Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Costa Rica Border Crossing, Playa Tamarindo, Santa Elena, Monteverde. Jungle Canopy Zip Line tour, Superman flying, Tarzan swing and a 483 ft bungee jump! Highest in Central America!

We left San Juan del Sur on the way to Costa Rica.

Saw some electric wind turbines on the way out

In total we were stopped by the Nicaraguan police over 7 times, the majority of the times trying to get money. 

As much as I love this country, this is the one place where police try to extort you the most. And Honduras is the biggest headache as far as border crossings are concerned. Regardless all Central America is a headache to traverse with a vehicle, as you’ll average between 1 – 4 hours to cross each country along with the police headaches. But regardless it’s worth it!

I will say that there has been a drastic improvement in border crossing since last year, buildings have been constructed and the mafia based system of crossing from Nicaragua to Costa Rica mostly eliminated.

Nicaragua to Costa Rica border crossing at Pena Blanca – Same as it always is, shove off the first group of people that approach you. (Remember to change your money at the end when you finish all your paper work.) You’ll first have to stop at a small booth to pay a $2 dollar fee to pass through a gate. You’ll then get to the gate where they’ll check all your paper including passport. Then drive ahead and go towards what looks like a bus terminal.

You’ll have to find yourself a DNG Customs official to check your papers, give you some random signatures, and check out your bike. Then you’ll go to a window next to immigration where they’ll process you. Then go to immigration, pay your small fee and your off to Costa Rica.

In Costa Rica- you’ll be welcomed with a mandatory fumigation of harmful chemicals to your bike, which will cost you. 

Then head down to immigration to get stamped in. Then you can go to Customs to have them explain the process. But basically you’ll have to turn around, head back to fumigation to which there’s a white building to the right where you have to buy mandatory Costa Rica insurance. Here you can also make copies of all your papers you’ll need to turn in, especially the stamp in your passport  you just received from immigration. Then head back to Customs to have them staple all your papers togather and give you a form to fill out. Once finished you’ll continue on the road, you’ll take an immediate right where there’s a ton of semi trucks, head down and find the next customs office. Here they will process you, give them your stack of papers, and they’ll return to you one piece of paper back, which is your temporary vehicle import permit. 

Costa Rica Immigartion

You’ll also get a receipt to give the official at the exit showing you were processed.

After 2 -3 hours, welcome to Costa Rica!

We made our way to the touristiest area on planet earth, Playa Tamarindo Costa Rica.

Found a great cheap hostel on across the street from the “Beach Hostel”, which was better.

Had some interesting surf board parking.

David chatted it up again with the locals and fellow tourists.

We saw some GoPro’s in the window of a shop, and almost cried. We hope to find the newer model in San Jose to replace the ones that were tragically taken from us.

David played some tennis.

I did some surfing

And got a nice sunset

The following day we headed towards the rainforest of Costa Rica towards the interior of the country.

We passed by a bridge from what I assume was contributed by the country of Taiwan or something.

David gave some money to a guy that just had heart surgery.

And we ran into the large motorcycle club of Costa Rica from San Jose called Coyotes. They loved our journey and were a pleasure to talk with.

So much in fact that they inducted me as a member to the club, and was given my club flag!

Gracias Coyotes! I will carry the flag with pride!              

We also followed this cool service motorcycle through some construction.

Saw an old vehicle

Had some gas put in for us and we were obligated to get off the bike 

THe road to Santa Elena is a nice bumpy dirt road full of fun

We made it to Santa Elena. I took David to the Trapiche coffee and sugar plantation, in my opinion the best coffee and sugar farm tour in Costa Rica.

Since I did the tour last year, I let the in house tour guide take him for a while; Chacon the tour guide needed a break.

To which I searched for my infamous sunset spot I got lost and found last year. It did not disappoint.

We found an amazing hostel in the center owned by a nice couple from Austin Texas.

David got some coffee in land of the coffee of COsta Rica

The following day we took a Zip Line tour with Extremo Canopy. In my opinion one of the better companies.

I did Sky Trek last year, and will say it’s mostly the same, but this one has a higher rappel, bungee jumping and higher canyon view.

Some of the employees checkin out the bikes
Rock on Costa Rica!

It was cool as any Zip line is, 

especially the superman.

My highlight however was bungee jumping the highest bungee in all Central America at 478 ft! Overlooking the jungle canopy.

Here are the videos of our jumps (if they upload)

I enjoy those calm moments right before I do crazy and ridiculous things, so I took my time to enjoy it

It was such an amazing experience, things to do in life, bungee jump…check!


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