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Author: pj

Joined: 4/16/2010
Posts: 4
Traveler Since: 2002

February 07, 2014

 Guatemala and Torteguero are being offered as pre and post trips on GCT Costa Rica vacations.  Does anyone have pro or negative comments about either of these trips?

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 486
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

February 07, 2014

pj, 

We just completed OAT's Costa Rica: National Parks and Tropical Forests last Friday. I can't tell you anything about Guatamala, but Tortuguero was a highlight of the trip, if you are into birds and wildlife. Click here for a text only blog on our trip.I have just started a full blog/trip report on the trip with photos and video, but it will probably take several weeks to complete. To read it click here. The accomodationa are different, but the experience should be very similar. I did a traveler review for the trip the OAT site on Wednesday, but it has not appeared yet. I think that the smaller group size of OAT is more suitable for Costa Rica, but it is more expensive and probably somewhat more physically demanding. If you have any questions, we would be glad to answer them.

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 958
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

February 07, 2014

It's been a long time since I did that trip  -  2003, maybe.  We did Guatemala as the pre-trip and Tortoguero as the post-trip.  Guatemala was ok.  After Guatemala City, we went to Antigua and took trips from there.  Over really terrible roads that we were told was the Pan American Highway! 

Then Costa Rica, that we absolutely loved.  The post trip was Tortuguero, and that was the high point of the entire trip.  The place we stayed was rustic, and we could only bring a small piece of luggage.  But the birds, and the butterflies and everything was wonderful.

Author: pj

Joined: 4/16/2010
Posts: 4
Traveler Since: 2002

February 07, 2014

 Thank you Nana and Papa, and Pauline for your comments.  Torteguero is definitely being added as a post trip.

 

If anyone else has some additional info on Guatemala I would appreciate hearing from you.

Author: gaynell

Joined: 8/12/2010
Posts: 135
Traveler Since: 2005

February 08, 2014

Guatemala is such an interesting country, with so much to see, that I think it deserves a trip of its own. You could take the OAT "Route of the Maya" or another trip where Guatemala is featured.  I would recommend that you save it for later, if you think that you will get to Central America again. If you think this might be your only trip to this part of the world, then you should definitely take the Guatemala extension.

Tortuguero is beautiful, although our time there was not as successful as it was for some folks who have posted about it.  We happened to hit awful weather, were actually cold part of the time, and it rained and rained!  Just the luck of the draw. There were many insects, and we got bitten a lot in spite of all our careful precautions. We did see many animals and birds and got some excellent photographs.

Author: pj

Joined: 4/16/2010
Posts: 4
Traveler Since: 2002

February 08, 2014

 Gaynell,

 

thank you for your response about Guatemala.  I realize that is more of a cultural experience but was surprised that there were no traveler reviews from anyone but you.  I guess that no comments are better than negative ones.  Thanks again.

Author: jl.anderson

Joined: 3/17/2010
Posts: 64
Countries Visited:

OAT/GCT: China, Peru, Ecuador, Ukraine, Russia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda; 35+ more countries

Traveler Since: 2007

February 08, 2014

pj:

I have traveled to both Costa Rica and Guatemala with a company other than OAT/GCT.

I loved Tortuguero and recommend extending that part of your trip.

I do suggest the Guatemala extension, especially as gaynell stated, if you aren't planning a return to Central America.  For many travelers to Guatemala the highlight would be to visit Tikal which you would not do on your extension.  If Tikal is important to you, then plan another separate trip to Guatemala.

Judy

Author: pj

Joined: 4/16/2010
Posts: 4
Traveler Since: 2002

February 08, 2014

 Judy,

 

 

Thank you for the additional info about Guatemala.  I did some research and Tikal is the most important of the ancient sites.  My husband and I have decided to take the post trip to Torteguero and save Guatemala for a separate trip as suggested.

 

Thank all of you that have responded.  It was very appreciated.

 

Author: calsandy

Joined: 7/21/2010
Posts: 12
Traveler Since: 2007

February 08, 2014

 I agree with Gaynell & Judy in recommending Guatemala. I just came back from Antigua where I studied Spanish. It's a lovely city and Atitlan is very special. BTW, the roads have improved. I went to Tikal several years ago. I agree, if you're at all interested in Mayan ruins, make Guatemala a separate trip. 

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 958
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

February 08, 2014

I agree with everybody about Guatemala.  It's well worth a trip by itself.  Somebody I know has friends who have retired to Atitlan, and they visit them every couple of years.  Huxley said it was the most beautiful lake in the entire world.

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