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Thread: Up-to-date travel info

  1. #51
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    If doing CR, get 5 days coverage, seems some bought less and had issues, times I priced it, no big difference in few days or a month. Trawick seems to be the go to.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
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  2. #52
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post
    It seems only Liberia is offering the in-airport covid test. I searched SJO http://costarica-airport.com - nada.
    https://cr.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/

    Pushing the gringo advantage, I paid for a seat on TicaBus online - no sweat - and booked a room in Alajuela with a free ride to SJO. There are several labs near my hotel, one just a block away. The one I used coming into Nicaragua asks $50 for the antigen test; 2 hrs they say. I expect a discount for using TicaBus, but whatever. All's going smooth.

  3. #53

    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    So,, no Covid test to enter CR ?

    That's a plus.

    And a lot more destinations from CR.
    CR gives you 90 days on the car permiso.
    I used to leave my car at a hotel in Alajuela,, Villa Margarita, $50 night and $1/ night to park.
    Last edited by KeyWestPirate; 03-30-2021 at 06:14 PM.

  4. #54
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    No test needed for CR, but must have insurance.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  5. #55
    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    Has anyone seen any tourism numbers for Nicaragua lately?
    The decline must be staggering considering the COVID / Political situation.
    What a mess.

    Looks like 1 or 2 flights per week to Corn Island ....used to be 1 or 2 per day.
    Last edited by Little Corn Tom; 03-30-2021 at 06:30 PM.
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  6. #56
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    Tourism on Coast set back a decade, November likely to set it back another decade.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  7. #57
    House SOB Little Corn Tom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post
    Tourism on Coast set back a decade, November likely to set it back another decade.

    "Boat soon com mon"......
    Life's different here ... It's a whole 'nother pace.

  8. #58
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    For CR insurance alone does not get you across the border. You need also CR Health Pass. This can be filled online after You have purchased insurance. At the border (in some cases already at the airport of your departure toward CR) they want to see the printout of Health Pass and scan the QR code on it. If the QR code is black it means that your case is pendig, if it's green you are accepted and good to go. Mine was black while printed but both airport and CR immigration accepted it w/o any hiccups.
    Will try to get from Nica to CR in mid April. I wonder how it goes with EU passport.

  9. #59
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    To enter CR, besides the health pass, you also need to show an exit ticket. And it's only tourists from certain countries that they're admitting: US & Canada . . . Israel? (It's been so far ahead of the curve fighting covid, I doubt there's a problem.)
    See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil: be a wise simian

  10. #60
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    Last time a crossed the CR border they asked for proof of forwarding passage. Not a problem if you are heading for airport and have copy of ticket with you. I've been screwed or almost screwed in 3 countries, so I plan to have both electronic and paper copies of everything.

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"

    Covid was an intelligence test and we flunked.



  11. #61
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    Shit is never going to end, so I pushed the button. Thanksgiving in AZ in April via San jose. Got a tickee for 2 weeks from now, 400 bucks round trip and m/l comfortable flights. Liberia flights were sucky, and if I somehow get stuck somewhere SJ is mucho more better than the horno of Liberia. the fxxxxxx Mohave is cooler than Liberia.

    Ticabus still not running, transnica selling tickets but who knows what that means. I have 2 weeks, worse case is expressos which makes for a long hot day. Remains to be seen what the Easter meltdown will do, but at least the plane ticket has free changes. Maybe a shuttle from mga to the border?

    international travel from esteli is never convenient. Usually I expresso to a hotel in mga and get an early bus to SJ. One time I layed over in Rivas and got an early start from there.

    Vaccine not really available here from what I can see and then I would face the problem of getting the second shot of the same brand. If I feel good in AZ I might get it there.

    So, did they have turkey or ham? And did they freeze me any leftovers?

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"

    Covid was an intelligence test and we flunked.



  12. #62
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    Go sniff around Esteli bus stations, might be a express to penas blancas. I got on 1 once at border going to Leon stops in MGA, nicer than average bus, same price.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  13. #63

    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    Shelley wound up with a United out of Liberia to Tucson on the 21st for $350 with the taxes.

