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6 day trip to Caribbean or Mexico...what to climb?

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6 day trip to Caribbean or Mexico...what to climb?

Postby LesterLong » Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:21 pm

Haven't had a vacation in a while, and am looking to go south (I've never been to the Caribbean or to Mexico from December 26th to December 31 (5 days). My GF wants to have a 'normal' vacation, with beach, reading, etc., and I'm ok with that a little, but would LOVE to climb something too!

Was thinking about:

    Blue Mountain Peak - Tallest mountain in Jamaica
    Pico Duarte - Tallest mountain in DR, and the Caribbean
    Something in Mexico - Looks like there are several mountains that are out of my league
Thoughts?
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Re: 6 day trip to Caribbean or Mexico...what to climb?

Postby Jesus Malverde » Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:30 pm

How about Belize?
It's got cayes/beaches (diving/snorkeling, manatees, sea food, sun bathing, beer drinking) and jungles (tropical fruits, mayan ruins, waterfalls, caving, ww rafting/kayaking..oh, and beer drinking).
Ah, but the mountaineering you say..Well, Belize also has Doyle's Delight. A few years ago I stared down the approach road and said..hmm...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doyle%27s_Delight

Bien aventura,
JM
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Re: 6 day trip to Caribbean or Mexico...what to climb?

Postby Scott » Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:15 am

Six days isn't going to be very long to try and climb much.

Pico Duarte is OK (I have the SP page for it), but Dominica (not Dominican Republic) is probably the most beautiful island in the Caribbean. I don't know if it would be worth it to fly just for six days though.

If you want to climb Blue Mountain Peak, keep in mind that the mountain is on the opposite side of the island as the normal vacation hang outs and it might take most of a day to travel between the two. You would lose most of a day flying there, most of a day to get to the mountain (you can fly into Kingston, but it's not near most of the normal tourist places) and a day to get back.

Belize is an option as mentioned above, but there's no way you can climb something like Doyle's Delight in a five day period including travel time.

PS,it may be hard to find budget airfares and hotels with this short of notice for Christmas.

One option would be the Baja in Mexico. Another place would be the Barranca del Cobra around Chiuahua.
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Re: 6 day trip to Caribbean or Mexico...what to climb?

Postby LesterLong » Sun Dec 22, 2013 1:40 am

Thanks guys.........we've decided on DR!

I couldn't possibly be away for more than 6 days, so that is the maximum.

Why do you say Pico Duarte is OK? Would it take a day to drive and climb it?
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Re: 6 day trip to Caribbean or Mexico...what to climb?

Postby Scott » Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:58 am

Why do you say Pico Duarte is OK?


It's not as pretty as it used to be because everything was torched by a forest fire and even before that it isn't quite as pretty as say, Dominica. It's still nice though and worth the climb, but the forest is apparently almost all gone.

Would it take a day to drive and climb it?


Actually, once you are in DR, it takes most of a day to get there and to get permission and arrange guides. Most people take 3 days for the climb, but it can be done in two very long days. However, in a 2-3 day trip you will miss the best part which is the Valle de Tetero which requires an additional day.

So you need a day to travel there and get permission and arrange a guide (you have to have one by law), three days for the climb (or two very long ones, but you will have to really talk the guides into letting you do this and they may charge you the full 3 day price-though it still is possible) and part of a day to get back to the coast. I'd plan on 5 days for Duarte alone once you land in DR, though you might be able to shave a day off if you are really in a rush. Add another day to see the Valle de Tetero if at all possible.

You could possible do Duarte round trip from New York in six days, but forget about seeing anything else like the beaches, rafting, etc. If your GF is OK with you leaving her for five days for Duarte, there should be plenty for her to do elsewhere.

