2+months, somewhere warm with trails

12:45 a.m. on November 28, 2008 (EST)
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Hi,

I want to do a long backpacking trip, 2+ months starting in February, somewhere warm (and exotic preferably), with trails. Somewhere where there are hills/mountains, ocean, trees, jungle maybe. Looking for scenic.

Initially i was thinking of hiking through central america, from guatemala city to panama city, but from what i've read that wouldn't be along trails and i'm not sure i'm ready for much backcountry yet. On the other hand hiking near the coast should prevent me from getting too lost, but i'm not sure how suitable that area would be for hiking.

Suggestions? I guess new zeland might be an option, but i'm thinking more along the lines of central south america. What about south east asia?

It would be alright to do a bit of backcountry between areas with trails, but I don't want to be going through farmers fields or areas where it feels like i'm near a city (unless i want to re-supply).

Thanks

2:02 p.m. on November 28, 2008 (EST)
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SEAsia? Have you read the newspapers or watched the TV news lately. I think, given the political situation in SE Asia and South Asia, you would be better off elsewhere.

New Zealand is a great place to go backpacking in February through March. The "tracks" are well mapped and traveled with enough people that if you have a problem, you can get help quickly (including simple things like which is the correct trail branch). My wife and son spent some time hiking there a couple years ago (while I was in Antarctica). One thing, though, the west coast of NZ (North Island and especially South Island) can have days of rain at any time of year. So take good rain gear. Milford Track is beautiful, though very popular.

You might consider Australia, too.

South America offers a plethora of choices. But you really do need a fair command of Spanish (note: the various flavors of South American Spanish are different from the Mexican Spanish you may have learned in high school. I grew up with castellano, which is closer to what is spoken in Argentina and Chile, but still have had to add to my vocabulary for local terms - just like any American going to England or Scotland, or as the current Qantas ads note, Australia). Patagonia is a great place for hiking, especially around the Parques Nacional in the Andes along the Argentina-Chile border and in Tierra del Fuego.

1:45 p.m. on December 10, 2008 (EST)
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+1 for the Milford trek in New Zealand. I have not done it, but it is on my short list and could be about the right time frame.

You can also trek around Chiapas in Mexico. There are lots of warm weather treks through the jungle. You would also have the opportunity to see some incredible Mayan sites. You would have options of camping, cabins, and various hotels.

7:18 p.m. on December 10, 2008 (EST)
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+1 for Mayan highlands!! Go befriend some Lacandon, and learn their ways!!

9:20 a.m. on December 11, 2008 (EST)
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Google "Hiking the Inca Trail" Investigate southern Chile, Patagonia. Learn a little Spanish and remember the Indian people you meet are speaking Spanish as a second language, too. South of the Equator is summer in February. A great adventure would be Bolivia. Take a bus ride or truck to the town of Coroico or adventure out to some of the other smaller cities. Take a train from Sucre to Buenos Aires. The Andes are amazing! My brother-in-law leaves his home in Maine this time of year to collect butterflies in Peru. South America is a treasure. Go there.
http://travel.webshots.com/album/99998181xoEBdY

3:11 p.m. on December 12, 2008 (EST)
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One thing to pay attention to is when the rainy season is. I recall that I hiked the Inca Trail in their winter (June?), and it was likely because their summer is rainy. I could be making this up, but the point still stands that many warm places are warm during the rainy season, so if you care about that make sure you know when that is.

On the other hand, I have done some incredible trips in rainy seasons because 1) it's never as bad as the guidebooks say it is, and 2) places have far fewer visitors so you get things more to yourself, and it's much cheaper.

1:30 a.m. on December 25, 2008 (EST)
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check out the island of kuaia in hawaii. That whole island is like a jungle/cave/mountain area. Plus you can camp in the beaches or national parks with the camping passes.

Tropic Thunder was shot on this island. I plan on visiting this place next year.

1:24 p.m. on December 25, 2008 (EST)
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South America is cheap and afforable. But, be careful, American's can disappear in certain parts of SA. But that's usually more towards the North. I had a friend spend 5 months surfing and living at a hostile on 1000 dollars.

9:48 a.m. on February 3, 2009 (EST)
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St john US Virgin Ilands, most of the island is national park land with some of the most beautiful beaches and scenery in the world. The people are friendly, the water is warm. When do we go ?

December 25, 2014
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