Existing Member?

Mustache South

Entry 22: Ometepe Island – San Juan del Sur – Costa Rica: Playa Montezuma – Fortuna – Jaco

COSTA RICA | Monday, 2 June 2014 | Views [2009]

The dirt roads from Playa Popoyo to Rivas headed west and then north and dissected small villages where I encountered roadside children doing their best Usain Bolt impression, large pigs doing the road sniff waddle and freshly awakened dogs contemplating the perfect ambush tactic. Apparently, motorcycles inspire.

After shelling out $20 and waiting in San Jorge’s heat for an hour, I boarded the ferry that connects Ometepe Island with the Nicaraguan mainland. An hour later & upon landing, I took a hot lap around the town of Moyogalpa, spied Hospedaje Central and took up digs. My Spidy-sense failed me something fierce on the crib selection because the HC ended up having bed-bugs and, as I later discovered, a possible connection to the ecoovie cult.

Look it up – Manson scary!


Itchy, bat-shit crazy hostels aside, Ometepe is a relaxing and beautiful place. The twin volcanos of Concepcion and Maderas dominate the landscape for miles and are, literally, the Island of Ometepe. Concepcion is around 5,280’, is still blast active and has the textbook conical shape; Madera is shorter, has a lake in its crater and has mucho vegetation – jungle style.    '

Since leaving my job as a wildland firefighter (job synopsis: …carry heavy shit up & down mountains…), I have tried to steer clear of steep, vertical ascensions & descents using my legs but, in spite of this, I agreed to join my buddy Timo (German artist/coolio/left the Fatherland 2yrs back/we met in Honduras) on a trip up Conception. All that I’ll say about summiting the highest lake-born volcano in CA is that my knees hurt just thinking about the 3.5hr trip down. I figure that the descent cost me five ski days in Colorado.

San Juan del Sur also has cults – drinking cults, and they are everywhere! Sunday Funday! = Dear God! + MTV debauchery. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

Also happening in SJdS – Surfing. Going off a tip from my friend Dave, a fellow North Carolinian, I checked into the Yajure Surf Hostel. The next day I jumped in the back of Chelly’s (ex-surf competitor & hostel owner) pickup with 6 other hostel-lites & caught bumpy road air in route to Playa Madera and my first surf experience. After a ten minute pointer session from Chelly, I was able to stand up & straight line shred some nar froth and the occasional 3 footer. Like any sport, one must be at a certain caliber/level in order to fully appreciate what the real deal cats are doing and I, I am nowhere near that understanding but, I can tell you that surfing is fun!  

From San Juan del Sur I rolled down to Costa Rica & the Penas Blancas border crossing which, as it turns out, was the longest/suckiest crossing yet. The fun fest in Nicaragua lasted 33 days - three days longer than the allotted 30 days stamped in my passport and the oversight cost me more money in fines than what I paid to enter the country with my bike…balls!

Long story short on the Nic/CR border: 3hrs to leave Nic. + 2hrs to enter Costa Rica = 5hrs of sweaty hell.

Green is the word in Costa Rica. Man! The electric green vegetation is so radiant - it’s semi-crazy! Also green crazy in CR is the cost of things. Apologies to all the lovers and nationals but, CR and its inflated $$$ can go to hell! It is more expensive than Steamboat Springs, CO – the beautiful & mountainous land where one can flush toilet paper, drive mostly pothole free highways & if so inclined, legally smoke the pot. With “my mind on the money and my money on the mind” I only stayed for a week and skipped stuff that I wanted to do – like Vincent in Pulp Fiction, I was (figuratively) inclined to “shoot that bitch on principle.” One thing that I didn’t skip out on was the Nicoya Peninsula and Playa Montezuma. Good call – waterfalls, beautiful beaches and laid back peeps. A $7 ferry ride and scenic byways led to the beach and short hikes led to goodness. Being the rainy season, the unpaved roads offered a challenge and the pools beneath the falls were turd brown but the pros outweighed the cons and if I had more dough, I would have stayed longer. After three days I retraced the roads leading back to the ferry and once upon the mainland I went north, skirted up and around Lake Arenal, then around Volcano Arenal and on to the town of Fortuna. All in all, it was a sweet ride and the views were nice but my llevos were floating in H2O by the time I arrived and all outdoor adventures involving zip lines and bungee jumping were cancelled (by me) due to the two days of solid rain…balls!

Signs from God taken, I rolled out of town and on to Jaco – the land of 20’ crocs, surfing and a less expensive existence. I did little in Jaco. I visited the beach, saw reptiles, drank rum and met some cool peeps; two of which were heading down to the World Cup in a Dodge van full of soccer balls to dish out to children along the way – badass! Also badass is the fact that they did in 10 days what took me 5 1/2 months. Crazy!

Not much happened in CR after Jaco. I rolled towards the border, overnighted in Ciudad Neily, and left the land of dichotomy green.


Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About sneaver

Colorado: 1995 & 2013

Follow Me

Where I've been


Photo Galleries

My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about Costa Rica

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.