Country #21 - Costa Rica

San Jose

Today I left Nicaragua pretty early for my flight to San Jose, Costa Rica. I was really excited for today because for the first time in a few days I am able to get out and explore! I took the free hotel shuttle to my hotel, Adventure Inn. Thank you so much to Adventure Inn for sponsoring this night of my stay! It was a really cool hotel with a definite Costa Rica feel. My room was not yet ready when I arrived because I was being upgraded to a suite - yay! I sat by the pool for a little bit before embarking on my day in San Jose.

I Ubered into the heart of the city, which took about forty-five minutes with the horrible San Jose traffic. My first stop was the National Museum. It was such a cool museum! When you first walk in you walk straight into an amazing butterfly garden. It is a huge enclosure and there are so many beautiful butterflies. Some of them were huge! I definitely took my time walking through as it was such a cool room. There was then an exhibit on the history of the building itself, which used to be a military use building.

The most interesting part of the museum was definitely how well it laid out the history of Costa Rica up until the present time. It was interesting to see how much they referenced the United States in the museum, as it was a major goal when becoming independent to be officially recognized by the US. I thought the exhibit on current issues in Costa Rica was the most fascinating and well done because it talked about so much that you wonder about when you are a visitor in a country. After finishing up all of the exhibits I exited out through the butterfly garden.

I walked down the street to a yummy Italian restaurant where I had a very satisfying lasagna. It was the first time I have eaten a real, hearty meal in a few days due to my stomach, and boy was it satisfying! I had a Fresca to drink accidentally (I thought he said Fanta) but this was a welcome mistake because Fresca in Latin America is much better in my opinion than it is at home! It tasted a lot like Sun Drop for those of you who know what that is (if you don’t you’re missing out). The restaurant definitely took a long time as it was during lunch, but it was worth it for the lasagna.

After lunch, I headed on a ten-minute walk to the National Theater. It borders a large outdoor square that was filled with people out enjoying the day! I bought my ticket and waited a few minutes for the English speaking tour. It was me and one other woman, from Ukraine, on the tour. Our guide was probably my age but she was super helpful and did a great job explaining everything about the amazing National Theater. It was such a cool building with a really unique history!

The theater looks like something you would see in Europe, which is definitely intentional. Most every aspect of the building was imported from Europe, and it was an absolutely stunning building. The painted ceiling is supposedly the most impressive ceiling in Latin America, and it was pretty cool. The floor of the theater was also really interesting. It is sloped down to where people in the seats can see over the row in front of them, like a normal theater. However, there is a giant mechanism under the floor that requires a lot of people to help turn that actually flattens the floor out. After doing this the theater can then be used for banquets or even State Dinners. Costa Rica does not have a national palace or any other type of national building for its president, so the National Theater is used instead. If you ever make it to San Jose this place is a must see! I loved getting to explore San Jose, but I would definitely like to come back to Costa Rica and do the more nature focused things that the country is known for!

After the National Theater, I decided to head back to my hotel. I probably could have squeezed in one last hotel, but I was pretty exhausted. My Uber driver back was really nice and is a Chemistry Professor at a local university. The drive took a while again with traffic, but I was glad to have at least beat rush hour! After arriving back at Adventure Inn I had a really good pizza in the hotel restaurant. I then headed back to my room to watch the series finale of Pretty Little Liars. Yes, I know the show is ridiculous. But having watched every episode since the beginning I needed to watch the last episode without it being spoiled. It definitely was not the best ending, but I’m just relieved that the crazy show is over. At least I had good internet for the first time in a few days to be able to watch! After the ending, I went to sleep pretty quickly. I head to Panama tomorrow!

21 countries down, 176 to go.

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