Loading...

Follow Alyssaallday on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

The Beach, Paella, palm trees, and bike rides… Valencia is one of my favorite weekend getaway trips from Madrid! I got to spend a couple days exploring the city with my sister and here is my recap (some tips included!)

Here are my Weekend Wanders of Valencia Oceanografic

Central Market

Ciutat Vella (Old City)

Sleep

Vincci Lys || Westin Valencia || Home Youth Hostel

Eat

Restaurante Creperie Bretonne Annaik || Bar & Kitchen || Arroceria La Valenciana

Other Suggestions

Silk Factory || Lladro Factory

Pin It!

Leave a comment, like, and share the love! Follow me on facebookinstagram & twitter or get posts sent directly to your email by subscribing!

Affiliate links may be used in this post which may give me a small commission. Regardless, I love and personally use everything I recommend.

The post Weekend Wanders Episode VIII: Valencia appeared first on AlyssaAllDay.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The remoteness, the diversity, and the wholly welcoming atmosphere of Borneo will leave you wanting more. The island requires patience and an open-mind but in return, it will reward you with one of the most unique trips you’ll ever take.

Here’s 9 Experiences You CANNOT Miss in Malaysian Borneo!
Trek Mt. Kinabalu

The 2 day trek was one of the hardest I’ve personally ever done, primarily because it’s climbing straight up and straight back down.

Granted, I bought some cheap walking shoes at a local market for the trek instead of having my hiking boots, which didn’t help my breaking knees on the scramble down. Nevertheless, the sun peering through the unique rock formations at the top of Kinabalu was totally worth it.

Snorkeling and/or Diving in Sipadan

Sipadan has been said to be the best dive spot in the entire WORLD. The variety of marine life you can see in one single dive will make the journey to this remote island well worth the trip and every penny.

The surrounding islands of Mabul, Sibuan, and countless others are not too shabby themselves. I strongly suggest getting your diving certification here or at least going for a snorkel – the marine life is absolutely the best.

Related: Diving in Borneo – The Best in the World
Trek for Orang-utans

Going on a multi-day trek to search for the Orang-utans in their natural habitat should be in your top 3. It’ll be quite a demanding journey, but so rewarding when you appreciate these orange giants in their home.

Learn about Orang-utans in Sepilok

If you don’t have much time on your trip or the funds for it, head to the Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary and view the orangutans that are free to roam the treetops of the reserve. You can also learn all about them and the affects of the palm oil industry.

Watch the Playful Sun Bears

These little guys are the smallest bear in the world and are also considered Vulnerable on the IUCN list due to deforestation.

Meet the Iban People and Stay in a Longhouse

These indigenous tribal people in the Sarawak region have a beautiful, rich, and deep-rooted history. Enjoy their company and stay in the communal long-houses for a real treat.

Smell the Stinky Rafflesia Flower

This gigantic flower only blooms once or twice a year and witnessing it is very rare. However, if you do make it during the right time, bring a gas mask because these magnificent giants emit an odor of rotting meat.

Day Trip to Brunei

The city itself may leave you a little conflicted due to the harsh juxtaposition of rich and poor. However it’s undeniable that the sheer lavishness of the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is quite a jaw dropper.

Become Absolutely Immersed in the Bornean Jungle

I didn’t realize how much I’d enjoy meditating and relaxing to the buzzing sounds the jungle. I nearly decided that I enjoyed the jungle almost as much as the beach… Yea, I know

Affiliate links may be used in this post which may give me a small commission when clicked on or purchased through. Regardless, I love and personally use everything I recommend.Photo Creds: Sun BearRafflesiaMosque

Leave a comment, like, and share the love! Follow me on facebook, instagram, & twitter or get posts sent directly to your email by subscribing!

The post 9 Things You Can’t Miss in Malaysian Borneo appeared first on AlyssaAllDay.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Alyssaallday by Alyssaallday - 2M ago

Bocas del Toro is a collection of islands in the Northwest of Panama. It’s one of those places that you hear travelers raving about as you move through the area. You get all giddy inside and can’t wait to visit, so much so that you want to speed through the rest of wherever you are just to get there faster.

At least, this is how I felt and it turned about to be everything I wanted and more. 3 days turned into 5 which turned into a week + countless new friends.

