Blogs from La Fortuna, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean

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On February 24th, my daughters and I all flew into Liberia (LIR) airport, Costa Rica from different locations: Colorado, New Hampshire and Florida, for a weeklong celebration of my turning 70 in June. We had rented a Hyundai Creta 4x2 automatic car through Adobe Car Rental, a local agency located a few miles from the LIR airport. This agency was recommended by Mytanfeet, a company written by a Costa Rican couple, that offers recommendations of places to go, tours and other valuable inside information. Since we arrived at different times from different locations my NH daughter and I who were first to arrive were able to leave the airport in the Adobe Car van to pick up our rental car (about a 3/4 hour process), in time to return with the car and anxiously wait for ... read more


Early on our first morning we woke to see the breathtaking view outside our room of the colorful tropical garden with the impressive Arenal Volcano in the distance. Not having the luxury of time, we dressed quickly, ran down to the same resort restaurant for a very delicious buffet breakfast including freshly made omelets, yogurts, pastries, oatmeal, many local specialties, and my favorite, the “digestive juices” that changed each day. This morning, along with a hearty breakfast, we enjoyed a refreshing lemon-cucumber juice and excellent Costa Rican coffee. We ate our breakfast in the open air restaurant overlooking the volcano, gardens and lovely birds. With no time to lose we were soon dashing to the main entrance where we met Jose from Jacamar Tours for our first Costa Rican adventure. Jose was waiting for us at ... read more
The beginning of our Safari Float
Big open air kitchen at the local finca
Making coffee with a Costa Rican Chorreadore


Sky Tram and Sky Trek Zipline! This zipline experience was the highlight of my trip to Costa Rica to celebrate my 70th birthday and what a trip it was! I couldn't wait to do this zipline, but one of my 40-something daughters was not so eager. After we finished she was glad she did. We booked our date and time for Sky Tram and Sky Trek with Viator weeks in advance which I recommend because this is very popular, at least in February. A van picked us up at 8:15am at the Hotel Arenal and we were soon off to zip! When we arrived at the Sky Trek Zipline a long line of people were being processed and informed about the risks involved and how to safely travel on the ziplines. (There are lockers available to ... read more
Riding the Sky Tram to the top
Views of Lake Arenal from the top platform at Sky Trek Zipline
Arenal Volcano from the base of Sky Trek Zipline


Today’s main attraction was a guided trip in the jungle. Oscar from Jacaranda Tours picked us up at the Manoa Resort at 7:45am for the Hanging Bridges Tour. It is always better to go early to see wildlife and birds and also to avoid the crowds, so although my girls might have wanted a slower pace, they did agreed on the early morning tours, even if they had to wolf down breakfast. We were whisked to the nearby park to begin our hike with Oscar. As we walked up and down the paved paths that carved out the various habitats he explained all the indigenous flora and fauna of this part of Costa Rica. We observed the parts of the native heliconias that feed the butterflies, a parade of leaf cutter ants, monkey ladder vines and ... read more
Our guide Oscar at the Hanging Bridges Tour
White Faced Capuchin Monkey
Nanku, La Fortuna


It was time to leave our spa hotel for Playa Hermosa but first: a must stop at the Rainforest Chocolate Tour in La Fortuna. We packed the car after our last wonderful buffet breakfast with a plan to head to Playa Hermosa, a good day’s drive with stops along the way. Our first stop was just outside of La Fortuna at the Rainforest Chocolate Tour. I had no idea what to expect but when you say chocolate and tour, I'm in! This was a last minute decision before leaving La Fortuna and we were really glad we went. We found that they are usually booked in advance but since we were doing the tour early in the morning there were just enough spots for us to join the first tour. We were a small group, there ... read more
Gustavo's assistant further grinds the precious chocolate
Chocolaty goodness on my spoon
A fun street vender in Tilaran


On Wednesday, April 25th, Rebecka and I left our hostel at 8:45AM to catch the 9AM bus to Cañas. There, we had to wait half an hour for the next bus to Tilaran where we had to wait for 1h to get the bus to La Fortuna. In total, the way took to La Fortuna took us a bit more than 5 hours, but it was quite ok and only cost 5$US p.P. where a shuttle would have taken almost the same time but cost us 35$US! We arrived to La Fortuna at around 2PM and, after checking into our hostel, we directly we went for lunch because we were starving. Our hostel, the Arenal Container Hostel, was very nice even if it was a container. The furniture in the common areas was made of recycled ... read more
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Today’s excursion (for three of us - T opted to go see La Fortuna waterfall - her take on that below) was a combo tour and volunteer at a local wildlife rescue centre, Proyecto Asis. The centre takes in injured animals or animals that were previously (illegally) kept as pets or tied up and on display at hotels/restaurants. The centre takes them in with the goal of rehabilitating them to return to the wild. If an animal cannot be rehabilitated, it has a permanent happy home with them. The property is quite big and there are also wild animals on the grounds. It was truly fascinating to learn how much goes into rehabilitating an animal. Some birds that were kept as pets never learned to fly because they were in small cages or the owners clipped ... read more
Macaw
macaw habitat
Drunk raccoon


Today we opted for another suspended bridge trek, this time at Mistico hanging bridges. We enjoyed the Monteverde one a lot, and since this was a different eco-system (tropical rainforest instead of cloud forest) we jumped right in. Our guide, Indira, was remarkably knowledgeable and brought with her a scope we could use when she spotted something. As an added bonus, she was able to take pictures through the scope with a small lense camera...which anyone with a smart phone has! Wheeee. We saw the most critters so far here. Here are the ones I can remember: sloths, howler monkeys, two kinds of bats, lots of birds (motmot, white hawk and others), leaf cutter ants and some totes adorbs hummingbirds. We also had a short detour off the main trail to see some waterfalls up close. ... read more
white lined bat - he should be asleep
Hanging bridge
two toed sloth


The geothermic activity at the Arenal Volcano means there is a plethora of naturally heated hot springs to enjoy in the area and many of the springs seem to have miraculously sprouted up on the grounds of a hotel! Amazing, I know. After a leisurely start to our day, we headed out to enjoy some and opted for one of the best reviewed that just happened to be in some pretty swank surroundings. Once inside, another miracle of nature..some of the springs had SWIM UP BARS attached to them. After testing a couple of the 25 pools on site, we settled on a quiet spot (“the Roman baths”) that had beautiful shade and water that, at 20 degrees celsius, was one of the least hot. It also had a cold plunge pool to cool down, and ... read more
Red-eyed tree frog
Jesus Christ, lizard.
Net making spider


One of the joys of being in Costa Rica is the lack of internet, television, and other so-called necessities in many of the places we are staying. The internet has been spotty at best, so I have fallen behind on this blog. I will catch up the last few days with a couple of posts this morning. The second full day in La Fortuna (last Thursday) was taken up with hiking through the Arenas Volcano National Park. There were no swinging bridges, but we thought we would include a photo of one anyway since we forgot in the last posting. The park covers most of the volcano which last erupted in 2010. However, the last lava flow was in 1998 and that was what we were hiking out to see. On the way to the flow ... read more
Giant Cieba Tree
Lesser anteater
Howler Monkey




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