Costa Rica, Day 4: Uvita to Jacó

Rain from Playa Dominical all the way to Jacó

Rain from Playa Dominical all the way to Jacó

Day 4 has been primarily a travel day. I left Uvita early in the afternoon, around 1:30 after checking out at Hostel Cascada Verde. It was raining, so I had the hostel caretaker, Julie, call me a taxi into town.

La Casona is a great Tico soda with outstanding food ridiculously cheap

La Casona is a great Tico soda with outstanding food ridiculously cheap

I was a little early and a bit hungry, so I went across the street to Restaurante La Casona, a great little Tico place where you can get a delicious filling Casada with chicken, rice, black beans, greens salad, potatoes, and fried plantains plus a drink for about five bucks USD. If you’re ever in Uvita in the Puntarenas Province of Costa Rica, go there. There’s also a handy bank with an ATM and a sweet little well-stocked grocery store just across the street with some of the best fruit I’ve ever seen in a store before.

Verdict: Uvita area, definitely recommended.

I caught the bus up to Jacó around 1:30 in the afternoon. The drive was beautiful, and mostly rainy. I arrived at the bus stop in Jacó, once again in a torrential downpour. I went into an open air soda (basically the same as what we call a cafe or diner in the US), and tried to figure out how to get online to find info about the hostel I’d booked. But alas, no WiFi at this particular soda.

As an interesting cultural sidebar, Costa Rica has WiFi almost everywhere. Same with cell coverage. But if you ever come here, PLEASE make sure you disable international data roaming BEFORE you arrive, or you will be charged out the nose for it. Your data usage will spike and your provider may flag your account and suspend your service.

That said, use WiFi. It’s literally almost everywhere there’s a building, business or residence. Almost every hotel and hostel has it, and most is fast and free if you’re staying or paying. If you don’t see a sign that says “WiFi Aqui” (WiFi Here), just ask.

Back to my arrival at Jacó. This particular restaurant did NOT have WiFi. Great. I landed at the one restaurant in all of Costa Rica that doesn’t have WiFi. So I wrote down the name and (sort of) address of the hostel and got into one of the red cabs that was sitting out front.

Red cabs. They’re the legit ones. In the USA, they’re yellow, mostly. Here, they’re red. If someone offers you a taxi that’s not red, decline and walk away. No questions, no arguments. They’re not legit.

Costa Rica is a beautiful country with sweet, amazing people all over, but there are a few (who WILL find you) that only see you as a wallet with legs. They will try to get as much money out of you as possible. I’ve heard this is a problem in Jacó and Tamarindo, but I’ve only experienced it in San José so far. And Puntarenas, too, but I’m getting ahead of myself, because I’m still in Jacó.

The cab took me straight to the hostel, which took about 1.5 minutes and a about two bucks USD. The driver didn’t take the scenic route to squeeze more money out of my as I’d been warned. I’ll take the win.

I grabbed my bags and checked into Room2Board Hostel & Surf School. This place was nuts. Sleek, ultra-modern architecture, brand new building, open air reception, pool, bar, and just a short walk to the beach.

Reception area at Room2Board

Reception area at Room2Board

Room2Boards cool bar right next to the pool

Room2Boards cool bar right next to the pool

Designed by an up-and-coming architect, Room2Board is brand new and rivals the amenities of many hotels

Designed by an up-and-coming architect, Room2Board is brand new and rivals the amenities of many hotels

Open air meeting room that stays completely dry and comfortable in the rainy season

Open air meeting room that stays completely dry and comfortable in the rainy season

After checking in, I went to my room and another boarder was already in the room. I’ve been staying in mostly mixed dorm rooms with several beds to keep costs down. Private rooms are more expensive. I certainly didn’t mind, though, because this boarder was a cool (and VERY pretty) school teacher from inner city New York named Julie. After chatting for a bit we decided to go to the beach to check out the sunset. Unfortunately it was a bit too cloudy for anything spectacular, but I still got some great shots.

JacoBeachLeft

JacoBeachPalmsJacoBeachHiRise

JacoSilhouettePalm

I took a shower and got to bed fairly early for my 4:30am wake up time. I had to catch a 6am bus to Tamarindo, which will be another blog post.

I’m writing this in Tamarindo, as I’m a day behind. Tomorrow’s beach pics will be a lot better, but the hostel pics aren’t as exciting as the last two places. But Tamarindo’s pretty cool, if a bit touristy.

Stay tuned for more Costa Rica adventures!

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4 responses to “Costa Rica, Day 4: Uvita to Jacó

  1. The “wallet” with two legs” comment is completely untrue in my 20 some visits and 24 some months in Costa Rica including San Jose, Tamarindo, Manuel Antonio, La Fortuna, Liberia et al. A bad attitude going in will surely engender a bad experience in the mind of the beholder. The taxi color thing is also untrue.

    • I don’t have a bad attitude about Costa Rica at all. I love it here!

      If you’ve never been approached by someone trying get money from you, good for you! I got panhandled twice before leaving San José, and I was only there for a few hours (overnight, but I was only walking the streets a couple hours in the morning). It’s not that prevalent, really, but it does exist. I suppose it’s the same in any city. I was warned about it by a few before coming here, but I’ve only witnessed it in San José. I’ve been warned to be on guard in Jacó and Tamarindo as well, but I’ve nothing but fantastic experiences everywhere except in San José. I did get approached by a guy trying to sell me drugs here in Tamarindo, but I just said “no gracias” and kept walking.

      I was also warned of the taxi color thing in a book about relocating to Costa Rica. I’ve only seen red taxis, pretty much, so it’s been a non-issue for me. People at the hostels I’ve stayed at have warned me that some taxi drivers will pretend to get lost to get more money from me, but I’ve seen none of that, either. If the color thing is untrue, then it’s untrue, but I heard it from someone who lives here.

  2. We loved Jaco! We stayed right on the beach with the black sand…BEAUTIFUL! Did you go to the national park called Manuel Antonio’s, I believe? Amazing hike, beach and lots of wildlife! Enjoy the rest of your trip!

    • No, I didn’t, Erica. I know exactly what I missed, though. I just couldn’t fit it into my travel plans. I had to choose either Manuel Antonio or Uvita, and I went with Uvita. I figured it would be a bit more relaxing to be away from tourists for a couple of day before going to Tamarindo, which has LOTS of tourist and activity.

      Thanks for reading!

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