Also, as the SP page says, I'd recommend taking a tent. The huts can have serious rat problems. Either way, don't forget sleeping bags, etc. unless you go with a really high end company. Only the high end companies will have sleeping bags for rent. Iguana Mama is probably the most high end company, but we used a cheaper fly by night operator and brought all our own food, stoves, etc.

http://www.iguanamama.com/pico-duarte-a ... -dominican

Price depends on how much services you want. If you take all your own camping gear and food and use a local guide (most of which won't have an email address) it will work out to be cheaper. If you don't want to haul all your camping gear to the Caribbean, there are guiding services that will do that for you, though you still want your own sleeping bag.
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Re: 6 day trip to Caribbean or Mexico...what to climb?

Postby jedhands » Sun Dec 22, 2013 3:43 am

St. Maarten has nice hikes, beautiful beaches, and you can take a daytrip or overnight to Saba, start at sea level, and hike to the top.
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Re: 6 day trip to Caribbean or Mexico...what to climb?

Postby Kevintheclimber » Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:31 pm

Mexico!! Pico de orizaba and Izta are truly beautiful climbs. Not too technically demanding, but the altitude is pretty extreme
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Re: 6 day trip to Caribbean or Mexico...what to climb?

Postby Scott » Sun Dec 22, 2013 7:39 pm

Pico de orizaba and Izta are truly beautiful climbs.


It would be tough to squeeze both of those in if you only have 5-6 days including flight time.
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Re: 6 day trip to Caribbean or Mexico...what to climb?

Postby LesterLong » Sun Dec 22, 2013 10:12 pm

Scott wrote:You could possible do Duarte round trip from New York in six days, but forget about seeing anything else like the beaches, rafting, etc. If your GF is OK with you leaving her for five days for Duarte, there should be plenty for her to do elsewhere.

Also, as the SP page says, I'd recommend taking a tent. The huts can have serious rat problems. Either way, don't forget sleeping bags, etc. unless you go with a really high end company. Only the high end companies will have sleeping bags for rent. Iguana Mama is probably the most high end company, but we used a cheaper fly by night operator and brought all our own food, stoves, etc.

http://www.iguanamama.com/pico-duarte-a ... -dominican

Price depends on how much services you want. If you take all your own camping gear and food and use a local guide (most of which won't have an email address) it will work out to be cheaper. If you don't want to haul all your camping gear to the Caribbean, there are guiding services that will do that for you, though you still want your own sleeping bag.


Thanks for the feedback. Very useful! I told my GF that it'll take 2 days to climb it for me, which i think is possible (i'll miss Valle do Tetero though). Do cell phones work near the mountain? Actually, in DR at all?

The plan is:

Dec 27 Land at 2am and go to Puerta Plata
Dec 28 Day 1 of Pico Duarte
Dec 29 Day 2 of Pico Duarte
Dec 30 Drive to Punta Cana
Dec 31 Day 2 of Punta Cana
Jan 1 Fly home from Punta Cano at 3pm

I don't sleep much and can drive in the early morning and late nights, so travel shouldn't take too long.
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Re: 6 day trip to Caribbean or Mexico...what to climb?

Postby Scott » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:34 am

I told my GF that it'll take 2 days to climb it for me, which i think is possible


It would be better arrange a guide and permit in advance if you want to try it. Usually you have to arrange everything the day before, but if you had someone do it in advance it might work.

I don't sleep much and can drive in the early morning and late nights, so travel shouldn't take too long.


I've never had the desire to drive in places like the DR (plus car rental/insurance is really expensive there), but make sure you know what your getting into if you plan on driving at night or in the dark. To each their own though; it might not be too bad.

Make sure to post a TR when you get back.

I guess you won't have time, but Jaracaboa, near the Duarte trailhead has a really fun rafting trip. Just in case you do decide you don't have time for Duarte, there is a good peak El Mogote) you can climb next to Jaracaboa and then there is the rafting and waterfalls there as well. Doing that (rafting, waterfalls, and peak) will probably be more scenic than just Duarte, but either way you can still have a good trip and I wish you luck. I mention the alternative (rafting/hike/waterfalls) just in case you are interested (and your GF might like the waterfalls and rafting even if she isn't much into hiking).

I know nothing about cell phone coverage on Duarte (I've never used a cell phone out of the US), but I'm pretty sure most of the country has pretty good coverage.

Have a great trip!
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