Blogs from Escazu, San José, Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean

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Well this may have been the final week, but there was no slacking!! My mornings started with a lovely breakfast of fruit, yogurt, granola and fresh juice courtesy of my hosts each morning, served in the garden with the scent of jasmine around me - not a bad start to the day! Then Maricela would pick me up on her way, and we spent each day at Sam’s place working away. We started out reviewing the new processes and forms for the visitor centre that I had implemented my last week in Islita so they’d have a full understanding of how things should work there. We spent time reviewing and reconciling all the data that had been entered into their new accounting system. We interviewed 3 potential candidates for their year-end accounting and taxes. We also ... read more


What’s the downside of visiting one of the best tourist destinations in the world? Everything else pales in comparison, or at least initially. The spectacle of Machu Picchu was still afresh when we landed in Costa Rica. The bar had been raised and expectations were soaring, albeit unconsciously! The weather in April was warm and balmy and San Jose’s airport was more than welcoming. Here, people greeted one another saying “Pura Vida”, meaning “have a pure life” and this wellness greeting was heavier on the scales than greetings for a good day or part of a day that we were so accustomed to. Perhaps there was some intrinsic quality in the people and their attitude towards life that led to Costa Rica topping the world’s Happiness index, three times in a row :) :) :) With ... read more
overlook view
a treat for sore eyes
camouflaged iguana


At the end of the day, the only thought I had was: "Holy Cow, I've only been here 1 day." There are so many things that happened today, that I have no idea where to start. So how about I start at the beginning of the day eh? I am always the first to get picked up by the bus, and always the last to be dropped off due to my location being the farthest away from school. As I got picked up, sitting on the bus all by myself, I carry on a very brief conversation with the bus driver before I realize my Spanish needs improvement and I just stare out the window. Excitement builds as we approach the first apartment complex and two new faces come and join the party (Annie and Holly), ... read more


My trip has finally begun! It's always shocking to look back and realize how fast time actually does fly. My dad and I arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica early this afternoon. The flight was awesome for a couple of reasons: 1. My dad has so many frequent flyer miles United upgraded us both to first class for both lengths of the flight! Free booze, free meals, and free Direct TV. (Ballin'!) 2. The views from my fancy first class window seats were incredible! It was my first time flying over the Gulf of Mexico and it was beautiful! At first I thought we were going to be flying over open waters for the majority of the time, but as soon as that semi-disappointing thought crossed my mind out from the bottom of my window I ... read more
flying above the Caribbean
El Teatro Nacional

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » San José » Escazu December 27th 2011

I arrived in San Jose more than a week ago. My first several days were spent with a limited amount of travel. Then three days before Christmas I went to the Walmart with a friend. I walked through that store thinking that it looked so similar to most of the Walmarts I have seen in my lifetime. The place was packed also like most Walmarts I've been to. We took the bus back and settled in to the hostel. Then on friday night I went with two other people from the hostel to the big mall in Escazu. The guy at the front desk said that it was close so since there were three of us we figured a taxi wouldn't be that bad three ways. So we hoped in a cab and he drove us. ... read more

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » San José » Escazu November 24th 2011

November 11, 2011 Playa Coco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica Our first stop was Manuel Antonio. As far as the national park and beaches, I am convinced they are among the most beautiful places in the world. Walking through the park, we encountered beautiful butterflies, huge iguanas, dozens of monkeys, coatis, and a baby sloth that fell off a tree and was very curious, crawling right up to us to say hello. The people there were another story. The town seemed to be basically run by a group of men in their 20´s. Waiters and surf instructors by day, they were drug dealers and thieves by night. We did surf here one morning (though we declined instruction from a drug dealer). Although extremely tiring, once you stand up on a wave, there is no better feeling. We took ... read more
Photo 3
Photo 4
gorilla crater

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » San José » Escazu September 30th 2011

With our Lonely Plantet in one hand and 285 colones for our bus fare in the other, Peter and I ventured out into the capital city of San Jose for a day. Not because of the pollution or smog, but from cold & flu season, we packed our day packs with the essentials: kleenex, kleenex, and more kleenex, cough drops, and vitamin C tablets. It's a good thing we didn't know anyone on the bus anyway, because our synchronized nose-blowing sure wasn't going to land us friends anytime soon...pretty much, we were a hot mess... Our couchsurfing hosts live in Escazu, a small suburb away from the hustle and bustle of the Costa Rican capital. Mostly filled with expats and other gringos, Escazu is quiet and easy to navigate. We managed to find the city center--a ... read more
Out in Escauz
Out in Escauz
San Jose

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » San José » Escazu September 29th 2011

First, we'd like to say shana tovah to everyone! May this year bring you much happiness, health, love, and peace. May you be inscribed in the book of life. So, many of you know that today is the Jewish new year--Rosh Hashana. And as any nice Jewish girl would do, I went to synagogue to hear the shofar blow, eat a little apples and honey, and listen to the cantor sing. However, today's service was a little more exotic. Peter and I ventured out into San Jose to find the only reform synagogue in town. First, they wanted to charge us $175...EACH! Aye caramba!! Then, she offered us $90 total. We looked at each other like "uhhh....wtf...where's our cab?" Next she told us she'd give us the student discount of $35 each. You should have seen ... read more


So after the little jaunt to Aus, I flew straight back through LA and into San Jose, Costa Rica. My plan was to volunteer in a school here to learn a bit of Spanish and time with local kids, so I was met at the airport by Bryan, Cecelia's son. Cecilia and Bryan were to be my San Jose family. Bryan turned out to be pretty, ahem, sociable I'd say, so I spent a lot of time with Cecelia (who speaks no English)... The first few days was one of the lows of my trip - even with lovely Cecelia being super wonderful, the loss of ease of communication made me feel very lonely. In addition, I learned that the schools were actually closed those three weeks and that I would need to chose another project ... read more
Coco and Gordo
At the day centre
Crazy lady who I could for some reason completely understand


Well here I am in Escazu, after a pretty hellish start. First of all there were the two below average flights (God, American Airlines have some miserable crew!) Then, i nearly missed my connection from Miami to CR. Then, I got interrogated at customs for 20 mins. Then my luggage never appeared. And contrary to the welcome commitee I expected, there was noone at the airport to pick me up! And, icing on the cake, I thought (in desperation) that some man was waiting for me so went and asked two airport officials what name was on his sign as I thought he may be waiting for me, and it turned out "he" was a cardboard cut out. Cringe! Despite the bad start its all worked out well. Escazu is beautiful. Really green and pretty, surrounded ... read more
Escazu
Horseriding
Local wildlife




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