During November 2016, we’ve visited Costa Rica, Panama and also landed on South American continent in Venezuela.
Costa Rica and Panama are very similar with one big difference. Costa Rica is more expensive and almost felt like being in the USA – how places look, what kind of tourists visit the country and what language we heard most often.
Panama surprised us with lovely people and beautiful capital city. Both the modern part and historical part were pleasant to walk around. Many people shouted at us “Welcome to Panama”! on the street.
And the best spontaneous decision ever was to visit Venezuela. Despite having an economic crisis in the country, we felt safe and welcomed. And nature..aaaah…the most beautiful we’ve ever seen. You will see a lot of pictures from Canaima national park.
Travelled: 5227 km
Spent: 13 days in Costa Rica, 10 days in Panama, 7 days in Venezuela (continuing in December)
Average spent per day per person: 48 USD (45 EUR) in Costa Rica, 66 USD (62 EUR) in Panama, 44 USD (41 EUR) in Venezuela
Slept in: 5 beds in Costa Rica, 2 beds in Panama, 4 beds in Venezuela
- 4 planes (Panama City to Caracas in Venezuela, continuing to Puerto Ordaz in Venezuela, round trip to Canaima national park),
- 2 buses,
- 5 boats (through Panama Canal, round trip to San Blas Islands, Angel Falls in Venezuela),
- 2 cars (road trip in Costa Rica, from Panama City to the port for San Blas Islands)
- 1 bike ride (around Panama City)
My mom (Maya) backpacking with us
After 2 weeks in Nicaragua, we moved to Costa Rica for a week with my mom. We’ve hiked the volcano, bathed in a hot volcanic river and saw some crazy creatures in Costa Rican jungle – tarantula being the biggest hit.
Releasing butterflies in Cloud Forest Monteverde, Costa Rica
This was the only tour that was worth the money in Costa Rica. We’ve visited Monteverde Butterfly Gardens and not only got to release newborn butterflies but also learnt a lot about them and other creatures from the jungle.
Chasing the frogs at night in Arenal national park, Costa Rica
After few hours spending in the hot volcanic river, we’ve waited until dark when all the frogs become loud, took a head torch and started searching the leafs and following the sounds.
Biking around Panama City
It felt so good to be back on the bike. We’ve rented one gear city bikes and went for a ride from Panama City downtown, through the old town Panama Viejo to the Panama Bay where ships were waiting to go through Panama Canal.
Boat tour through Panama Canal
We’ve always wanted to see the Panama Canal. And not only you can do that from a nearby museum, you can go on a boat through the canal! So we splurged on ourselves and booked a tour. Worth every penny.
Just 2 days after we’ve visited, one of the most expensive (US military) ship in the got stuck in the canal. We safely sailed through with another tour boat and 1 huge cargo boat.
Becoming millionaires in Venezuela
This is crazy. The value of Venezuelan bolivar is devaluating so much..we exchanged 100 USD and got a full bag of money. Three weeks later, this pile would have been twice as big. We had to carry full pockets of money just to buy a beer.
Visiting the highest waterfall on Earth (979m) – Angel Falls in Venezuela
No words necessary, just look at the picture.
Waterfalls in Canaima national park, Venezuela
The second part of the trip to Angel Falls was visiting the lagoon and surrounding waterfalls. Walking behind a waterfall was a cherry on top.
Disappointing Costa Rica
Costa Rican jungles are beautiful and the fact that Costa Rica is expensive is no news. What struck me the most was that it was absolutely not worth the money. Paying 15$ just to see a waterfall? Then another 15$ for a 5km hike? Thanks but no.
Evacuation from San Blas Islands, Panama
San Blas Islands are Caribbean paradise. We spent almost 2 days on an island around 200m long without internet and living in a hut with sandy floors. But then the tropical storm Otto arrived and it was no longer safe to stay. The boat ride back to the mainland was very bumpy and we were all soaked. In 12 hours, 2 meters of the island were washed away.
Parrot attack in Venezuela
Friendly macaw parrot climbed on Michal’s fingers. Then he climbed onto mine. And then that freak started pecking his beak into my hand. It was very painful and also traumatic experience. I no longer like parrots. I had bandages on my hand for days and it hurt every time I moved my fingers. A lovely lady from the hotel told us way too late that he just doesn’t like girls.