In Costa Rica, most tourists visit places close to the Pacific ocean, which was also my case three years ago. Making use of the fact that it was my second time to the country and that I had a car, I crossed the country along the Caribbean coast this time. The differences were visible. It was even more humid and lush green and it rained several times a day. And I noticed an increase in black population and their cuisine.
Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a touristy beach town on the Caribbean coast and is just about 40 minutes from the border with Panama. It was warm but cloudy at the same time – a convenient combination for hanging out at a beach.
I heard about an abandoned pirate ship at the beach a day before, and it was at an unmissable place.
@Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica, February 16, 2018
In Latin America, every city I visit has a church, so I began to almost not care about any churches. In Leon, however, I visited Iglesia La Merced to climb the roof – the church is the tallest building in Centro area.
There was a boy collecting $1 before climbing the stairs. The stairway was steep and narrow. Finally, the view was clear and the wind was refreshing, but I think it was better in Leon!
@Iglesia la Merced, Granada, Nicaragua, February 13, 2018
Recently I concluded that I am a water person, instead of a mountain person. I am happy when I’m close to water. And what I enjoy about climbing a mountain is that I can see water on the ground from a high altitude.
Lake Atitlan is a big body of water so I was looking forward to it. But there are almost around 10 different lake towns to choose from. After research, I chose San Antonio Palopo because it’s a quite small town – I wanted to hear the water without too much noise from human activities. So I sat on one dock and I was just there for a while. I was trying hard to remember the whole experience and sensations for future, but I didn’t know what I could do in particular.
Out of curiosity, I stopped by Panajachel, the most touristy lake town, as I was driving to Antigua. The town was not too packed and the bustling streets with lots of food options looked actually convenient.
@lake Atitlan, Guatemala, February 7, 2018
Costa Rica is known for a variety of adventure activities in nature, but this time (my second visit to the country) my body demanded a hot spring. I was originally going to a hot spring near Liberia, but the rough gravel roads did not sound motivating. Then I remembered a place where the tour guide had taken us three years ago. Only remembering that it was near La Fortuna, I began to track it down.
@Hot spring “Rio Chollin”, La Fortuna, Costa Rica, Feb 15, 2018
My destination was Plaza Libertad, the main square in the capital city of El Salvador, San Salvador. After 5 months of traveling by car, I’ve become more comfortable with finding parking spots at the very center of a city, but this time I never expected that the Plaza would be surrounded by traditional markets.
On another note, driving through a crowded market is an unusual experience – you watch all the people around or surrounding your car, minding their own businesses, yet you are in your private area, often air-conditioned. It is like an urban safari.
@San Salvador, El Salvador, February 10, 2018
Biking through the peaceful-looking Google Headquarters with the Gbike.
@Google Headquarters, Mountain View, California – December 7, 2017
I woke up to the sound of rain in the car. When it rains, the car becomes a metal sound amplifier and I enjoy the experience.
@Portland, Oregon, US
Mt. Sentinel is also known for the giant M letter on it, which is clearly visible in downtown Missoula. It was a steep and zigzagging path with almost no trees, which allows hikers great views of the city at any angle.
@Mt. Sentinel, Missoula, Montana, US – November 15, 2017