A Day Trip to Cartago

By Becca Hurliman

A couple weekends ago I took the opportunity to travel up to San Jose and Cartago for the day.  For the first time in a long time, I put on my blue jeans and packed a sweater in my bag and left my house at 4am to catch the bus.  Stopping at some nearby towns we picked up other sleepy-eyed adults and surprisingly wide-awake children and enjoyed a pretty quiet 6 hour bus ride.

As part of an annual trip organized by local residents, we first visited the Basilica in Cartago.  A pilgrimage site, many people from across Costa Rica make the trek to the Basilica each year on August 2nd.  There one can find holy water, which was stored away in empty Fanta bottles or in green plastic bottles shaped like a patron saint.

The Basilica at Cartago

The Basilica at Cartago

After that it was a slow, rainy drive through the city to Parque de Diversiones, the only amusement park in Costa Rica.  With our special day passes, we entered and headed toward the food court.  After filling our stomachs and waiting for the rain to subside, we headed to the roller coasters and other rides.  There is nothing like a fear-filled rush that makes people scream their heads off; fun was had by all.

Parque Diversiones

Parque Diversiones

I enjoyed a slice of cheesy pizza from Pizza Hut (the closest thing I’ve gotten to thick crust in many months), and then it was back to the bus for a long drive down the mountains to sleep Potrero.

When the bus came to a stop in Potrero around 11pm, one of the women said it best, “ah, we’ve arrived in our Potrero – the place that when you arrive, you don’t want to leave.”

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