Here is the Best of Bocas del Toro
The Islands
Isla Colon
Bluff Beach

This beach is accessible by a 45 minute bike ride from Bocas Town. The rip tide and current are very strong and the waves are always massive, so I don’t suggest actually swimming here. But it’s quiet and beautiful and a trip to Oasis B&B for lunch makes for a great day.

Bocas Town

The town itself is the hub for all grocery shopping, errands, nightlife, and transport. To be honest, it’s not the cleanest and having a local bother you to buy a boat tour every 10 ft gets a little annoying. I’d suggest only staying in town if you want a crazy night out or if you have a super early boat the next morning.

I DON’T suggest booking into the Selina’s. It was the most awful service and value for money of anywhere I’ve stayed. Stay at Twin Fin or Calypso hostel if you need to be in town.

Eat at Hungry Monkey for breakfast/brunch

Drink at Summer (one of the stops for Filthy Friday) or Green Iguana.

Starfish Beach

Easily the most popular beach because of the starfish, this beach has actually had a steady decline of the residents. While there are still starfish, their numbers have vastly diminished because of tourists picking them up for photos. People don’t realize that picking them up out of the water kills them and the oils on your hands can harm them. Another sad effect of tourism.

PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH THE STARFISH

Also, there’s been a strange occurrence of small, clear, needle-like deposits in the sand that stab your feet and are nearly impossible to get out. It’s very recent and no one could tell me why. It made for a very unpleasant beach day and I actually suggest picking a different beach.

Isla Caranero
Bibi’s Beach

I LOVE Bibi’s. It’s easily accessible, chilled, and beautiful. While there are a few places to grab a bite, the best is by far the pizza stand run by the nicest Italian man. He’ll lay out in his mankini with his dogs until a customer approaches. Then, he’ll run up to take your order, make your customized pizza, and deliver it to you right on the beach with a special table for eating in the sand, then go back to sunning himself on his floatie.

Aqua Lounge

This hotel/bar/lounge is the last stop for Filthy Friday and generally a really fun place to be. There’s a high dive, trampoline, indoor/outdoor bar, and DJ’s playing music ranging from House to Reggae.

Isla Solarte
The Blue Coconut

This bar on stilts sits in the ocean and is only accessible by boat. It’s the first stop for Filthy Friday and it’s by far my favorite.

Bambuda Lodge

This is easily one of my favorite hostels I’ve ever stayed in. It’s a wooden lodge up on the hill overlooking the water. It has 2 12 bed dorms, private rooms, a full restaurant, pool, hammocks, and of course… a SLIDE into the ocean! They run on a tab system which means you don’t have to pay until the end of your stay, making it easy to pop up for a happy hour drink from the pool.

The only downside is that they don’t offer a kitchen to cook or store your own food/drinks. This monopolizes meals and the dinners can get pretty pricey – up to $15 a plate. Their servings are HUGE and amazing quality, so I can’t complain about that. However if you’re on a budget, it may be stretching your wallet.

Book your stay here

Bastimientos

All of this island is absolutely breathtaking. It’s truly the picture perfect island you see in travel magazines. There are tons of coves to explore, white pristine beaches to wander, and clear blue water to float in. You can hire a snorkeling tour or just take a boat over. Hire kayaks for the day to explore the hidden parts of the island.

Red Frog Beach

Selina’s Red Frog is a nice option for budget friendly accommodation on the island.

Palmar Beach Lodge is a fantastic jungle oasis right on the beach with bungalows, tents and shared dorms.

Filthy Friday

If you’re traveling through Central America for any length of time or have spent even just a few hours in Bocas, you’ve probably heard of Filthy Friday. It’s a day long, bar hopping party that takes place every Friday and it gets crazy. You visit 3 bars and get sufficiently crazier by the end of the evening. If you’ve been in Bocas longer than a few days, you’re likely to see tons of people you know, which I loved because it just felt like a big bar crawl with all my new friends.

Enjoy!

Getting Around
Arriving from Almirante

You’ll arrive into Bocas town by plane or ferry boat from Almirante. From here, you’ll have to catch a boat to whatever island you’re staying on or you can walk to you accommodation in Bocas Town.

