Central America

Road Trip to Mexico, Central America, and South America: What to Take with You, What to Leave Behind
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Road Trip to Mexico, Central America, and South America: What to Take with You, What to Leave Behind

As an American, we’ve been socialized to believe that we need a lot more stuff than we really do (for travel and for life). It’s part of our culture to place faith in our things to get us through tough situations, but as a general rule, it’s best to travel light. The value of being mobile and carrying very little rates high for us when we’re traveling. It doesn’t matter whether or not you have a cool gadget ...
Atenas, Costa Rica Vacation Rental: Photo Gallery
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Atenas, Costa Rica Vacation Rental: Photo Gallery

Atenas, Costa Rica is touted as one of those places in the world with a "perfect climate". It's important, as a traveler, to keep in mind that the word "perfect" is a subjective term. Atenas has mild temperatures, but the humidity is constant, at least during the monsoon season. I never successfully dried a pair of socks after washing them in Atenas. But I also didn't have a clothes dryer. The amenities in ...
Our Alajuela, Costa Rica Vacation Rental: Photo Gallery
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Our Alajuela, Costa Rica Vacation Rental: Photo Gallery

Costa Rica is strange in terms of public transportation. The streets aren't named and neither are the bus stops. In fact, the bus stops are nothing but a yellow line on the pavement in some places. The vacation rentals we stayed in had one of two problems: either the furniture was hard and uncomfortable, or it was soft and stinky from the damp, humid air. Another important thing to consider when booking a ...
Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica: Photo Gallery
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Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica: Photo Gallery

Related Posts:Costa Rica Tourism: Boat Trip to Tortuguero (video)Costa Rica Tourism: Boat Trip to Tortuguero Part II (video)Tortuguero National Park - Part 1 (How to Get to Tortuguero National Park)Tortuguero National Park- Part II (Being There)Green Sea Turtles at Tortuguero National Park -- By Jennifer Shipp ...
Suffocating in Costa Rican Tunnel
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Suffocating in Costa Rican Tunnel

On our way back home from Manuel Antonio National Park, we got stuck in a traffic jam caused by a landslide. So, we wound up in a never-ending tunnel for almost an hour. ...
Costa Rica Tourism: Boat Trip to Tortuguero Part II
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Costa Rica Tourism: Boat Trip to Tortuguero Part II

Tortuguero is a tiny village in Costa Rica located on the Caribbean coast. Although the trip getting there was a little arduous, Tortuguero was a fascinating place that made the journey worth it! The culture in Tortuguero was completely different from the rest of Costa Rica. While we were there we went out in the middle of the night to watch sea turtles nesting on the beach and wandered around the village. ...
Costa Rica Tourism: Boat Trip to Tortuguero
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Costa Rica Tourism: Boat Trip to Tortuguero

This video depicts a bit of the boat ride to the Caribbean town of Tortuguero, Costa Rica. The journey to Tortuguero was somewhat of an ordeal; we first had to rent a car to drive to a small port along a river, and then we had to go on a boat ride through the Costa Rican jungle before we finally arrived at the tiny town. Lydian and John both thought that the boat was going to be less of a river boat and ...
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Central America

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Tortuguero National Park- Part II (Being There) — By Jennifer Shipp
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Tortuguero National Park- Part II (Being There) — By Jennifer Shipp

We went to Tortuguero because green sea turtles are currently nesting there, but though the turtles were nifty, they were not the highlight of the trip, at least for me. Rather, I was completely fascinated by the backwards (or perhaps sideways) culture in this place.Basically, I couldn’t imagine living in a place like Tortuguero or for that matter, any of the places along the river leading to ...
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Lydian – Day 56 – Tortuguero National Park: The Turtles

It’s been a little bit of time since we went and saw Tortuguero, but the time has given me the opportunity to process the whole thing (It needed processing, trust me). The whole turtle seeing thing felt a little scary to me, to be honest. We were in the middle of no where, and we were being led off in the dark to some unknown place far away from far away from civilization.We started in the town, which ...
The Problem with Writing Reviews on Vacation Rentals — By Jennifer Shipp
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The Problem with Writing Reviews on Vacation Rentals — By Jennifer Shipp

