I can’t believe I’ve been in Central America for one month now. Time flies when you’re having fun! Because my craziest travel experiences in Europe post went over so well, I thought you will enjoy the craziest travel experiences I’ve had so far in Central America. Without further ado, here are the craziest experiences I’ve had in the past month…
- Getting denied access into Panama. Seriously terrifying. See here for more.
- Crashed a motorbike in Ometepe, Nicaragua. My poor sister, it was both of our first times on a motorbike, she was sitting behind me. I only crashed once though!
- Went without clothes for three days in Bocas del Toro, Panama, after a bed bug infestation. I seriously wore a bathing suit and sarong for three days straight. On the bright side, I learned a ton of ways to tie a sarong. 😉
- Watched a monkey steal someone’s pineapple in Costa Rica (Manuel Antonio National Park)
- Got cussed out in Spanish for putting too many clothes in the washing machine. After I left, the guy moved a dark shirt into my whites, resulting in me having to throw out a few clothes.
- Almost drove over a monkey in Dominical, Costa Rica. Crazy little guys.
- Laughed until my stomach hurt while on a deserted island with people I’d met that day.
- Tried to find an airbnb without an address in San Juan del Sur. My sister and I were trying to locate it from a bar. Needless to say, we ended up drinking a few beers and staying at the hostel next door, which turned out to be better (and cheaper) than the airbnb we were looking for.
- Rode a public bus in Central America. Seriously, who needs a roller coaster when you could just pay $1.50 to drive on the side of a cliff at dangerously high speeds?
- Said goodbye to my family at the airport in San Jose, Costa Rica without knowing when I’ll see them again. I wouldn’t be lying if I said that I shed some tears as I drove away from the airport.
- Saw sloths, dolphins, starfish, and went to a deserted island all in one day (Bocas del Toro, Panama).
- Shared a room with a male bagpiper. The hostel didn’t let me know that someone else was coming (I had been alone in a two-bed dorm room for three nights), so I was watching Netflix half naked when the receptionist and the bagpiper walked in. Lesson learned – start wearing clothes.
- I met a Trump supporter from Florida in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica. The first person I’ve ever met who voluntarily supports Trump! I asked a bit about it, but didn’t want to get into too big of a debate, so I had to let it go.
- Went on a boat tour in a torrential downpour. I was in the front row of the boat, in the pouring rain, without an overhead cover for over an hour. I was soaking wet before I jumped in the water to go snorkeling. Matty and Elle and I were laughing our heads off. Worth it 🙂
- A bat flew into my head in Costa Rica.
- I saw an unidentified wildlife species (later found out it was an anteater) while I was getting my tan on in Costa Rica. It was so close to me. I watched it drink from a little spring. It was adorable.
- Stayed in a dorm room in Boquete, Panama, with an 83 year old expat (Bob from Texas), a local Panamanian (Jose). I translated for Bob and the Jose while they discussed the possibilities of Jose falling through the top bunk and squishing Bob in his sleep. That could have been the most awkward conversation of my life, translating to tell Jose that he was too gordo (fat in Spanish) to sleep on the top bunk – according to Bob. Jose insisted that he only weighed 280 lbs, and that it would be fine. Bob ended up sleeping on the top bunk.
- Getting on a bus to San Jose, Costa Rica, thinking it was a one hour drive – only to realize about 4 hours in that it was much longer than that. The bus driver stopped at a restaurant about 5 hours in. I’ve never eaten so fast in my life.
- Realizing at 10 PM that Matty and I may have to sleep in a park after being unable to find a place to stay for the night in Bocas del Toro, Panama. Luckily, an angel (a local named Reynaldo) helped us find a little hole in the wall hotel, with aircon and a private bathroom. The locals in Panama are just incredible.
- Hiking the tallest mountain in Panama! I hiked for 5 hours at a steep incline (definitely the hardest hike I’ve ever done), to see a wonderful view of… clouds. I couldn’t see anything, but it was worth it knowing that I climbed the tallest mountain in the country. I hiked solo, and about half way to the top, a local named Jose Louis asked me in Spanish if I was hiking alone. I said yes, and he decided to silently accompany me for protection. He was so nice, he even tried to catch me when I slipped and fell. I got to practice my Spanish on him, and he practiced his English. He was hiking in jeans and ripped rain boots, and he was going twice as fast as me. We bonded over pretzels and water.
Central America has been amazing. As with any place, there are pros and cons, but it has been a much better (and safer) experience than I imagined it would be. The locals here are so sweet and so willing to help, without expecting anything. I love it so much, that I’ve altered my travel plans to come back. After South America, I plan to fly into Guatemala and travel North through Belize, Honduras, and Mexico. I am very excited to see the rest of Central America.
What did you think of my experiences? Have you thought about traveling to Central America? Where would you want to go? Let me know in the comments below – you know I love talking travel. 🙂