Boat is the primary means of transport from island to island and pricing ranges from $1 to $5 usd. There’s minimal room to bargain and pricing is usually written up on a board, but it doesn’t hurt to give it a try. Often you can get a deal if you’re a large group

Bike Rental

Renting bicycles is cheap and easy in Bocas Town. It’s the best way to get to Bluff beach, but be sure to lock your bikes up if you’re leaving them for any length of time.

Extra Tips

Bring: Bathing Suits, cover-ups, sandals, sunscreen, sunglasses

Money: There’s only 1 ATM in the whole area and it’s in Bocas Town. Make sure to have some extra cash in case your card magically doesn’t work like mine didn’t.

Many Places Don’t Accept Card: Because of how simple the islands are, many places only accept cash. Again, make sure to bring a good supply

Leave a comment, like, and share the love! Follow me on facebook, instagram, & twitter or get posts sent directly to your email by subscribing!

Affiliate links may be used in this post which may give me a small commission when clicked on or purchased through. Regardless, I love and personally use everything I recommend.

The post The Best of Bocas del Toro appeared first on AlyssaAllDay.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

The beaches of Northern Spain are insanely underrated. The jagged coastline provides numerous surf spots, dramatic rock formations, and hundreds of secret beaches waiting to be discovered.

The day prior to visiting Playa del Silencio, we tried to visit Playa de las Catedrales, the famous sand beach with towering rock archways. Clearly we weren’t the only ones with that agenda because it was a madhouse. Long story short, you need to BUY TICKES ONLINE to get down to the beach, parking is an absolute mess, and the whole area is just a tourist trap. In protest of how ridiculous that all was, I refused to pay and we went elsewhere.

The next day, I feared the same about Playa del Silencio… but to my surprise, it was such an amazing experience. Arriving at midday, it still wasn’t overly crowded or stuffy. The overlook of the cove and beach is gorgeous the entire walk down. I absolutely loved the impressive rock formations surrounding the pebble beach and the crystal clear waters that were so inviting.

Arriving by Car & Parking

Playa del Silencio is located just north of the small town of Castaneras in Asturias. The best way to find it is by inputting the small burger stand called “Burgeur Parry” into your GPS. After exiting the N-632 onto the small side street, you’ll begin to see signs for Playa del Silencio.

Upon approaching Burger Parry, you’ll actually find a guarded parking lot with a 2eur fee to park. I suggest continuing on down the road lining the cliffside in order to parallel park. You’ll cut down on walking time which will be uphill on the way back. The road is very skinny but we saw plenty of larger vehicles parked up so it’s not impossible.

What to Bring

Playa Silencio is a pebble beach, meaning it does not have soft sand but flat, egg sized rocks. It’s also at a slant which can make for a bit of discomfort when trying to get comfortable lying down. It’s possible to wriggle around and make a little nest in the rocks, but some may find chairs most efficient. There are no places to rent chairs, so you must bring your own.

I suggest bringing towels, water, sunscreen/oil, watershoes (trying to get out of the water without these was painful and embarrassing), a book, and some snacks. There are no cafes on the beach so come prepared!

I don’t advise bringing an umbrella because you can’t dig into the rocks well enough and it gets gusty (a woman’s umbrella uprooted and almost impaled myself and a few other sunbathers). Instead, opt for a beach tent that you can weigh down with rocks.

Note that whatever you bring, you must carry down and up about 100 stairs.

Leave a comment, like, and share the love! Follow me on facebook, instagram, & twitter or get posts sent directly to your email by subscribing!

Affiliate links may be used in this post which may give me a small commission when clicked on or purchased through. Regardless, I love and personally use everything I recommend.

Related Posts
The Beach Guide to Playa del Silencio

Everything you need to know for spending a day at Playa Silencio in Northern Spain.

Retreat Recap: Hotel Castillo La Zoreda

My honest review of this boutique, fairytale castle with a modern twist. From the decor and ambiance to the spa and mountain views.

Weekend Wanders Episode VII: Frigiliana, Spain

A recap into a weekend of wandering through one of Andalucia's white cliff towns, Frigiliana.

The post The Beach Guide to Playa del Silencio appeared first on AlyssaAllDay.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Oh hey there!

