thekombichronicles Check-Ins

Date Place Comment
May 4th, 2022 DIJ Vehicle Inspection

We arrived about 8.15 and saw someone straight away. Shame they were incredibly rude and aggressive, but in the end we got there. Maybe they are less horrible if you get there earlier. You can make copies behind the building up the ramp for 25c each.

May 4th, 2022 Aduana Office David

These guys are totally useless. Had to renew our tip here twice both times they made several mistakes. Women was super arsy and very slow. Took over an hour. TRIPLE check your papers.

May 4th, 2022 Exit Visa for Dogs

Now costs $10. Price per form, not pet. Can do multiples pets on one form. Do not use old link in comments, they wouldn’t accept ours although it went through online and we had to redo it. (Weird note: if you have problems entering info on the form, zoom out on the page.) Use new link in photo labelled 2022. Also includes bank info.

May 2nd, 2022 La Casa De Juan

It’s a nice space to camp and they have good facilities but for us it was super loud. I can deal with them playing music, way past 10pm, but the church opposite had some kind of loud and angry service until about 3am Saturday and past midnight Sunday. There’s also a lot of roosters crowing in the very early morning, so consider that if noise affects you. They also now ask for $8pp which I think is a bit expensive.

May 2nd, 2022 CopaCargo Mascota check in counter

We went here to buy tickets to bring our pet in the cabin. We got them to check there was space first on the flight we wanted, booked them on our phone as it was cheaper for the same flight, then paid $130 per pet for their tickets. Easy.

April 29th, 2022 Playa Guánico

Lovely place! The restaurant were so lovely and welcoming. Offered us water, showers, electric and wifi all for free. Camped right on the beach, perfect for surfing. Restaurant food/drinks are cheap and good. Recommend this one. Wish we could have stayed longer.

April 25th, 2022 Hostal Los Tecales

Stayed here as the other options in Santa Catalina were quite noisy for us. Friendly guy, nice garden. Pretty quiet even though next to the road. Reasonably priced, still charged us $10 inc hookup. Hose at the back to easily fill water containers. There is a washing machine too but we didn’t ask to use it.

April 24th, 2022 Free Camp!

Came here as it was pretty noisy at the seafront for the weekend. Saw that were some building materials around the night before and at 7am Sunday morning some workers turned up. They didn’t seem to mind, but it may not be an option for much longer.

April 24th, 2022 Parking next to the beach (gated)

You can actually park for free on the sand on the side of the river just by this spot, the restaurant said it was fine. Wouldn’t recommend it at the weekend as the restaurant played music till about 1am. However, without that it would be a great spot. Toilets, showers and water in the restaurant available and friendly staff.

April 23rd, 2022 Cangilones de Gualaca

This is obviously luck! We thought we’d try to stay here and move down to one of the other free spots if the police kicked us out. They did turn up and warned us it was dangerous because apparently there’s lots of snakes. They were very friendly and welcoming, said to make sure we lock our doors and they would be patrolling. Had a lovely night, cool and incredibly quiet. No cars at all.

April 22nd, 2022 On the beach

Nice spot. Big open grassy space on the beach. Not a beautiful beach like Playa Bluff but nice enough. Hard ground and level. Friendly locals didn’t say anything. Quiet and conveniently close to town. Bin near the entrance.

April 22nd, 2022 Báltija Ferry

Definitely get here early, when we arrived at 9.10 the ferry was nearly full and it left at 9.49. We paid $50 each way for our kombi and two people.

April 18th, 2022 Family Resturant Overnight Parking

What a lovely place! We didn’t fancy waiting in town for the ferry to bocas so we came here. Very friendly family and a beautiful area. Offered to make us breakfast too. We had the fish fillet and the lobster which came with patacones and two drinks each for $34. Food was great. Quiet at night.

April 17th, 2022 Pipeline Trail

Nice little trail (check all trails for more information) to a waterfall at the end (not much water right now) and also an ancient tree. Putting this on here as it was a great place to spot quetzals, we easily saw about 5. Made it worth the $5pp we paid. Take bug spray. Toilets available.

April 13th, 2022 Panama Camping RV park

Wanted $20 per night for the van. Weren’t willing to negotiate when we said we didn’t want any services. We didn’t stay.

