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Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Tamarindo, Costa Rica

I was to the point that Costa Rica had worn my budget thin quickly but I figured we could make time for one more stop on the way out. I actually took the ferry boat across from Manuel Antonio to the bottom of the peninsula and spent a week in Santa Theresa. Many people told me about how amazing this place was but I was extremely not impressed. The beaches were ranked some of the best in Central America (I don’t know by who but I don’t buy it. I have seen better in Florida.) Anywho I am skipping any more talk about this place all together. So with one stop Left I decided that Tamarindo looked like a viable option on the way to Nicaragua.

Many people in other parts of the country called it Tamagringo and told me how it is full of Americans and Canadians. So expectations were low. A friend of mine told me about coming here 12 years ago and having to take a horse to the good surf breaks because there wasn’t much of a town.

The times they are a changing. It is a bit touristic but all and all I dug the place! It’s like if a ran down cancun and key west had a baby. A surf baby town with middle aged Americans on 4 wheelers. The surf here is good. The sunsets are better. You can travel here on a stretch of the backpacker budget to ocean front condos for $400 a night.

If you are on the long term travel plan like me then there are a couple of local restaurants called “Sodas” where you can still get a meal for $5. The night life here is not to shabby either! You can go to Sharkys Thursday night for ladies night where they drink free and all of the Ja Rule and Tone Loc you can handle. If you are lucky enough to be around on a Sunday night please do yourself a favor and go to the Pura Vida Hostel. They have a big common area and two local guys come play Spanish guitar and drums. It was unbelievable! Seriously some of the best live music I have ever seen, ever!

Where to stay-

I stayed one night a Pura Vida hostel waiting for my booking at De Botella de Leche. The night there was pretty good. AC in the rooms all day, two kitchens, beers $2.

I then had booked 3 nights at the De Botella de Leche Hostel which has a kitchen, AC in the rooms all day and a nice pool for $17 a night. I would definitely recommend this place. 

Getting to or from-

-To get to Nicaragua take the local bus from the bus stop on the side of the road in the center to Liberia. From here you switch busses to the Frontera de Nicaragua (border of) After you stamp out and in to Nicaragua there will be taxis on the other side waiting to take you to San Juan Del Sur. $10 a head is the most you should pay.

-Coming from Santa Theresa we took a private shuttle to avoid about 4 busses one of which you have to know where to get off on the Pan American and a ferry boat. The shuttle took 4 hours direct and costed $50.

Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica


The journey from Puerto Viejo to Manuel Antonio. If I can give you any advise about this journey you do not want to do this trip with a hang over! After a long night of eating pizza and drinking beer in Puerto Viejo I woke up for the 9:00 bus. 4 hours of driving through the jungle and we ended up in San Jose. I immediately knew this was not a place I needed to stay and a guy at the terminal told me the bus drivers were about to go on strike so I could be stuck here for two or three days. The next bus was leaving for Manuel Antonio in 30 minutes and it was in a different bus terminal. I somehow managed to get a cab there, puke my brains out, eat some chicken and rice and still make it on that bus in time. Another 4 hours later and we ended up in the town of Quepos. At 10:00pm on a Sunday night you get the impression you are in a run down shit hole in a dirty neighborhood in Costa Rica. And that is because you are! Haha Well not completely but there was nothing much there for me. After one night stay at the not so nice super hot Smiling Monkey Hostel confused to why I was there in the first place, we took the bus up and down the windy road to Manuel Antonio.

We booked a couple beds at the Hostel Que Tuanis. This place only opened a couple months ago but was brilliant! There is three bungalows on stilts with private bathrooms, white sheets and air conditioning in the jungle of Costa Rica for $18 a night! Sounds good to me.

Monkeys hung out in the gardens, parrots fly from tree to tree every morning. Manuel Antonio is a great little town with lots of things for the week traveling gringos. High end resorts are spread throughout the jungles with restaurants to match.

 (Photo taken at the 1965 Boeing 727 hotel room Costa Verde in the trees of Manuel Antonio.)

If you plan to go to the Manuel Antonio National Park do know that they are closed on Mondays. And Tuesday morning there is a stampede of people waiting in line in the hot sun to enter the park. It took us about an hour and a half to enter. It is the most visited National Park in Costa Rica and also the smallest. So they limit the amount of people inside. The park has some great look out points, a few different beaches, sloths and monkeys! (The cute little black faced ones. Not the ones in Asia that steal all your shit!)

There is also a hostel you will pass wile exiting the park that has a restaurant in front. It was the cheapest food I found in Manuel Antonio, and good! If you want to spend a few more bucks stop by the US Army plane shot down in Nicaragua by guerrillas in the 1986 now turned bar and restaurant.

And the $4 milk shakes are amazing!


Where to stay- 

Hostel Que Tuanis- $18 a night for a hostel bed. AC, private bathroom, kitchen

Getting to and from- 

From San Jose if you are coming from San Juan Del Sur you need to take a cab to a different terminal about 10 minutes away for Quepos. Catch the bus there. Colectivo is 5 hours. Directo is about 4. 

Leaving you take the local bus to the terminal in Quepos. From there you can book a shuttle to San Jose, Uvita or Punta Arenas to catch the ferry to the peninsula. 

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