So i am two weeks into a 6 month backpacking adventure in Central and South America and my first stop is Costa Rica. It is absolutely gorgeous here and I feel truly blessed that I have the chance to see this gorgeous country. I’ve been so busy so this is my first chance at blogging!
I arrived into San Jose on the 4th August just after midnight, I stayed at the awesome Pangea hostel which is a party hostel downtown. I booked through the Hostelworld app. I was pretty nervous arriving into a new world at such an hour so I prebooked an airport shuttle with Pangea hostel.
Id been warned that you can get these fake airport shuttle drivers hanging outside with a ‘Hostel Pangea’ sign so I was pretty nervous. However, the hostel sent some really thorough instructions which even included a photo of what I should look out for on arrival which was comforting!
Only the picture didn’t download, so after a quick exit through immigration I made my way to the Restaurant where my shuttle was supposed to be. I had asked the hostel to provide my full name to the driver so I would know he is legit. When I exited the airport I saw a guy with a Pangea board and he approached me but I just said no and walked off and made my way to the restaurant. The restaurant is closed and there is no one there so now I am a bit confused! Then the same guy who I said no to came over and asked if I am Ria Lakhani! So turned out he wasn’t a fake and he took me to the shuttle!
A great thing happened here- which was that I met three really sweet English girls called Claudia, Alice and Katie and we got along so well that we ended up spending the entire week together! One of the best things of travelling solo is the wonderful people you meet everywhere you go. Most travellers are so open and ready to meet others and also help each other out when there is often a language and/or cultural barrier! Pangea was full of travellers from all over the world, and it has a bar, pool table, swimming pool and plenty of communal areas so it’s so easy to be social.
We arrived at the hostel which from the outside is just a tiny iron sheet door and looked a bit like a prison, but inside was so colourful with beautiful paintings and mosaics all over the walls- so much colour!
Being the princess that I am, I had booked a private room for the first two nights so I can recover from my long journey- I was procrastinating until I had to learn about how to sleep in a shared dorm room!
The rooms are basic but clean, and the walls are very thin so I could hear people snoring, showering, talking at all hours- do yourself a favour and bring ear plugs!
The showers were clean and so were the toilets. As Costa Rica does not have an advanced plumbing system you cannot throw tissue paper down the toilets. Its a bit gross at first but you get used to it- you throw waste paper in the bin next to you. You rather do that then block the toilets!
After a good night sleep I woke up and ate some good food at the hostel. As a vegetarian I was worried but their famous burrito was delicious and there was good salad with it too. There isn’t much to do in San Jose so i spent the whole day in the hostel, plus its rainy season here so it was crazy tropical thunderstorms! It was so loud we couldn’t even hear each other speak.
I met a crazy guy from Amsterdam called Ian who told me some crazy scary stories about his experiences in South America and Guatamala, I got so scared I was quite ready to pack my bag and come back home- but after speaking to him a little bit more I realised that Ian might be telling a few porkies.
Although there was great music playing, and the hostel bar was full of people, I fancied an early night and hit the hay.
The next morning I took an Uber (amazing, I know!)to the 7.10 bus terminal to get my bus to Arenal, La Fortuna. It was a short taxi ride, but perhaps a bit far to walk with my bags- plus I’ve heard some parts of San Jose are not too nice so I didn’t want to risk it- and let’s face it.. I’m lazy!
I also stayed at Pangea again when passing through to make my trip to Tortuguero. The shared dorms were very clean and there were a couple of sockets to charge gadgets. The bunk beds were a bit rusty which stained my clothes that i left hanging to dry.
The toilets downstairs were very clean and the showers have hot water running all day. The wifi connection is really good and fast which is handy- there are computers you can use too.
The pool is nice and its a great social area to hang out, the staff are really nice although the big guy in the bar/kitchen is a bit pervy! Diego organises tours and is also really helpful when planning onward travel- he is just an overall cool dude so definitely say hi to him!
Pangea hostel is pretty big, there are loads of people from all over the world, it’s very easy to make new friends here! Its clean and efficient. The only 2 things to improve is that they need more sockets in rooms (seems to be a thing all over Costa Rica) and they don’t have a kitchen. Food here works out to be about 4,000 colonnes on average.