Hi Everyone, I am determined to go to Costa Rica this summer before my college semester starts in the end of August. I thought that I was going to have money to do a Spanish immersion program, but the finances took a huge dive and I am now exploring ways to travel on very little money. I have a road bike and a recumbent, but I am pretty sure that neither of these would be appropriate for Costa Rice because of what I've read about the infrastructure. I am not an experienced foreign traveler (yet)! I have only just got my first passport. I am just starting my research on the idea of backpacking or cycling in CR and am wondering about safety issues for a 50 year old woman traveling alone, either on foot or by bike. My Spanish is pretty basic, which is one of the reasons that I want to go there, and for about 4-6 weeks, assuming I can find a place to settle in and work a while. Any way, any advice that people can lend on this type of adventure will be appreciated! Thanks in advance. Lauriann
Traveling in Costa Rica
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Qua, 2011-05-18 22:56#1
Traveling in Costa Rica
I've just finished a trip cycling from Alaska to Panama City http://johnbensontravels.com
If you go to the current trip link you'll see my write-up on Costa Rica. If you have any questions, please, PM me at [email protected].
A few pointers:
1. As someone who has very little money, Costa Rica is arguably the most expensive country in the region. There are official camping options to reduce costs, but it's not a cheap country to travel in. What you mean by 'very little money', only you know. If you look elsewhere on my site, you'll see there are country breakdowns for where I slept, how much I paid, the route I took, how much I spent etc.
2. I don't know what you mean about the infrastructure? If you explain further, I'll respond. Costa Rica has the most developed infrastructure in the region. Costa Rica & Panama are the most developed countries down there. However, I found Costa Rica to be the worst country I cycled through on the trip - fast drivers & very narrow roads, for the most part. This compared to wide shoulders in Panama & Nicaragua, for instance, did not make it pleasant cycling. That said, the roads are in very good condition.
3. Costa Rica is one of the safer countries in the region. If, as everywhere else in the world, you use common sense you'll find little or no problems there. However, it does seem that crime is on the rise, among the local population & against tourists, but is still rare. However, cycling I never had a single problem anywhere except on my final run into Panama City.
4. I can put you in touch with another cyclist who used a recumbent to cycle through Costa Rica a couple of months back. I can't help with a mountain bike, as I toured with a touring bike, &, anyway, have little experience of mountain bikes.
5. Resources to help you:
a. www.crazyguyonabike.com (just search for 'Costa Rica'. Also, have a look for Jeff Kruys - he spent 4 years cycling around The Americas & went to CR twice. Other recommended on the site 'Christian Bomio').
c. www.gobicycletouring.info - lots of cycling blogs on there. You should find something.
On the whole, try & find recent blogs i.e. 2009 onwards, as I found in my reading, things can change quickly, but all information is useful.
Hope this helps
Wow! A lot of information! I will definately check out the links you sent. Thanks so much for the lengthy and details comment.
i did 10 days with my GF along the upper west coast. we were on CX bikes. mountain bikes with small block knobs would be ideal. the dirt roads are not bad and get you out of the traffic and into the less expensive areas. we free camped on the beach every night. a few times in locals yards with approval from them. generally they had a outdoor shower we could use.
you ar coming into the rainy season so whatever you do it will be wet, be prepared with fenders and good rain gear.
here are some pics on my tumblr from here back http://alexpjmorgan.tumblr.com/page/9
Thanks Alex! I appreciate the comment. Especially the "fenders" part. Hadn't thought about that.