[Costa Rica ] Episode 1 – (1/3) – Arrival / Manuel Antonio / Volcano Irazu


Costa Rica – Arrival

San Jose  – 17 & 18 December 2016

16 hours bus drive to do Panama City – San Jose. I’m not excited at all but it worth it because tomorrow I will meet my family for Christmas. It has been 18 months without seeing them was looong !

Backpack on my shoulders, direction the bus terminal. It’s 10 PM, so everything is closed. I’m fucking hungry, I’m sad. My only hope is a candy distributor. Put my 1 dollar bill, press B2 to have my M&M’s. They stay stuck inside. I’m sad again. A man from the security comes, shakes the distributor and saves my M&M’s. Live is beautiful, and I don’t remember why I was sad.

7 am, we arrive at the border, and we get out of the bus to do the line for the immigration. 8 am, we have just moved from 10 m. 10 am, I finally pass. The girl at the desk shows my passport to everybody because I have 20 stamps Colombia and Panama. Yes lady, call me Pablo. We need to go then to the Costa Rica border. I get there, and a dude with a face as friendly as the Joker ask me:

  • Where is your ticket out of Costa Rica?
  • Euh… What ticket? (Big smile on my face) 
  • You need to buy a return ticket, or you will not pass. (Think in my head to kill Dom because he told me I would not need it)
  • Euh… I don’t have one, and my bus is leaving soon. (Tears in my eyes)
  • I don’t care

I take my small bag and run back to a bus terminal. 15 People before me, I’m sure I’m going to miss my bus and say goodbye to my backpack. I beg the first person let me pass. He looks at me and says:

  • No, I don’t care

Again this fucking sentence. But the next person lets me pass. I buy a fake ticket San Jose – David and fly to the immigration again.

Arrive in time for my bus. I’m sweaty. I sleep.

Now we are in San Jose, and I ask to a taxi how much to go to my hotel. 13000 Colons. I’m like “hmmm, it’s expensive”. I go out of the terminal and ask again. 1500 Colons. I prefer that. 

The family arrives around 23h00. We hug, laugh and go to bed. The adventure all together begins.

TIPS 1: Almost every country of Central America will ask you a proof that you go out from their country in the next 3 months. You can try to create some fake flight ticket.

TIPS 2: Never trust a cab driver inside of a bus terminal. He will be your first with the country. He will be a thief. Always ask to a local an average price first.

Manuel Antonio -19 December 2016

We are going to the bus terminal on feet. Direction Manuel Antonio. The place is on the Pacific coast. 4 hours from San Jose. The bus lets us on the road. Security guard 1 tells us:

  • Follow the road, and it will be on your right.

After 200 m, we ask another person.

  • No, it’s 200m before on the left.

Yeah, we need to go back to the same point. We pass for the second time the hostel Medemon and follow the way to the beach. Security guard 2 ask us:

  • Where are you going? Beachpacker ? You need to go back. You just missed it.

I’m like WTF in my head. The sun is scorching. We arrive for the third time in front of Medemon hostel. Finally, it was this one. They just merge it with Beachpacker…. The place is different from the website, but it’s still cool.

After this exhausting exercise, we move the beach. It’s just 5 min far away. The tide is low, it’s amazing. We enjoy the place when a big black dog covert of sand decide to jump on us. He is looking for a friend. I don’t want to be friend with a big black crazy dog. He leaves.

Morning in Manuel Antonio – Costa Rica
Beach Manuel Antonio – Costa Rica

19h00, We wait 45 min to boil the water for the pasta. Fortunately, we did a great guacamole before.

20h00, bed.

Sunset on the beach Manuel Antonio – Costa Rica

TIPS 3: Don’t hesitate to ask your way every 100 m to the local. Sometimes, they don’t know and they send you on a wrong direction because they are shy to say they don’t know. (Or it’s because you understood wrong the explanation).

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