Up close and personal with Costa Rica’s wildlife

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Costa Rican beach at Punta Uva

With one final In n Out burger at LAX, we bid goodbye to Sarah as she began her journey home. Nicola and I eyed each other up – it would be just the two of us from now on as we travelled throughout Central America.

A long night lay ahead of us as we caught the red eye from LAX to Houston, Texas. After a short layover, it was on to San Jose, Costa Rica, and then a 4 hour bus ride to Puerto Viejo. The rainforests of Costa Rica were surreal to see having never witnessed vegetation or terrain like it – it was hot, sticky and green. Jurassic Park came to mind.

South of the country on the Caribbean coast, Puerto Viejo is a small tourist town that boasts a heavy mix of both Mexican and Caribbean vibes. Burritos, jerk chicken and tacos are all regular fixtures on the Puerto Viejo menus. Prices are only slightly cheaper than the United States, which clearly showed why Costa Rica is viewed as the most expensive country in Central America.

Checking into Walaba Hostel felt strange. The hostel consisted of open, wooden houses and at least one section of wall was missing in every room. Our beds had mosquito nets, which was reassuring, but the bats that sheltered in the dorms every night were another issue entirely. I began to regret not getting my rabies vaccination when I heard them squeaking in the pitch dark above my head. It was definitely a new experience, but not one I would choose to repeat. Cockroaches the size of my thumb ambled along the wooden beams, and howler monkeys could be heard roaring in the trees nearby. I know I may not be able to afford air conditioning everywhere I go, but four walls and a secure ceiling are non negotiable from now on.

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Front of Hostel Walaba

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Outdoor shower at Hostel Walaba

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