This weekend, a fellow English teacher and I decided to venture to another country, simply because we could! Living in Liberia, we are blessed not only to be so close to the stunning beaches of the Gold Coast, but also to the border of Nicaragua, so a weekend trip there is easily achievable. It is possible to take public transit to the border for a few dollars, but we booked an affordable shuttle to have assistance crossing the border for the first time. Despite being a busy time due to Easter holidays, crossing the border was relatively painless and quick, although a bit disorganized; it is necessary to bring small American dollar bills to pay exit and entry fees as they do not have change available there.
We visited San Juan Del Sur, a beautiful bay that is only an hour drive from the Costa Rican border. It is a small town with many hostels, restaurants and bars, and shops with a noticeably younger tourist population. The highlight of the trip was hiking to the top of a mountain north of the bay to visit the colossal statue of Jesus Christ which peers out over San Juan. The steep trek up was definitely worth the unforgettable view of the ocean! We also enjoyed lounging on the beach, watched the strong waves crash upon the shore at Tranquil Point and booked a badly needed massage after our hike! Crossing the border back into Costa Rica was more organized, although it is important to ensure you have proof of an onward ticket out of the country within 90 days, whether it be a plane or bus ticket. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience in Nicaragua but I was happy to return home to Costa Rica after a few days.
This blog was contributed by Tanya, from Canada, who is teaching English and studying Spanish at Instituto Estelar Bilingüe in Liberia, Costa Rica.