Sunday, June 16, 2013

Costa Rica & Nicaragua

animals in Costa Rica
Trip summary
Rincon de la Vieja Park, Manuel Antonio Park, Monte Verde Park, Rio Celeste, El Castillo, Solintiname Islands.

Quetzal in Monte Verde

Sloth in Monte Verde

Moths in Bijua

Rio Celeste

annole lizard

El Castillo

Montezumas oropendula nests

Beautiful view of Solentiname Islands

Monte Verde trail map

Rio San Juan map

El Castillo

Transol ferry information Solentiname Islands

Transol ferry locations

Transol ferry san carlos solentiname
San Carlos Solentiname Islands Boats
Transol has a tourist ferry every day to and from the Solentiname Islands and San Carlos.  Leaves San Carlos at 3pm and leaves Solentiname at 9AM.
Duration: 1 hour Cost: $10

A public boat leave on Tuesdays and Fridays from San Carlos at 1pm and from Solentiname at 5AM.  Duration: 2 hours.  Cost: $4

Bus schedule San Carlos, ferry San Carlos Los Chiles
San Carlos to Managua
There is a bus that goes from San Carlos to Managua and takes about 6 and a half hours.  They leave at various times throughout the day. Cost: 150C

Lost Chiles to San Carlos
Boats leave frequently throughout the day.  Transol has a boat.
Ferry information San Carlos
 Boats San Carlos
Boats to Granada and Ometepe leave twice a week.
Boats to San Juan de Nicaragua leave a few times a week.
Various boats to and from El Castillo and in between leave regularly.
map solentiname islands

Leon City map
Bus schedules can be found on

Nicaragua to Costa Rica Border Crossing
Took the public bus from Huembres Mercado Bus Terminal to Rivas (Duration 2 hours)
Rivas to Penas Blancas (Duration 1 hour)
Penas Blancas go through customs and walk to Costa Rica customs.
Relatively painless process.  Remember to have a flight our or bus ticket out of Costa Rica or they may give you a hard time getting in.  There are bus ticket office across from customs if you do not have an onward ticket.

Outside Costa Rica customs there is a public bus to the city of Liberia.  From the public bus terminal I can walk to the park where the hostels and hotels are clustered.
From Liberia I spent the night in Liberia at a hostel near the park.  I stayed in the dorm of 3 beds for $10. Looks like online you can book a single for $10.

Ricon de la Vieja park
I took the public bus out which lets you off about 8km from the park.  I then hitched a ride with one of the many truck drivers that passed bringing supplies to the geothermal plant.
The park is beautiful.  While the active volcano has been closed to hiking its a beautiful natural park that has does not attract the masses of tourist crowds. There are waterfalls, fumaroles hot springs etc.  I met many ornitholigists and bird waters here.

Ricon de la Vieja Lodge
I stayed at the Rincon de la Vieja Lodge. One of the downsides of the Rincon de la Vieja park is that they do not allow camping so I went to the Lodge to camp. Its $5 a night to camp and the staff was absolutely amazing there.  They invited me in to warm up and dry off and have a cup of tea.  I highly suggest it as a camp site.  There is a park you can camp at that is $3 a night near Ricon de la Vieja too.  The manager also speaks English.

Playa Hermosa
Went to Playa Hermosa near Jaco for a day.  Not a very exciting place if you are not surfing. I wish I had gotten up early as I hear you can see Scarlet Macaws in the morning.

Not too much in Cuepos to do.
I stayed at a small tico hotel which was fine.  Rooms are small but price was right and the older gentleman at the desk was nice.
I would recommend wide mouth frog backpackers for a hostel, though I didnt stay there.

Manuel Antonio Park
Its pretty but I would probably skip it and the masses of tourist.  Its $10 to get in the park.  To see most of the animals I would suggest a guide because they all have telescopes.

Monte Verde Park
While it is crowded with tourists its quite beautiful and if you get off the main trails where the guides go there will be less people. There is a public bus with a somewhat limited schedule that goes to the park.  The night tour is also good.

Rio Celeste
I highly recommend Rio Celeste.  The park is beautiful.  Its $10 to enter the park but the colors are really beautiful. Also you can see lots of birds in the area.  In the town of Bijua there are a number of other frog and butterfly farms.  I took the bus to Bijua to go to Rio Celeste. The problem is that there is no public transportation to the Rio Celeste park and its about 9 KM hike to the entrance.  I think its possible to hitch a ride if you are patient.  Most people recommend hitching a ride.  Taxis want about $35 per way.

From Bijua its easy to get to Los Chiles to cross into the border to Nicaragua.  The border crossing is small and uncrowded and very fast.

Solintiname Islands
Mancarron Island
I went to hotel buen amigo and would recommend it compared to the other hotels I looked at.  I suggest buying food and bringing it to the islands as there is no place to eat and only one small store on the island.  There is only wifi at the public library and no where else. its 10C per half hour of wifi.

Fransisco Island
Again there is no where to eat except at the hotels and there is only one small store on the island.

1 comment:

  1. Costa Rica is well known for its beaches and national parks. The national parks of Costa Rica offers a huge range of hiking trails. Visit Website to get more information about travel places in Costa Rica.