Border Run to Panama at Paso Canoas

With my time at Puerto Viejo finished 🙁 it was time to make the border run to Panama at the Paso Canoas border.

San Jose

Of course all roads in Costa Rica lead through San Jose. Since I was just staying a night there, I picked a cheap, but really nice, hotel on the outskirts of San Jose – Hotel Posada Canal Grande.




The people hear were really nice and they actually had a nice restaurant in the hotel.


My next stop on the way to the Panama border was Jaco. I had heard about Jaco, the beaches, and night-life. Unfortunately, it rained or threatened rain most of my time there.

The beaches were a bit disappointing to me. But still not too bad 🙂





There were a couple people with motorized kites flying about. I am sure there is an official name for them that I’m not aware of.



I stayed at a cool hostel in Jaco called Hotel Buddha House. Like all hostels it seems, the people there were very friendly and informal.

I ended up with a private room in the corner. So relaxing just sitting outside.



Coming back from a walk at night. My motorcycle was sleeping 🙂



My last stop before hitting the Panama border was the town of Neily.

It was a bit of a long ride to the town but with some nice views.


At one point I was looking for a coffee place to rest a bit. There was nothing until out of the blue I saw a coffee shop called Sibu. It was strange in that this was a extremely nice coffee place in the middle of nowhere and I didn’t see anything like it on my ride.

Of course I had to stop.



My hotel in Neily, Hotel Fortuna Verde, was basic for sure. And there was anything around within an easy walking distance. However, the people got some beer for me ha ha ha to add to some snacks I had stached …. and there was a place to park my motorcycle under a shelter. I guess those are the 2 most important things ha ha ha.

Panama Border at Paso Canoas

The day was finally here. Another border crossing. I actually don’t mind them too much, except for the fixers and heat. Otherwise, it is fun for me being able to talk to people and solve the problem of getting through it. It is a stretching exercise for me as I have to push myself through all the steps to finally find the answers and get through them. The Panama Border was no different.

Here is the border and steps that I will explain.

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I had done some studying beforehand. It turned out a lot of what I studied was dated. So I was confused at first as I attempted to exit Costa Rica.

#1 on the map was paying the Costa Rica Exit fee at the bank located across the street from Immigration.


Next at #2 was going through immigration on the right in the photo.


The last step to exit Costa Rica was Customs at #3. It is located just past Immigration around the corner and through the glass doors.

The whole process of exiting Costa Rica was really simple and quick! It was now time to ride a short distance to the Panama Border to enter Panama.


Under the canopy at the Panama border I parked my motorcycle in a line of other vehicles.


I first went to immigration that you can see just ahead of my motorcycle. There I was approached by an older gentleman wearing an official looking name badge. He told me I had to get insurance first. Oh great … thanks. I thought that would be the end of it … but no. Turned out he was a fixer who now hung onto me. I wasn’t in the mood to fight him so I just let him drag me around through the process.

#4 was getting insurance. The insurance booth on my side of the road was closed so we went to the one on the other side of the complex.

After purchasing one month worth of insurance, it was to immigration.


This was the usual basic stuff, except that they took fingerprints.

Next was Customs at #5 just down from Immigration.


There I handed in all my motorcycle documentation while they took their time adding it on a computer and printing out another form.

#6 was the difficult part of the crossing. The Customs agent at the window said to find another Customs agent out there somewhere to inspect my bike and sign the document. So off my fixer and I went to find this guy.

After searching for a while, we found him but he was busy on a bus. To save some time we went to the Fumigation booth and paid for fumigation. Then it was back to finding the Customs Agent again.

We finally corralled the agent and guided him to my motorcycle. The agent made me open my panniers and top case. It touched a few of the contents but that was it. Then signed my temporary import permit for my motorcycle.

It was onto my last stop, #8, to get my motorcycle fumigated.


After that was done I paid my fixer $10 US. He didn’t look too happy with the amount, but I didn’t care at this stage. I was through the border and now about to explore Panama!

My Route on September 21, 2017

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My Route on September 22, 2017

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My Location on September 23, 2017

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My Route on September 24, 2017

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My Route on September 25, 2017 into Panama

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Costa Rican Independence Day in San Jose

I left La Fortuna for San Jose where I happened to catch the Costa Rican Independence Day. The original plan was to ride to the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. However, the cost of accommodation was really high on the weekend. The people at my hostel in La Fortuna said it was because lots of people go there for Independence Day to party. So instead of riding east, I chose to ride to Punta Arenas on the west coast and then to San Jose to spend the weekend.

Punta Arenas

Punta Arenas wasn’t that far from La Fortuna so I road around Lake Arenal first. It was a relaxing ride with great views of the lake. No pictures though 🙁 Sometimes I just get wrapped up in enjoying the ride that I just forget to take photos.

As I arrived in Punta Arenas and searched for my hotel, I began to wonder what I got myself into. The area wasn’t that nice. Lots of dilapidated houses and businesses. Luckily, the hotel I booked, Hotel Mar y Mar, was an oasis amongst all this. My corner room was small but with a nice balcony I relaxed on.


Across the street was a beach with not a soul on it.




Hotel Adversity

The next day I left early to hit San Jose before the afternoon rains started. A common occurrence now, and I’m getting tired of it.

In San Jose I booked a hostel near the park I enjoyed the last time I was in the city. Plus it was near a Starbucks ha ha.

I got there early and popped into McDonalds for something to eat before going to the hostel. It wasn’t long before I saw some rain falling. I quickly got on my bike and rode to the hostel. By the time I arrived it was now raining.

