Permanent Vacasian

The traveller sees what he sees; the tripper sees what he has come to see. – G. K. Chesterton

Bocas y Boquete

May 31, 2013
by Tina
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Bocas and Boquete, Panama – Because we had cut Costa Rica short, we ended up having a full four weeks to spend in Panama. We were excited about Panama so we were pretty excited to have so much time there. Although, we soon learned that some of the places we wanted to visit were not going to be great to visit in the rainy season, so we had to cut a few places. It just forced us to move at a more leisurely pace, and at this point in our trip we weren’t complaining about that.

After doing our research we decided to book our transportation from Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica to Bocas del Torro, Panama through a tour company. We could have done it on our own, but we heard that you only save a couple bucks and the inconvenience wasn’t worth it.

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You Need to be ‘Rica’ to Enjoy Costa Rica

May 23, 2013
by Tina
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Costa Rica – I was so not that into Costa Rica before we went. All that I really knew about it was that you could go zip lining and that it was super touristy, expensive and full of Americans. Stuart visited 10 years ago and really enjoyed it, but had heard it has changed a lot since. It was hard to pick out things we wanted to see because everything seemed so expensive and a lot of places would be hard to get to without renting a car. I know a lot of people rent cars in Costa Rica but they are fairly expensive and that just wasn’t the type of trip we were on. We were bus people, not car people. With all that in mind we only budgeted two weeks for Costa Rica. We spent nine days.

In San Carlos we first had to visit the immigration office to get stamped out of Nicaragua. We then took a one and a half hour boat ride down the river to Los Chiles in Costa Rica. Even though Costa Rica is across the river from San Carlos we had to take the boat to a town with an immigration office. We were advised to get there early, and this time it paid off because the seats on the first boat filled up quickly.

Viewing area for Volcán Arenal along the trail.

Viewing area for Volcán Arenal along the trail.

When we arrived in Los Chiles we got in a long line with our luggage for customs, but soon the staff pulled out all the Gringos from the line and let us go straight to the immigration office which was a couple blocks away. Maybe they assume white people don’t smuggle stuff. I guess they don’t get the TV show “Locked Up Abroad” down there. There were a lot of Americans doing “visa runs” on our boat and they were pretty helpful in giving us directions to the bus stop and helping us figure out where to change money – which turned out to be just some lady’s house. She had a really weird way of doing the math and that made me nervous, but her exchange rate turned out to be really good.

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