Welcome back to another episode of Weekend Wanders, where I do a quick recap of my latest quick weekend getaway. Because it was just a short weekend away, I don’t feel comfortable writing a full guide on the destination. One weekend is not nearly enough to claim that I’m an expert, so I simply tell my experience (good or bad) and you can get some inspiration and information from it.

Feel free to check out some other wanders in the series here.

So, here is Weekend Wanders Episode VII: Frigiliana, Spain
Where We Stayed

I stumbled upon the family owned Villa Morera Bed & Breakfast and man was it a find. It was perfectly situated 5 minutes from Nerja (the beach, downtown, eateries, etc.) and 5 minutes from the hill town of Frigiliana.

It had all the amenities we were looking for: a pool, breakfast included, free parking, some peace and quiet, and… a great VIEW!

The owners, Hans and Karen, were so lovely. They welcomed us at the gate, were attentive and friendly during our whole stay, and walked us to the gate to wave goodbye upon our departure. We’ll definitely be back, and bringing friends!

Evenings in Nerja

We popped down to Nerja in the evenings for wanders and dinner.

The first evening, we went for Spanish + seafood, a must at the beach. Restaurante Bar La Puntilla (not to be confused with Bar La Puntilla on the crowded main tapas street) was a bit outside the tourist area but not too far a walk. We ordered gazpacho, Galician octopus (pulpo), and two types of fish for the mains. The pulpo was a bit chewy (Galician pulpo is usually cooked to perfection, very tender with slightly crispy suction cups) but had good flavor. The fish of the day for Andy came in a tomato sauce with some vegetables and was very underwhelming. My swordfish with fresh steamed vegetables was very tasty and I’d definitely recommend it. I suppose it was just luck of the draw.

The second evening we went for Italian food at Ristorante Vitaliano. The Caprese salad was so refreshing and exactly what I wanted! I loved my seafood marinara fettuccini and the finishing touch of an espresso was perfect. The location is smack in a line of touristic restaurants, so there really isn’t a Spanish person in sight, however the food, service, and accordion busker were just lovely.

Cliff Town of Frigiliana

Andalucía is home to white cliff towns: seemingly teetering homes sprinkled in a mountainside with streets too narrow to even walk shoulder to shoulder with your love. You can see them in the distance while driving and they truly make you stare in wonder of what you may find. I had visited a few before – Ronda, Arcos de la Frontera – and they were absolutely wonderful. I hadn’t heard of Frigiliana until casually stumbling across a photo on social media, and since Andy and I were trying to get out of Madrid for the weekend, I jumped at the chance to explore it. Just 4.5 hours from Madrid and right by the beach AND a national park, we locked it in just days before heading out.

I hope you get a chance to make your way to some of the smaller hill towns in Andalucia. There are so many hidden gems to discover, all with such character and charm!

Read Next Weekend Wanders Episode V: Barcelona 8 Day Trips From Madrid Guide to Visiting Granada & The Alhambra
Pin It!
Leave a comment, like, and share the love! Follow me on facebook, instagram, & twitter or get posts sent directly to your email by subscribing!

Affiliate links may be used in this post which may give me a small commission when clicked on or purchased through. Regardless, I love and personally use everything I recommend.

The post Weekend Wanders Episode VII: Frigiliana, Spain appeared first on AlyssaAllDay.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 
Alyssaallday by Alyssaallday - 5M ago

I had been craving a trip to Tunisia for so long, and when talks of Easter weekend plans came up, it was pretty much a done deal.

I partnered with My Concierge to see what they could offer my clients and MAN did they deliver! I’m personally not one to opt for guided tours because I like to wander freely, but after spending our first day with them, Andy and I decided it was an absolute highlight of the trip. Feel free to also check out my Photo Diary for Tunisia for some general inspiration! So without further ado,

Here’s my guide to spending a weekend in Tunis!
Where to Stay

The two main areas I’d suggest staying in are Sidi Bou Said or the Tunis Medina. You need to decide what vibes you prefer: bustling city life at your doorstep or relaxing hilltop views. If you have enough time, why not start in one and move to the other? Here’s some input:

In Sidi Bou Said

Ultimately I decided upon staying in Sidi Bou Said and I’d recommend that for anyone’s first time in Tunisia, at least for the first night. The ambiance was tranquil, the views were absolutely heavenly, and it was a great starting point when entering a country that you don’t quite know what to expect.

