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Jun 26 2013

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Paul’s Monthly Tip to Live for Less in Costa Rica: Vacation the Retire for Less Way!

We may be thrifty but, mostly, we like to get a good bang for a buck. But we also love to have a great time, and this vacation was no exception.
Other than our expenses in Playa del Carmen (May 21-25) and the bulk of our airfare, we spent just $1650. International Living reimbursed us for most of our airfare and expenses while at the conference. Here’s the breakdown:

Getting around was easy. Our transportation expenses included:

  • Buses (both local and three 1st class buses between cities)
  • Subway (in Mexico City)
  • Taxis
  • Collectivos (shared shuttle service)
  • Partial airfare not covered by International Living: $57.62

The 1st class buses were great. Clean, comfortable, and complete with bathrooms, movies, and snacks. Our bus from Mexico City to Oaxaca took 6 ½ hours and cost only $75 for both of us. The trip from Oaxaca to Puebla was 4 ½ hours and cost $47 for both of us. The final bus took us from Puebla directly to the airport in Mexico City, took 2 hours, and cost $35 for both of us. It was a terrific way to travel and very economical.

Our hotels were budget to mid-range and averaged $47.37/night, including all taxes. Some rooms were better than others, but all were clean and well-maintained. Our favorite hotel was Hotel Las Mariposas in Oaxaca and we look forward to staying there again sometime in the future.

Our tours, for a total cost of $94.69 for both of us, included two Turibus tours in Mexico City,  a tour of Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul, and a private tour from Oaxaca to three nearby towns:

  • A tour of the famous black pottery of Doña Rosa in San Bartolo Coyotepec
  • A weavers’ tour to Santo Tomas Jalieza
  • A visit to the Indian market in Ocotlan which has been in the same location every week for over 1000 years

All in all, we had a terrific vacation on a budget, the Retire for Less way!

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