Blogs from Montezuma, Puntarenas, Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean

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The Luna Llena hotel, located 100m above Montezuma village has been a great place to bring this 2mo. back-packing trek to a close. As in most of these Central American Hostel/Hotels, there’s always lots of interesting travelers from around the globe, generally leaning left of centre, and especially amongst the Americans who abhor Trump.You fall asleep and wake up to a chorus of howler monkeys; the sun emerges out of the ocean to the east. Over breakfast playful capuchin monkeys race across the banana palms onto the dining room roof to stare down at you sipping Costa Rican coffee…ohh and,…..but just try catching one of these monkeys on camera. There are iguanas everywhere in the trees and dusty paths. Lots of crazy bird life, too. Down on one of Montezuma’s many beautiful beaches there’s a cool ... read more
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Saturday Spent a lazy morning on the balcony. The Jays came to visit, as well as another brown and black bird we couldn't identify. A great-tailed grackle, a black bird with yellow eyes, also made an appearance. Interesting to watch the ants crawling up and down the big trees, carrying leaf parts many times their size. But where is my monkey? Bob is engrossed in his Jo Nesbo book, The Bat. Usually I am the one with my nose stuck in a book, but I am too busy watching for critters. We have found a couple of book exchanges, but most are small and books are usually in Spanish, French, or German. There is a kids' playground in the park beyond our balcony. It is filled with children on a Saturday. Today there will be an ... read more
Coconut Man
Street Mural
Forest


Friday After breakfast on the balcony, our first task was to find Bob some new sandals. His current pair broke, not surprising since they had been glued together after our last trip. The old ones ended up in the garbage after he found a pair of flip flops in his price range! Back to the hotel balcony, Bob was reading his book in the hammock and I was looking for critters in the trees. I spotted a black spiny-tailed iguana (had to look up this one). He started on a low branch, then went straight up to the top of the tree. Their maximum length is 39 inches, although this one was a bit smaller, and their maximum speed is 25 mph. A kids' drum band was practicing in the park at the time. I think ... read more
Feeding the Birds
The Thief
Inquisitive Jay


Thursday Breakfast again on our deck. (Bob makes good coffee!) I noticed that the trees were full of large blue birds with black tufted feathers. I googled and found that they were white-throated magpie jays, 17 to 22 inches in length. The local name for them is "urraca". We left some bread on the railing for them. Also spotted a squirrel, called a variegated squirrel, very different from those at home. These are more orange in color, have a black back, and a bushy gray and black tail. Today we walked south along the ocean. Lots of rocks and fishing boats, beautiful scenery. We found the path for the waterfalls, a series of three. We got to the first one, a series of small cascades, very clear water. Our book says to follow the well-marked trails, ... read more
Squirrel by Hotel Balcony
White-faced Capuchin Monkey
Ocean North of Hotel


Wednesday Busy travel day today. Our final destination is Montezuma, but we have four legs of transportation to get there. The bus to Puntarenas was scheduled to leave at 6am. .We got an early start and walked up the hill to the bus station at 5:30. The Puntarenas bus was coming down the hill. It left half an hour early! Good thing we were out early; we flagged the bus down for the 2.5 hour ride. The road down to Monteverde was very bumpy and winding, with lush green valleys and grazing sheep. Monteverde was originallly a Quaker settlememt and to stem the tourist flow, they lobbied to stop developers from paving the roads. This worked for a while but the town grew anyway. Further along. the sides of the road were lined with high rock ... read more
The Ferry Takes Off
Fisherman Taken From Ferry
A Hammock at Last!


Life at the conservation project Our time in Montezuma was spent working at a turtle conservation project run by ASVO (Asosacion de Voluntarios para el Service en Areas Protegidas en Costa Rica - http://www.asvocr.org/english/). ASVO is a non-profit NGO that has been running for 25 years, with a number of different projects working in protected areas in Costa Rica. Montezuma beach is a nesting site for Olive Ridley, Black and Leatherback turtles, with their overlapping seasons running from July through to February. Arriving late on Monday night, our first exposure to the project consisted of quick introductions to some of the key people and sorting out sleeping arrangements. Accommodation was very basic, with everyone sleeping in bunk beds, and while the staff tried to keep separate male and female rooms, that wasn't always possible as people ... read more
Sunrise from the hatchery
Eggs moved to a new nest, waiting to be covered
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Get on the bus On Monday we set off from San Jose to Montezuma to join the turtle conservation project. We travelled on a public bus to Puntaarenas, then caught a ferry across the Gulf of Nicoya to Puerto Paquera. At the ferry port everyone got off the bus and bought separate tickets to travel on the ferry as foot passengers, re-boarding the same bus once off the ferry. We had a final change at Cobano to get the bus to Montezuma, luckily stepping off one bus and onto the next without any waiting. Public buses in Costa Rica are comfortable and seem to run to a good schedule. There are no toilets on board, so it may be worth spending a few colones to use the bathrooms at the bus station before boarding. There is ... read more
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Love the Sea... In my previous blog entry, I left us in Santa Teresa, on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. This entry takes us further South down that same coast to the 'Amor del Mar' hotel in Montezuma. We took a taxi from Santa Teresa to Montezuma which was not a very long drive, and only cost about $30 USD. It provided me with yet another opportunity to make friends with the driver and practice my Spanish. These are the best ways to practice because there is no time pressure - you have all that road ahead of you, and more often than not, these drivers are proud of their country and happy to have a foreigner willing to converse in their native language! I like to think it's win-win for both of us! The ... read more
Love the early morning light
Nature is beautiful!
6.30am waterfall swim!


After our exciting excursion to Isla Tortuga we decided a couple of quiet days were in order! Friday found us catching up on our emails, reading, and tidying up. We hit the beach around 11:30 for a couple of hours then decided to start the walk into Montezuma where we would spend the afternoon and have our first dinner out. We began walking on the dusty road and as the dilapidated bus rounded the bend behind us, we opted to flag it down. We wandered into a few shops and then followed the road that runs parallel to the beach. Along this road was a vast array of homes, from beautiful, large casitas that were immaculately groomed, to shacks that looked like they would collapse in the wind. We continued on until we reached the turtle ... read more
Radishes not Monkey Jewels!
New Hatchlings
Preparing the Shore


Ok we are Canadians. We know what it is like to endure intense winters but down here it is very difficult for us to reconcile how much snow there is at home and the frigid temperatures that have been gripping our area. Here everything, and anything you do, leaves you drenched in perspiration! The intense heat in Costa Rica is unlike anything we have had the pleasure of experiencing in all of our travels. You walk and sweat, eat and sweat, cook and sweat, you just sweat!! We are definitely receiving a cleansing of any and all toxins in our bodies!! Today was our day to travel to the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve that is located 2km south of Cabuya, so 5km from where we are staying! We walked down to catch the 8:20 bus which ... read more
The End of the 2.5 Hour First Leg
Let Sleeping Bats Lie
Lunch At Marvin's




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