bizarre one. There's only one highway that connects Costa Rica and Nicaragua (I walked across it, shown above), but you can totally swim from one country to the other if you aren't afraid of circumventing authority. But if you're planning to traverse the San Juan over on the Caribbean side... well, who knows where you'll start and end. It's bruited that the Nicaraguan military recently invaded Costa Rica, lowered a Costa Rican flag and hoisted up a Nicaraguan one. Why? 'Cause Google Maps
said so. Seriously
. Nicaraguan commander Eden Pastora actually used a slightly inaccurate Google Maps portrayal as justification for invading land that's clearly shown as Costa Rican on official maps of both nations.
In fact, this whole mess has grown into quite the debacle, with Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla proclaiming that its northerly neighbor had "forgot where its border is." Moreover, Costa Rica is worried that dredging done by Nicaraguans on the river's edge is both altering the border in Nicaragua's favor and damaging vital flora and fauna in the surrounding area. We're hearing that Organization of American States Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza will soon meet with officials in both nations to get this ironed out peacefully, and considering that Costa Rica hasn't had a military in over three score, we know who's hoping that the guns stay holstered. So much for Pura Vida, huh?