I visited many places in Cost Rica but from some of them I simply don’t have any pictures or stories to share. The first reason was the weather. Travelling around Costa Rica at the beginning of a rainy season can be quite hazardous. It is very unstable and it can start raining anytime, especially around the volcanos and mountains. And because I decided to ignore this fact as much as possible I was simply not able to visit some of the places I planned. The second reason is that I was so busy with doing nothing (and surfing) that most of my stories are about walking to the remote beaches, crossing rivers with alligators, drinking alcohol, smoking weed, sleeping and partying. Not much to share. But at least something happened in these places.
My original was to come here and do one of the world’s top rafting on the river Turrialba. The village was small and beautiful, full of locals. I especially enjoyed eating local fruits and vegetables while sitting in the central park. Anyway, the weather was shitty all the time and the company I chose for rafting was no operating. Not because of the rain, that would be insane. Raining means higher water level and therefore more fun. The problem was that at least 2 people were needed and no idiotic gringo wanted to do it while it was wet outside. Boo hoo.
And so I after a long discussion with the hostel owner I decided to climb the volcano Turrialba which was active at that time. It’s usually visible from the city but because of the rain I wasn’t able to see anything. And so I took the bus to the the small village called La Pastora from where the hiking usually starts. The only problem was that volcano was officially closed. But who cares, right? And so I started walking. After a while local farmers stopped me and took me almost to the ranger station by truck. Well at this time the weather was even worse. Visibility 20 meters and raining as hell. I thought my poncho will be destroyed by these higher powers. And so I hitchhiked again and caught another car which took me back down. And that was the end of my trip to the only active volcano in Costa Rica.
I stayed there exactly one afternoon. Everyone told me there’s nothing much to do in San Jose and I have to agree. I walked the streets, bought a lot of local fruits and vegetables, some cakes, visited local market and sent many postcards to friends and family. But that was it. I wanted to attend local couchsurfing meeting and party but it was happening in 3 days and I would go crazy by then. And so the next morning I headed to Coca Coca bus terminal. My bus left 25 minutes earlier in front of my eyes and so I had to wait another 2 hours. You won’t find a single good word about this place on internet. And again, I have to agree. Everyone was staring at me like I was an alien. They were stealing all my stuff just with their eyes. I felt so naked.
Right now it would be different because I met some locals from San Jose in Tamarindo and they are such a great people. I would definitely go back just to see them but otherwise no reason to go there.
Small super touristic city and the closest beach for inhabitants of San Jose, that’s Jaco. I didn’t plan to stay there for very long time. I came there just to buy my surfboard. And honestly, that’s the only benefit of Jaco for me. There are many shop and many used board. The prices are good due to a big competition.
Again, very small city with beautiful beach. The only problem is that the beach is paid (yes, P-A-I-D) and it’s intended for families and swimming. No waves here. I stayed there exactly 3 hours.
Similar story as Turrialba. I wanted to visit one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Costa Rica – Rio Celeste Waterfall. It’s located in Tenorio National Park. And what’s so special about Rio Celeste river and its waterfall? The colour of the water. It’s super blue. You have probably never seen blue river like this yet. Unfortunately, 2 years ago someone died while jumping from the rocks and since then it’s prohibited to swim there. They even built a fence around it. Very sad. Anyway, I still wanted to see it. If it only wouldn’t be raining the whole night and day. Damn. National park was muddy and very hard to walk. And I wasn’t willing to pay $12. It was so cloudy that even volcano and all mountains disappeared. You see? No? How surprising.
And so I took the morning bus and headed back to the beach, this time Tamarindo. During my 3 hours waiting period on the bus stop I listened to a new album of Imagine Dragons which was hilarious. I danced and sang and everybody was just staring at me. But what the hell, right? I was having a good time.
On the bus I met 2 Christian priests from Cañas. One of them, Ray originally from Nicaragua, currently on a mission in Costa Rica, was speaking english very well and so we talked all the way about communism, god or how people in Slovakia don’t sing in churches. He was very surprised and didn’t understand why. When we were saying goodbye we hugged and Ray told me “remember that now you have a friend in Costa Rica”. Who cares about the waterfall, right?
I was very sceptic about going to Tamarindo first. I like more local surfing spots with no tourists. And Tamarindo is the exact opposite. But I decided to give it a shot and see what will happen. There are many local beaches around so in the worst case I would just move couple kilometres to different city.
The first surprise however came 10 minutes after I got off the bus. Some local guy took me to the hostel Pura Vida. When I was approaching it I noticed a red-blue-white flag above the entrance. It was rolled up from the wind and so I didn’t pay much attention to it. But as soon as Tomas asked me where I am from I knew this is the right place to be. I discovered a piece of Slovakia in Costa Rica. And I felt in love with that place. The hostel was amazing, one of the best I have ever visited. Good people, many surfers and amazing vibes. We visited many local beaches around, surfed and chilled out. Regular jam sessions and free surfboards to rent are standard there. The second day I had the best surfing session in Playa Langosta but since then it was only worse and worse. Waves were too big and there were too many closeouts. Never mind, I enjoyed it a lot and it was the best ending of my Costa Rica trip I could imagine.
Once again I learned that even it’s a good thing to listen to the advices of other travellers, it’s only up to you how seriously will you take them. Everybody except Jakob told me that Tamarindo is nasty touristic place and not worth to visit. I have to disagree. Yes, there are many tourists, shops and city is quite expensive. But if you know how you can find your way over there very easily. So if you’re around definitely go there, stay in Pura Vida hostel and say hello to Tomas for me.