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Costa Rica - itinerary, shoes, bag locks/security, and keepi

sheisaeval

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  • Added on: June 5th, 2013
I'm a solo woman going to Costa Rica this August for two weeks (getting there Saturday mid afternoon and leaving Sunday early afternoon 2 weeks later).

Here's my rough itinerary-

San Jose (probably just that afternoon and leaving the following morning, so not spending a lot of time there)
Caribbean Coast (Puerto Vieja? Cahuita? Tortuguero?)
Arenal Volcano/La Fortuna Area
Monteverde
Guanacaste area (which place/beach? can't decide)
Manuel Antonio/Quepos and/or Montezuma?

I'm thinking maybe spending 2-3 days at each area, except San Jose, which I will probably only spend the first afternoon and get back the day before I had to leave. Which place you think needs more time and which needs less?

I love seeing exotic animals, gorgeous scenery, local culture, interesting experiences, and trying new foods. Any recommendations for specific places to stay or see in any of the areas above are great.

Since August is during the "wet" season, just wondering what kinds of clothes/shoes I should bring? I was planning on bringing my tevas but I wasn't sure if I should also bring my hiking boots as well? I'm probably doing a lot of jungle/"wet" hiking so feet will probably get wet either way, but just wasn't sure since the tevas are open toe. Or should I get another pair of water shoes that's closed toes as well?

Also, was thinking about possibly getting some locks for my bags, anyone got any suggestions/recommendations? Or should I just use a carabiner? This is probably mostly for San Jose since I've heard they're notorious on pickpocketing. Speaking of security, when you are off doing something like going to the beach or canyoning or boating that you will probably get all wet, where do you keep your important stuff - like passport, cards, extra money etc? Do you keep it at the accomodations?

Finally, one last question. Since it's going to be lots of wetness and rain, should I get a waterproof cover or bags for my bag/electronics/etc? If so, which ones should I get? Any other tips on keeping cameras dry but still able to take lots of pictures? Should I wrap in plastic? Buy one of those waterproofing camera cases/bags?

Thanks!

greyeyedman

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  • Added on: June 5th, 2013
My first thought is that you are going to be spending a lot of time moving. Have you factored that in? How are you traveling? I'm partial to boots. But then I've spent a lot of time in muddy jungles lugging heavy packs. I like ankle protection. For electronics I'd recommend a good waterproof bag. Also, some large size silica gel packs. Look at companies that sell commercial shipping supplies. Security... what level hotel will you be in? Above the basics there will either be in room safes or one at the desk. I don't get robbed. I suggest anything you carry on you be spread out. Neck pouch, money belt, under clothing pouches. I never carry a wallet. I carry a few loose bills and coins in my pocket. Just enough to buy a snack or pay for a cab. Then I also have my Gerber so robbery has never been a concern. Re street crime. San Jose has a bad rep but in truth it is just certain areas. Some tips to avoid pickpockets and bag slashers. As you walk down the street, stop and window shop. Use the window as a mirror to see if you are being followed. Periodically cross the street. At stop lights don't stand in the middle of a crowd. Stand nearest the building. Especially as a woman latch on to other travelers when walking at night. Stuff happens. But if you look at the number of travelers the percentage that have problems is small. Most crimes are opportunistic. Back in the 70s while training on a certain Caribbean island the first thing they taught for patroling was situational awareness. Want to be robbed? Walk along looking at the map in the guidebook. I long ago decided that if someone wanted my stuff they better be ready to die for it. It worked.

2 Global Nomads

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  • Added on: July 6th, 2013
sheisaeval wrote:Manuel Antonio/Quepos and/or Montezuma?
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Any recommendations for specific places to stay or see in any of the areas above are great.


There is one cheap backpackers hostel just beside the national park entrance in Manuel Antonio ($12/dorm bed). You will find exotic animals and gorgeous scenery from the Manuel Antonio national park.

sheisaeval wrote:Speaking of security, when you are off doing something like going to the beach or canyoning or boating that you will probably get all wet, where do you keep your important stuff - like passport, cards, extra money etc? Do you keep it at the accomodations?


Wrap them air-tightly to a plastic bag and carry all the time with you in your money belt or passport pouch. This applies to all countries everywhere in the world, no exceptions.
Travel like a global nomad: longer, cheaper, and with a smaller ecological, financial and carbon footprint.

greyeyedman

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  • Added on: July 9th, 2013
A note about getting things wet... travelers checks...if anyone still uses them when wet will display a VOID. Passports can mildew. I once had to cross into Costa Rica by wading waste deep in a stream. Even though in a zip loc bag the passport got damp and grew mold. Nicaragua border agents gave me flack about it.

encor

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  • Added on: September 25th, 2016
...sheisaeval, how did your trip to costa rica go? i am thinking about the same sort of trip there. thanks
life is a trip



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