I chose the boutique hotel Dar Said and it really was one of the best properties in the neighborhood. Now, we visited in the shoulder season when many places were just opening up for summer. The property was under a lot of renovation, but it was very enjoyable regardless. The pool was closed (empty and being retiled), the lobby was being repainted, and they were in the midst of moving furniture in. However, the staff were very kind and what wasn’t being worked on was gorgeous.

There was a security guard present day and night in addition to a security gate, however we noticed he never requested proof of us staying there. It never made us feel uneasy, but we decided he served as more of a deterrent to unwanted guests rather than a proper guard.

In the Medina

I visited a few properties that I would stay in if I go back. I love Dar el Medina for it’s truly authentic vibe, the wonderful rooftop terrace, and ideal location. It’s located right in the medina on a quiet street near the souks and the Zitouna Mosque.

I was also very happy with Guesthouse El Patio. It’s a family run guest house in a great location as well. It’s decorated with traditional Berber rugs, pottery, and has a very Tunisian feel.

Itinerary : Day 1
Stroll through the Medina

Begin at Monument Place de la Kasbah and check out the Town Hall and the Post Office. From here I’d cut down Rue Dar El Jeld, back around Rue Sidi Ben Arous, and over to the Medina Souks. Don’t be afraid to get a little lost, the medina has a lot of winding streets, but everyone is very welcoming. You’re welcome to bargain for any items you want, so don’t pay outright without shopping a bit first.

Visit the Zitouna Mosque

Currently the mosque is not accessible to nonmuslims, however there are talks that it will soon open for viewing. Regardless, you can stroll around it and admire its façade.

Lunch at Fondouk el Attarine

Located in Souk Attarine, this authentic Tunisian restaurant has all the traditional eats. It can get busy for lunch, so arrive a little early or make reservations. Be sure to try couscous here and a Brique!

Place de la Victoire

This large square is the entrance to the medina, but I suggest that you end here. It’s home to the old British embassy and the Bab el Bhar archway. From here, you can wander down Ave de France and Ave Habib Bourguiba for some shopping, to see the St. Vincent de Paul Cathedral, and the Baroque Palace turned movie theater.

Ruins of Carthage

If you’re not worn out from the day, make your way out of the medina to the ruins of Carthage. There are hardly any visitors, so don’t worry about crowds or long lines. Allow an hour to meander through the ruins, admire the views, and read up on your history.

Les Ports Puniques de Carthage

A short drive from the ruins, this ancient port is now a place to relax and admire the fishing boats. It’s a very cool stop when you think about how casually you can wander on top of old dry docks.

Itinerary : Day 2
Wander through Sidi Bou Said

I love a good wander and this neighborhood is perfect for that. The small winding streets hide elaborate street art, Mediterranean architecture, and of course, beautifully ornate doors. There are a few overlooks that’ll make you want to stop for a break, so make sure to allow for a lot of stopping and photo ops. Along the main street, dip into Rock the Kasbah, an art gallery with modernized Tunisian jewelry, clothes, and furniture for sale.

Eat All the Bombolonis

This sweet treat is pretty much a doughnut, but they’re so fresh and melt-in-your-mouthy that I don’t know anywhere else that makes them quite like it! You also won’t find them anywhere else in Tunisia, so get them while you can!

Sidi Azizi Market

If you forgot to pick up any gifts or trinkets, the open market in Sidi Bou Said will probably have it. Again, don’t forget to bargain, but prices may be higher in this more touristic area.

Dinner at Au Bon Vieux Temps

I enjoyed this place best for the convenience (right next to Dar Said) and the views during the day. The couscous and grilled fish were a tad underwhelming but the brique, wine, and service were fabulous.

Getting Around
Transport Within the City

There are local trams, trains, and buses that regular through the city. They make stops in the main train station, Sidi Bou Said, Carthage, and beyond. Taxis are just fine if you’re short on time, but be sure to bargain thoroughly. From the airport to Sidi Bou Said, you should pay about $6usd, however we were charged $12 and they wouldn’t budge on the price.

Of course, there’s also the option of private luxury transport and a guide. For the first day of your trip at least, I strongly suggest this option so you don’t have to lift a finger and you can get your bearings. It’ll save you loads of time and stress, which is essential if you just have a weekend. If you’re even thinking of making a trip, let me know so I can give you a better of idea.

