Costa Rica Journals

Costa Rica My Way

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A May 2006 trip to Costa Rica by coloradowanderer

Holiday Inn Aurola Photo, San Jose, Costa Rica More Photos
Quote: Active volcano, secluded beaches, homestay with a Tico family, and volunteering to save sea turtles are just a few of my adventures.

Costa Rica My Way

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Overview

what is this? Photo, Costa Rica, Central America
Quote:
Costa Rica is a laid back, adventure, budget, or luxury destination. Pura Vida, pure life, is the national slogan and used like aloha. Surfers are drawn to the Pacific side and calm beaches are found nearby to Caribbean seaside towns. Some of the exotic flora and fauna is found no other place on earth. Raging rivers provide hardcore rafting, zip lines whiz through the jungle, and waterfalls abound. La Fortuna shoots up lava and hot rocks for lucky viewers soaking in hot springs. Fill up on inexpensive seafood dinners and fruity tropical drinks like guananba, strawberries, mangoes, or blackberry mixed with water or milk. Get sick of pinto de gallo, traditional rice and beans, at every meal. Ju...Read More

Holiday Inn Aurola

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Hotel

Holiday Inn Aurola Photo, San Jose, Costa Rica
Quote:
After 2 weeks without a hot shower in rainy Nicaragua, I arrived in San Jose on a drizzling evening. The thought of another cold shower in a hostel had me recalculating my budget. A splurge was in order, and the towering Holiday Inn came to mind. A quick taxi ride from the Nica bus station was only $1 on the meter, and I found myself in the lap of luxury way under dressed. The attentive bellhop whisked my dirty backpack into the gleaming tiled, cathedral ceiling lobby. Check in was a breeze with the polite bilingual staff and I was off to my room. Trying to keep my jaw from dropping, the bellhop escorted me to the nicest room I have ever seen for a Holiday Inn. After he left, I plopped on the pillow t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 26, 2006

Holiday Inn Aurola
5th Ave. and 5th Street
San Jose, Costa Rica
+506-222-2424

Quote:
The main thing that drew me to this hostel was transportation from the airport. Arriving at an airport in a foreign county can be an overwhelming frenzy of loud, pushy taxi drivers. It was comforting to spot the Hostel Pangea sign next to a mini van. The $6 ride is cheaper than a taxi. A short ride into town and we pulled up in front of a huge metal gate. The driver honked the horn, the gate opened and we pulled in. This was one of the security features. Also, no one can get into the hostel unless they go through the front door with a wrist band. Typical door rooms, swimming pool, modern showers, and free Internet access are pluses. The upstairs bar and restaurant has colorful fresh food and tasty piñ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 26, 2006

Hostel Pangea
Barrio Amón
San Jose, Costa Rica
+506 221-1992

Las Tilapias De Chito (Chito's Lodge)

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Hotel | "Finca Las Tilapias"

Las Tilapias De Chito (Chito's Lodge) Photo, Costa Rica, Central America
Quote:
Most travelers are unlikely to end up in Siquirres as it's not in the guide books. I ended up here on my way to somewhere else. Exiting the bus station, I had no idea where to go. Not a hotel in sight so I went into a pharmacy and asked for the closest place to go. The helpful clerk offered to walk me to a few places that were unfortunately all full. She recommended the Fincas hotel and put me in a taxi. The farm sits on the edge of town surrounding a lagoon with the world's only domesticated crocodile. Chito, the owner, is well known in the area for his Sunday sing-along parties. His infectious enthusiasm was catching and patrons join in, regardless of their singing talent. The restaurant serves up s...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 28, 2006

Las Tilapias De Chito (Chito's Lodge)
North of the Plaza
Siquirres, Costa Rica
768 9293

Adventure Inn Hotel

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Hotel | "Adventure Inn"

Adventure Inn Hotel Photo, San Jose, Costa Rica
Quote:
My early morning flight required me to show up at the airport at 5am. The Adventure Inn is close to the airport by taxi and is a great place to start or end your trip. Guests have free access to a nearby water park, a HOT Jacuzzi on site, and free Internet. Comfortable rooms are all equipped with cable TV, A/C, and a clean shower with a bidet of all things. The restaurant serves up simple lunches, full dinners, and a free breakfast. The indoor, raised, cobalt blue Jacuzzi is surrounded by stone statues and is filled with extremely hot water. For my last night I treated myself to a few farewell piña coladas, a fine meal and good conversation with the staff. Rates are out of my usual price ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 28, 2006

Adventure Inn Hotel

San Jose, Costa Rica
+506-239-2633

Save Sea Turtles in Parismina

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Story/Tip

Going Bananas Photo, Costa Rica, Central America
Quote:
Getting to the tiny island is an adventure in itself. Bus from San Jose to Siquirres, change station and make it on time to a bus to Cano Blanco, then hop on a boat to the island. After missing the first bus, I ended up in an expensive taxi, but the information was worth it. The drive is on a mostly bumpy, rocky road surrounded by corporate banana trees. Miles of hanging pesticide filled blue bags that protect the fruit from bugs. Cars and buses often stop for bananas crossing the road on automatic pulleys. Closer to Cano Blanco, rolling farm lands cover the distance and one outdoor cantina that was jammin mid-day. After an hour and a half drive, the friendly driver and I were well acquainted. Folks a...Read More

Getting Around

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Story/Tip

Border to the north Photo, Nicaragua, Central America
Quote:
The cheapest option into downtown from the San Jose airport is a shared van or bus. The taxi drivers are aggressive and known to say that the hostel shuttle van has already left, don't believe them. When using taxis downtown, first ask how much to your destination and then ask for the meter to be used. Rides in town should only be $1 or $2. Buses depart for different regions at different terminals. For the Caribbean coast head to Terminal Caribe. The window that says Puerto Viejo is not the same as the beach town Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. Buy tickets from the Sixaola counter, or if the timing is off head to Limon for frequent buses to PV. These buses also go to Sixaola, the border with Panama. ...Read More