Costa Rica

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22 travelers at this place

  • Day36

    Avoid this city

    February 7, 2017 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Just in case you thought I was exaggerating!

    The train tracks run right through the city and the horn is constantly on.
    Imagine walking out your front door straight onto the tracks!

    And I love the park which had the stone seats facing the road! I liked the view of the telephones - presumably there so you can call for help.Read more

  • Day36

    The weirdest shopping mall

    February 7, 2017 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Was excited at the prospect of a mall to fill in time given I have another night here.

    If you need 90s fashion, plastic figurines, stuffed animals, bongs, a tattoo palour or sex shops then this is the mall for you! And all set in an ugly building with low ceilings and poor lighting.

    I did get a manicure which was nice but decided against a pedicure when I saw the spa bath.

    Walked around one of the more residential areas in the afternoon but this city is just ugly, dirty and dreary.
    Read more

  • Day155

    San José, Costa Rica

    March 21, 2017 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    Errr, remind me where we are again...

    The Rich Coast, not to be confused with the Rich Port (Puerto Rico) is rumoured to be exactly that. We approached with caution, sound research and a firmly closed wallet.

    By now we've already tallied up a healthy number of bus trips and we've got a few border crossings under our belt but we nailed this leg of the trip so well I think we did a movie style slow-motion-to-freeze-frame high-five when we got to San José. Here's how it went down.

    It started with us waiting for our free hostel breakfast which had failed to meet it's 7.30am promise. At 7.55 - after much discussion as to when the bus left and what the time of day actually was - we grabbed our bags, bolted out the door and round the corner and jumped on the back of the bus which was literally already moving. Phew! We even got a seat! We were dreading heading back to Rivas which would involve retracing our steps but we found a bus that would drop us on the road side where we could wait for a different bus headed for the border. We had no timetable for said bus, but luck was with us and two minutes later it showed up whilst we were enjoying our stale bread for breakfast. We didn't get a seat, but the driver knocked 20 minutes of the target time and we were at the border by a shade after nine. Nailing unreliable public transport with efficiency like that is about as common as a blue moon so I was a very happy man, despite resenting our hostel for their lack of punctuality with our morning meal! A delightful start to the day and it only gets better.

    We had very low hopes for the border. We've read horrible stories about delays of up to three hours, scams and unnecessary bus bookings for proof of a departure date. Observing numerous tour buses and a line of trucks longer than the road itself had us fearing the worst. It was not to be. We marched through both borders in moments, stopping only for a final bag of plantain chips and a double take on one immigration officer holding his hand in a gun position to the back of another's head! (obviously the Nicaraguan officers). 9.45am: Costa Rica - the streak continues! We changed our money (the hustlers at the border actually offer pretty good rates), popped into el baño and bought our bus tickets to San José. A 7 hour express, double decker, air conditioned coach departing at...10am! I boarded that bus with the biggest grin I've worn in a while, fitted myself nicely into my seat (for once!), reclined (!), and dozed off. We got to our accommodation in San José well rested and easily in time for dinner (even got a lumch stop!) - all for only AUD$17 including border fees. That one is going to be hard to beat, no doubt.

    Costa Rica doesn't belong with the rest of Central America. It's much too green, much too developed and, in general, much too rich. It was definitely a shock to the system. The grass looked edible, the buildings were glazed and looked like they'd been designed, roads were paved, and cost of our dinner that night made home seem cheap (real western food, after all this time, was absolutely worth it)! Accommodation surprisingly, was indifferent (USD $10 pn).

    The only reason we were in San José was for a yellow fever vaccine, as I had been too unprepared to get one before I left NZ and Colombia won't let you in without it. Cat again was on form, and found one Clinica Biblica which promised to offer the jab if they had it in stock. At the time of inquiry they did not, which was an understandable cause for concern. Expecting a long wait, we got there early yet we were in and out before you could say higgilty piggilty for a crushing USD$100 (not sure what you pay back home?). The only catch was that we had to cross town to pick up the official certificate from the Ministry of Health but that too, was trouble free and now we had an unexpectedly free day in San José!

