London to San Jose in less than 12 hours!
Eventually, after only 5 months of waiting the time had come to board the plane. The plane that would take us on BA’s new direct route to San Jose, Costa Rica. I was ecstatic to say the least and so ready for this adventure. We only had two weeks but could not wait to begin our adventure in Costa Rica.
I had packed light, lighter than I thought I possibly could. Taking a mere backpack that came out weighing a very scary 7.5kg, I immediately thought “damn what have I forgotten!” We knew we were travelling during shoulder season so we packed rainwear, but due to the constant humidity in Costa Rica shorts were still very much the top item to pack. This new route vastly cuts the travel time to Costa Rica as previously all airlines had at least one stop over, usually in the US. The flight takes roughly 10 hours and I’m sure this is going to open up the opportunities for travellers and tourism in Costa Rica.
Top tips to surviving the flight:
1.Wear comfortable trousers so you can flex your legs and try to get comfortable enough to sleep. Also take some comfy socks to change into!
2. Aim to watch a film or two for the first few hours and whilst the first meal is brought out. If you are travelling with a friend, watch the same film at the same time on your screens. Laughing and thinking at the same point during the film is much more fun than by yourself, it almost feels like you could be at the cinema.
3. Keep yourself hydrated with water or juice, to keep at bay the headaches but also keep your skin hydrated.
4. After your first meal try to get comfy and sleep!
5. Have some music on standby if you get tired of watching films or if the screen gets too bright on a night flight. Music will often calm your thoughts and help you sleep. As long as you aren’t listening to drum and base…
6. Always take a pack of cards with you for those times when you really can’t sleep. Although nowadays on board flight entertainment is packed with films, TV series, music and games – hard to believe you might get bored!
Arriving in San Jose:
You will probably have to spend an overnight in San Jose whilst visiting the country, especially if you are travelling independently. Honestly San Jose is by far not a highlight, neither is it a place to spend a long period of time in. When you drive into the city don’t be scared and start to think why have I come here, the rest of the country is beautiful! There are regular airport buses to the city centre, but make sure you have a map at hand or Google Maps on your phone. There are various different bus stations in San Jose, the airport bus should drop you at Parada Alajuela in the city centre and cost around USD1.00pp.
Hotel Aranjuez is a good choice of hotel for one night in San Jose. It is located in the neighbourhood Aranjuez just out of the city centre. In some quieter roads to the North of the city. The hotel is still located near a supermarket and a few restaurants and cafes (Café de los Deseos is a quirky place to go for dinner, a short walk from the hotel). With breakfast included in the price this was a very reasonable hotel costing around USD55.00/£38.00 for one night. The main attractions in San Jose are the National Theatre and the Gold Museum. Often spoken about as the second best Gold Museum in Latin America after the one located in Bogota, Colombia.
Cost Round Up:
Airport Bus USD1.00pp
Hotel Aranjuez or similar USD55.00 per room
National Theatre USD10.00pp
Gold Museum USD11.00pp
Dinner (variable dependent on chosen eatery) USD15.00pp for Enchilada and a pint of beer.