Since we’ve been to Costa Rica, we’ve stayed in two different vacation rentals, one in Alajuela, one in Atenas, and a small hotel in Tortugero. I have opinions about all of these places, but I can’t seem to bring myself to rate any of them. I have an ongoing moral dilemma that plays out in my mind about writing reviews about vacation rentals. I know it would be potentially helpful to people to hear our ...
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My Opinion of My Opinions…Regarding Dogs and Other Things

Yesterday, for the first time, I got to see the dog next door that has awakened me every morning and often throughout the night as well as interrupting and disrupting my days ever since we’ve been here in Atenas, Costa Rica. I have envisioned a Chihuahua. An ugly, stupid little dog that’s completely annoying and lacking in personality. I have pictured myself kicking this annoying, stupid personality-less ...
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Lydian – Day 51 – Okay… I’ve Had Enough of the Whole “Little Bugs Are Crawling All Over Me” Now.

I’m serious. I’ve had it. As I write this I feel like I have various bugs of all different shapes and sizes crawling on me. My mom got bitten by a creepy-crawly yesterday (Ick!). They all hate me, and they all want to kill me, and they refuse to go away. I want to go home to my bug free environment, and that’s just what I’m going to do in seven days.Yesterday night, I came across a bunch of ants that were ...
Fred, the Expat Costa Rican Landlord — By Jennifer Shipp
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Fred, the Expat Costa Rican Landlord — By Jennifer Shipp

Fred is our landlord here in Atenas, Costa Rica. I won’t give out his real name because I’m not interested in hurting him, but I have to describe this man, not because he is unique but because he is  a character I keep running into in my life.Fred is an expatriate from the United States. He flew airplanes for an airline that went out of business in the 1980’s. He told us his life story as he was driving ...
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Culture Shock and Adopting Kids Abroad

There are five more days left of our Costa Rican experience and every morning right now I wake up with the same thought: I can’t wait to go home.  I have many many other very complicated thoughts and emotions that tangentially relate to this main thought, which has caused me to become…mentally constipated. I honestly don’t know where to start and a big part of me just wants to focus on going home and stop ...
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Lydian – Day 50 – Don’t Trust the Guidebooks

Now that I’ve finally gotten over my cold that I’ve had, and had time to process the whole experience of going to Tortuguero, I suppose I’ll start posting again. So, like I said, we went to Tortuguero. Driving there was bumpy. The roads were horrible after getting close to La Pavona. La Pavona is a small farm, not a town, but there are signs leading to it. You just have to look hard enough.There’s a large ...
Jennifer-Day 49-Lightning, Thunder, Earthquakes, and Insect Bites
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Jennifer-Day 49-Lightning, Thunder, Earthquakes, and Insect Bites

Yesterday around 2:00 PM, the lightning started striking areas near our house. It was sharp lightning and only milliseconds after we saw it flash, the thunder would crash so loudly that I found myself ducking instinctively. Rain started pouring soon after that and the ceiling above my bed started leaking. Moments later, the electricity went out.Three hours later, it came back on again.Last night, when I ...
Green Sea Turtles at Tortuguero National Park — By Jennifer Shipp
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Green Sea Turtles at Tortuguero National Park — By Jennifer Shipp

Our turtle tour was scheduled to start at 9:00 PM. John was coming down with a cold and he was anxious to “get it over with”. He wanted to be there and wanted to see the turtles, but a good bout of a cold is enough to make most people wish for a comfy chair and a good book, at the very least.Our hotel was several paces to the left from where the boat docked. A man was standing at the dock with a sign ...
Tortuguero National Park- Part I (How to Get to Tortuguero National Park)
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Tortuguero National Park- Part I (How to Get to Tortuguero National Park)

Last minute on Thursday night I decided that Tortuguero National Park would be our weekend destination from Atenas, Costa Rica. We were going to try to go to Nicaragua, but changed our minds because frankly, I’m still not sure why we’re going there. Once I identify our destination and the reason why we would go through the ordeal of getting there, then I’ll be able to put together the final details and ...
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