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Backpacking Central America

Bamba Experience welcomes you to explore, enjoy and become enthralled with Latin America! As you are traveling in a foreign country there are certain differences you should be aware of and prepare yourself to encounter.


  Laws, Regulations and Infrastructure in a foreign country ARE VERY different than that to which you are accustomed in your home country. Laws regarding transportation, safety regulations on adventure activities and basic infrastructure such as roadways, bridges, buildings, etc. are probably much less developed than your home country.
The political environment of developing countries can sometimes be extremely fragile resulting in strikes, protests, marches or even uprisings that may affect your travel plans unexpectedly.
  Natural disasters can strike at any time. Understand that the lack of infrastructure in developing countries may worsen the effects or response time of heavy rains, mudslides, landslides, wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.
  Pick-pocketing and petty theft is common across the world in every city. Be aware of your belongings at all times and make use of your money pouch, lockers in dorm rooms or hotel safe.

Bamba Experience invites you to enjoy your travels in Latin America by taking into account the following considerations during your trip.



  Make scanned copies of all of your important documents and send them to yourself and to your parents or a friend on email. Passport, visas, student card, insurance card, prescriptions, flight tickets, etc. This way if you lose them, they can easily be printed from an internet cafe.
Inform your embassy of your travel plans before departing and should any problems arise along the way, make contact with the nearest embassy or consulate in the country you are traveling so they can help out.
  Purchase travelers insurance, even if you have sufficient medical coverage for your trip, you never know when an unforeseen accident or situation back home will interrupt your travel plans.


Consult a travel clinic at least 1 month before departure for any required vaccinations or preventative medicines you might need. Some countries require a certificate of vaccination for Yellow Fever and others recommend taking Malaria pills during your travels. Be sure to take enough prescription medication with you for the time you will be traveling plus a little more, just in case.



Whether you are traveling on a bus, train, airplane, boat, ferry, shuttle van or truck, be aware of the following tips so your transfer goes as smoothly as possible and you reach your final destination with all of your stuff.

  Always re-confirm your departure time directly with the company providing your transportation (airline, bus company, ferry, etc) to make sure you have the correct departure information (time and location).
Always carry your important items with you (not in your checked luggage) preferably in a money pouch under your clothes.
  While traveling overnight, always wear your money pouch underneath your clothes (not in the overhead compartment). Consider tying your backpack to a fixed portion of the vessel so it cannot be grabbed and carried away.
  Don’t take food from strangers, as you do not know what is in it.
  Listen and watch for your stop as some buses or trains may continue on to the next destination. If you are unsure and unable to ask the driver, ask someone sitting near you.
  Make sure to look for the identification of your taxi driver as you enter a taxi. The name and number should be easily visible on the outside of the car or on the dashboard near the driver.
  Have your hotel call you a safe taxi rather than taking one from the street. Always ask for the taxi-meter to be turned on or agree on a rate before departing.
  While on a boat, always use your life vest, even if it looks nerdy, just in case.


Use the following tips to keep yourself and your belongings safe at your hostel/hotel during your trip.

  Keep your belongings with you at all times especially when you are checking in.
Store your stuff in a locker (if provided) and keep your important documents in the safe.
  Keep your door locked and keep track of your key.
  Never leave your things lying around, especially at the bar, tv room, computer room.
  If leaving your backpack in storage, put a lock on it.
  When you go out, make sure you know the name and address of the hotel in case you get lost.
  If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable at anytime, move to a different hotel.


As always, being aware of your surroundings and using common sense are the best ways to keep yourself safe while traveling in a foreign country. Here are some tips to think about while you are out enjoying your adventures in Latin America.

  Pretend like you know where you are going, even if you don’t. If you are completely lost, slip into a restaurant, hotel lobby or store to ask for directions or look at your map (don’t do it on the street).
Walk with a friend or in a group of people. Avoid walking alone especially at night. Always be aware of your surroundings.
  Dress appropriately, behave respectfully and be sensitive to the local culture. Many Latin American cultures are very conservative especially when it comes to wearing tiny bikinis (except in Brazil). So know when to cover up and when to flaunt your thong!
  Use ATMs and money exchanges that are located inside a shop or bank, not on the street. Cover your personal information with your hand and put your money away as soon as possible.
  Wear your backpack on your front, wear your purse diagonally across your chest and keep a hand on your zipper so you know nobody will slip their hand inside when you are distracted.
  Keep your camera discreetly stored away in its case or in your pocket.
  Keep your pants pockets covered and keep your jacket pockets zipped up so nothing falls out.


Bamba Experience selects the best available provider in each destination, however there is always a chance that in some places, the infrastructure or political environment may change without prior notice. Always be aware of the nature of activities you are about to participate in and if you feel you are incapable of doing what is asked, you can always say no. Use your discretion when participating in extra activities hired outside of Bamba Experience to make sure they are complying with the minimum level of safety requirements.


You are a traveler, not a tourist. We want you to be able to explore the world exactly as you have always dreamed it. You are free to travel at your own pace with no tour leaders or set schedules.
Depart any day you want, 365 days a year whether you are traveling on your own or in a group.
We make it easy for you to be spontaneous! Enjoy the freedom of making an unlimited amount of changes to your schedule before and during your trip. Your pass is valid for 12 months so you can take all the time you need to enjoy your journey!