Friday, July 23, 2021

40 Days Pandemic Rainy Solo Trip in Central America

2020-2021 America Pandemic Adventures Filipino Solo Trip
December 27, 2020 to February 04, 2021

Philippine passport holders are visa upon arrival with visa fee gratis for these 8 countries (Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama) if using a valid US B2 visa. Despite the strict entry immigration requirements and danger of Covid19 pandemic challenge, I visited them all successfully as a Filipino Solo Backpacker on budget DIY basis using Philippine passport only. 

Central America is the thin section of land that links the North American continent with the South American continent. Geographically part of North America, it is made up of seven small, mostly tropical countries that have much more in common with South America and Mexico than the more affluent north. Mexico is occasionally considered part of Central America due to the language and cultural heritage it shares with several of the countries in the region.

40 Days Pandemic Rainy Solo Trip in Central America

40 Days Pandemic Rainy Solo Trip in Central America (Belize)

40 Days Pandemic Rainy Solo Trip in Central America (Guatemala)

timezone - UTC -0600H to -0500H   language - Spanish and English (Belize)  
1. There are seven countries in CA: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama.
2. The name CA is sometimes used with Mesoamerica or Middle America, which usually includes the Mexico. 
3. There are sixteen UNESCO World Heritage Sites in CA, with places represented in every country
4. CA is an isthmus, a strip of land connecting 2 larger land masses, with bodies of water on both sides.
5. Although CA is a land bridge between North and South America, technically it is part of North America.
6. CA makes up most of the Mesoamerican biodiversity hotspot, home to 7 percent of the world's total biodiversity.


40 Days Pandemic Rainy Solo Trip in Central America (El Salvador)

40 Days Pandemic Rainy Solo Trip in Central America (Honduras)

40 Days Pandemic Rainy Solo Trip in Central America (Nicaragua)


Visa: Philippine passport holders are visa-on-arrival if having a valid US visa (visa fee gratis). Hotel booking is required. All international airports are open and all land borders are open to tourists except for Belize and Costa Rica. Most of these countries require pre-immigration registration online prior arrival.

01. Another bucket list accomplishment for this trip; being just a Philippine passport, navigated geographically from north to south of Central America, first time visit, language barrier, currency changing, airport/land border immigration challenge and of course, the Covid19 pandemic protocol requirement and its effect to transportation and tourism.

02. Belize is the 2nd most expensive for tourist living, the only English speaking locals, has close land border and has the hardest Covid19 laboratory test (government controlled even for travel requirement)

03. Guatemala is one of my favorite on this trip due to the success of Central America highest mountain and hardest dayhike and relax airport / land border immigration

04. El Salvador has relax airport / land border immigration also and awesome volcano dayhikes.

05. Honduras has relax land border immigration also. I shortened my itinerary due to very limited international bus departures and not much point of my interest.

06. Nicaragua has the strictest land border immigration (stayed 4 hours, issues to me and CA residents regarding visa stamp photocopies and government approval) and has vibrant hispanic architectures.

07. Costa Rica has the most expensive tourist living (most of the national parks has a minimum entrance fee of 18 USD for foreigners), has relax airport immigration and close land border for tourists arrival.

08. Panama has relax land border immigration also, awesome skyscrapers, centralized bus station and the only Central American country which has metro transportation.

09. I did PCR Test (nasal swab, minimum worth is 70 USD with 24-48 hour result) to all of this CA countries as part of border entry requirement except for Costa Rica, they require Covid19 travel insurance worth $12 a day.

10. My top three favorites are Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama. My criteria is based on ease of traveling public transportation, value of tourism, my point of interest, budgetarian / budget-friendly tourist living, good food, refreshing vibe / ambiance and local friendliness. 


01. Tajumulco, Guatemala (4,220masl) - summited, Central America / Guatemala's highest peak
02. Tlaloc, Mexico (4,053masl) - short by 1km, Mexico's #9 highest peak
03. Acatenango, Guatemala (3,976masl) - summited, Central America / Guatemala's #3 highest peak, toughest dayhike with highest elevation gain
04. Ajusco, Mexico (3,951masl) - summited, Mexico's #11 highest / Mexico City's highest peak
05. Irazu, Costa Rica (3,420masl) - summited, Costa Rica's highest volcano 
06. Turrialba, Costa Rica (3,340masl) - short by 4km, Costa Rica's 2nd highest volcano 
07. Paricutin, Mexico (2,774masl) - summited, Seven Natural Wonders of the World and World's youngest volcano
08. Barva, Costa Rica (2,618masl) - short by 5km, Costa Rica's 3rd highest volcano 
09. Santa Ana, El Salvador (2,381masl) - summited, El Salvador's highest and most active volcano
10. Izalco, El Salvador (1,950masl) - summited, El Salvador's 4th highest volcano

40 Days Pandemic Rainy Solo Trip in Central America (Costa Rica)

40 Days Pandemic Rainy Solo Trip in Central America (Panama)


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