Blogs from Samara, Guanacaste, Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean


It was beautiful they said.... I decided since I was already in the western hemisphere to go ahead and again visit my friend who was traveling central America. He didn't need to try too hard to convince me, especially when my Jetblue flight was canceled. I initially planned to fly to Jetblue to Liberia, Costa Rica, but while my sister and I were hiking with friends, she received a message from Jetblue. I had given them her number as I do not have a US number. Apparently, only Americans with American numbers are allowed to book American flights or some BS - it is really annoying. Anyway, we waited to listen and found out that that flight was also canceled. Wth? I thought Jetblue was one of the most reliable. I wound up rebooking with American ... read more
Playa Samara
Hotel las Mariposas - flooded and drained
Playa Samara - what have we done?

First new adventure since 2010!! Even selecting the country for this post was odd!! So far…Exploring a new country with an energetic, strong willed child is fun, exciting and oh so stressful at times…the way I do it at least!! I like to go with the flow and live locally. This makes planning hard!! So I chose to do almost no research, book 2 nights on a beach on the Pacific coast of CR and see what happened next!! Was told it was family friendly and a single friend I meet every year in India was supposed to meet me the day I arrived. Turns out she didn’t make the 8 hour journey in one day and instead arrived 3 days later due to traveller’s diarrhea attacks!! So day 1 I dragged taylor around in the ... read more

I left Monteverde for Playa Samara. Playa in Spanish means Beach. This time I took a shuttle (Interbus) as the alternative of public bus was changing multiple buses which I wasn't keen on doing. The shared shuttles cost typically about $55-60 but are point to point (hostel to hostel), so are convenient. They also operate an interesting system by which the drivers don't have to spend time away from their families. Basically all shuttles in that network converge at one common point, passengers are shifted from one shuttle to another so that the driver from a particular location goes back to his location. So I came from Monteverde to the common point in one shuttle, shifted to a shuttle which had come from Samara (with a local Samara driver) and reached Samara on that. Pretty simple ... read more
Playa Samara
Sunset at Playa Samara
Sunset at Playa Samara

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Guanacaste » Samara February 22nd 2019

The road down from Monteverde was pretty good. It seems more newly maintained and there’s evidence of fairly complicated blasting and channeling water to protect the road from washing out. All in all the roads to and from Monteverde were pretty good - at least for these two Canadian travellers. We took our time driving. Dave took us on a road out of the way. I didn’t realize this until we were well into it. But the country side was beautiful and we drove through some stunning landscape and farming communities. Stopping to take pictures of cows on the road and whatever else we came across and to get some ice cream on the side of the road. The temperature rose at least 10 degrees Celsius, if not more. It was mid to high 20s in ... read more
Dusty roads to the coast
Cora’s Reef airbnb

Week 2 in Costa Rica complete! Some days have brought more adventures than others :) My mornings start with a yogurt in my outdoor dining room aka picnic table. On Tuesday I met Isabel’s husband (still haven’t quite figured out his name) and they showed me all the art pieces they make out of coconuts. They also offered for me to park my car in their garage / carport, very sweet older couple! Thursday morning I had the unfortunate surprise of a flat tire, and not only that, but my spare tire was flat as well. My host filled up the spare tire and helped me change the flat (which is almost its own story with language barriers and pouring sweat and that one lug nut that just would not give), but given that I had ... read more

A few days spent madly working away at data entry! Maricela and I spent 2 full days inputting their data into their new system, and she spent a third while I worked on other parts of the system and made plans for the upcoming week. But we’re making some serious progress. Much of the data is in the system, I’ve already customized several reports for them, and they’re excited about having financial information so easily available. On Wednesday, I joined the rest of the team for dinner - a vegetarian feast that was very yummy! And tonight (Friday), we went down to the bar/restaurant in the village for a few hours, a great local hangout spot and a chance to get to know everyone better. Now I get a 3 day weekend and will be travelling ... read more

Birds spotted today: caught a glimpse of a squirrel cuckoo, lots of cinnamon hummingbirds! and the troupe of howler monkeys was back again :) After some discussion between the Ara admin and me, we decided to proceed with setting them on the Xero accounting package. We spent the rest of the morning working out what format their account structure and reporting would look like, and then spent the afternoon creating the backbone within Xero. Tomorrow we can start with actually inputting real data and some accounting training for their staff. Looking forward to a team dinner tomorrow with everyone at Ara!... read more

Birds spotted today: blue-crowned motmot, cinnamon hummingbirds, white-throated magpie-jay, more macaws, plus: geckos, an iguana, and howler monkeys! My day started off with some early visitors - Sam (head of the Ara Project) and two of his team members came knocking on my door first thing - glad I was already up and eating breakfast and not still in bed! I finished up getting ready to go and then drove over to the Ara site to get started. Spent my morning learning all about the history and inner workings of the project, and the afternoon looking at their record keeping. I was then able to join in on one of their daily tours, joining some tourists in learning about scarlet macaws, great green macaws, and the work of the Ara Project in helping these two bird ... read more

Birds seen today: boat-billed flycatcher, scarlet macaws, pelican, turquoise-browed motmot After a sleep-in, I unpacked into my new home. Saw my first bird of the day out my bedroom window, a boat-billed flycatcher (followed by some local chickens!). After a little stroll through the village, I decided to take a drive and started out at Punta Islita’s beach, where I waded in the Pacific. The heat is much more bearable when you have the water and the wind coming off the waves! The coast here is very dramatic - more mountainous and less beachy. As I walked along the beach, I heard the familiar parrot screech and looked up to see 3 scarlet macaws in the treetops. Loud rumbling thunder brought in some heavy rains, so I continued my drive back over the roads from the ... read more

Arrived in Toronto before midnight and spent 4-5 hours trying to sleep in the departures / ticketing area, while not falling too asleep to guard my suitcases! (Read: no real sleep!) Finally around 4:30am, I checked to see if I could re-check my suitcase and was glad to offload it :) After wasting a few more hours, my plane finally took off for Costa Rica around 9:00am. Very glad for my exit row seat and my neighbour who decided to sit elsewhere with her friends, leaving a middle empty seat. (Read: an entire 5 hour flight to sleep!) We touched down in San Jose around 12:00pm local time, and I will never tire of the view as you fly over and land in Costa Rica - mountains, jungles, green! The heat and humidity hit you nearly ... read more

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