    San José reminds me a lot of home. Everybody we spoke to wrote it off including one incredibly grumpy British lady in our hostel who made a point of expressing her hatred for the city, the beaches and travelling in general to the extent where Cat and I really began to question her decision to leave the comfort of her couch, where she had clearly been spending some serious time. Despite all this, I thoroughly enjoyed it - you don't need long, unless you plan to partake in the numerous but very expensive day trips to out-of-town destinations. We enjoyed free buffet breakfasts, some delicious pulled pork sandwiches and coffees, the National Museum, nice cafés and a spot of shopping for our journey south to Patagonia in a month, for which clothing-wise we are (still) drastically unprepared. Cat especially. And ironically timed with her complaints of the 'cold' - a 17 degree low and a touch of light rain. If I'm worried for her, I'd hate to think what she's feeling herself. Time will tell.

    The national museum was located in an old fort and unfittingly had a butterfly enclosure behind the walls. Very odd. We were just getting started in the museum when an unfriendly security guard gave us the boot as it was closing time...4.20pm. An early day for them I think. To the contrary, we actually had very friendly experiences with everyone we encountered in San José - surprising considering the hostility we were expecting from another Central American capital reputable for crime and violence.

    Our accommodation (Trip On Open House) was actually really great for the price. Free buffet breakfast (did I say that already?), hot showers (our first since Guatemala), Netflix, good wifi, pool table and reassuringly situated directly opposite the president's house! My only qualms was that I couldn't fit square-on between bunks and we had another blooming powercut mid-mince-cook on an electric stove.

    Well worth the stop, even if it was just for a vaccine. Hopefully we haven't missed out on too much else! Next stop Turrialba, and our streak continues with another perfectly timed uber to bus connection (yes they have uber!).
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  • Day35

    Seriously was there a volcano?

    February 6, 2017 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Still no sign of the volcano the next day. Guess I will have to watch the Kadashians.

    We all put in $10US to hire a van so we can avoid catching a public bus. The tour company states that it is all 'part of the adventure' - yeah right. Done it enough times in my lifetime to be over it. In these countries it just increases the risk of theft and doubles your travel time.

    Uneventful aside from the crappy food stop in an over priced tourist shop with overpriced junk food. Where's my gelato to make me feel better?

    Now in the capital San Jose. A drive through city if ever I saw one. I even contemplate catching a bus to get out of here to the next place on the itinerary!

    At least I had a very nice pasta for dinner at one of the new trendy restaurants which are opening up in the neighborhood near the hotel.

    Was craving some orange juice when I got back to the hotel but the concierge told me not to go one way and that if I went the other way not to take much money and that it should be ok but it was at my risk. So no orange juice for me!

    Photos of the weird decor in the restaurant!
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  • Day1

    Hauptstadt San José

    March 21, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ 🌧 25 °C

    Endlich in Costa Rica! Mit Condor ging es ziemlich problemlos mit einem kurzen Zwischenstop in der Domenikanischen Republik nach San Jose, wo ich um 5 Uhr in der Früh gelandet bin. Erstmal gings zu Europcar, wo ich richtig Glück hatte. Da meine Autokategorie nicht verfügbar war, hab ich einfach umsonst einen SUV bekommen. Cool!
    In der Stadt bin ich erstmal zu kölbi gefahren, um mir eine SIM-Karte zu holen (2GB für 10$, kann man nichts sagen). Danach gings zu meiner Unterkunft Finca Escalante im anscheinend schönsten Stadtteil San Joses, Barrio Escalante. Dort hat es mir auch richtig gut gefallen: lauter kleine stylische Cafes, lauter kleine coole Läden, Wandmalereien, niedliche Sodas (ein Soda ist sowas wie eine Mischug aus Heimküche und Restaurant, also mit kleiner Auswahl, die dafür halt aber dann mega lecker), usw. Ich hab mir dann in dem berühmten Cafe Cafeoteca noch meinen ersten costaricanischen Cafe gegönnt. Naja, was soll ich sagen? Guter Kaffee halt. ich kenn da irgendwie keinen großen Unterschied ^_^
    Für mich auf jeden Fall völlig unverständlich, wieso viele sagen, dass San Jose keine schöne Stadt sein soll. Zumindest dieser Stadtteil ist jederzeit einen Schlenderer wert.
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  • Day22