Heading Out of the City

There are a few options for this and it all depends on your budget, trip duration, and patience. Shared louages (mini buses) depart from the main louage station and are the best for a low budget. They cost between $1-4 for journeys up to 2 hours and to major cities like Hammamet, Sousse, Kairouan, and Bizerte. The driver waits until his bus is full, so don’t expect them to have any strict schedule. I found it very safe and comfortable and it was great to chat with some locals. *Basic French is strongly recommended.

Trains are reliable and frequent. From the main train station, you can catch local or tourist trains to virtually everywhere in the country, even an overnight train down to Tozeur. Prices are very good and it’s a nice choice if you have some time yet want to remain price conscious.

If you only have a few days (like Andy did) and you aren’t fussed about a budget, a private taxi is the option for you. The lowest I ever bargained was 140TND to go from Sousse to Tunis, which took an hour and 45min (This was my ONLY option because all public transport was on strike the day I needed to head back for my flight.) There’s definitely room for bargaining.

Extra Tips

Clothing: While the country is quite progressive and modern, I still felt more comfortable wearing long but loose clothing, especially in the medina. Check out my full overview of What to Pack for a Trip to Tunisia for some tips and inspiration.

Money: It’s easiest to take money out at the ATM in the airport. Taxis and vendors only accept cash while restaurants and hotels will take card. You’ll want small bills for bargaining at the souks and don’t keep a huge wad on yourself while walking around.

Language: English is pretty widely spoken, mostly with younger generations, but French will definitely help you bargain and anywhere outside the touristic areas.

Fails

Not much went awry on our trip. However, we were getting desperate for the beach since this was the first good weather we’d seen in a while. We made a little trip down a massive staircase on the side of the mountain to get to the beach only to realize that the beach was really underwhelming and quite uncomfortable. They had just “plowed” it so there were huge ditches which made for a very uncomfortable lie down.

To save on time, we opted not to take public transportation while Andy was in town and asked the hotel to call us a cab to our next accommodation in Hammamet. The combination of staying in a touristic area plus the fact that cabs don’t regular in Sidi Bou Said (due to the narrow streets) meant that we were disgustingly overcharged for our taxi. We had little comparison of what the price should have been, but if you’re doing this option, my best advice is to bargain regardless.

A massive thank you to My Concierge for taking care of me for a day. I’m so happy to now call them a preferred partner of AlyssaAllDay Adventures and will be working..

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Pura Vida! If you are heading to Costa Rica, you are in for such a wonderful trip!

Costa Rica is home to rainforests, hot springs, volcanoes, beaches for surfing and/or relaxing, yoga retreats, and so much more. You’ll be needing to get yourself around the country, so I suggest reading up on my quick travel guide before you head out.

Here’s my Quick Guide to Overland Travel in Costa Rica —————— – Shared Shuttles –

If you’re short on vacation time and aren’t on a super tight budget, shuttles are for you! These are mini buses seating up to 12 people. They’ll pick up right from your accommodation and drop you at your next accommodation. They have AC, will make a few stops for the toilet/lunch, and are the most efficient form of transport. You can arrange them directly with your accommodation, whether in a hotel or hostel, or I can do it all for you!

Here’s an idea of pricing (per person) :
  • San Jose – La Fortuna : $54
  • La Fortuna – Monteverde (combo of shuttle bus and boat to get across Lake Arenal and save time) : $35
  • Monteverde – Tamarindo : $45-52
  • Puerto Viejo – San Jose : $52
  • Puerto Viejo – Bocas del Toro (Panama) : $27

Some reliable shuttle bus companies include INTERBUS, Grey Line, Easy Ride, and Tropical Tours.

Border Crossing

Crossing the border to a neighboring country in a shuttle is extremely speedy since there are usually just a handful of people in the shuttle. They’ll guide you through the process and wait for everyone to complete customs to continue on. Timing is based on if everyone has their documents in order and if you’re traveling in peak season.

– Public Bus –

If you have a relaxed schedule and want to save some $$$, then I suggest the public bus system! They’re typically very reliable, on time, inexpensive, and often comfortable as long as you have a seat.