    Getting the Covid test right at the airport the morning of the flight was the biggest driver. Easy hop to Liberia from Penas Blancas, buses every hour or so, early afternoon departure, in Tucson at 8PM.

    More money than the $100 Spirit flights out of San Jose, but much easier.
    We had enough "hard" with our recent trip to Mexico.

    She is going to try for the Johnson & Johnson one shot, get the rest of the residency paperwork in place. The problem was the apostile from California for the Birth Certificate.

    Covid was a blessing for government employees: get paid, don't work.



    I can drop her off, and then head back to PricceSmart and maybe to that new Harbor Freight surcusal, SuperTools.
    There's a hotel close to PriceSmart - (Hotel Mozonte) - I want to try, $10 less than Airport X, with a pool but limited parking.

    She is going back for 3 weeks - month,, then I will follow, possibly driving (another load). After our experience of being gone for over a year, we don't want to repeat the ensuing grief we suffered. We're just now getting caught up.

    I went to a contracting arrangement for all the heavy lifting, fence, cutting the brush down, and that is working out well. Hosman probably makes more money from the old posts that he sells for firewood, and the used barb wire.
    His 7' oak posts are running $2 each, and we've started to soak them in used motor oil, rather than just painting them. I'm going to try stirring in some full strength cipermetrina, just for fits and giggles. God it's great not having an EPA: used motor oil and cipermetrina. That would be ten years minimum in the US.

    I have a really sharp electrician working, he should be finished next week. $30 / day, he learned his trade in Panama.
    I have shiny new EMT, lights, switches and outlets,, everywhere, feel like I'm living in a factory.
    But, it's nice. He's almost done,, I'll miss him.

    Melvin the do it all mason, drywall, everything,, has gotten busy with all the new construction in Condega and Estelí.
    He fancies himself a contractor now, and confides that his guys don't work half as hard when he's not there.

    But he gives me two days a week at $50 per including his ayudante.
    we're inching along.
    Local masons are half that, but they are very limited, very slow,

    We're struggling to find just one good worker to employ full time.

    But, the solar plant survived. the water is hot, the kitchen works, we have a new washer and dryer. We gave up on the dishwasher.
    The place looks like La Modelo with all the serpentina and chain link, but we feel secure. It's better lit at night than La Modelo , and well alarmed.
    We're anticipating some weirdness from the coming election.

    My Nicaraguan Army buddies went back to their compound in Somoto. I suggested to Teniente Reyes (call me Lieutenant King is about the extent of his English) that he propose a permanent presence here, suggesting that he would be in command,, his own little world,, but I could read in his face that the prospect of living in the Campo apart from his wife didn't ring any bells for him.

    He and his patrol hung around here a lot,, mostly because Shelley would feed them, there was always good coffee, and they enjoyed sampling the delicacies like Smokehouse almonds and Planters peanuts that I hauled in quantity with the truck.

    I had so much food this trip that the aduanera in Guasale told me I would have to show her a permit from Minsa next time.

    Actually, I'm friends with the PN in Somoto too,, who wander through from time to time as well.
    They like coming up here too, because

    >>>> see "Shelley Feeds Them above and there is always good coffee"

    Maybe some PriceSmart donuts,, the Helen of Troy equivalent in Nicaragua:
    The donut that launched a thousand PN motorcycles
    Last edited by KeyWestPirate; 04-10-2021 at 12:07 PM.

  14. #64
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    Ticabus still not running, ...
    WTF? A Saturday morning wake-up comment. I got a ticket on TicaBus before Easter. It leaves in a couple days Managua to Alajuela, CR. So I wrote ticabus.com chat: 'correcto', it goes. Being a true doubter, I called their office in Managua: yup 'viajamos'. They checked my ticket number, told me to be their at 5am (ugh), be sure to get insurance and paseo-de-salud-Tica.

    So . . .
    Ticabus still not running, ...
    = FALSE

    Despite Friday nite excesses and some Sat morn poontang, the misinformation (not saying 'fake news') caused me to think, to come up with an alternate scheme. I settled on San Jorge, near Rivas, the nite before crossing at Peñas Blancas. Great-view shoreline with mega-breezes and one of the best restaurants in Nicaragua a short beach-walk from the hostal Las Hamacas. Tica buses are good but with changes it'd been an ordeal. I've cut my CR time short, just enough for a nap and a quick covid test in Alajuela.

