The Best and the Rest

Trip Start Jul 21, 2009
Trip End Apr 28, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Ohio
Monday, May 3, 2010

Somewhere along the line, we started keeping track of our favorites in particular categories.  So, in no particular order...

Best Beach (Caribbean): Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Best Beach (Pacific):  Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

Best Beach Town (Pacific):  San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Best Food:  Street tacos in Mexico, with pineapple.  Also:  Lobster on the beach in Caye Caulker, Belize, and Rio (Brazil) in general.

Worst Food:  Octopus Ice Cream, Merida, Venezuela.

Best (Non-Alcoholic) Drinks:  Liquados.  Particularly in Guatemala.

Best (Alcoholic) Drinks:  On the beach in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. 

1-in-a-million occurrence: Coldplay concert in Buenos Aires

Most Inaccurate Tour Description:  Santiaguito Volcano hike, Guatemala.  (Runner Up:  the "swimming hole" in San Gil, Colombia)

Places that most exceeded expectations:  Soccer games (Azteca and Honduras), Playa del Carmen, Los Llanos (Venezuela), Pacaya volcano hike in Guatemala, Iguassu Falls (Brazil and Argentina)

Best Wildlife Encounter:  Penguins and Whales, Antarctica.  (2nd Place: Sea Turtles, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua)  (Runners Up:  Squids while diving in Utila, Honduras.  Leopard tracks on Santiaguito Volcano, Guatemala.  Anacondas in Los Llanos.)

Best Accommodation: Hippodrome Hotel, Mexico City.  (Runner Up  Cayo Zappolito, Bocas del Toro, Panama)

Most Unique Accommodation:  Staying in a strangers house (Salento, Colombia).  On a hammock on a riverboat (Manaus to Porto Vehlo, Brazil).  With the family in the Darien, Panama.

Least Sanitary Accommodation:  Family stay, in the Amazon rain forest, outside Manaus, Brazil.

Accommodation with a View:  Hostel Favelinha, Rio, Brazil

Buggiest Location:  Pantanal, Brazil (the last day).  (Runners Up:  Playa del Carmen, Mexico and the Darien, Panama)

Muddiest Location: Darien, Panama

Best Ruin:  Tikal, Guatemala 

Best National Park:  Torres del Paine, Chile

Best Sporting Event:  US-Honduras soccer game 

Friendliest People:  Colombia, followed closely by Panama

Worst Touts:  Salvador, Brazil

Best City:  Medillin, Colombia.  (Runners Up:  the Old Town area of Cartagena, Colombia and Mexico City, Mexico)

Most Boring Town:  Ciudad Bolivar, Venezuela

Best SCUBA Diving:  Utila, Honduras

Worst Boat Ride:  San Blas Islands, Panama to Cartagena, Colombia.  (Runner Up:  Bluefields to Big Corn Island)

Best Boat Ride:  Panama Canal transit.  (Runner Up:  on the small rivers of the Darien, in Panama)

Nearest to Death Experience:  Santiaguito hike in Guatemala (John).  Running out of air while diving in Honduras (Kim)

Biggest Adrenaline Rush:  White water rafting in Honduras (Kim).  Volcano boarding in Nicaragua (John)

Worst Accident/Injury: John:  Scrapped knee while surfing, Tamarindo, Costa Rica (Runner Up:  Repeated head injuries due to low overhead clearance).  Kim:  Injured tailbone while white water rafting in Honduras.  (Runner Up:  multiple injuries from waterfall repelling in Semuc Champey, Guatemala)

Most Difficult Border Crossing:  Colombia to Venezuela (anticipated difficulty).  Costa Rica to Panama (actual difficulty) Venezuela to Brazil (most time consuming -- it took several days to get a visa)

Most beautiful continent:  Antarctica
Dirtiest Backpack:  Ziggy! (you had to be there)

Best Dog:  Moppy (Runners Up:  Ruggy, Campground Puppy, Sheepy, Sneezy)  (you had to be there)
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Kathy on

What a great list! Ziggy will be proud to be mentioned (or maybe not, considering what he's being honored for!).

vivacious09 on

I loved Manuel Antonio National park!!
Octopus ice cream?!?

vivacious09 on

Oh, and welcome home!

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