure if i missed something with Nicaragua, but other than Granada, i just did not get a good 'vibe' from it all. If it wasn't for volcano boarding in managua, (i think that's where), that town would've just creeped me out all together.

damn...i want to go back to places now..

Felix the Hat

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  • Added on: September 17th, 2010
Bah, I'm too old for nightclubs. I like Panama City because it's international, and the only city I would consider living in on the entire isthmus. I don't generally go to Central America for its cities, but Panama City is definitely a refreshing bit of civilization for an urbanite like me, especially after hellholes like San Pedro Sula or Managua.

As for Panama generally, it appeals because it's so easy to escape the Gringo Trail there, without reducing yourself to subsistence-level squalor. Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras are too poor to really go native, El Salvador too dangerous, and Costa Rica too geared toward parting tourists/travelers/tourons/travelistas from their money. Panama is the most cosmopolitan of all CA countries.

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  • Added on: September 17th, 2010
Just can't figure where the "El Salvador, too dangerous" hype comes from? Both Belize & Guatemala cities are worse, imho, as far as San José CR goes, it has to take the prize for a world class dump.

Going to the lawyers this aft to close the deal on a casa at Playa San Diego El Salvador. Best price for the location in a safe community, 8-) that I have seen in CA. However if I were a city person Panama City would win, hands down.
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"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

Piecar

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  • Added on: September 17th, 2010
Busman's final statement about CA cities, I agree with. I've been to every CA capital half a dozen times. PTY is, indeed, the most cosmopolitan of all the capitals in the region. This, in my view, is similar to saying that I'd prefer athletes' foot to crotch rot, dysentery, the flu, or malaria. The part of the city that is actually Panamanian is a broken concrete, plastic basin selling mess just like every other CA city. I think the people are great and friendly in their own way, but it's nothing picturesque. The architecture in the "cosmopolitan" parts of the city is bland and faceless. Those sections are largely empty of the smiling faces you find in the broken parts of th city because the people who live there are professional folks who go to work somewhere, and then go into their security guard protected building to watch Sabado Gigante. I cannot speak to Felix's experience there. I don't want to rail against someone else's positive experience. I'm glad that other folks like the place.

As for the interior of the country...well, I've randomly stopped in various towns, and have been to David a number of times as well. I haven't seen the shining beacon that Felix has seen. I like the country, but I have never noticed it to be better for travellers than any other country. I don't know much about the Northern Caribbean coast except Bocas Del Toro.

You won't hear me disagreeing about the full on crappiness of either San Pedro Sula or Managua.....I'll also say that La Ceiba, a town I used to love, has really gone down hill in recent years.

Thanks for liking my sentence about CR.
Last edited by Piecar on September 18th, 2010, edited 1 time in total.
Good Luck Out There.

Felix the Hat

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  • Added on: September 18th, 2010
David is a dump, absolutely. David isn't a city though, rather than an overgrown dusty village. It's got, wha, 80,000 people? I really like the Azuero Peninsula in Panama.

Piecar

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  • Added on: October 19th, 2010
If someone asked what the most northern city of Panama was, one would answer "David". Is there a bigger city to the north of the country?


David is also a waystation on most people's bus trips. It ain't a horrible or dangerous city. It's just a craphole one. I defy you to get a full accounting of the shoe stores in the centre, though, so there is affluence there....of a kind.
Good Luck Out There.

Felix the Hat

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  • Added on: October 20th, 2010
Piecar wrote:If someone asked what the most northern city of Panama was, one would answer "David". Is there a bigger city to the north of the country?


David is also a waystation on most people's bus trips. It ain't a horrible or dangerous city. It's just a craphole one. I defy you to get a full accounting of the shoe stores in the centre, though, so there is affluence there....of a kind.


David is the only Panamanian town/city of more than 40,000 that isn't within a few km of the canal. Imagine how much of a backwater it was before the canal.

Piecar

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  • Added on: November 12th, 2010
I can indeed imagine the kind of backwater it would have been. You can sort of make out the stages of the place as it expanded outwards.

"David. We're a much better backwater these days!" There! I got them a campaign slogan.
Good Luck Out There.

busman7

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  • Added on: November 12th, 2010
The only thing David has going for it is the Purple House hostel & the bus out of town to Boquete! :)
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"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

Piecar

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  • Added on: November 13th, 2010
You're right busman. Even the half decent pool hall bar burnt down some time before I last was there. There is nothing to see there. A cheesy casino. A bad movie theatre, the Eastwood bar across the street. That's all you got....Oh, the fancy hotel across from the casino actually makes pretty good pizza, as I recall.