February 26th, 2022 Hostel Bambu

Currently staying here long term while we get some major issues sorted with the van. Gregg the owner is friendly and helpful. $25 private room shared bath. Pet friendly. Good wifi, nice pool and kitchen area. Quiet and relaxed. Recommended.

February 26th, 2022 Gearbox Specialist

They can repair manuals and automatics here. We paid $275 for complete gearbox strip down in order to change the bearings and also swap some other gears in which we already had. Took two days. Friendly guy. Very reasonably priced and good to find somewhere that will work on a manual.

February 14th, 2022 Siaxola/Guabito bordercrossing, Immigration and Customs office Costa Rica.

Beware - as of 28/01/22 you need to be triple vaccinated or have a antigen test.
We paid our exit fee online before so exit took about 20 minutes for us and the car. Changed our colonies at the copy shop. bridge officials checked passports and wanted go see onside. They saw our pets and told us where do park on the other side. Fumigation paperwork first, $3. Then pets. $15 per pet for inspection + $10 for papers. $40 total for two cats. We used our Costa Rican IPSA health certificate from entering (valid for 3 months) and vaccine cards. They told us they would email us the paperwork and gave us a receipt. Immigration, insurance ($25 per month) and TIP all easy to do but slow. 4hrs total.

February 12th, 2022 Copies and photocopies

I wasn't able to find this place.

February 7th, 2022 Beach south of Puerto Limón

Busy on Sunday as you would expect. Be careful of the sand if you don’t have 4x4. We had to dig ourselves out and watched at least four other cars get stuck too. Park nearer the river for firmer ground.

February 6th, 2022 Instituto forestal wild camp

Still a good place to stop of while travelling through. There is a great view of the lake and dam just before this point too. Still got 24hr security who were happy for us to park up. Very quiet road, even on Saturday night.

February 4th, 2022 parque infantil Buenos Aires

Well we stayed here a lot. Very quiet at night. Filled up our non potable tank with the hose in the park but I wouldn’t drink it, smells strongly of chlorine. We stayed here probably about 10 nights on three different occasions. Once, a guard wanted 1000c which we didn’t mind. Security 24hrs. Very friendly neighbours. Great free option for San Jose.

January 29th, 2022 Unlimited public place by the lake in Nuevo Arenal

Maybe we were just unlucky here. We parked on the concrete pad behind the building. Convenient for water and bins but so loud at night. It was a Friday, but we were kept up for most of the night by really loud cars and music arriving at all hours. Seems to be the local party spot. Moved round to the peninsula for the weekend.

January 26th, 2022 tap

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January 26th, 2022 Monteverde Brewing Company

Nice brewery. We enjoyed our beers and the food was really nice with huge portions. Fast WiFi and plug sockets easily available too.

January 25th, 2022 Parking to hike Cerro Amigos

We expected more of a parking lot, but this is just a pull off. Space for one rig only. We chose to park just up the hill a few metres on the left, the road is surprisingly busy and being on the smaller road was much quieter and had a bit more space. Added photos of both parking options. We walked from here but at time of writing chains not necessary, its is steep and gravel however. Hike was lovely, not too much wildlife but great views and beautiful forest. Its possible to do a circular walk following, see photo.

January 23rd, 2022 Minas del aguacate parking area

Gets very busy at the weekends. Enthusiastic car parking attendant tried to sell us a variety of things and asked us to move so he could for more cars in. Still free though. Everyone friendly and all left pretty early. Super quiet at night. Lovely clean water.

January 15th, 2022 Cloudbridge Nature Reserve

Same price still. Lovely park, we had a great hike. Don’t attempt in a big camper. Road is steep in parts, lumpy and narrow single track. Fine for us in our kombi, 2wd not necessary at the moment.

January 12th, 2022 Marina Bella National Park (free entry but not free to stay)

Now roped off with a guard. Told us we needed to go buy tickets from the other side and not possible to camp at this location anymore. We didn’t ask about camping on the side of the road as it wasn’t what we wanted.

January 9th, 2022 En la playa

You can park for free just in front of the sign and grassy area. Zii WiFi available. Toilets and water available for around 1000c a day if you ask for the key. We used the power sockets on the building to charge laptops but they may be reopening the restaurant soon so you would need to they pay. River is close too for clean water. Stayed a week for the surf!


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