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.
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.
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.
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!