Today, we walked a bit in San Jose and went to La Fortuna.
San Jose is the capital, half the population lives here and there isn’t much to see for us. It is told to be dangerous, but we didn’t get into any trouble and since we had some time on our hands this morning, we walked in the streets (of the neighborhoods we knew were safe). We searched for an ATM and it was quite the quest but we finally got what we needed. Here, the currency is the colones but there are so many tourists that most ATM also distribute dollars, so we can pay almost everywhere in dollars (not for very small amounts, but for accommodations and tours for example) with an acceptable rate. Thank you American tourists.
The streets are broad, with reasonably wide and incredibly high sidewalks (you can feel that rain doesn’t fool around here). The center feels European enough, with a few old buildings, a few recent ones and chain stores in one or two pedestrian streets. The taxis are red and the people very helpful and nice. After trying out 6 ATMs in total, among which only 2 gave us money (one had colones, the other dollars) it was time to get to our bus. We traveled for 5 hours again, and arrived in La Fortuna.
Less than 10 years ago, the main attraction was the active volcano where people could take pictures of red glowing lava. During this activity period, the whole region got into tourism, and when the volcano went back to sleep… the region carried on ! Since there is everywhere nice jungle with animals, hiking trails on volcano sides and thermal baths that remained active, the tourists keep on coming (us included). Furthermore, we are nicely surprised by the quality of services we have encountered and the prices (we expected to be bankrupted very fast according to other travelers but since it’s low-season we’re really okay !) so now we have a nice room with volcano-view (during the day) and the best kitchen we’ve encountered !
See you tomorrow ! X