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Archive for October 18th, 2009

Costa Rica Wrap Up

Kelly and I loved Costa Rica and hope to make it back someday to explore more of the towns in Guanacaste, Nicoya, and the Caribbean side. These are our final thoughts before we head off to our next destination.

The Landscape and Weather:

Tropical rainforests with a ton of wildlife, palm trees, golden sand beaches, rolling hills and mountains…you get the idea. Kelly and I came during rainy/low season, and we’re so glad we did. Sure, we sat through some heavy rains, but we had sunshine most of the time and we didn’t have to deal with hordes of other tourists. Most of the beach towns are pretty hot, between 85 and 100 degrees, while in Monteverde and San Jose, you needed a cardigan or a fleece at night.

The People:

All of the Ticos we encountered were friendly and helpful. There were a couple of sleazy guys and some cat-calls, but we have those kind of jerks in Texas too. Also, there are a lot of dudes with sweet mullets and rattails.

As far as other travelers are concerned, we met a lot of Americans here, and made friends with people from Australia, New Zealand, Germany, and Spain.

Kelly and I with Conrad and Alex, the owners of Vista Serena

Kelly and I with Conrad and Alex, the owners of Vista Serena

Good Times with Good People

Good Times with Good People - Erin and Josh (The Aussies)

The Food:

I had been told not to have high expectations of the food in Costa Rica, but Kelly and I were pleasantly surprised. We ate mostly at local sodas (small restaurants) and the food was fresh, tasty, and CHEAP. Our favorite dishes were gallo pinto, casados (a plate consisting of rice, beans, salad, and a meat such as fish or chicken), fresh fruit (a whole pineapple cost around 75 cents!), fried plantains, and ceviche.

Gallo Pinto, Eggs, and Toast

Gallo Pinto, Eggs, and Toast

The Booze:

We sucked down many local Imperial and Pilsen beers, but our favorite of all was the boxed wine, Clos. I’ve always been kind of a wine snob and have refused boxed wine in the past, but when you’re on a budget, exceptions are made. The determining factor was that Clos cost around $4.50 a liter, which was enough for Kelly and me to drink on for an evening. Kelly even invented a new term – instead of getting ‘tossed’ each night, we got ‘Clossed’. Hilarious. They also have a beer here called ‘Rock Ice’, which I didn’t try based on the name alone.

Kelly Getting Clossed

Kelly Getting Clossed

Jimmy and Rock Ice...Who Knew They Made Crack in a Can?

Jimmy and Rock Ice...Who Knew They Made Crack in a Can?

Costs:

Hostels and local sodas are cheap for lodging and food, but everything else is a lot pricier than we anticipated. Zip-lining, canyoning, hot springs, white water rafting, horseback riding, snorkeling expeditions, surfing lessons…all of these cost anywhere from $25 – $75 a pop per person. Be ready to spend some $$ if you like adventure activities.

Local buses are very inexpensive, but the roads are crap here and getting from Point A to Point B isn’t easy (or safe) and takes hours longer than if you are in a car. Getting a rental car was out of our budget and private shuttles range anywhere from $30 – $50 per person, depending on the destination. We took the public bus most places, but were lucky enough to become friends with some people that had cars and we were able to hitch a couple of rides.

Erin driving us to San Jose

Erin driving us to San Jose

Also, the cost of sunscreen is outrageous…$15 – $25 for one normal sized bottle.

Other Random Thoughts:

If you think you feel something crawling on you, there is definitely an insect of some sort crawling on you. We had to be extra diligent in shaking out all of our clothes and towels to get all of the critters out. Between the two of us, Kelly and I have over a hundred mosquito and ant bites all over! It seriously looks like I have chicken pox.

My red Reef flip flops died. It was a sad day when I had to chunk them. I’ve worn those things for years, through rain, mud, rivers, and beaches and have never had any issues. I don’t know why, but one day in La Fortuna they started smelling like a dead animal and there was nothing I could do to bring them back.. Goodbye old friends!

You can check out all of our Costa Rica pics under our ‘Photos’ tab.

And with that, adios Costa Rica!

Peace Out

Peace Out

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