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Old 01-20-2008, 10:13 AM   #1
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Default 1 Week in Costa Rica review

Hi all,

Before I go on, I just wanna thank all of those who helped me plan my last minuto trip! I just want to write a little something to help those who want to go in the future. My prices will be in US.

I spent my first night in Alajuela, it's the city where the airport is. I decided to stay there because the bus to Monteverde from San Jose stops in Alajuela at 7am. From the airport to San Jose, the cab ride costs about $20 so it saved me money on top of it. I booked a night at Maleku Hostel $10/night, $3 cab ride from the airport. Nice, CLEAN hostel run by a Costa Rican family, they're so nice and welcoming. Not much to do in Alajuela, the hostel can book you some tours (coffee tour, volcano tour, butterly farm), all at about $15-20. They have a market, which is very similar to San Jose's except less touristy and less crowded. Near the hostel, at 1 min walk there's a gigantic supermarket and 2 Soda shops where you can get a casado for about $4 including a drink! The bus to Monteverde is a bit over $4 and took us about 4 hours. It makes a pit a stop which is good cause I had not time to eat in the morning.

In Santa Elena in Monteverde I stayed at Sleeper's Sleep Cheaper. Nice hostel $6/night, clean and the family running it are oh so very nice, they'll hook you up with whatever tour you want to go to. In Monteverde I went to the Cheese Factory tour, I think it was about $8 and the bus ride there and back is $1 each way. They sell cheese products and the milkshake is pretty good and refreshing and the cheese is excellent. The tour is boring and I don't recommend it, it's so boring and it's only about an hour long, if so, the guide was so boring and could hardly answer any questions. I did the canopy tour with Extremo, it was $30, they pick you up at the hostel and drop you off, it was about 3-4 hours long. Santa Elena is very nice, higly recommend staying there 1-2 nights but be willing to pay tourist prices for the food in restaurant, there's a supermarket so that's good!

I did the van-boat-van from Santa Elena to La Fortuna, took 3 hrs and was $15. But if you do it the other way around, from La Fortuna to Santa Elena it's $12, so you might want to consider going to La Fortuna first if you're on a tight budget where every dollar counts. I didn't book any hostel in La Fortuna and just went to Gringo Pete's. Decent hostel, not as clean but it's definitely a cool spot for $3.50/night. In La Fortuna I went to the eco centre Danaus, so nice, it's a project aimed to revitalized a farm field into a natural habitat for animals. I saw a toucan, a sloth, bunch of cool birds, butterflies, they even had a small table w/ a hammock to have a little picnic. The entrance fee is $6 and from Gringo Pete's the cab ride was $3-4, if you go w/ ppl and split that, it's better then the night tours where you have a to pay about $25 and don't see much. I also went to the hot springs, Pete recommended my new friend and I to go to one across from Los Lagos Hot Springs. Los Lagos, Baldi's charge about $16-$20 depending where you get you ticket from. I paid at this cheapy one $6, there was only 3 pools and wasn't probaly as fancy, but it's cheaper and there's only locals there, great view of the volcano and did the trick for me :P. There's plenty of tours there that will suck your dime or you can also do all those things on your own at a third of the price. I met ppl at the hostel who rented a bike and went to the volcano and saw the lava from this great spot at the bottom of the volcano. Also if you want to go to the falls, you can take a cab there or bike instead of doing another tour.

Anyway so after La Fortuna I went back to Alajuela. The bus ride was 4 hours and it stopped in San Ramon, from San Ramon you gotta take a bus to San jose, there's one every 30 mins. It's about $3 to San Ramon and about another buck to San Jose, the bus stops every 2 minutes and seems like a long ride but it's less then 4 hours.

Overall, I highly recommend Costa Rica, I didn't do the beach bumming thing but i hear the beaches are great. It's very affordable, if you're willing to work around the tours and people are just SooooOOOOOOO NICE!!! Had a great time!
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Old 01-20-2008, 01:10 PM   #2
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Sounds like you had an awesome time! Thanks for all the tips, they will no doubt come in handy at some point!
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:39 AM   #3
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Glad you had a good time! Costa Rica is aaawwwwwesome!
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Old 01-21-2008, 01:46 PM   #4
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Nice writeup! Glad to hear that you had a good trip, and thanks for the review!

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Old 01-21-2008, 04:47 PM   #5
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No problemo, thank you Freespiritz and Omisan :D :D your details def. helped tremendously!
I LOVE Green Day!
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Old 01-21-2008, 05:08 PM   #6
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Hey, awesome glad you had a great time.

You left out the parts when you drank tequila until you passed out on the beach...hahaha. No wait, that would only be me....
Vincent: "So what you gonna do?"
Jules: "Well, basically, I'm just gonna walk the earth."
Vincent: "What you mean 'walk the earth'?"
Jules: "You know, like Kane in 'Kung Fu'...go places...meet people...get in adventures."

Trips (only counting recreational travel):
FIRST TRIP (2005): FIRST EUROTRIP EVER! UK, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland
SECOND TRIP (2007): First Solo Trip! Greece, Turkey, Syria, Spain
2008: China (Beijing, Shanghai, Yangshuo) ...right before the Olympics!
2009: Japan & HK, Southern Spain
[size=1]2010: All over Lebanon, Ibiza (Spain), Oktoberfest (Germany), Thailand.
2011: India (Goa), Jordan, Jerusalem, San Sebastian (Spain), Amsterdam (again), London, Driving from Vancouver to L.A. (stopping in Portland, Seattle, San Fran and all the little stops), Montpellier (France), Geneva and Lausanne (Switzerland)

"Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it."
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