Costa Rica Itinerary (April 2021)
We went to Costa Rica for 16 days, right after we were fully vaccinated. After being grounded by Covid for more than a year, we were ready to travel. At the time Costa Rica was the only country that we were interested that allowed Americans to go in without quarantine. It doesn't even need a Covid test to get in. But it has other requirements though, like having insurance to pay for hotel and healthcare in case you get Covid and have to be quarantined there. Furthermore we need to get a negative Covid test within 3 days before departure to be allowed to come back to the US.
Because of these Covid-related logistics and lack of time (we decided to go less than 4 weeks before departure), we had a travel agency (Audley Travel) to make all the arrangement for us. We need to go in a hurry because of the coming rainy season which starts at the end of April. It would not be fun walking in the mud in the rain forest. Also we wanted to go before the travel surge when most people get vaccinated.
We went the luxury route. It is a private tour for just two of us. Audley worked with us to decide where to go and made all the arrangements, such hotels, drivers and some pre-arranged tours. We arranged other tours when we got to the hotels. It worked out very well. It was a bit expensive, but we didn't have to worry about the arrangements.
We flew into San Jose, the capital. The next morning we took a small plane to Puerto Jimenez on the Osa Peninsula. An employee from Playa Cativo met us at the airport and took us by a 30-minute boat ride to the resort across the bay. We stayed in an eco-lodge there for 3 nights. After that we went back to Puerto Jimenez and were driven to another eco-lodge El Remenso at the southern tip of the Osa Peninsul. After another 3 nights, we were then driven to a hotel (Hotel Parador) near Manuel Antonio National Park. After 3 nights we went to the Trogon Lodge in San Gerado de Dota, a valley in the cloud forest at 2500 meters altitude.
After another 3 nights, we went back to San Jose. We took a rapid antigen test. We got our negative results back within 3 hours. Interestingly while we have the test results on paper and on our phones, nobody checked them. We just filled a form at the airline check-in counter stating that we both have negative tests. An honor system, indeed. We came back home without any incident.
In Costa Rica, we have to wear masks in public places. All the people we dealt with wore masks. The only exception is when we ate. Most of the restaurants there are not enclosed anyway - it is tropical. We didn't wear masks when we were on trails (we were told that we didn't need to) although the tour guides wore them all the time.. This trip was a great experience and we were glad that we did it.
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