  15. #65

    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post
    Go sniff around Esteli bus stations, might be a express to penas blancas. I got on 1 once at border going to Leon stops in MGA, nicer than average bus, same price.



    Deldu directly from Penas Blancas to San Jose,, $8, or Pulmitan to the depot in Liberia, regular service to San Jose, nice buses.

  16. #66
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    CVS in Florida asks no ID, no ss#, no nothing for shot, can take time online to get a spot, check dz times a day, every day. The FEMA spots in FL will give to anyone. FL has got the shots but for next few weeks J&J in short supply except at FEMA and pop ups. Walgreens, Publix, CVS, Winn Dixie all got Moderna & Pfizer to give.

    If I was in Nica and looking shot I would look at S Florida FEMA sites.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  17. #67

    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    WTF? A Saturday morning wake-up comment. I got a ticket on TicaBus before Easter. It leaves in a couple days Managua to Alajuela, CR. So I wrote ticabus.com chat: 'correcto', it goes. Being a true doubter, I called their office in Managua: yup 'viajamos'. They checked my ticket number, told me to be their at 5am (ugh), be sure to get insurance and paseo-de-salud-Tica.

    So . . . = FALSE

    Despite Friday nite excesses and some Sat morn poontang, the misinformation (not saying 'fake news') caused me to think, to come up with an alternate scheme. I settled on San Jorge, near Rivas, the nite before crossing at Peñas Blancas. Great-view shoreline with mega-breezes and one of the best restaurants in Nicaragua a short beach-walk from the hostal Las Hamacas. Tica buses are good but with changes it'd been an ordeal. I've cut my CR time short, just enough for a nap and a quick covid test in Alajuela.



    Bogus information abounds.

    We entered and left Mexico at Tapachula despite the border being closed.
    One thing is true in Mexico: the big stores can no longer offer you a plastic bag to put your stuff in.
    New law.

    There is an overnight curfew in Honduras (so that's why the gas stations are closed !!) --
    But,, no one told us about the curfew. And no one bothered us.
    The toll stations (2 at $1 each from Tegus to SPS) were open.
    I'd pay $2 to drive on a beautiful road like that anytime.

    We were on a bit of a mission: overstay in Honduras, $200 fine. Guatemala is $2 day.
    Remember, it's all C4, so the clock starts ticking for us when we cross the border from Mexico into Guatemala.
    As it was, we made it into Mexico with a few hours to spare.

  18. #68
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    Still lots of places (Walgreens, CVS, etc) giving free covid tests, but not sure if they will work for travel.

    Several countries will now admit those vaccinated with no quarantine period and I read that will soon be able to enter back into the States without a test, if vaccinated, but not seen if is fact or when that starts.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
    Ernie K Doe

  19. #69
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    Lot more traffic in Leon area-- there is a Tico Consulate in Chinandega. I'll check the bus station, but never saw anything but Mga expressos. Then you taxi to Huembes and get a border expresso.

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post
    Go sniff around Esteli bus stations, might be a express to penas blancas. I got on 1 once at border going to Leon stops in MGA, nicer than average bus, same price.

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"

    Covid was an intelligence test and we flunked.



  20. #70
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    I'll check again with Ticabus. I'm fucked M-F because a man who does good construction work for us is available this week so my wife got a construction project off the ground.
    One time years ago I stayed at Rivas to hit the border early, worked fine but there was less paperwork then. Ahh, the good ole days, just straggle up to the border with your passport...

    Quote Originally Posted by Daddy-YO View Post
    WTF? A Saturday morning wake-up comment. I got a ticket on TicaBus before Easter. It leaves in a couple days Managua to Alajuela, CR. So I wrote ticabus.com chat: 'correcto', it goes. Being a true doubter, I called their office in Managua: yup 'viajamos'. They checked my ticket number, told me to be their at 5am (ugh), be sure to get insurance and paseo-de-salud-Tica.

