Costa Rica by Bus

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 Group Page Costa 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):

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

I just realized that I did a similar post in 2017, Seeing Costa Rica by Bus   🙂

¡Pura Vida!

Orosi/Tapantí Trip Book

Click to See Free Preview Online

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!
¡Pura Vida!

Tapanti Park & Scenery

Tapanti National Park
It is one of the larger parks including most of the Mountain of Death
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica

Rio Macho 
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica

A Bridge we crossed before entering the park 
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica

A Huge Exotic Forest of Color and Contrast 
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica

Great Forest for Birding 
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica

Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica

Nest of the Red-faced Spinetail Bird (see bird in my birds post yesterday)
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica

One of several Trails We Hiked 
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica

Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica

Balance in Nature! 
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica
Balance is not something you find, 
it’s something you create.
Jana Kingsford

¡Pura Vida!

This exact same set of photos in my TRIPS photo gallery:  Tapanti Park & Scenery

And related is the gallery Tapanti Birds in this same TRIPS gallery below
Or see all of my Orosi Trip photos in the TRIP Gallery: 2018-February 6-10–Orosi/Tapanti


Sometimes I share an interesting English Language Newspaper article, but today they all look interesting!  🙂

Updates from

Costa Rica Star News

Costa Rica News

In the 02/12/2018 edition:

Tapanti Birds

Click an image to see it larger.
Black Guan
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica

Adult Gray Hawk 
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica
First Sighting for Me in Costa Rica (1 in Nicaragua)
Juvenile Gray Hawk 
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica
Female Collared Trogon 
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica
First Sighting for Me
Male Collared Trogon 
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica
First Sighting for Me

Chestnut-headed Oropendola in Poro Tree
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica
Slaty Spinetail

Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica
First Sighting for Me

Red-faced Spinetail
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica
First Sighting for Me
Common Chlorospingus 
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica
First Sighting for Me

Clay-colored Thrush or Yiqüirro 
The National Bird of Costa Rica
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica
First Sighting for Me  (only Southern in the past)
Dusky-capped Flycatcher
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica

Brown Jay
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica

Passerini Tanagers, Male & 2 Females

Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica

“The sharp thrill of seeing them reminded me of childhood happiness, gifts under the Christmas tree, perhaps, a kind of euphoria we adults manage to shut out most of the time. This is why I bird-watch, to recapture what it’s like to live in this moment, right now.” 

¡Pura Vida!

My photo gallery BIRDS

This exact same set of birds in my TRIPS photo gallery:  Tapanti Birds

Or see all of my Orosi Trip photos in the TRIP Gallery: 2018-February 6-10–Orosi/Tapanti

Tapanti Today

Another national park seen today and it is one of the largest going up into the mountains.
Tapanti National Park, Costa Rica
At 6 AM this morning another new Tico friend named “Cristian” picked me up in his old red Chevy Tracker for the 9 km drive to the park and we took nearly 2 hours to make that 9 km since we got a lot of birding done along the country road to the park which doesn’t open until 8 AM. And by the way, I get in national parks free because I’m over 65 and a resident!   🙂
Birding guides are professionals here with college training and government licensing. Cristian is part of a local guiding group here in Orosi area called Peregrinus Expeditions with their office in Turriable, so they cover a large area. With only one day experience, I can enthusiastically recommend them and Cristian specifically as an excellent and very knowledgeable birding guide. We saw or heard more than 30 species of birds today in and near the park with me getting photos of 15 and 3 of those are new or first-time species for me! My list keeps growing! 
Tomorrow Cristian takes me an hour’s drive away to the El Copal Reserve and/or nearby birding sites on the other side of Tapanti. Friday I have my taxi driver lined up for a tour of some sights in Orosi like the Ruins of Ujarras. It all came together quickly and easily after I got here and it will be a good week! (Even if the internet is slow here! 🙂
Expect lots of bird photos next week! Pura vida!

