The 6:00am bus rumbles and bounces down the mountains from Santa Elena. I like how much you can see from a bus. Especially a rickety old bus that goes so slow. The houses in their bright colors, with metal roofs and curtains covering the windows, capture my attention. Most homes seem to have a dog, and sometimes a chicken or two. Fences stretch out alongside the road, boundaries for cows or horses, or declarations of ownership. The fences use living trees for many posts, the wire digging into the trunk and bark growing around it. A living fence.
One block from Parque Central, Telephone: 666 0161
The hotel is a renovated old house with a lovely inner courtyard. A room with a bathroom cost us $36 a night. It’s very close to the church, shops, and restaurants, so it’s very convenient. If coming by bus, get off at the stop just after you pass Hotel Boyeros (the next stop is the bus station, but it’s a further walk). Take the side street at the light (on the same side as Hotel Boyeros), follow it a few blocks, take a right at the shop/hotel with a deck on the second level onto Calle Central, and you’ll see Hotel Liberia on your right.
Panaderias (Bakeries) - Pan y Miel is a local bakery with a small selection (the pastry filled with chicken was very good, but the bread roll was very dry). Musmanni is a bakery chain found throughout Costa Rica with a much larger selection (the pineapple strudel was yummy, but the beef empanada wasn’t that good). They are across the street from each other, about a block from the church, so you can easily check out both.
Rincon de la Vieja National Park
IT’S CLOSED ON MONDAY!!!! At least that’s what we were told by the clerk at Hotel Liberia... When I look at the website, it doesn’t say anything about being closed on Monday. Hmmm, I sure hope I didn’t miss out on Costa Rica’s version of Yellowstone for no good reason... Well, if you get to go and need a ride, there are shuttles available. Hotel Liberia offered a shuttle for $20. Since I didn’t get to go, I’m unsure if this price is one-way or round-trip.