    So . . . = FALSE

    Despite Friday nite excesses and some Sat morn poontang, the misinformation (not saying 'fake news') caused me to think, to come up with an alternate scheme. I settled on San Jorge, near Rivas, the nite before crossing at Peñas Blancas. Great-view shoreline with mega-breezes and one of the best restaurants in Nicaragua a short beach-walk from the hostal Las Hamacas. Tica buses are good but with changes it'd been an ordeal. I've cut my CR time short, just enough for a nap and a quick covid test in Alajuela.

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"

    Covid was an intelligence test and we flunked.



  21. #71

    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    Quote Originally Posted by el duende grande View Post
    Lot more traffic in Leon area-- there is a Tico Consulate in Chinandega. I'll check the bus station, but never saw anything but Mga expressos. Then you taxi to Huembes and get a border expresso.

    Lots of ways to skin the border cat. A couple of times I drove middle of the night, no traffic,, Any transito is asleep[, fast trip, and then just parked directly in front of the border gate. Penas Blancas opens at 6AM,, but it was closer to 6:30 when the gate finally swung open.

    I came back through at about 10AM. I know that there are records for faster visa trips, but remember,,, I had to get two car permisos. The girl who does the car permisos in Penas is a whiz, 15 minutes. The younger generation is indeed the hope of Nicaragua.

    I've stayed in SJdS the night before a visa run too,, out of the way quite a bit, but it's a pleasant destination,, dinner on the beach.

    I'm getting to the end of visa runs and car permisos,, thank god. The Blue Ford F150 is going north to be sold, I'm fixing up an old Ford F250 which was naturalized a few years ago, and Shelley will have her residency by year's end.

  22. #72
    Viejo del Foro el duende grande's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    Maybe the local travel agent was blowing smoke, or maybe it is just the Esteli-mga (really the Honduras to mga) bus that isn't running . I'll work it out next week.

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"

    Covid was an intelligence test and we flunked.



  23. #73
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    Spirit flies non stop SJO to/from Orlando as well as Ft Lauderdale. MCO airport has been 1 of the busiest airports in country last few months so guessing better connections than FLL. Plus FLL is about worst airport, especially if landing at same time as all the other Spirit 3rd World flights. Pray you never land right behind a Haiti flight, going to be in line a long time.
    ‎"You know what you say when people tell you you can't do something? Fool, shut your mouth up!"
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  24. #74
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    Flew Spirit last week SJO-FLL-PHL. Maybe I just lucked out but I went thru immigration & customs at FLL in under 15 min for a 6am arrival. Zero international lines. The delay came with the TSA lines to connect onward. A massive number of people at that hour. At least I didn't have to remove my shoes or belt. Made my 7:30 to Philly with time to breakfast.

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post
    Spirit flies non stop SJO to/from Orlando as well as Ft Lauderdale. MCO airport has been 1 of the busiest airports in country last few months so guessing better connections than FLL. Plus FLL is about worst airport, especially if landing at same time as all the other Spirit 3rd World flights. Pray you never land right behind a Haiti flight, going to be in line a long time.
    See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil: be a wise simian

  25. #75
    Active TRN Member RGV AG's Avatar
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    Default Re: Up-to-date travel info

    Quote Originally Posted by cookshow View Post
    Spirit flies non stop SJO to/from Orlando as well as Ft Lauderdale. MCO airport has been 1 of the busiest airports in country last few months so guessing better connections than FLL. Plus FLL is about worst airport, especially if landing at same time as all the other Spirit 3rd World flights. Pray you never land right behind a Haiti flight, going to be in line a long time.
    In the good old days, not so long ago, before Continental joined up with United I was able to buy these odd tickets out of MGA back to one of the 3 airports in the RGV for less than $200. I would go MGA-PTY-MCO on Copa where I would overnight on the way north and then go through IAH home on about a 5 hour journey the next day, if all went well. Did that several times. On the way south it could be done in a day ending up with catching Copa flight out of PTY to MGA. It usually saved about $400 or so with the stay thrown in. But the MCO international arrivals sucks sweaty wildebeest gonads, or at least it did. Besides MIA and CLT that was my absolute most detested arrival point, it broke me from that route after taking almost 3 hours to clear immigration one time.

    Hard to believe that as recently as Jan. 2018 United regularly had 3 flights a day from IAH to MGA and at times up to 4 on some odd days and peak times. Now nada.

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