In September of 2015, Volaris, Mexico’s second-largest Airline, added San José, Costa Rica to its list of destinations you can reach nonstop from Guadalajara.
You can fly to that Central American jungle paradise for about 265 dollars (round trip), not much more than the price of a ticket to San Antonio Texas, as long as you book about five months in advance. On top of that, your flight will take only three and a half hours, less than a drive to Manzanillo.
So I decided to fly to Costa Rica to check out Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, which I had heard deserves to be listed among “the twelve most beautiful parks in the world.”
In San José — for 63 dollars a day — we rented a brand-new Korando, a Korean-made car which I can’t exactly recommend, considering what happened to us 30 kilometers west of San José. Here we decided to turn on the air conditioning. Well, we tried! A check of the Korando manual proved I was doing everything right, but all we got was hot air... not quite what you want when heading for a tropical jungle famous for high temperatures and humidity. We stopped next to a toll booth on the expressway and called the rental agency. “We’ll bring you a new car in one hour,” they said. A few minutes later, a motorcycle policeman pulled up to us. “Sorry, you have to get off this road right now. It’s going to close.”
“What? Isn’t this the most important highway in the whole country?”
“Sí, señor, and it is about to be turned into a one-way street, pointing, unfortunately for you, in the opposite direction you want to go. At 1 p.m. this road will only accept traffic headed for San José.”
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