From Belize to Costa Rica!

Playas del Coco

Travel is always a pain in the ass. Getting from Ambergris Caye, Belize to Playas del Coco, Costa Rica was no exception!

I have almost everything I own in just a few suitcases which means it takes me almost an entire day just to pack. I don’t want to get charged for overweight luggage so I use a luggage scale and redistribute the heavy stuff (scuba gear, cooking gear, clothes) from one suitcase to the next, weighing each time. It’s a pain, but saves on travel costs. Belize was the first leg of this epic journey and I haven’t quite figured out what I really need and what I can do without. It’s an adventure!

By sea or by air?

I had planned on taking the 90 minute ferry and then a 20 minute taxi to the international airport because it was cheaper but decided to splurge on the 15 minute flight instead. It’s not that much more expensive and it’s just so easy as it lands at the international airport. Plus the flight is just gorgeous! They fly pretty low in those puddle-jumper planes and the clear blue water punctuated with tiny islands covered in mangroves is so beautiful! It’s like flying a private tour.

I had originally booked a flight from mainland Belize City to Guanacaste Airport with a quick layover in Houston, USA. It’s so weird to fly directly north when your final destination is directly south, but it was the significantly cheaper way to go. Then one of the flights got moved and, therefore, canceled because I wouldn’t make the layover. The airline changed my layover in Houston from three easy hours to 17 hours. Crap monkeys! Luckily my Airbnb was so nice about changing the reservation and the date of pick up from the airport.

Where are all the airport lounges?

I figured I would make the most of that ridiculous layover by hitting an airport lounge right when I got in for drinks, food, and decompression, heading to an airport hotel after (minus my checked luggage), and hitting up another airport lounge in the morning before the flight. Nope! Turns out that with a layover greater than 12 hours, the airline couldn’t check me in nor check my bags. With so much time before the flight (and having all of my checked luggage with me), I couldn’t get in past security to the lounges. Bummer!

Now I had all my luggage and had to make my way to the hotel. Turns out Houston was hosting a Walmart convention as well as a rodeo so finding my shuttle was absolutely crazy. Plus I was hangry and tired, which is not a great combo. Luckily, I was able to get food delivered to the hotel in no time. And I got super lucky in that the last person in the room forgot to log out of Disney Plus so I got to watch a fun movie!

No dying!

Still hoping to hit up an airport lounge, I woke up crazy early (per a fellow runner friend: “You can’t drink all day if you don’t start before dawn!”) and headed to the airport. I ALMOST DIED!!! My same shuttle driver from the previous night must have stayed up all night because he bounced out of the hotel without a word, didn’t even open the doors for my luggage or let me in. He just sat in the driver’s seat and the moment I closed the door, he started driving me like a bat out of hell! It was crazy! He was driving and weaving at 80+ MPH in and out of traffic.

My seatbelt didn’t work and it really felt like now was going to be the time when I would need it most! Seriously though, this guy either wanted to die, or get back to bed as quickly as possible. I don’t think he cared which.

I made it to the airport and through security. Unfortunately I got there and none of the lounges were open, despite their websites stated hours saying they should be, so no lounges for me. Sad. However, I sat down at the gate with some coffee and started chatting with a group of peeps who where heading to Honduras to do some missionary work. So interesting and one of the ladies decided she needed to bless me and my adventures. It was a full fledged, hands on, blessing! I am not religious so this was very new to me. I’m not going to lie, I kind of enjoyed the attention.

COVID Antigen Test Negative
COVID Antigen Test Negative! 

This is full blown COVID times so I had to deal with a lot of different regulations and restrictions. In Belize, the police stopped me on the street to make me put my mask on. I’m not anti-mask by any means. It was just hot and I was all alone, outside, on the street. I wore my mask pretty religiously after that because I wanted to avoid any fines or unwanted attention. When in someone else’s country, obey their laws, for sure!

I was able to take a proctored COVID test (at home antigen test with someone on video-chat watching you swab your nose and take the test) to get back into the USA. Those things are so convenient.

It was absolutely a non-issue that everyone on the flight from Belize to the USA had on a mask and wore it the entire flight. Not a single person had to be reminded. Houston to Costa Rica was way different. The flight attendants kept having to tell people to keep their masks on and wear them over their noses. It was a lot more stressful!

Margaritas in Costa Rica
Margaritas in Playas del Coco, Costa Rica!

I survived the flight to Costa Rica so the blessing must have worked ?. The airport was crazy busy, but I made it through and my ride managed to pick me up. It was only a 25 minute drive from the airport to Playas del Coco, Costa Rica. It’s dry season now so there are small brush fires here and there. I get the feeling that is completely normal during this time of year. My driver noted that within a week of a brush fire, you could see green sprouting up from the ashes. It’s pretty amazing. Time to hit the pool. Pura Vida!

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1 Comment

  1. Hi guys, we met in San Pedro at the condo complex. You gave us “ear beer.” Sucks to see your airport and flight experiences weren’t to easy. But at least you don’t have to deal with the cold, snow and ice that is still in full force here in northern Wisconsin. Costa Rica looks a lot like Belize. Is the food as amazing? Street tacos for breakfast? Any stray adapted cats named Chocolate’? Safe travels. Hope to meet up again sometime!

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