I was the very first guest of the Purple House hostel. The guy told me when he grabbed me from the bus station. What's so great about the place? It's just a house with some cots and a few computer stations. And fairly outside of the "centre" (hahahoohoohahaha) When I was there, the guy was able to wrangle two German guys the next night, but there wasn't anything spectacular about the experience. You had a place to sleep. It was actually the same price to get a room at the hotel at the parque central, and you could watch tv and had your own bathroom.
Good Luck Out There.

Felix the Hat

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  • Added on: November 13th, 2010
My strongest memory from Purple House was the printed signs everywhere, doling out prohibitions to guests. I felt like I was in kindergarten for naughty kids.

busman7

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  • Added on: November 14th, 2010
Thought the Purple Christmas tree was kind of cool :crackup:
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/busman7 | http://wwwlasbrisasplayasandiego.blogspot.com
"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

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  • Added on: January 29th, 2011
I havent been in all Central American countries, but i just want to say that i have to agree with what was said about El Salvador.....All though it lacks big atractions like its neighboring countries,It makes up for it through its people......Over the past decade, El Salvador has worked hard, Fixing up the country and making it more atractive to tourist. And they have done a great job.

El Salvador is a beautiful country, the country side is amazing, The beaches are considerably nicer then Guatemala's beaches(and cleaner) And great for surfing...Suchitoto is the crown jewel of Colonial cities in Central America.....Antigua Guatemala is awesome but the last few times i went it just seemed way over crowded, and Antigua is starting to slip in keeping its colonial architecture. In Antigua your are starting to see alot of ugly tin metal roofing on old buidlings(the ugly metal ones, not the colored ones you see in costa rica).....This is a problem in Guatemala.....they have completely lost their traditional style of building, all you see now are ugly houses and buildings made of concrete blocks and tin metal roofing.......whats worse they dont even paint them....in my opinion the towns of highland Guatemala have completely lost their charm. In chichicastenango, they have erected a huge telehpone antena right behind the main Cathedral, what a way to kill the scenery!! And in Chichi, there was garbage everywhere.... and unfortunately you see this everyhwere in Guatemala now..............When you go to El Salvador and Nicaragua you will still many towns that have preserved their tradtional way of building. It might seem like a small thing but its not! It says alot about a country.... over all Salvadorean towns are better kept then Guatemalas. Salvadoreans take more pride in keeping their Towns clean and pretty. Nicaragua has many beautiful towns too.....

San Salvador was nothing special. It seemed slightly cleaner and more organized then GT City. (probably equally as dangerous)...... But in Genreal i dont like the big cities in Central America. The true essence of Central America is in the rural areas and in small towns.


Having said all that, i still think Guatemala is more interesting than El Salvador. Unless you wanna hang out at the beach, ES and every other country in c.a has better beaches then Guatemala. But Guatemala has more going for it, for example Mayan culture is amazing, you dont see that any where else in Central America......Tikal & Yaxha are amazing! Lake Atitlan is beauuuuutiful, and even though the towns around the lake look like slums (like most guatemalan towns do) it is still a nice place to hang out......

busman7

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  • Added on: January 30th, 2011
[quote="Luisito"]

San Salvador was nothing special. It seemed slightly cleaner and more organized then GT City. (probably equally as dangerous)...... But in Genreal i dont like the big cities in Central America. The true essence of Central America is in the rural areas and in small towns.


San Salvador is WAY safer than Guate by far & safer than many Canadian & American cities.
http://blogs.bootsnall.com/busman7 | http://wwwlasbrisasplayasandiego.blogspot.com
"I started out alone to seek adventures. You don't really have to seek them - that is nothing but a phrase - they come to you." Mark Twain

Luisito

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  • Added on: January 30th, 2011
BUSMAN ARE U SERIOUS?????????? San Salvador IS as dangerous a Guatemala city no quesiton about it....You say its safer then some canadian cities??? Please let me know which ones????????, i live in Canadas most "violent" city.......Winnipeg, with an average 24 homocides a year...thats extremely high for a Canadian city, considering the population is only 700,000. San Salvador has 24 Homocides within a week, easily! LOL I have spent MUCH time in El Salvador thats where my wifey is from, its like my second home, I have freinds and family all over S.S, Soyapango, zacateculca etc etc........ ........ Theres no way in hell you can tell me San Salvador is safer then Guate ( or Canadian cities, that is simply way off!) And its not just San Salvador...........Santa Ana and San Miguel are very violent cities aswell......I rather walk around Guatemalas second city....QUETZALTENANGO then any of EL Salvadors second cities! .... San Miguel is almost as dangerous as san Salvador,,And SAnta Ana is not far off.......Quetzaltenango is a mucher safer(and more interesting) place hands down....

I know Salvadoreans always want to make that claim...."oh were safer then guatemala" i hear all the time when im there........But for those that speak a little spanish and want to be informed about whats going in El Salvador you can watch Salvadorean news clips @ esmitv.com or even better watch the news live online in the evenings @
http://www.esmitv.com/vivo.aspx


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