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Tag: "Costa Rica"

Pension - Hostels in Monteverde, Costa Rica - Fabulous Travel Guide

Where to stay in Monteverde, Costa Rica

[ 0 ] June 1, 2011

Monteverde is a great base for exploring the cloud forest in Costa Rica and there’s plenty of cheap hostels available.

Check out our reviews of the best places to stay in town…

Pension - Hostels in Monteverde, Costa Rica - Places to stay in Monteverde - Fabulous Travel Guide

Pension Santa Elena - Hostels in Monteverde, Costa Rica - Fabulous Travel Guide

Pension Santa Elena ($10USD for dorm) is our top pick for its communal kitchen, friendly staff and chilled out atmosphere. Hammocks hang out on the porch and there’s free wifi for guests.

Monteverde Backpackers ($10USD per night dorm) is a little dark and dreary but the dorms are clean, there’s a TV area and it’s a stone’s throw from the main street.

Hostel Montelena
offers surprisingly good rates for private rooms. We managed to wangle one for just $6USD. There’s also a kitchen, free internet and clean bathrooms.

Casa Tranquilo has a more worn out, beach hut feel. Dorms cost $8USD and include breakfast and wifi.

Going zip lining through the cloud forest? See which agency is the best one to book through and check out the pics! Don’t forget to visit the best beaches in Central America!

Zip-lining in Monteverde, Costa Rica - What to do in Costa Rica - Fabulous Travel Guide

Swing through the cloud forest in Monteverde

[ 2 ] May 22, 2011

Fancy swinging through the cloud forest in Costa Rica? Monteverde is home to some of the best canopy tours in Central America and the zip lines are insane!

Aventura is a great company to go with as it boasts 12 cables, a gigantic Tarzan swing, rope bridges and the spectacular Superman Cable – where you actually feel like you’re flying! And the best part? You’re 260ft in the air.

Zip-lining in Monteverde, Costa Rica - Ziplining in Costa Rica - What to do in Costa Rica - Fabulous Travel Guide

Zip-lining in Monteverde, Costa Rica - What to do in Costa Rica - Fabulous Travel Guide

A two-hour tour, including equipment,  hostel pickup and a team of guides, costs just $40 (less with a student card). Staff here are friendly, professional and good fun! Email:  aventuracanopy@monteverdecostarica.info to reserve your spot.

What to wear

The cloud forest is usually wet and muddy so wear hiking boots/trainers, thick socks, a waterproof coat and long trousers. You can take your camera but make sure it’s secure or give it to one of the guides.

Travelling through the rest of Central America? See pictures of the best beaches and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for more travel tips!

Hit the surf in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Hit the surf in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

[ 2 ] March 14, 2011

Looking for a good surf spot in Costa Rica? If you don’t mind high-rise hotels, throngs of wealthy Americans and eating at fast-food restaurants, then Tamarindo can be lots of fun.

With two pretty beaches, and great waves for surfing, this little town attracts backpackers and families alike. But with prices on the increases, it’s starting to lose its appeal, so get down here quick while you can still afford it.

Surfer at Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

Josh Allen hits the surf at Playa Langosta, Tamarindo

Where to surf

Nearby Playa Langosta caters to the more experienced surfers (head there at 7am to catch 5ft waves) while the local beach is more geared up for beginners. Most hostels offer surf board rental for $10 per day and you can get lessons pretty much anywhere.

Tamarindo, Costa Rica - Fabulous Travel Guide

Tamarindo, Costa Rica - Fabulous Travel Guide

Where to eat

Want to kick-start the day with a healthy breakfast? Head down to Pura Vida for delicious smoothies (1000 colones – £1.20) and if you fancy a quick snack try the empanadas at nearby Burger Beach. Be warned: they’re addictive.

Where to party

There is something different happening every night of the week from open mic events to ‘Single and Mingle’ nights. Aqua is a cool club on the beachfront with regular ladies’ nights and parties that keep backpackers flocking in their droves. If salsa and live music is more your thing head to the Crazy Monkey.

Want to see more pictures of Costa Rica? Check out our photo gallery of Tamarindo and see what else there is to do in Central America.

Crossing borders in Central America - Tips and advice - Fabulous Travel Guide

How to cross borders in Central America

[ 6 ] March 4, 2011

Planning to travel through Central America? Crossing borders is fairly straight forward but occasionally tourists have trouble. Read these top tips for crossing borders safely:

* Avoid crossing borders at night

There’s usually a fair bit of walking to do between immigration offices so don’t leave yourself in a vulnerable position by arriving at night. You’re an easy target.

* Get stamped

Make sure you get stamped in and out of countries – this is really important as you could get refused entry/exit.

Crossing borders in Central America - Tips and advice for crossing borders - Fabulous Travel Guide

Crossing borders in Central America - Tips and advice - Fabulous Travel Guide

* Keep tourist cards and documents safe

It’s a good idea to buy a passport wallet so you can tuck away forms and tourist cards.

* Proof of onward travel

Read the latest entry requirements before travelling. Some countries, such as Costa Rica and Panama, require proof of onward travel. So print off flight documents or bus tickets ready to show them.

* Ask for receipts

There is usually a departure tax/entry fee when crossing borders in Central America. However, always ask for a receipt (see Spanish phrases) as tourists are often ripped off. It’s a good idea to carry extra cash in case of emergencies.

* Change your currency before you get to the border

You’ll get a better deal if you change your currency before you reach the border.  If you do need to change money, make sure you know the exchange rate before you start negotiating.

* Be wary of fraudsters

Don’t hand your passport over to anyone until you’re safely inside the immigration building. Some fraudsters try and get you to ‘buy’ a stamp outside and insist you give them your passport. Don’t!

* Don’t leave valuables in your backpack

If you take a bus over the border it will usually drop you off at immigration and drive through separately. Don’t leave any valuables in your backpack – keep them on your person at all times (a money belt is a good idea).

* Travel in a group

You’re less likely to get ripped off if you’re in a group. If you’re travelling solo don’t worry, there will always be other people crossing at the same time as you so try and stick with them.

* Don’t carry drugs!

This may seem like an obvious one but it’s surprising how many travellers get into trouble because they forget to check their pockets.

Planning a trip to Central America? Get more tips for travelling safely abroad and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter!

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