Orosi Valley Tomorrow

Orosi Valley

Note to those who get this blog by email (about 50 of you) that each post is emailed out at about 2AM in the morning automatically by a computer after the day I post it. So I am doing this for Monday posting and you receiving Tuesday morning while I am traveling by bus from Atenas through San Jose and Cartago to the little village of Orosi in the Orosi Valley next to Tapanti National Park. Here is the link to my Google Search on

Of course I plan on photographing birds in the Tapanti National Park and at the B&B grounds plus maybe other locations like El Copal depending on transportation options. Then there are the ruins of the oldest colonial church in Costa Rica there plus the current Orosi Church is the oldest still-functioning church in Costa Rica. There are supposedly good restaurants in Orosi, a botanical gardens, waterfalls, and other sites that will be surprises for me when I get there!  🙂   So the next few days should have posts of what I am seeing daily there, assuming I have internet connection. This is a whole new area of Costa Rica for me to explore and I understand another popular place for retirement.
¡Pura Vida!
Retired in Costa Rica

A Bonus Note:
And if anyone noticed that we had our presidential election (1st round) Sunday past, Two of the many candidates made it to the runoff election which will be on Easter Sunday this year, meaning no special events beyond mass and worship services allowed like the usual Catholic Processional Parade through town. No competition to voting, yet even with that only about 60% actually voted. Democracy is difficult to make work everywhere, but I think 60% is probably much higher than the U.S. voter turnout. 
And those two winners? Well the older and most “conservative” is Fabricio Alvarado, an evangelist and gospel singer who is a non-politician and surprise winner because he is rabidly anti-gay during a time that most Latin-American countries are starting to legalize gay marriage. This mostly Roman Catholic country is generally homophobic and that is the only reason this unqualified Trump-like jerk was selected. Amusingly, the other candidate in the runoff is also named Alvarado, Carlos Alvarado, a young man who will accept gay marriage and some other liberal ideas. This morning’s newspaper headline was something like “Two Alvarados in Runoff!”

And here’s today’s article in one of our online English Language Newspapers titled:
Evangelical Candidate Leads, Country Heads to a Second Round  This is really a big deal in a majority catholic country! 

It will be interesting to see what happens. (If I were a gambling man, I would say homophobia wins here and thus the unqualified evangelical.) But if much of the younger generation, like my Spanish teachers, get their young friends out to vote, it could go the other way, plus some catholics will have trouble voting for a non-catholic. No one really needs a singing evangelist as their president even if you don’t like gay marriage – that could be almost as bad as having Donald Trump! (Though thank God there is no racism here! But homophobia is alive and well!)
Why can’t I vote? I’m a legal resident but not a citizen which is a much more complicated process and at my age – not a goal! And “Not my problem!” is another way I stay sane and tranquil!   🙂

Next 4 Months of Trips Planned – Retired in Costa Rica!

One of the many reasons I moved to Costa Rica was so I could afford to travel, by traveling locally to innumerable nature places in Costa Rica, year around! And it is now even cheaper than if I owned a car! Because I travel by local bus or occasionally by local airplanes it is cheaper than buying and operating a car – and healthier! For the first half of 2018 I have now booked a different experience monthly for February-May.

Here’s some links to places I will visit the next few months (without specific dates for security):


Chalet Orosi  
Birding at chalet as well as in the nearby parks.


Tapanti National Park
One of many waterfalls supposedly.

February – San Jose for performance of CIRQUE DU SOLEIL

Read article about show designed just for Costa Rica

I am going with the expat club of Atenas on a bus like several other trips to San Jose. Fun! Though I just read the article and I believe it is actually in Alajuela and not San Jose, so even closer!


Real jungle living for 5 nights in rainforest.

Danta Corcovado Lodge

Day trip into Corcovado

Bird Watching

My 3rd trip to Corcovado is this time on the eastern side of the large park/reserve compared to my previous trips to SW & NW corners at Carate  &  Drake Bay.

This will compete with my Arenal trip below as the best trip the first 6 months!  🙂


Old friends from First Baptist Church, Nashville, TN are coming to provide service in the local Atenas orphanage Hogar de Vida. I will work and stay with them in the cabins at Hogar and they get one day of tourism away from the home.


My Room window and deck will look out at the famous volcano.
If erupting, I will see the red lava at night.
Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica

I am staying at best birding lodge in the area, Arenal Observatory Lodge with room view of the volcano.

Of course I will be visiting the Arenal Volcano National Park along with many trails around the lodge known for their abundance of birds. I definitely expect some new species here.
And I may take a trip or two to other places like the Arenal Hanging Bridges or other places for birds, while avoiding many “touristy” places in this area. The town of La Fortuna nearby has become a junky Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge kind of tourist town like those at Tennessee’s Smoky Mountain Park.

My only other time here was on the 2010 Tour of Costa Rica when we spent one night in a different hotel.

And then there is my photo gallery of all my TRIPS made thus far in Costa Rica. Lots to see!


¡Pura Vida!