It wasn’t check in time yet so no one was around at first. Finally a guy came out and looked for my reservation. He couldn’t find it! I looked at the confirmation I had and it turned out I had inadvertently booked it for a different date. No problem though as he said they did have a room for me. The only problem was that they didn’t have secure parking and the owner of the hostel didn’t feel comfortable with having my motorcycle just parked in their parking lot. Great! If the owner didn’t feel comfortable then I wasn’t going to feel comfortable either. So there I sat in the lobby of the hostel, looking at the rain outside, cancelling my reservation at the hostel, and searching for another hotel in San Jose.

After some searching on Expedia and I found a hotel downtown that was a bit over my budget but a good deal considering the location. Plus it should be good for any Independence Day celebrations. Off I headed in the rain. By the time I got to where the hotel was located it was raining hard. As luck would have it, I couldn’t find the hotel. Finally I parked under an overhang at a parking garage so I could get off and search for it on foot. I didn’t feel terribly safe leaving my motorcycle there, but I needed to get out of the rain.

Walking around but still didn’t see the hotel. I asked a person at a store and they had never heard of it. Not a good omen. As I expanded my search in the area I finally found it tucked away.


Back to my motorcycle I went and rode it into their underground parking lot.

The hotel itself was different for sure. I had a windowless room. I guess that is why it was a good deal.


Outside on each floor was a lounge.


Independence Day

The next day was Costa Rica’s Independence Day and I was looking forward to seeing the celebrations in the Capital City.

As I walked around the city I found the parade route and got a good spot to watch it.









Now, it was nice, but it seemed to be one school group after another. I walked to the start of the parade route to see if there was something else besides school kids.






Nope … it was all school groups. I thought it was a bit strange for an Independence Day celebration in the Capital. It was still nice though.

As the afternoon approached, so did the rain.


San Jose

The day after Independence Day I just walked around looking at the sites.









My Route on September 13, 2017

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My Route on September 14, 2017

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My Location from September 15 to 17, 2017

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San Jose Costa Rica

After 3 days of enjoying the beach life, I rode to the big city of San Jose Costa Rica. The main purpose of going here was that I had booked a flight home for 2 weeks. Also, unlike a lot of adventure motorcyclists, I enjoy looking around the big cities.

TRYP Hotel

The one thing beach resorts and big cities have in common is that accommodation is expensive. San Jose was no different. I decided I would find a hotel deal on Expedia, and use the Expedia points I had accumulated to even get a better deal on my hotel. The result was a nice hotel far below my budget.

As usual, I arrived at the TRYP Hotel early. As a result my room wasn’t ready yet. When it was I discovered they put me in a Premium Suite!

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It had been a LONG time since I had accommodation this nice. I really didn’t want to leave the room so I could enjoy it as much as possible.

So as to not to venture too far away the first night, I went to the bar in the lobby for happy hour. What happened next I’ve had various opinions about.

OK …. it was 2 for one beer and appies in the bar. They even had a happy hour menu with the 2 for 1 stuff. So I ordered a beer and meatballs. Not long after they came. When I finished my beer the second one came. But for some reason when I finished my meatballs the second one never came. I patiently waited for them. They never arrived. Finally I asked my server about my second dish of meatballs. She said I never specifically requested a second one. What?! It was 2 for 1 appies. A debate ensued. Both of us stuck to our positions. She said I never ordered a second one and I said it was 2 for 1 and I ordered off of the 2 for 1 menu and I got my 2 for 1 beer so why wouldn’t I get the second appie. And why would I just order one when it was 2 for 1. She replied that Happy Hour was now over anyways. I HATE confrontation but I did it anyways here. Finally she said she would check with the chef. I got my second dish of meatballs. I ate them quickly though. I just wanted to get out of there. And “classic Dad” as my kids would say, I would never return to the bar because of the experience.

However, I did enjoy two awesome nights in my room on what seemed to be the most confortable bed I have ever slept on.

Exploring San Jose City

I had one day to explore the city. First, I walked downtown down a pedestrian mall.

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There really wasn’t much to see so I walked around looking for things of interest. Huuuummm a museum with Mickey and Minnie Mouse outside. That was interesting!

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I did find the main plaza which is generally the hub activity.

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The church on the plaza didn’t look like much from the outside. But sure nice on the inside.

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I continued to wander around looking at the buildings and street art.

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While walking back to my hotel I found the main market.

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Not sure if these were for eating or for pets huuuummm

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As I approached my hotel I saw this store. Now I’m not sure if it was a misspelling or perhaps a clever double meaning.

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La Sabana Park

By the time I got back to my hotel there was still time left in the day to do more exploring. So I headed the other direction to La Sabana Park.

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I thought it would be just a leisurely stroll through a park. But it turned out to be the highlight of the day.

As soon as I entered I saw lots of soccer fields. On one of them a goalkeeping school was taking place.

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Funny watching the younger one learn the skills. This guy had a few problems.

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I continued walking in the park past the police station where their horses were feeding.

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In another open area there was a band playing with kids dancing. It looked like it was going to be a Girls Scouts jamboree.

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On the other side of the field was the National Sports Stadium.

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It was then I saw something I’d never seen before. Truly amazing and shows anyone can play the “beautiful game.” There were a group of amputees playing soccer! I just stood and watched.

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Loved it! So cool.

With that I headed back to my hotel to enjoy my last night in luxury ha ha.

My Route on for August 11, 2017

Tamarindo San Jose

My Location on August 12, 2017

San Jose Map

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