One month in Costa Rica/Panama
Replies: 6 - Last Post: May 15, 2012 5:02 PM Last Post By: 15ArtVandelay
May 14, 2012 7:31 PM
One month in Costa Rica/PanamaI am taking a one month trip to Central America starting August 20th. Flying into San jose and leaving from Panama City. This is my rough Itinerary for those four weeks. I tried to do as much research as I could but was hoping to hear from some people who have actually taken a similar trip. I expect to pay between 1500 and 1800 for the month including my ticket. I don't plan on doing to many high priced activities (zip lining, charter fishing)
Are my prices accurate?
What would you expect me to pay for a month?
Too much in such a small time frame?
Any recommendations for places to visit or better ways to travel?
I realize it's a long post, I would be grateful for any additional knowledge.
Fly into San Jose Airport on August 20 ($415, roundtrip)
Stay night in San Jose (hostel $17 a night)
Take Bus to Quepos, 4 ½ hours ($5) (leaves from Caribe Sur Bus Terminal)
Take bus to Manuel Antonio ($.30)
Stay in Manuel Antonio for a 4-7 days (hostels-$10 a night)
Take bus south to Dominical and Uvita, Spend day and come back that night ($.30)
Take Regular bus from Quepos to San Jose ($5)
Spend night in San Jose (hostel $17 a night)
Bus from San Jose to Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, 5 hours ($8) (leaves from Caribe Sur Bus Terminal)
Stay in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca 4-7 days (hostels $10-12 a night)
Take bus to Cahuita, spend day and come back that night (Bus $1-2)
Take bus to Manzillo, spend 1-3 days there (Bus $1-2)(Camp for $8 a night)
Take Bus from Puerto Viejo to Changuinola, 3 ½ hours with border crossing ($25 includes border crossing)
Take bus from Changuinola to Almirante then water taxi to Boca del Toro(Bus $1-4, Water Taxi $4)
Stay in Boca del Toro for 4-7 days (hostels $10-12 a night)
Take ferry to Isla Carenero, stay for 2-3 days (hostels $10-12, water taxi $4)
Take ferry to Isla Bastimentos, spend day and come back that night
Take bus from Almirante or Changuinola to Panama City ($30)
Stay in Panama City for 4-7 days (hostels $12-15 a night)
Take luxury train from Panama City to Colon, spend day and come back that night
Take ferry to Isla Taboga, spend day and come back that night
Fly from Panama City to Miami Sept. 20
Total Budget $2500
May 15, 2012 5:33 AM
1i can't speak to costs in panama - but - in costa rica, about the least you can get away with is around $30 a day. this would include hostel, bus and food. so if you were to stay in costa rica for half of your trip - 15 days - that would be something like $450. you might need to "beef up" your transportation budget. riding the bus is cheap but you will often need a taxi to get to the bus or to get to your destination from the bus or just to get around in the local area.
i would also substitute something for manuel antonio. maybe uvita/dominical or one of the beaches of the southern nicoya peninsula http://www.nicoyapeninsula.com
if you are going to be in costa rica for 15 days, are you really not going to see a volcano at all?
how about this:
arrive sjo, spend the night in alajuela at a hostel near the airport. in the am, take the public bus to the nicoya peninsula. spend 4 days there - you can visit several of the beach towns.
bus to arenal. http://www.arenal.net 2-3 days in the arenal area. (an alternate would be turrialba)
arenal to tortuguero http://www.tortuguerovillage.com 2 nights tortuguero -- see turtles nesting.
tortuguero to southern caribbean.
May 15, 2012 11:25 AM
May 15, 2012 4:28 PM
3I live in Jaco and the bus prices are too low. For me to take the bus to San Jose is a little over 4 dollars. Quepos is even further down. I went to Bocas over Thanksgiving and the prices were a bit more for transport there as well. If you tack a dollar more on all your bus routes and then put in fifty for taxis and just in case you should be fine. A taxi from Coca Cola station in San Jose to the Caribe station was about three dollars just to give you an idea there. Also bussing to Almirantes proved to be too much trouble for me and I took a taxi from the border to the water taxi place for 10 and could have waited for a mini bus to fill and gotten it for five. Also, I liked Isla Bastimentos way more than a day trip worth but that is just my opinion of course. Also, are you sure your Quepos bus leaves from the Caribe station? I know coca cola station has busses that way.
May 15, 2012 4:45 PM
4Thanks for responding.
I'll definitely have to fit Volcanoes into my trip. A few years back I spent a week in the Manuel Antonio/Dominical area and really enjoyed it but I'm sure I could sacrifice a few days there to visit some volcanoes. Thanks for the heads up on taxis and bus prices, may have underestimated that cost.
From what I read, and what I remember from last time i was there, the bus leaves from the Caribe station but I'll definitely have to double check that. I've also read great things about Isla Bastimentos. This is a flexible itinerary, just wanted to give some idea of what I was hoping to accomplish. I plan on taking my time and lingering in the places that I enjoy.
As far as reserving hostels while moving within the country, how much notice is usually required in August/September? Do hostels fill up quickly or is a days notice enough to find a bed?
May 15, 2012 4:51 PM
5no need for reservations august/september - although i would recommend making reservations for your first couple of days, just in case.
don't worry about where buses leave from. if you are going north from the airport, you can catch the bus at the bus station in alajuela known as "la radial." if you are going in a different direction, just tell a taxi driver in san jose what your destination is and he will take you to the correct bus station.
prices have definitely gone up the last few years, especially food. gas is over $5 a gallon so everything is more expensive, mostly thanks to that.
but i think your budget is pretty close.
May 15, 2012 5:02 PM
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