Traveling From Playas Del Coco To San Jose – 9 hours and 3 bus trips later, and we arrived in the capital city of Costa Rica – San Jose! This is a long story, so get comfortable…
In an effort to save money, Tyrone and I decided that we would not be using any taxis on the trip to our new accommodation. I can say without a doubt that I will NEVER do that again! It’s not as easy as it sounds guys…
Traveling From Playas Del Coco To San Jose
Leaving our accommodation in Playas Del Coco we had to walk about 15min to the nearest bus stop, just a couple of blocks down the road. No biggie! And really this was the easy part.
It was 09h30 in the morning, and it was a beautiful day. It was also boiling – but hey, what’s new. About 3 steps into our walk, sweat was dripping into my eyes (it burns) and Tyrone was rethinking his t-shirt (it was very wet). I should also point out round about now that we don’t have any cool hiking type luggage – you know the ones you carry on your back. Oh no, we had to drag our 30kg bags on plastic wheels. Pavements are not made for dragging bags, just saying.
Playas Del Coco to Liberia
A little 30min wait and our bus to Liberia was picking us up. These are not fancy buses; in fact they don’t even have space for luggage. Good thing we brought 2 massive cases, 1 smaller bag, 2 laptops and my handbag. We had to store all our bags in the wheelchair zone – thank god no one needed that space.Don’t mind us… We’ll just leave these here!
Liberia to San Jose
By 11h00 we were in the Liberia bus station and we bought our ticket to San Jose. The next bus was only leaving at 13h00, so we spent 2 hours making ourselves comfortable, saving our money and only buying 2 cokes. We didn’t even use the toilets (they charge 150 colones for that – nobody got money for that… It’s almost enough for 2min noodles).Hopping on board our bus to San Jose!
We stepped into the bus to San Jose and considering some of the buses we have ridden in, this was LUXURY! It had an aircon… I died! It was heaven…
About 2 hours in, we had a quick pit-stop for lunch… Tyrone and I splurged and bought sandwiches (oh yeah, living the dream), but as I handed my credit card to pay, the lovely cashier lady explained that she would need my ID book or passport… Where was my ID you ask? Oh it was on the bus… And how could we get it? Oh we couldn’t… The bus driver was MIA and the bus was locked!
After about 15min of me standing by the till, while Tyrone ran around looking for anyone to help, the lady felt sorry for me and allowed us to pay without any identification. BOOM! Breaking rules everywhere we go… hold us back!Sweaty, but happy… Also, it was still early. Those smiles faded by the end of the day.
Another 2 hours later and we were pulling into the San Jose bus station… Now here’s where the fun really begins.
San Jose On Foot
You see, we only had an address and a tip to catch a yellow bus to Calle Blancos. We walked out of the bus station and didn’t even know if we should turn left or right. We did know that the bus to Calle Blancos was near Parque Morazon. This is where my great Spanish kicked in… Two ice-cream guys were walking past, and I shouted out “Lo siento, Parque Morazon” [that translates into: I’m sorry, Parque Morazon] and pointed randomly up and down the road. They got the message, and pointed us in the right direction. At the same time Tyrone’s Google Map app kicked in, and we could see we were about 5 blocks away from the parque.
Now remember I said pavements weren’t made for wheeling bags… Well! I can’t feel my arms this morning, even my elbows are sore!
Getting To Calle Blancos
It was about 17h00, the sun was setting and the streets of San Jose went from quietly dodgy, to very busy but still dodgy. I couldn’t help but think that lugging all our worldly possessions in the dark might not be the best idea I ever had. Also, there are A LOT of yellow buses! And bus drivers are not the friendliest bunch. We asked about 2 bus drivers for help, before we found the right one.
Once again, these buses have no luggage space… We had to drag our bags through the tiny aisle, bumping every knee along the way – I just kept my head down and apologized as we made our way to the back. Then we had to guess when to hop off our bus.
Rule number 1 for tourists is DON’T look lost… Considering about 5 people asked us if we were lost, I think we kinda failed that one. Tyrone was convinced one guy was going mug us (he was a bit too friendly), and I was eyeing a 65yr old man that seemed to be following us down a dead-end street.
It was 19h00 when we finally arrived at our accommodation without any mugging incidents.
San Jose Accomodation
Now about this accommodation – Vista Linda Apartments!
The ad mentioned that “pensioners were preferred”… This should have been a sign, but it also mentioned that the monthly rate was $375! Hell, I always said I was an old soul, so this place was perfect.
It’s hard to describe, but the place definitely has an “old-age-home” feel about it. There’s this musky, dusty smell in the air, about 6 rocking chairs in the lobby and I haven’t seen one guest under the age of 70…
Something’s Going Bump In The Night
But I’m pretty sure there’s a couple here that is either young or medicated.
You see, the walls are paper thin. I can hear every step outside our window. You flip a page of the newspaper downstairs, and it sounds like you’re reading it in our room. Around 22h00 I heard these moans… Now call me a pervert, but I turned off EVERYTHING and woke Tyrone up.
Someone was getting down and dirty, and I was hearing every grunt. This was my highlight! I couldn’t believe it… It got a little quiet, and then it started up again! I cracked up and walked around quietly trying to figure out just where the noises where coming from. Now they could work on their stamina a bit and I’d like to hear the guy get more involved but damn, the girl wasn’t complaining!
Let’s just say I’ll be on the lookout for happy couples!
First day in San Jose was eventful; let’s see what the rest of the month brings.
About Playas Del Coco
We’ve been in Playas Del Coco for about 2 weeks now… We’re loving it! Playas Del Coco is a small beach town in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. With beautiful beaches, great restaurants and numerous activities on offer, it’s paradise.
If you’re considering traveling to Playas Del Coco from San Jose, you will need to catch a bus from San Jose to Liberia, then a bus from Liberia to Playas Del Coco.
All in all, you’re looking at 8 hour travel time which may increase depending on the length of time between each bus.
It’s not for the fainthearted.
If you have more cash to spend, you’re able to fly into the Liberia Airport would would cut down your travel time. Or tour operators offer shuttle services to the Playas Del Coco for a fee.
If you’re looking for something off the beaten track, then this may not be for you. The small town us considered one of the fastest growing areas in Costa Rica, and it seems to be made for tourists. Most employees in restaurants, pharmacies, and hotels, speak English so the language barrier doesn’t seem to have much on an impact here. But there are areas where communication may be difficult, so I would definitely recommend brushing up on any Spanish.
Souvenir shops line the streets, and each a tour operator is situated on each street corner offering anything from weekend packages to short fishing trips and bicycle rentals.
But one this is for sure, it’s beautiful! The weather has been great – sunny days, with the odd afternoon shower. It’s absolute paradise.
I would definitely want to stay right here, but I’m in the process of looking for an English teaching position and the opportunities in this small town are limited. We’ll be here for the next 14 days, before we make the move to the capital city – San Jose. I’m hoping that the job search will be a bit more successful in the big city!
Beautiful beaches here at Playas Del Coco The water is perfect! So nice and warm… Boats bopping in the ocean… Anyone want a quick juice?! The main street is lined with restaurants and souvenir shops! Definitely a tourist town…