The last time I was in Costa Rica was 10 or so years, give or take, with my family. Even then, it was way more developed than its neighboring Central American bordering countries. My adventurous father drove us all around the broken roads of Costa Rica from the volcano to the cloud forest to the butterfly farm in a couple's backyard. A decade later, the car ride felt pretty similar. In the more remote areas, potholes and dirt roads paved our way.
It was a bumpy ride to the border. And we had some traffic along the way.
I didn't expect the process to be easy. What I did reassure myself is that at most we would waste our morning and it would be an "experience." I thought to myself that Michelle and Melissa had went to Nicaragua last year for the day, so we could do it in the am. And that's just what we did. Our driver from Rinconcito Lodge walked us to the front of the line, we got some stamps, tipped him and then headed to get more stamps on our own. We paid our small entrance fees into the country got haggled all the while doing so and walked across the border with our luggage in the hopes of finding our ride waiting for us. It was stressful and having Carolina and Raquel there to translate was crucial. More like a blessing. This border crossing was for the young at heart, budget traveler. But no matter the size of your wallet, being patient always comes in handy.
On the way back, we knew the ins & outs. It was much easier, still a hassle, but in my head, I was in Nicaragua in the morning, Costa Rica in the afternoon and New York at night. So what if our suitcases were a little muddy? Baggage is baggage and it's something we all have, we carry it with us daily, whether you're crossing a border or crossing the street.
Stay bitten ;)