Blogs from Puntarenas, Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean


After one last night in the rubbish bed, it’s time to check out of the hotel Santa Fe, bringing the guest count to zero. My least favourite thing has been that they refused to provide room service ‘due to covid’ yet asked that we do not throw paper in the toilet. By now, the bin is overflowing with 4 days’ worth of soiled paper. At 6 am I’ve had enough and go and sit outside until it’s time to leave. Today, we are travelling 119 miles south to Manuel Antonio, site of Costa Rica’s most popular national park. There’s a strict quota system in place so we’ve already purchased our tickets and are raring to go. After one last encounter with the fluorescent fruit juice, we depart. It’s supposedly a 3.5 hour drive - factor in ... read more
Departing Monteverde
Descending from Monteverde
Road from Monteverde

After another rubbish night’s sleep in the rubbish bed, we get up and go for breakfast. The toxic pineapple juice makes a return appearance. He also brings a jug. I hear ‘agua para ti’ (water for you) so attempt to dilute my juice. Apparently, he said ‘agua para té’ (water for tea) and it is boiling water, which causes the fluorescent yellow liquid to bubble alarmingly. This morning is a toss up between another cloud forest reserve and Selvatura for a 3 km treetop walkway consisting of 8 bridges, the longest being almost 200 metres long. I’m terrified of heights and very much prefer to have my feet firmly on the ground, so my choice would be the cloud forest. However, my running club is doing a series of challenges this month, and one requires other ... read more
Embarking on bridge no. 1
Still smiling
Bridge No. 4

Not the best night’s sleep as the bed is small and uncomfortable. We get up and have breakfast - which reviews describe as ‘simple but tasty’. They’re half right! It comes with ‘juice’ of some undeterminable fruit (it tastes like flat Vimto). We ask the proprietor what flavour it is. He doesn’t know either, goes and checks the packet and returns to tell us it’s ‘grape’. The old man asks for different juice and a new packet is duly opened – this time it’s ‘pineapple’ and drinking it makes my eyes water. Breakfast is scrambled eggs on toast – no plantain :( After breakfast, we head to Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. It’s only 2 miles away, but a few hundred metres higher in elevation, which brings us up into the clouds. We have to park a ... read more
Sendero Nuboso
Sendero Nuboso
Sendero Nuboso

Today we have a 3 hour drive to Monteverde. First, time for a buffet breakfast at Coco Viquez; pancakes with plantain and pineapple again – yay! With a month of our trip left, I’m already starting to panic about sourcing my plantain habit when we return to Bournemouth. We take one last walk along the beach before checkout. After the chaos of the weekend and hoards of day trippers, it’s quiet today. The only evidence of the weekend crowds are the bags of garbage left behind being picked over by vultures. We join the handful of American snowbirds taking a morning constitutional. The sea is like glass this morning (a kind of greenish-black glass). It’s hard to believe I nearly got taken out by a wave yesterday. Once I have laid out yesterday’s laundry on the ... read more
Mmm - garbage

Blue is the favorite color of both me and my dear Mom. How many of you know your Mom's favorite color? Anyway, the point I want to make, is that during some of my travels, I have seen the bluest of blues. It never occurred to me, to make note of the "bluest blues" on my travels. The first moment came while at Monteverde, Costa Rica. I woke one morning, sat on the deck with my coffee, and gazed west to the Pacific Ocean. Suddenly, it hit me. This was the bluest blue I have ever seen! I wish I could find my photos. Since then, the bluest blues have come and gone, always reminding me of those two days in Monteverde (twice visited). For those of you unfamiliar with Monteverde, it is the central point ... read more
Grand Teton NP
Glacier NP

After breakfast this morning, we had a short ride to the Manuel Antonio National Park. This is a very small park along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. We did a walking tour of the park walking in to the beach where we had several hours to enjoy the beach if we desired. The walk yielded very little new to our wildlife list with the exception of a few bugs. The larger animals consisted of monkeys and sloths. The White-faced Monkeys here are very bold and will steal items right off the beach if you do not watch your belongings. Raccoons will do the same as we watched one check out some backpacks. After walking into the beach, we spent a short while sitting at a table near the beach before deciding to walk out of ... read more
Capuchin Monkey eating from the tree
Black Iguana
Sleeping Sloth

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Puntarenas » Quepos February 5th 2020

Breakfast at the hotel proved entertaining as the Howler Monkeys join us by breakfasting in the trees nearby. One never knew when they would show up. Once again we choose to take the optional tour hoping for some wildlife sightings. It was a short ride to the marina in Quepos. We boarded the nice Catamaran complete with water slides and bar. There were drinks and snacks available. The day was beautiful and the ocean calm, but wildlife was at a minimum. We saw just a few different birds including Magnificent Frigatebirds, Brown Boobys and Brown Pelicans. Before lunch we anchored in a cove where we could snorkel or enjoy the water slides. I chose to snorkel and armed with my camera got a few murky fish photos. After snorkeling, lunch was provided on the boat. We ... read more
Climbing up
Quite a pose
Sitting and thinking

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Puntarenas » Quepos February 4th 2020

We headed out today on the last leg of our journey across Costa Rica. This time to the west coast and the Pacific Ocean. We were traveling to the area of Manuel Antonio National Park staying just outside the park at the Shanna by the Beach Hotel. Our first stop as we left Monteverde was to allow 13 of our fellow travelers to switch to another bus as they were ending their time in Costa Rica and returning to San Jose. That left 25 of us to continue on to Manuel Antonio. This stop was a cafe and convenience store along the Pan-American Highway. The store had beautiful carved decorations. Our next stop was a Jaco Beach where we had time to get lunch, to walk on the beach and to sit along a little stream ... read more
Iguana Planter
Fred and the Macaw planter
Crocodiles from the bus

We had decided that it would be in our best interest to not go zip lining or hike to cross the Hanging Bridges, so after breakfast at the hotel we hopped on a shuttle that runs within the hotel to go up to the canopy. Up at the canopy we hoped to see some different birds as there are birds that only live in the high elevations. Upon arriving at the canopy, the young man working there noticed our cameras and set about refilling the hummingbird feeder. As soon as he replaced the feeder, a variety of hummingbirds appeared. Sometimes as many a five at a time. Christian then came out and started looking with us to find other birds in the trees. After a time, he suggested that he might know where we could find ... read more
DSC03806 green hummingbird
Violet Sabrewing
Green Violetear

We awoke again to overcast skies and the volcano was not visible. At breakfast we again looked for birds at the feeder. There were not as many as yesterday and no new species. Today was a travel day with a hike into Arenal Lake before moving on to Monteverde and the cloud forest. The "hike" was along a paved trail through the rain forest. We had a brief glimpse at a peccary that did not stay around long enough for a photo. Leafcutter ants were in abundance, but birds were scarce. I had one quick look at a woodcreeper. The lake hosted a couple of Muscovy Ducks. As we returned to our bus, the rain forest lived up to its name with a cloud burst of rain as we hustled up the trail. Back on the ... read more
Scarlet-rumped Tanager
Female Scarlet-rumped Tanager
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird

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