Panama and Costa Rica
[recapping our trip, 336 days in]
On Monday, April 3, we flew from Colombia to Panama. With only two days in Panama, we made it a priority to see the canal, and it didn’t disappoint. The sheer scope of the Panama Canal is mind-boggling. During its construction, so many workers died from poor working conditions that the project was halted temporarily. These days, Panamanians seem really proud to be such a gateway between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the canal contributes so much to the economy that it’s hard to imagine life without it. In 2006, Panama held a national referendum on whether it would be worth expanding the canal to add additional capacity for more and larger ships; it was approved by a vote of approximately 80%. (I can’t even recall the last election or referendum I’ve ever heard of with that kind of majority!)
On Thursday, April 6, we headed north from Panama, to Costa Rica. We spent a few days in the capital San Jose, enjoying the things that come with large cities (including a great Korean restaurant we found).
We had a great time hiking the trails there and seeing the various bird and frog observation spots, but the real highlight was a night tour we took through the woods, where we saw a sloth and all sorts of other nocturnal animals. Unfortunately, nighttime isn’t great for pictures, so you’ll just have to settle for these:
Thanks, Panama and Costa Rica, for all the memories! Side note: Costa Rica isn’t as affordable as many of the other countries we had been traveling through. The uptick of tourism has really increased prices, to both the benefit and detriment of locals.