There are two types of buses: directo and colectivo. Directo will go to the destination with just a few stops, collectivo will make many stops to pick up/drop off passengers along the way and are pretty slow. If you’re somewhat time conscious, make sure you’re on a directo.

Tips
  • Buses do not have toilets but will make frequent rest stops.
  • If they have AC, they can get pretty chilly, so it’s best to bring a light jacket just in case. If you get on and the windows are open, they probably don’t have AC and you’ll want to grab a window seat.
  • Schedules change often, so make sure to double check all departure times.
  • During peak season, buses can be very crowded, so it’s smart to book your ticket in advance or be sure to get to the station early.
  • Pricing ranges from $1 to $20 and can be paid in local colones or USD at the terminal window and sometimes to the driver directly. *Note that you’ll almost always get a better rate by paying in colones.
  • Public buses can be harder to organize in areas like the Oso peninsula and in the south of the Nicoya peninsula. They run less frequently and you’ll most likely have to take a few connections just to get where you want to go. But that’s part of the adventure right?!
From San Jose

There are a few central bus stations in the city and it can get a bit confusing which is the right one to depart from. Terminal 7-10 is a fairly new station and the hub for long distance buses going North. The TUASA bus stop is the hub for going to/from the airport. For heading anywhere South, you may need to head to Terminal Atlantico Norte or MEPE – best to check with your hotel or online!

Border Crossing

Public buses are very efficient for crossing into a neighboring country. When buying your ticket, they’ll require your passport details and will make a list of the people that are on the bus. They will bring you to the border, wait for everyone to pass customs (and often will guide you through the process of getting exit stamps, paying exit fees, etc.), and continue on after all passengers have finished. They’ll also help offload luggage since you’ll need to get it checked before entering a neighboring country.

This can prolong travel time if someone on the public bus doesn’t have their documents in order, so plan your schedule accordingly.

– Car Rental –

If you’re feeling adventurous and have the funds, renting a car will give you ultimate freedom and access to more remote locations.

Tips
  • Driving at night can be very dangerous due to low street lighting, wild animals crossing, reckless local drivers, weather, and much more.
  • It’s strongly suggested to rent a 4WD to be ready for any road or weather.
  • Costa Rica requires a mandatory Liability insurance, which is often never included in the price you see online. It’s typically $19/day and if you don’t provide proof of this insurance prior to arriving at the desk, they’ll charge you up front.
  • Costa Rica also requires a CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) which most credit cards and travel insurances will include. If you know you have it, you can provide proof (a written letter, not just a copy of the brochure) upon picking up the car to waive the fee.
  • Make sure to thoroughly inspect the car before driving off the lot with it.
  • The major roads are in much better condition than they used to be, but always be ready for potholes, broken down cars, animals, flooding, and sudden fog.
  • Never leave anything in your car overnight and always lock it. Try to park in a private or guarded lot.

TRAVELLER TIP : If you plan to stay in hostels throughout your journey and want to make some up for some of the gas costs, there are always backpackers looking to catch a ride. Don’t be shy when talking about your rental car and you’re sure to find some eager passengers. If you don’t want anyone hitching a ride, keep it on the down-low.

Border Crossing

The majority of car rental companies in Costa Rica will not allow you take the car across any land border. It’s important to check this out first if you’re thinking of popping over to Panama or Nicaragua for a couple days.

– Uber –

YES, Costa Rica has Uber! [and shhh, it’s less expensive than taking the local cabs] However, cabis do not like Uber so it’s not smart to speak about it with anyone in the public transportation industry. You’ll find the most amount of Uber drivers in San Jose and it’s a fantastic way to get anywhere you need to go in the city and surrounding neighborhoods, especially if you don’t have the time for the public bus.

Outside of San Jose, like in La Fortuna, maybe 1 or 2 drivers will pop up on the app if you’re lucky. We had no such luck successfully getting a ride anywhere but in San Jose, but that could be because of low season.

– Useful Links – Leave a comment, like, and share the love! Follow me on facebook, instagram, & twitter or get posts sent directly to your email by subscribing!

Photo Cred:   Shuttle || Bus

Affiliate links may be used in this post which may give me a small commission. Regardless, I love and personally use everything I recommend.

The post The Quick Guide to Overland Travel in Costa Rica appeared first on AlyssaAllDay.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview