On my birthday, we had the distinct pleasure of waking up at 3am to catch a bus to Guatemala Airport, where we were able to sit around for 3 hours waiting for our plane. We eventually made it to San Jose, Costa Rica. Our friend from Davis, Carlos, had just moved back to Costa Rica and picked us up at the airport. We hung around for a few days, went to a bio-park/zoo for a day, ate great meals with his family, and tried desperately to get rid of bed bugs.
Finally it was time to move on, so we took a 8 hour bus ride to the most southern park in the country - Corcovado. A few people had recommended this park. Unfortunately, much of it is closed due to heavy rains. We're heading into the park tomorrow and will spend a few days in this wonderful coastal jungle area.
Costa Rica is definitely more expensive than Guatemala. On the flip side, however, is that they have a very stable government, no army, less crime, the water is safe to drink, and the fruits and veggies are easier on the stomach. Still, chocolate is not cheap so this is obviously not live-able!