Costa Rica Visa Run From Panama

Before we left Bocas del Toro, we decided to take a brief trip to Costa Rica. We’ve never been to Costa Rica and it’s quite close to Bocas. Also, we have been in Panama for over four months, and don’t want to rush through the rest before our six month visa expires. The plan was to spend three days and nights in a cute Costa Rican beach town, lazing about in a hotel, seeing some sights, and relaxing. It was supposed to be an easy Panama to Costa Rica visa run. Fun? Yes. Easy? Not a chance.

Leaving Panama for Costa Rica
Leaving Panama for Costa Rica

Costa Rica Visa Run Started Off Great!

The trip to Costa Rica from Bocas town on Isla Colon was easy, and faster than we expected. We took two water taxis and two buses, and had escorts who led us to check out of Panama, and across the bridge to check in to Costa Rica. Clearing in was easy and we arrived at our hotel in Puerto Viejo early. We also didn’t realize we’d be in a different time zone, so we were even earlier! Panama – Eastern Time Zone; Costa Rica – Central.

We had heard many good things about Costa Rica. Pura Vida. And, despite a few big issues, we liked Costa Rica.

Fun Fact! Costa Rica was the last country in Central America I hadn’t visited. Although one night in El Salvador hardly counts.

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Vaccine Hunting in Florida

All your “I got Vaxxed” posts motivated us. Colombia is struggling to inoculate its residents, so there is little chance we would have gotten vaccinated there soon. We researched options and went vaccine hunting in Florida.

Long Time Away From the Boat

We left Colombia a week ago. It’s been a long strange week but a good one. The weirdest, and hardest part, is being away from Sava. It’s only been a week so far, but that’s the longest we’ve been away from the boat. In Curaçao we lived in an airbnb for a few weeks, but we still visited Sava daily while she was in the yard.

We are travelers, so being away from home isn’t an issue. But being away from our boat feels wrong. It feels like snorkeling without fins or traveling without luggage or Linus without his blanket. Sava is safe at a marina and will be fine when we get back, but I have to say I am antsy to get back even though we’re having lots of fun and reuniting with lots of people.

They say that sailors are called back to the sea; for us, it’s not that extreme, but we are drawn to marinas, bars on the water, and our cruising friends when we are not near our boat. We are not used to being away!

Sava Cartagena
One last photo before leaving Sava in Cartagena

It’s been two years and a few months since we sailed away from the U.S., and coming back by air almost feels like cheating. Yet, this was what we would have done if Covid hadn’t stopped travel for so long. We hope to plan more trips by air in between our passages, and hope for visitors to return to Sava before long.

Goals for the Trip

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A Night Off The Boat

We love our life on board Sava, but a 46 foot sailboat is not the most comfortable home. So for my birthday we checked in to a night of luxury! After a year of only sleeping on board, we spent a night off the boat in a boutique hotel in Bonaire. It was even better than we hoped it would be.

Bamboo Bali Bonaire

Brian’s birthday dinner at Chef’s Bonaire turned into a present for both of us when the owner gifted us a free night at the attached hotel. Bamboo Bali is one of the top rated places to stay on the island, for regular people, not just to grubby cruisers like us.

The resort is located north of Kralendijk, within walking distance of several restaurants, beach clubs, and a supermarket. Our accommodation had a front patio, bedroom, bathroom and kitchens and private outside spaces with seating and an outdoor shower.

All guests at Bamboo Bali have access to a pool, hot tub, free wifi, and a gas grill with outdoor dining. In our one night stay, we used all of these amenities! We don’t get a night off the boat often, so we took advantage. It was wonderful.

Pool at Bamboo Bali resort
The pool at Bamboo Bali
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I Like This Place! Corn Islands

Brian and I made it to Corn Islands on Saturday morning, and it’s very relaxing. There are a few things to do here in Corn Islands: dive, drink beer and/or rum, eat seafood, relax in the sun and/or shade, repeat. That’s been us for the first 2 days of our stay here. We like Corn Islands a lot.

Corn Island Accommodations

We are staying in a really cool “eco-cabin” up a hill with a nice view of the sea. This is our view from the deck/patio.

Los Escapados Corn Island
View from our patio, Corn Islands

Roy, the Aussie who created Los Escapados, calls it “Glamping.”  We’re staying in a very sturdy tent built into the ground with a deck, electricity and a very nice bathroom. The ocean is straight downhill, and we’re only a few minutes walk to the dive shop and a number of restaurants, convenience stores and bars. We feel at home, and our accommodations are only the first of many reasons to like Corn Islands.

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Traveling With a Friend: Melyna on The Go Stories

The time has really been flying and now Lyna is on her way back to Toronto. The Melyna adventure has ended, but we did have some good times, and some interesting ones. There are a few tales I have not yet told about our adventures! Sometimes the funniest stuff happens when you’re traveling with a friend! As I move on to my solo Nica travels, here’s some of the good, the ridiculous, and the funny of the 10 days of “Melyna on the Go.”

Meeting other Canadians

There are a lot of Canadians in Nicaragua. We’ve met many from B.C. and Toronto and even a backpacker on the Ometepe shuttle bus from College and Ossington, but the best meet cute was in our hotel in Granada. The hotel included breakfast, but no matter how few or many people they were, the cooks couldn’t keep up with the demand. Lyna was wearing her Toronto Blue Jays shirt and went up to the counter to look for her pancakes. A tall man approached her carrying a plate and as he was asking her if she was from Canada, she asked him “Are those my pancakes?” Yes, she was from Canada, as were he and his friends, and no, they weren’t her pancakes, they were his. April, Lyna said you would appreciate that story. Her pancakes did come shortly after but included the wrong ingredients. Nicaragua!

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