Adventure Travel

Costa Rica Sucks: 6 Reasons Why

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Costa Rica sucks!

Haha, just kidding. Costa Rica doesn’t suck. But it’s not all tulips and daisies here, and I feel like when I wrote 14 Bucket List Things to do in Costa Rica, only portraying the good things isn’t really fair. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome here. But here are some of the other things you should know before you come to vacation here — or live here for a few months like me. Anyway, here are 6 Reasons Why Costa Rica Sucks.

1. Scorpions.

The other night, I’m just blogging away on my computer, doing my thing, and am greeted by a black scorpion with an orange stripe running down its back. There it was, the size of my hand, next to my bed. You can imagine my reaction.

FUCK!

Instead of killing it right away, I took a photo of it (because I’m a millennial), then it hid under my mini fridge for about 30 seconds, got caught between the door and my apartment for a couple more minutes, then — and I don’t know how I lucked out with this — it climbed onto my broom. I grabbed the broom and shook it off outside the apartment.

Then I didn’t sleep that night, constantly wondering if there was another one in my bed sheets somewhere. I asked my friend who lives here if I should take out the garbage because maybe that’s what the scorpion was after.

He said, “No, scorpions only eat other scorpions. And when there is one, there is another.” OH. I asked him if he was ever stung by a scorpion he said, “Yeah, and my whole body went numb. I went to the doctor and they gave me water.” OH. Then he told me I should probably finish my glass of wine to sleep better. OH.

2. Sometimes you walk home in fear. 

You hear a lot of stories. It is a third world country — although I would argue it to be second, because, there is wi-fi. Anyway, you hear lots of stories about people getting hurt here, mainly robbed, so you have to be careful walking home.

I kind of lightly jog home, but I did that in Boulder too. If I am far from home, as in more than a 20 minute walk, I’ll take a taxi. It’s worth the $4-$5. Just be smart.

3. Mosquitos and sand flies x a million. 

Luckily, growing up right outside of Milwaukee really prepared me for the mosquitos. But now, every mosquito has a sand fly cousin, and they’ve quadrupled their army. I have about 30 bites on each leg. And sand flies actually bite (it feels like an actual pinch), whereas mosquitos are more sneaky in their blood-sucking approach.

Bug spray doesn’t work out here. Get some coconut oil. The bugs can’t bit through it. Slather that shit all over your body.

4. The heat and humidity. 

It doesn’t really bother me like it bothers other people. In fact, I am perfectly content just sitting outside and sweating. I thought I’d include this on the bad list though, since not everyone is cold blooded like me.

5. Burns and salt water don’t mix. 

Someone told me that they’d be surprised if I made it 3 months in Costa Rica. Pshhh, they obviously don’t know me, then again they might be right…

*This one doesn’t really count as a reason Costa Rica sucks, this is me just being stupid.

A couple of weeks ago I’m hanging out with a friend, and we decide that mini-golf would be a fun thing to do. First we decide to walk, then out of nowhere, rain appears.

Why walk when you can ride a motorcycle, right? Wrong. And dumb.

Little did I know that when you get a motorcycle burn, which is kind of a right of passage in Costa Rica (I was informed), you can’t surf or it just doesn’t heal. What it does do is get all green and pussy and worse. Especially if you are going in the water every day.

Keep this in mind if you decide to get on a motorcycle here (which are more popular than cars). And don’t be a dumbass like me, wear a helmet.

Costa Rica Sucks: 6 Reasons Why

Photo: Kaitlyn Schlicht is dumb

6. Drinking water is questionable (not saying it’s bad). 

So I drank the water from the tap for the first four weeks of living here. My pee was always pretty dark yellow. Then, I found out three people in my apartment complex got “stones”. Which is basically a calcium build up in your liver and it gets stuck in your prostate area, and you have to have it surgically removed.

I don’t know, I’m not Science.

Whether or not it really is the water, I switched to buying filtered water, and my pee is clear again. When I go to restaurants I don’t worry about it, and I think if you are only visited for a week, you really don’t need to worry, but if you are staying longer, meh, it probably wouldn’t hurt to buy a 3-gallon to keep at the house.

7. The poverty can get really sad. 

There is poverty everywhere, yes, I know. But, let’s just put it this way — unlike in Boulder, the homeless people here don’t have cell phones and Patagonia jackets. Average wage for the people living here is $500-$600 a month.

 

Okay, I can’t deal with all this negativity. Here’s 3 more reasons I love Costa <3:

  • It’s a great place to learn Spanish. Specially, in Tamarindo, the majority of locals know English and Spanish and are down to help. Just tryyyyyyyy. Because, it’s respectful.
  • There are cows that just galavant in the roads and monkeys that hang in the trees — right next to my apartment. It’s definitely something that will stop you in your tracks.
  • Dancing! Everyone dances here! To actual live music, and yes, in some cases DJs. It’s such a big part of the culture. I wish I was better at it. Somehow, it gets a lot easier after una cerbeza or two.

Always in search of worldly knowledge and broader understandings, Kaitlyn has been freelancing while traveling since 2015. She's passionate about digital content, being environmentally friendly, and surfing. 16+ countries and counting.