Blogs from Puntarenas, Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean - page 8


We had an amazing weekend at the central Pacific coast enjoying a well-deserved break from classes and daily life in the Central Valley. The hotel (called Mimos) was very tropical and our first stop on Friday afternoon was the pool! Saturday morning was our highlighted time at Manuel Antonio National Park, but this entry of the blog is only going to tease you a little bit about that. There will be a blog entry written by a student focusing on the wildlife that we saw in the park and even at the hotel, so the entry you are reading now will not contain our wildlife pictures. But we did get some GREAT ones -- tease, tease -- so keep checking the blog for that upcoming entry. Of course, Howl, our own Red Wolf, is not indigenous ... read more
Photo Op
Lesley at the Overlook

Costa Rica 2013: Day 13: Manuel Antonio Day 3: This morning is the Spices Tour we signed up for last night. We were up and ready long before the minivan arrived at 8:50 to take us to the farm. I don't think I mentioned that we were a bit hesitant about taking this tour, due to the cost of $50 each, but it sounded very interesting, and Manoli wasn't all that excited about the other tours available, so we went for it. When they picked us up, there was already a young couple in the minivan, going on the tour with us. We traveled quite a ways out of town to their farm, Villa Vainilla. It is a well-known, recognized biodersity operation with a lot of write-ups expounding on it's virtues. They are a major producer ... read more
Waiting on the Tour
Cocoa Beans

Costa Rica 2013: Day 12: Manuel Antonio Day 2: This morning we were headed to Manuel Antonio National Park, hopefully to at least see monkeys and a sloth or two. After a cup of coffee made in our suite, we walked down the road to the park entrance. We had to stand in line a few minutes to buy our entry tickets, at $10 each, hoping it would be worth it. They gave us a map and explained the parts that were closed to the public, then off we went. At first, we sort of trailed along with one or another guided group, not to hear what they were saying, but to see what they found interesting. Many times we couldn't see what they saw because the guides had fancy telescopes set up, but we did ... read more
Unusual "Slow" sign
Beautiful Flower
Rather Large Spider

Costa Rica 2013: Day 11: Playas del Coco to Manuel Antonio: We were ready to leave our room at Laura's House by 6am, but unfortunately the lady who had been in the cafe the morning before wasn't there, so no coffee. We made our way to the bus stop in Playas del Coco to catch the 6:30am bus to Liberia and arrived with time to spare. The "bus stop" is just a place on the side of the road where the Pulmiton busses stop. When we arrived in Liberia, it was just past 7:30am, so we walked the block or so to the bus station for Puntarensas, and lo and behold, the 7:30 bus to Puntarenas was just leaving, so we hopped on, already an hour ahead of schedule, as I'd planned on catching the 8:30 ... read more
Quepos Bus Terminal
Soda Maricela, Quepos
Lunch at Soda Maricela

Costa Rica 2013: Day 7:Monteverde Day 3: This morning we'd booked the Hanging Bridges tour at Selvatura. The minivan picked us up, and about 12 others. After a rather long ride, mostly due to rough, winding roads, we arrived at Selvatura. This place has the Hanging Bridges tour, at least one canopy tour, canyonerring, a Tarzan swing, and Butterfly, Insect, and Serpent houses. We were really looking forward to seeing some wildlife, so we got our tickets and headed onto the footpaths towards the first of eight bridges. To make a long story short, we saw almost nothing but plants, a couple of birds, and one centipede! Granted, the trek was enjoyable, there were some pretty cool plants, and the hanging bridges were pretty neat, but that doesn't add up to $30 each worth of enjoyment. ... read more
J.C. on one of the hanging bridges
Weird Leaf
Cool Bamboo Tops

Costa Rica 2013: Day 6:Monteverde Day 2: This morning we ate our first breakfast in the hostel. Manoli had fresh fruit, coffee, and juice, all good and so fresh. I had some fruit and a decent pancake along with coffee and juice. While Manoli got ready for the day, I went to the ATM to get some cash for the day. Although the machine at Banco Nacional said it gave dollars, all it allowed me to get was Colones. Oh well, next time we'll use the Banco Costa Rica ATM. Our minivan showed up right on time for the trip to the El Trapiche tour we'd booked for 8:45am. Eventhough the tour cost $30 each, it was well worth it! Our excellent guide was one of the owner's sons and he was very informative and sociable. ... read more
Great View
Cabinas El Pueblo Hostel
Raw Coffee Beans

Cosat Rica 2013: Day 5:Tortuguero To Monteverde: We woke up at 4:30am to pack up and get our taxi to the village boat ramp. The lodge made us up two bags of fresh fruit for the trip, and there was fresh coffee too. Unfortunately, they didn't remember the cream/milk, so I only drank a bit of it. We arrived at the village boat ramp before the ticket office opened, so we bought the first two tickets to La Pavona. The trip up the canals wasn't as exciting since we'd seen it all before, but we were entertained by the boat pulling into several private places to pick up stuff to deliver to either La Pavona or Cariari. Probably nothing elicit, but it made me wonder. We also had to wait after the first stop for a ... read more

Sorry folks, you've still got to put up with my (Ben's) rambling as I have the advantage of being able to type away whilst on the bus and we're currently snaking our way up into the Panamian mountains...but that's for a blog in a few days time. We woke up a little disgruntled given we had to leave our beach paradise and travel back to the dirty capital. We could've have easily spent another couple of days relaxing but alas, the tour must go on. It wasn't all bad though, as our public bus back to San Jose wasn't leaving until noon so we had the morning to 'chill-out'. I rose around 8.30am, chucked my running gear on and went for a jog along the beach. As soon as I opened the front door I was ... read more

We allowed ourselves a bit of a sleep in this morning given our frantic week of bussing all around the country. We wandered 3 doors up from our hotel to a hostel that did $4 'big breakfasts' – fruit platter, scrambled eggs, toast, coffee and of course, Central America's favourite dish, rice and beans. The sun was already beating down on us and it felt like 100% humidity, as even sitting down and eating would raise a sweat. We wandered up to the entrance of Manuel Antonio National Park, paid our $10 entrance fee for foreigners (if I was Costa Rican, the entrance price was about 50c), shrugged off the would-be guides who were trying to obtain our business and strolled into the park, confident of seeing the elusive sloth. The Manuel Antonio National Park is ... read more

We were on the road relatively early again as we made our departure from Monteverde, down out of the mountains and back down to sea level. The view was amazing as our little mini-bus spiralled its way along this windy gravel road. Rolling green mountains, some of which were baked in sunshine whilst others were covered by low hanging cloud. Rach tried unsuccessfully to capture the moment, the bumpiness and trees lining the road proving an obstacle. We stopped after about 2 hours and we knew we'd come down out of the mountains as the first thing that hit us was the heat! It was only about 10am by this point but whilst we waited at the little truck stop we all chatted about not being able to wait to hit the beach in Manuel Antonio. ... read more

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