So… here we go with another update! We ended up making a shuttle last Thursday at the last minute to Montezuma, Costa Rica. We hopped onboard with a group of Chileans who had booked a private shuttle of sorts. On the 4 hour-ish trip to Montezuma, our driver had to stop our shuttle twice – once because the car was overheating and again because it was smoking!! He ended up having to run(literally)into town in the heat and pay another local tourist company to take us the rest of the way to Montezuma(about another hour and then a cab as we discovered they weren’t actually going all the way to Montezuma annoyingly enough). When we got to Montezuma, we had to begin our search for a hostel, finally deciding on a complete dump called Hotel Capitan. It ended up being about 95 degrees at night, had giant ants crawling everywhere, and had holes in the walls and ceilings! We must have been tired and sick of wearing our heavy bags when we made that decision… Anyway, we wandered around Montezuma that day, loving the chill, hippyish vibe of the place. It was kind of like Santa Cruz, California with a bit more Spanish!
Friday, we decided to move from the dump to a beautiful hostel on the top of the hill called Luna Llena(Full Moon). For a bit more, we had an amazing common area complete with comfy chairs, a kitchen and a view of the ocean! After settling in, we headed down to the beach for some rays. Costa Rica is really beautiful with dense, green jungle pretty much everywhere you look. The rest of the day we just wandered around, relaxed at the hostel, took a few pics of some beautiful birds and went out to a posh restaurant for some curry!
Saturday, we discovered that our beautiful hostel was full for the night, so we headed next door to yet another one, and paid almost the same amount for dorms with no locks on the door! However it did have howler monkeys(I believe) in the trees and on the roofs that we watched for a few hours – adorable! That day we also decided to check out the waterfall about 20 minutes outside of town. We hiked up big rocks to a beautiful waterfall with a swimming area of sorts, that we immediately dove into as we were sweating from the heat and humidity. On the walk back, I spotted a giant iguana hanging out in the forest and snapped a pic! We didn’t go out too much at night in Montezuma, although there seemed to be a fairly happening nightlife – I think the 3 beds in 3 days made us a bit exhausted!
Sunday, after a buggy night in the dorm, we decided to take the early bus to San Jose, as we would be meeting up with Rachel there. If I didn’t mention it before, Rachel is Ali’s awesome friend(and now mine, too) from AZ that randomly decided to meet us in Costa Rica, to make our trip that much more fun! Anyway, we hopped on a “direct bus” to San Jose, where we switched buses twice and then were kicked off the bus, as we had to then get on a giant ferry(the bus got on as well, but separately) across the Gulf of Nicoya – which was apparently a lot faster than taking a bus all the way there. After checking into Hostel Pangea, we immediately ran around the giant, amazing hostel taking pics of the pool, the rooftop bar, and the pretty dazzling amenities($17ish/night).
Monday, Ali and I wandered around San Jose, and went to a really beautiful cathedral, La Merced I believe, perused the National Theater building and took in the bustling city. I actually really enjoyed San Jose – it gets a bad rap as it’s usually just seen as a necessary evil, due to the big airport there, but it’s a fun, happening city! Later that night, Ali and I were playing some pool at the hostel with a friend we met from Florida, when Rachel suddenly came bounding in and attacked us! We knew she was coming in a taxi but it was a fun few moments of smiles and excitement :). That night, we drank some rum drinks and stayed up a bit too late, with plans to head to Puerto Viejo the next day!
Tuesday, we again packed our bags and hopped on yet another 4ish hour bus to the town of Puerto Viejo(Ali and I found tiny cute coconut drinks to sip on at the bus station), on the Southern Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. It was a last minute decision to come here, as we realized it would be quicker on our route to Panama versus a few other places we were debating. Upon arriving, we immediately fell in love with the turquoise waters and the tiny, Rasta-loving town of Puerto Viejo. We fairly quickly found a cute hostel with mosaic tiles and foliage throughout. It is quite hot and humid, here, though so we are all pretty constantly sweaty. We relaxed at the hostel most of Tuesday, but did venture out to a cute restaurant called Flip Flops to grab some dinner.
Yesterday, we headed to the beach for most of the day, where Ali and Rachel both ended up getting fairly uneven, interesting sunburns. I came out alright, as my skin is pretty ridiculously dark now. The beach here is absolutely gorgeous – with turquoise-y water and green foliage all around it! After the beach we grabbed some lunch and some daiquiris, walked around town, then chillaxed at the hostel. After some walking around last night, thinking the town was fairly dead, we stumbled upon a happening bar where we talked to a bunch of people, danced and had a great time! Today, we haven’t done too much, as we’ll be on the move again tomorrow, headed to Bocas del Toro, Panama! Fingers crossed that our shuttle doesn’t break down again this time!!!