    San José zum Zweiten und der Kulturtag

    April 19, 2016 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Unser Weg führte ein weiteres Mal über die Hauptstadt.
    Wir hatten also nochmal einen Tag lang die Möglichkeit, sie zu erkunden.
    Im Teatro Nacional fand über die Mittagszeit ein Konzert einer Band namens 'Cantoamerica' statt. Das über hundertjährige Gebäude ist wohl das schönste in ganz Costa Rica.
    Weiter ging es im Goldmuseum, das eine Ausstellung über die Geschichte der Ureinwohner Zentralamerikas und ihren Kunstwerken aus Gold zeigte.
    Auch dieses Gebäude ist speziell für Costa Rica. Es ist nämlich das einzige Bauwerk im Land, das sich im Boden befindet, also sozusagen unterirdisch ist - und dies über drei Stockwerke tief.
    'Krönender' Abschluss unseres kulturellen Tages bildete der Besuch im Kino. Leider mit dem wohl schlechtesten Film, welcher die Kinos im Moment zu bieten haben (Batman vs. Superman), aber wenigstens war der Eintritt mit umgerechnet acht Franken für beide sehr günstig. Das Popcorn hatte mehr gekostet...

    Ausserdem fanden wir heraus, warum die Costa Ricaner (Ticos) immer mit uns Englisch sprechen, obwohl wir uns in Spanisch versuchen: die Menschen wollen Englisch sprechen, es anwenden und üben. Wenigstens liegt es nicht daran, dass unser Spanisch miserabel ist (ist es auch nicht).

    Was wir an diesem Tag leider auch noch erledigen mussten, war der Kauf einiger wichtigen Notfallmedikamente, da uns in einer Unterkunft aus unerklärlichen Gründen unsere Reiseapotheke gestohlen wurde! Adieu ihr superteuren, teils rezeptpflichtigen Medikamente, welche wir zwar stark hoffen, nie zu benötigen, aber trotzdem eine gewisse Sicherheit vermittelt haben. Wie armselig muss man sein, als Reisender andere Reisende zu beklauen?
    Read more

  • Day10

    San José

    November 14, 2017 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Haben beschlossen nur eine Nacht in San Jose zu bleiben und jetzt erst mal weiter nach Nicaragua zu fahren.
    Hier ist es übrigens kalt, es hat nur 21°C, kein Wunder - San Jose liegt auch auf 1160 Höhenmeter.Read more

  • Day81

    Costa Rica!!

    September 5, 2017 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    I was up early today and took a taxi to the airport. I flew to San Jose, Costa Rica via Panama. I caught a taxi to the hotel and met some of the people from my G Adventures tour. I had a relaxed arvo before we had our first meeting for the tour. We had dinner at a restaurant together and I had a yummy beef meal. We went to a local pub where there was a big soccer game on the TV between Costa Rica and Mexico. The crowd went absolutely crazy when Costa Rica scored a goal. It ended up a tied game!Read more

  • Day16


    April 26, 2019 in Costa Rica ⋅ 🌙 21 °C

    Heute muss ich Umziehen. Ich hab mich jetzt entschieden hier zu bleiben und bis zum 11. die Therapie hier anzunehmen. Heute war ich in Escalante einem Stadtteil von San Jose. Hier befindet sich auch die Uni. Super schön, viele kleine Shops, Restaurants und Cafe’sRead more

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