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Hi I'm in Costa Rica! Read the Truth (Experience)

USA
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Hi I'm in Costa Rica! Read the Truth (Experience)

This is My personal experience thus Far. The Truth!..I've been here for two weeks so far and the beginning of my trip I went to Puerto Viejo where I paid to rent a house. Well it was a complete Nightmare! A very depressing area and I did not feel safe although people out there seemed nice. I was told by an American who live there 10+ yrs to guard my stuff! But how could I if my rental had no bars on windows. Plus my two year old was with me. In addition, the rental property manager was very rude to me and very unprofessional to say the least. (Thats aNOTHER STORY)Then she had the nerve to ask for more money which was not discussed in our online/ emailing agreement on top of other things she failed to mentioned. But I will admit the house was kinda cute. But when you think about safety factors surrounded it well... U know. Anyway as a FYI do not rent before seeing the location first and stay away from this lady business(shady) I will not mention her name...etc at the moment.

Good News! A wonderful "Gecko tour" company employee invited me and my child to stay with their family Truly! A tico experience! They have cooked for me and my son, taken us out with their friends and everything has been great! I don't know what I would have done had we been stranded in Puerto Viejo. In my opinion puerto Viejo would b a nice 3 day trip but nothing longer. Why! Nothing is out there. And very sad to see living conditions of many. Like how can one be happy surrounded by poverty.

Since I am staying in Costa Rica for a Few months. I will continue to share my experience. Any who, I'm still with the wonderful Tico family so I will give more details of my living experience later on. That being said, wonderful people in Costa Rica and they truly love little children.

So far I've rode the local buses (very cheap! like 180 colones) shopped downtown, ate tasty tico dishes, visit a local mall and my son has made friends with other Tico kids and their pet dogs. He is truly loving it!

London, England...
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1. Re: Hi I'm in Costa Rica! Read the Truth (Experience)

Sorry to hear of your bad experiences so far, at least it's on the up now!!

What's keeping you in CR for so long? Quite a holiday!!

Costa Rica
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2. Re: Hi I'm in Costa Rica! Read the Truth (Experience)

I'd like to emphasize this: Its YOUR experience and YOUR "truth."

Enjoyed reading your post -- be sure to let us know how things are going and what you are doing.

Slovenia
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for Costa Rica
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3. Re: Hi I'm in Costa Rica! Read the Truth (Experience)

The inter culture shock can be pretty heavy sometimes. Glad you are in good hands now, hopefully it will go upward only from now. Keep posting. Every truth is only a personal thing; so many persons so many truths. And they are all truth.

USA
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4. Re: Hi I'm in Costa Rica! Read the Truth (Experience)

I've read stories of families who decided to one day pack up and travel around the world just to experience its history and culture. So I decided to go on my own adventure starting with Costa Rica. My goal was/is to experience the country from a non tourist point of view. The good and the bad and see how far it takes me.

Costa Rica
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5. Re: Hi I'm in Costa Rica! Read the Truth (Experience)

What do you mean, exactly, "from a non-tourist point of view?"

I do hope your experiences live up to the expectation. Are you going to spend all your time on the Caribbean coast or travel around the country a bit?

Grecia, Costa Rica
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for Province of Alajuela
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6. Re: Hi I'm in Costa Rica! Read the Truth (Experience)

Sorry to hear about your troubles. Glad Geckoe Trails is taking good care of you, they are a class act, good folks.

I agree everyone on any trip anywhere in the world will take away their own impressions and experiences. One can only hope those experiences in the end enrich you in some way shape or form. You should travel around the country as much as you can. The differences in areas can be striking. Where I live for instance crime is basically unheard for the most part.

Keep us all posted, interesting observations.

USA
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7. Re: Hi I'm in Costa Rica! Read the Truth (Experience)

I've read stories of families who decided to one day pack up and travel around the world just to experience its history and culture. So I decided to go on my own adventure starting with Costa Rica. My goal was/is to experience the country from a non tourist point of view. The good and the bad and see how far it takes me.

I've read stories of families who decided to one day pack up and travel around the world just to experience its history and culture. So I decided to go on my own adventure starting with Costa Rica. My goal was/is to experience the country. The good and the bad and see how far it takes me.

Right now, I am staying in Alajuela, about 20 mins from downtown by bus. So far I've met a very small # of people who can speak English but the cute thing is they are happy to say a few words. Of course I don't know any Spanish but from time to time I will use my cell phone to look up a few sentences/words. Overall, I hope to speak some Spanish by the end of this trip.

So far I haven't done much since I have a two year old accompanying me. But we are creative at staying busy for the most part. Our neighbor across the way has given me their bicycle to borrow momentarily. Ofcourse the breaks arent that great. But my child loves riding on it in the neighborhood. So I'm happy with that. Lol

At the moment I am in search for a small, reliable car to buy so I can travel around Costa Rica. So wish me luck finding a car! Any advice please share!

London, England...
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8. Re: Hi I'm in Costa Rica! Read the Truth (Experience)

No wonder your family were nervous about you just jollying off for 2 months with a toddler in tow! You have a very understanding husband/partner!! (And boss!!)

Costa Rica
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9. Re: Hi I'm in Costa Rica! Read the Truth (Experience)

Mela - cars here are very expensive so be prepared for that. All cars are imported and have a HUGE import tax, sometimes more than 50%. The prices for cars will probably shock you.

Plus there's not much in the way of laws regarding the sale of cars so people frequently find things like - a car that has been totaled in the US, imported here and painted and fixed up a bit and sold as "almost new." Also, you will find many cases of the odometer being turned back.

I can understand your wanting a car to travel around, but expect to pay quite a bit for a decent car. To give you some idea: I drive a 15-year-old car and it is currently valued in Costa Rica around $6,000. And no, it's not a Mercedes but a Mazda. (In the US, I would be lucky to get $1500 for it.)

You will need to be very careful. If you can make friends with some of your neighbors, ask them to refer you to a good mechanic and start from there. Speaking Spanish is pretty much essential. If I were you, I would plan on taking a "crash course." Spanish courses are available pretty much everywhere. There are lots of them in San Jose, of course (ugh) and some in Heredia and several at both Samara Beach and Tamarindo. Intercultura is a good company to deal with.

A good source of information is the forum at www.arcr.net (Association of Residents of Costa Rica). You will find a lot of people who live here participating there and can help you a lot. Another place to find good information is Kay's Postres which I think is in Atenas but is a "gringo hangout" and apparently has an active bulletin board.

Nowhere
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for Playa Samara
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10. Re: Hi I'm in Costa Rica! Read the Truth (Experience)

There is something about Mela's posts that make me cringe. As though I am just waiting to hear some disastrous news.

There seems to be quite a bit of innocence that, paired with the presence of a two-year old, has me a bit scared.

Mela - is this your first trip abroad?

Please listen to the advice that people on this forum give you.