Archive for the ‘Costa Rica’ Category


Besides it’s many tourists and elevated prices, Costa Rica is known to have some of the best biological diversity in the world. The best way to see that is by visiting it’s national parks… which once again are not cheap. Most parks charge a 10$ entry fee for tourists.

Next to Dominical beach, I did find a nice small park with a water fall and a natural swimming pool which was only 1$ and then I headed over to Corcovado National Park.

From the Caribbean back to the Pacific, I had to cross the mountains. The highest point my GPS was showing was just over 3300 meters. The bike was feeling pretty powerless at that altitude but was still pulling hard enough. Here is the view from 3000 meters.

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Here is the waterfall next to Dominical. It was also a natural slide and you could jump off the rocks if you had the balls. Only a couple of us jumped off.

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The natural swimming pool. There was also a rope so you could do the tarzan

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Picture taken on the way to Corcovado National Park

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And finally in Corcovado National Park. It’s probably one of nicest parks in CR. A few things to remember before going….

Make reservations in advance. It’s a bit of a complicated process. You can e-mail them and they will send you a form. Once you complete it and send it back, they will send you an invoice. You take that invoice and bring it to the National Bank where you will pay the entrance fee along with the camping fee. Entrance is 10$ and camping is 4$. You take all the paperwork to the park with you. Another way is to go to Puerto Jimenez and there is an office there where you can make reservations. If you don’t reserve ahead, you will be turned around from the park and you have a long ride back to Puerto. The park itself is not accessible by vehicle. If you’re on a moto or in a car, you can leave it at the small store by the entrance to the park for a “small fee” of 5$. The guy there will look after it. Then you have to walk to the first park entrance which is 1 hour away on the beach as it’s the only trail to get in. If you make reservations for 2 nights, don’t make any for the first night as the guys in the park will let you camp there the first night for free if you arrive right before sunset. So you can save yourself 14$. I only paid for 2 days and 2 nights but stayed 3 nights.

Here’s some pics from the park

The “trail” to the first camping point

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In the middle of the jungle, we found some old tombs

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I really liked these little guys

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Army ants (gotta watch out for them)

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This guys dug out and ate all the turtle eggs from a nest

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We saw a few of these monkeys

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More beach

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One of the only rivers you can swim in. The rest have sharks that come up to fee on high tide.

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These guys were everywhere. Always in groups of 2 and fighting a lot.

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After the park, I headed over to the Golfito for a night. There I met again one of my buddies from earlier in the Costa Rica trip named Alejandro. He is from Argentina and one of my best friends from the trip. I’ll see him again once I head down to his home country. We spend the next couple of nights on Pavone beach which has the longest left wave for surfing. Definitely a spot to check out. I didn’t take any pictures though as I kept leaving the camera at the hotel.

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I finally made the crossing into Panama. More to come on that later…

Caribbean and Rocking J’s

Posted: March 17, 2011 in Costa Rica

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After a few days of mountain riding, I decided to head over to the caribbean. A few people told me it was worth checking out although CR doesn’t have much on that side. It’s interesting that in both, Nicaragua and CR, people have settled more on the Pacific side than the clear warm water and reggae playing neighboring east part. There is only one road in and you can cross the border to Panama up on the Atlantic as well but I rode in and rode back out as I wanted to check out the lower Pacific peninsula as well.

The nicely paved and only road leading to the Caribbean

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First stop on the Atlantic was Puerto Limon. Everyone told me to stop by and check it out during day time, but like most port cities in Central America, it’s not a safe place during the night. The Puerto Limon area is where most of the Cocaine comes in from Panama and Colombia along with the weapon trade from the north. I talked a bit with some local police in the central park and they told me that a kilo of pure goes for about 2000-2500$. A bit more and they were going to show me where to buy it too.

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A bridge on the way to Puerto Vieho

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And finally on the beach in Puerto Vieho

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Even the palm trees look different on the caribbean

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I went to the end of the road to Manzanillo and decided to head back to Puerto Vieho where prices seemed a bit more reasonable for lodging. I read about a hostel named Rocking J’s and they were offering camping for 4$ which was the cheapest I found yet in Costa Rica. Thought it would be a nice calm place to spend a few nights. One I got there I found a super creative hostel made out of tile murals, ceilings, floors… etc. Also Rocking J’s should be called Smokin Js…although once you think about it, both names mean about the same… 😉

It just so happened that the first night I got there, it was J’s birthday and the biggest party night of the year. Free Jungle Juice was given out during the whole night as J bought about 85 bottles of hard liquor for the party. About 40 some Js were handed out into the crowd as the band started playing and some special brownies were being passed out and consumed during the night as well.

Here is the view from my tent…

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And some of the tile set-ups throughout the hostel

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Fight war, not wars

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You could bring your own tent, rent a tent, rent a hammock for the night, a dorm, private room or even this sky view room…

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Needless to say that I had a great time there. Slept for 3 or 4 nights… can’t really remember… might have been the home made delicious brownies causing some memory loss… but if you go up that way, it’s a place definitely worth checking out.

Costa Rica

Posted: March 9, 2011 in Costa Rica

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Welcome to Costa Rica… now bend over and give us all your cash…

At least that’s how I felt the first few days after crossing over. Coming from countries like Nicaragua and Honduras, crossing over into Costa Rica I felt dirt poor. Prices are through the roof on anything and everything from food to lodging and especially if you want to do any touristic stuff. In the past years, while the US was struggling to keep up it’s stock market numbers driven failing economy, many of it’s citizens decided to invest elsewhere… and no better place than Costa Rica. The coast is filled with American and European owned businesses, houses, mansions, private resorts… while the inner part has farms owned by people from the same countries. It has got to a point where if you talk to the locals, they feel like the strangers in their own country. They can’t afford to buy land, to build a house… or to even open up a small business. Large corporate monopoly type stores and names can be seen a lot more here as well than in the other Central American countries.

If you want to come to Costa Rica because the media says it’s safer than it’s neighbors, learn not to listen to the media. When it comes to getting robbed, I think you have as much chance here as in Honduras, although it might be done less violently. As the poor have become poorer throughout the years, they have started stealing a lot more. Go to Nicaragua instead where people are nicer, it’s safer and a lot cheaper.

So after much ranting, here are some pics I took up to now….

Right as I entered CR, I had to start looking for a place to sleep. One of the first things after the border was a provincial park called Santa Rosa. Usually those are nice and cheap places to pitch a tent… Here the entrance fee is 10$ for outsiders (2$ for locals) while camping is 2$. So my cost for camping for the night was 12$. But in the morning I woke up to this… so it was kinda worth it. 🙂

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After the park, I headed down to do the Nicoya peninsula. The peninsula itself was a great ride on mainly gravel and dirt roads but I ran out of batteries for my camera so no pics. Not much to take pictures of anyway. Some Americanized beaches on the North W side with some more raw ones on the SE side. After the peninsula, I headed up into the mountains and stayed in Monteverde for a couple of nights. I visited a national cloud forest park there where just to walk the trails by yourself the cost was 14$. I always thought that Banff was expensive! Here’s some pics shot along the trails

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Here is the Volcano view from La Fortuna side

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