WHAT ROUTE SHOULD I TAKE?
I want to plan my route so that I am in each country at the right time to:
- Avoid rainy, monsoon, typhoon, and hurricane seasons
- Avoid Peak Seasons in the more expensive countries
- Get as much sunny weather as possible
- Minimise travel distances (and costs)
In this way, I hope to get the best out of each country that I can.
WHAT ABOUT THE WEATHER?
There are many websites that provide good detail about the climates in each country and the regions / cities within each country.
I used ClimaTemps.com to get the detailed information that I needed and copied that information into a spreadsheet.
I know it sounds a bit ‘anal’ but I am visiting so many countries over the next 5 years that it made sense (to me) to get it right.
So, I also checked with a few travel sites to find out what the best time to go was; the best time is not always the middle of summer – things like Peak Season and humidity also need to be taken into account.
Against each city / area I graded the months from:
- Dark Green: the best time to go
- Mid Green: good times to go
- Light Green: OK times to go
On the same row I also added:
- R if this was a Rainy Season month; r if it was going into or out of Rainy Season
- H and h for Hurricane Season
- T and t for Typhoon Season
- M and m for Monsoon Season
- $$ and $ for Peak Season
Once in a spreadsheet, I could play with various combinations until I felt that I had the route optimised.
I ended up with several different options.
SO WHAT ROUTE WILL I TAKE?
It is now August 2016. My last month in The Philippines was spent in the rain. My first month in Mexico was spent in the rain. I’ve had enough of rain. I had to re-plan.
The Central American countries are so close together that they share the same summer and rainy seasons. It was not possible to do them together and avoid rain. I needed to split them in two.
The route that I decided on was:
- 2016: Start in Vietnam followed by The Philippines. Fly to Mexico. From central Mexico, loop through the Yucatan peninsula to Belize.
- 2017: From Belize, head to the Pacific Coast of Guatemala and Mexico. The trip back into Mexico gives me a renewed C4 3 month visa to enter back into Guatemala to do the Guatemalan and Honduran Caribbean coasts. I need to pop back into Belize so that I can get a fresh 3 month C4 visa to head down to El Salvador and on to Nicaragua.
- 2018: I will flit in between Nicaragua and Costa Rica so that I get a renewed C4 visa to get a good look at Nicaragua before heading south to Panama. I then hop over the water to Colombia and continue south through Ecuador to Peru.
- 2019: Finish off Peru before heading further south to Bolivia and Chile. Fly to South East Europe. Spend a long summer in South East Europe before heading to India.
- 2020: Finish off India and head for Sri Lanka.
Decide what happens next.
SO WHAT IS THE DETAIL?
Here is a summary of each year from 2016 through 2019.