Blogs from San José, San José, Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean - page 6


San Jose city is a city of a million people (only 4.5 million in the whole country), so I find it big and crowded with narrow roads and crazy traffic – like any big city I guess. The difference here are the roads – narrow and winding, we would call them 2-lane roads, but at busy times of the day, they can be 3 or four lanes, depending on how many cars decide to try to squeeze together. Plus, the motorcycles weave in and out of traffic, and Moms holding the hands of little children weave around the cars to cross the street---scary stuff for us, but normal here. But this is only in the downtown area. In the other neighborhoods outside of the city centre, it looks much like home. The temperature in the central ... read more
Going for a walk in the neighborhood
Bridges Across Drainage Ditch

This map shows the first part of our planned route: (1) 10 days around Costa Rica beginning and ending in San Jose.... read more

It's not been long since my last blog but it's my last day today in Costa Rica, and therefore Central America, so it seems like a good time to update. I'm currently in San Jose (for the third time in six days), getting ready for my flight to Rio de Janeiro this afternoon. Central America has been incredible - a chance to explore a group of countries that I knew very little about previously. I just wish I had had a bit more time to see it all - I would have definitely enjoyed longer in Honduras and Nicaragua. I finally made it to Monterverde after a dull night in San Jose and spent the day ziplining through the forest. Costa Rica feels very different from the rest of Central America: it's very Americanised, very touristy ... read more
Canopy tour in Monterverde
Baby viper on Monterverde night tour

First of all, an apology: no pictures in this post. I’m standing in my hostel in San Jose, Costa Rica after a very long day travelling. It takes quite a bit of time (and a USB port) to back pictures up and I have neither tonight! Today I intended – and failed - to make a difficult journey from San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua to Monteverde, Costa Rica, using no less than six local buses and crossing one (apparently difficult) border. It was also my first day travelling alone in about three weeks so a good chance to see if any of the Spanish had stuck. At 12pm, having cleared the Nicaragua/ Costa Rica border with ease and heading for my final connection I was in good spirits. Unfortunately I missed the bus from Tilaran ... read more

After our very low-key and incredibly relaxing Christmas we took a bus ride from Boquete to David to the Panama/Costa Rica border and then from there to Managua, Nicaragua, eventually making our way to Costa Rica our intended destination. We were up before 4:30 AM to begin our journey in David, in part related to some anxiety related to travel to a new place, because we did not want to miss our bus, and we did not know what time the bus left the station in David (Boquete > David > Nicaragua > Costa Rica). We caught a 'chicken' bus in David which, incidentally, is called that because they are potential passengers - there were no chickens on this bus and we were glad for it. In David we found our bus which was leaving in ... read more
Beauty coupled with advertisement
Jagermeister-get sick!
Whiskey and women

Okay, so a good friend of mine, not on facebook, just pointed out the obvious to me … I have been in Costa Rica for 3 weeks, and I haven’t posted anything on my travel blog. I am going to play the “one sentence” game since I don’t have time to write much right now. San Jose: More beautiful and livable than I expected. Escazu: Less Costa Rican, more Americanized? High prices. Cleaner and more organized than other suburbs of San Jose? More likely to encounter English speakers, and less likely to experience how locals live. Comfort living for travel phobes?... read more
San Jose (17)
San Jose (18)
San Jose

We've been here 2 full weeks now and it has been a while since our last post. While we haven't really done much over the last week, a lot has happened. First item of note - the discovery of gluten-free pasta! Twice!! We found rice pasta here in a grocery store in San Pedro (see photos) and again in Manuel Antonio last weekend (rice/corn penne imported from Italy!). It is always exciting to find GF products while traveling. In keeping with the food theme, we also had a cooking lesson from our Mama Tica and we learned how to make Gallo Pinto (the typical breakfast dish of rice and beans with a secret sauce!). We suspect that it will never taste the same when we make it, but we will try all the same, provided we ... read more
Spaghetti Night

Pura vida is a very common saying in Costa Rica. Gabi had told us this before arriving in Costa Rica and we saw and heard the phrase everywhere. Here is what Wiki (my old faithful friend) has to say about it: "Pura vida literally means Pura = pure and vida = life, but "Pure life" in Spanish would be "Vida pura" instead, so the real meaning is closer to "plenty of life", "full of life", "this is living!", "going great", "real living","Awesome!" or "cool!" It can be used both as a greeting and a farewell, to express satisfaction, to politely express indifference when describing something or even to say "thank you" or "you're welcome". The phrase has become universally known in Costa Rica and it has been used by many Costa Ricans (and expatriates) since 1956." ... read more
Getting some love from the Gabster
Capuchin monkeys at our hotel - Monteverde
Ziplining - one of the platforms - this one not v high

Travelling. We left Utilla, Honduras heading towards San Jose, Costa Rica. The journey would take us through San Pedro Sula whhere we had to sleep one night. We arrived early in the morning and were greeted by a hostel owner offering free transport to and from the bus terminal and rooms for 10 dollars, a good deal! Because our group was pretty large it meant 2 trips in his minivan, so off went the first group, we were group number 2. As soon as the minivan left the VULTURES descended (taxidrivers) "TAXI, TAXI TAXI!" after telling them about 100 times we already had a ride, listening to them offer us better deals (paying instead of travelling free) and them telling us the minivan would never come back and a taxi pulling up, opening the trunk and ... read more

Of all the countries within Central America my next stop, Costa Rica, was the one that really excited me the least. From a backpackers perspective it is expensive (the price of dorm rooms tripled on crossing the border) and it is filled with American tourists looking to have an American experience outside of America. The country is literally packed with MacDonalds, Pizza Hut, Dunkin Donuts and KFC´s, basically everything that I am not missing from home. It didn´t help that it rained virtually every day I was in the country and that Facebook was filled with the October heatwave in the UK. The first stop we had planned was a town in the Northern Highlands called Monteverde. According to the Lonely Planet this was one of the easiest journeys we would have to do; simply jump ... read more
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