I wanted to share with you guys my experiences of Central America and the group ‘gap trip’ I did a couple of years ago. I arrived in Cancun on 21 July 2008 – the summer I graduated from University. It was the start of a trip I did with Gapadventures, or Gadventures as they are now called. The trip started in Cancun and ran all the way down Central America to San Jose in Costa Rica.
Here is the trip I did with Gadventures:
This was the second long trip I’d done, however the first was a trip that I’d organised myself the year before for myself and two of my friends around South East Asia. However this time I didn’t have anyone that could go with me so I decided to ‘do it myself’. Although I didn’t really want to ‘do it myself’ so I decided to do it as part of a group.
They had a forum where you could chat to everyone who was in your group beforehand and I met a girl – from the same town as me and we ended up meeting up beforehand to say hello and opted to share a room together on the trip. It was nice to know that I at least got on with one other person in the group before I arrived! I also found out that she’d taken her Padi Scuba Divers course. This spurred me on and I also decided to take a dive course before I joined the group because there were a few stops along the way that gave the opportunity to dive.
You can see my other post on learning to dive in Cancun by clicking here.
I found traveling in a group with new people great – everyone got along really well (and we are all now still in touch) and as a lot of time was spent on the road, in a minivan we hired, we spent a lot of the time playing games in the minivan. ‘Who am I?’ became a very popular game indeed.
At each destination we were either given details of activities we could take part in, or just let to ‘roam free’. This was another great thing about being in a group – there was always someone that wanted to do the same thing as you, so you’d never be on your own, or not able to do something you wanted to do because other people didn’t want to.
Half way through the trip – upon arrival in Antigua, Guatemala, some members of our trip left to go home and some other members joined. The trip they had booked on was called the Volcano Trail and ran from Antigua in Guatemala to San Jose in Costa Rica. Further details of this shorter trip can be found here:
I think this second half of the trip was the bit I enjoyed the most – I even got to climb a volcano in Guatemala, this was very exciting as I am so fascinated by volcanoes!
When you book the trip you can opt to pay a little extra if you want a room to yourself, however I opted for a room share (with one other person) as I find it quite comforting to have someone else in the room when your in a country that your not familiar with.
I was pretty happy with the itinerary that I picked and I thoroughly enjoyed Central America. I would therefore recommend Gadventures or any similar gap trip company to anyone that really wants to explore the world, but is a little scared about doing it on their own, or just simply wants a little company along the way. Even though I do quite enjoy organising trips myself, it was actually quite nice to know that everything was sorted out for me and all that I needed to book was flights. Of course, as someone else has done all the organising and you are provided with your very own trip leader, the price is quite a lot more expensive than if you went and traveled alone.