Its a beautiful sunny day in Atenas, Costa Rica for Easter Morning with the Yigüirro singing his heart out for the rains to come (any day now) though I cannot photograph him or any birds for several weeks now because of the high winds. The birds are hiding in the thick trees for protection from the wind. Thus I resort to Easter Flower Photos! 🙂
Someone recently asked me about getting around the country by bus and I think I referred them to the Bus Schedule website which lists all of the option when you type in the “From” and “To” spaces on that website with all bus companies included.
Well, I forgot about an even better help beyond schedules, the Facebook GroupPageCosta Rica by Bus on which you can post a question (may have to join group first) and some of the many people who travel by bus will share their experiences and advice. And of course they also recommend the bus schedule site above. And by the way, that bus in photo above is the one I took to Turrialba.
I plan to go to a birding lodge near San Isidro del General in May, so anticipate my report on that bus experience then. I use the bus almost weekly to go from Atenas to Alajuela for many different reasons and have gone to San Jose by bus many times. Some of my other bus adventures have been (with links to photo galleries):
And with local retirees on charter buses many time, while the above are public buses of different companies.
All of this was to simply say that you can travel on a “shoestring budget” and see a lot of Costa Rica whether you live here or visiting. Buses are cheap here! That is the way most Ticos travel! And you can do it without the Spanish language, though much easier and a richer experience if you speak at least a little Spanish.
Now, as a retiree who has made seeing all of Costa Rica my main activity, I do not do everything the budget-way and love to go the longer distances on Sansa Airlines or to places less than 3 hours from Atenas by my favorite driver here in Atenas, but I do not have a car and have basically quit renting cars because of the high insurance cost, thus seeing Costa Rica by bus is one option I still use when I consider it the most practical way. The next bus report comes in May! 🙂
“Live with no excuses and travel with no regrets” ~ Oscar Wilde
This was not my most exciting trip nor favorite lodging, but I got 10 new species of birds photographed on this trip, so a big deal! Sometime in the future I will return for 3 or 4 days birding at El Copal when I can get a reservation in their lodge. The two oldest churches here are enough reason for a visit or the spectacular miradors or vistas! That’s if you are not interested in birding. 🙂
I also discovered one really good restaurant with a hotel attached or visa versa, “Tapantí Media” on the highway going out of Orosi toward Tapantí National Park. It is a first class Italian Restaurant with excellent pizzas and pastas and much more plus great service. It will be my hotel next time I need to stay in Orosi. The B&B was simply too far from restaurants and the 3 big dogs and 2 cats are not my cup of tea! Nor the do-it-yourself breakfast. I’m now spoiled to full-service hotels.
The bus trip there was easy even if it did take 3 buses and more than 3 hours! Atenas to San Jose to Cartago to Orosi. As a senior adult 2 of the buses were free and one cost only 500 colones or about 75¢. Not bad! 🙂 One of the perks of being old here!
Las Ruinas de Ujarrás This 1580 church ruins is the oldest to be found in Costa Rica near Orosi/Paraiso. It is now operated as a historic national park of Costa Rica. Paraíso Canton, Cartago Province, Costa Rica
Yesterday I lined up my taxista from Tuesday, Luis Martinez, and he met me at my B&B this morning at 8:30 and I got quite a tour from someone who has lived his whole life here and all in Spanish language of course! We could have gone all day, but I wanted a more relaxed afternoon and to not spend a fortune on a taxi! So we quit at about 11 AM.
Beyond this historic old church, Las Ruinas de Ujarrás, the other highlights were two miradors (vistas) Mirador Ujarras & Mirador Orosi which were both spectacular, Casa del Soñador or wood artisan shop in a historic log cabin near Cachi, several churches I had him stop for my photos of, and he added little extras like the oldest street and bridge in Orosi alongside which was his grandmother’s house where he was born! I chose to not see the botanical gardens this time which can take hours. But I have lots of photos to share in a future post and in my online photo gallery when I return home and have better internet connection.
Then I had a late lunch in a wonderful Italian Restaurant a longer walk from my B&B, but more than worth it and discovered that it is also a hotel (with this great restaurant) and it is where I will stay next time here if not at El Copal Lodge for birding. B&B’s are nice and quaint, but I’ve become spoiled to full-service hotels and lodges! Even in the jungles!
Tomorrow is the adventure of three buses home and who knows what I will see this time?