Blogs from Puntarenas, Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean

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Température : 30 – 35°, il fait très très chaud, et on est en hiver ! Humidité : max Temps : très ensoleillé (sauf une bonne grosse pluie entre 15h et 17h tous les jours) Après une journée de transport en bus, nous découvrons la ponctualité sans faille des chauffeurs de bus. « Il part à quelle heure ce bus ? » «Il part quand il est plein » « bon, bon… » Nous prenons ensuite le ferry et arrivons à Santa Teresa, le paradis des surfeurs, au bout de la Péninsule Nicoya sur la côte pacifique du Costa Rica. Ambiance très cool, tout le monde a l’air tout le temps en vacances ici… ! Les mecs sont tous des abdos comme des tablettes de chocolat, les cheveux longs, blonds, bien bronzés, américains ou néo-zélandais. Pour ... read more
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This was our last day of planned activities here in “The jungle on the beach”. Our muscles were sore and tired, but we had another day of hiking, so we sucked it up and attacked the Manuel Antonio National Park. First, we learned that the land used to be owned by a man named...Manuel Antonio. For many years the locals had a path across it to the best beach around. Manuel Antonio was fine with that, so the practice went on for many years. After he died, a French man purchased the property and he erected a fence and put up “Prohibido el paso” signs. The locals climbed the fence and crossed through his jungle to the beach. He built taller fences, and they continued to go over. When he added even more security, the locals ... read more
Hungry monkey
Monkey mid-jump
Howler monkey


This morning we left the cool mountain top of Monteverde to head to the lowlands and the beach. I managed to sit in the front seat for the hair-raising descent on the dirt road that leads down and around the mountain. I think I was better off not knowing that Juan Carlos, our driver, talks with his hands...taking both of them off the steering wheel at the same time. On the drive to Manuel Antonio, we made a monkey stop to see some howlers up in a tree. I've always been particularly amused by monkeys in the wild, so I continue to get excited about sightings. We made a pit stop further down the road, and we managed to see some black-striped iguanas. I'm accustomed to lizards in Florida, but these are big! Our guide assured ... read more
Black-striped Iguana
View from below Monteverde
Howler Monkeys


When we woke up this morning, our muscles reminded us that we spent 2 hours on horseback yesterday! Whoa! It was time to leave this pretty resort, and move to our next destination. Our guide has a degree in biology, so he was the perfect one to take us on a nature walk at the base of the volcano. He shared lots of information about the regeneration of the flora and fauna since this area was covered by lava in 1968. We walked for an hour, seeing orchids, bromeliads, bamboo, and young trees. He pointed out many of the things that we would have missed on our own. Nature guides are so good at seeing things before anyone else, and he pointed out a coatimundi moving through the trees. It's a raccoon/monkey kind of an animal, ... read more
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What a great day! The rain that we experienced the first few days stopped yesterday afternoon, and has not returned. Even though we are on a mountain, in a cloud forest, we had quite a bit of sun today. Still, there are water droplets in the air all of the time, and clouds move through regularly. Today was zip line day, and we were excited! I've done it before, but this was the best ever! There was a lot of uphill climbing between several of the lines, and I was the only one in the group over 40. I often had to stop to breathe, but the young guides were so helpful and supportive! Marshall was able to sprint up the slippery, steep walkways through the jungle. We had 16 different lines of all types. The ... read more
Coatimundi
Chocolate Tour
Oxcart

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Another early start as the group and myself got picked up by a minibus and taken to Lake Arenal. Once we got to Lake Arenal, we jumped onto a boat and were taken across to the other side. The weather was dry, although it was quite cloudy. It did mean that I could see Volcano Arenal slightly better than the day before when it was raining heavily. Once we got to the other side of the lake, we were greeted by another minibus driver who was taken us to Monteverde. But he was also stopping off at a coffee & chocolate plantation on the way. On the bus I kept falling asleep, when suddenly everyone was talking about seeing some monkeys in one of the trees. The bus driver started reversing backwards and then stopped so ... read more
Sugar Canes
Oxcart
Hotel


For our last non-travelling day together as a group we decide to have a last bit of wildlife watching followed by what I think is going to be a relaxing ocean cruise to view the National Park from the sea, but unfortunately turns out to be something entirely different. But first the wildlife walk. We have to get the bus from Quepos to the same beach we'd been at the day before - not really sure why Intrepid parked us all the way out in Quepos which isn't really that nice a place instead of nearer to the national park, but hey it did have a lovely pool. We have to walk inland a bit to get to the entrance to the Park and Brian pays our entrance fees (Intrepid included activity this one). Luckily we ... read more
Checking out his audience
Having a rest
Looking for another branch to move slowly towards


I was sad to be leaving Monteverde the next day. I really loved the feel of the place, more remote and rural. Combined with the cooler temperature and great activities it was a winner for me. BUT the Pacific Ocean beckoned so we got on our bus for the 5 hour drive to Quepos and the Manuel Antonio National Park. Half way we stopped off for toilets and refreshments at a fruit bar place. Wow the heat really hit us as we stepped out of the mini bus. I had a wonderfully refreshing iced banana milkshake and then went to have a look at what was interesting people crowded on the road bridge looking down into the river below. Wow, there below us lined up on the sandy banks of the river were 36 crocodiles! Some ... read more
Crocs seen on the way to Quepos
Sharp teeth!
There were 36 in total!


I had a little time before the next planned activity - a sunset horse trek - so I picked up some lunch at the pastry shop near the hotel and went to check out an art gallery/shop that Stu had highly recommended. What a treasure trove of arts and crafts lovelies, from paintings to painted boxes and plaques, to textiles, jewellery and musical instruments. I bought a couple of presents for my girls and a pretty ceramic vase for myself. The lady serving me wrapped up everything so carefully, bubble wrap, newspaper, packing tape - hopefully my pot would survive the journey home in my hand luggage. Half my group had chosen to do the horse riding and we set off on yet another bumpy ride deep into the Monteverde countryside. We were beginning to think ... read more
One of our horses ready for the off
Catherine's ready...
...so's Franziska...


The next morning we're not meeting up for our ziplining activity until about 10am so I get an early breakfast and then set off down the hill into town to pick up a couple of Monteverde geocaches that had shown up on my gps. I have to run the gauntlet of the mass of yapping little dogs halfway down the hill. One little guy is more friendly and decides to join me in my early morning jaunt. He accompanies me all the way into the town, stopping every so often to let me catch him up or to mark his territory by cocking his little leg. I take a left turn and it seems this isn't the way he wants to go and the little dog and I part company. The first geocache is right in ... read more
Aha there it is
Sign the log book and replace
Looking across the valley and towards the sea




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