Blogs from Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean


Our first full day in Costa Rica consisted mainly of us getting situated. We met Casey and Dan at a cafe in the central park of San Isidro del General (the closest city to their place) and they drove us to their house about 25 minutes from the city toward the coast. We got settled in and went for a drive to Dominical on the Pacific coast for dinner at Tortilla Flats, which was very tasty. We brought Jack along because, contrary to our North American sensibilities, dogs are allowed almost anywhere in Central America. Dan got to drive the motorbike home after dinner, which was exciting on that narrow, twisty road in the dark. Our days in Costa Rica were filled with going to the organic markets in Tinamaste and Dominical, making fresh fruit pirate ... read more
Surfing Fun
White Face Monkey
Blossom the Porcupine

After three long days of bus travel from Utila, we made it to Costa Rica. Initially, we thought we'd gloss over this beautiful country because it is more expensive than others in the region. However, we were lucky enough to have found a house sit for 2 1/2 weeks in Platanillo where we would look after a 5 month old puppy named Jack. We set this house sit up through a website called Trusted House Sitters which helps potential house sitters find accommodation in return for taking care of people's homes and (usually) animals while the homeowners are on holiday. Casey and Dan, the couple we were house sitting for, are a couple from the States who have been travelling for a few years and have settled down in Costa Rica with their rescue pup Jack. ... read more
Cost Rica Ridin'
What Did That Coconut Ever Do to You?

Sarah: We had a good last morning in Manuel Antonio - eating leftover pizza, drinking smoothies and soaking up the last few days of coastal sunshine! We arrived early evening in Santa Elena in the Monteverde cloud forest. We were pleasantly surprised by how mild an evening it was, especially compared to the hot nights we had at the coast! Once we were settled in to our room we headed out to a little restaurant recommended by the hostel owner for being good AND cheap AND with a free desert - sold. It was a very sweet little place, with what looked like 3 generations of family cooking in the kitchen and bringing out very tasty grub for us: rice, beans, chicken, all the usual suspects! The free desert of a little flat cake with dulce ... read more
The inside of the huge Strangler Fig tree near Santa Elena.
View from Monteverde cloud forest reserve.
One of our zip-lining colleagues settings out on one of the whopping lines across the valley below.

Now, today has been all about getting in to Costa Rica - to the volcanic town of La Fortuna in the highlands, set 6km from Volcan Arenal which violently erupted in 1968. This was to involve not one, but 2 flights on a 'small' plane. Jesus - I have jumped out of planes bigger than what I flew in!! Two of the hairiest plane rides I have ever taken, that's for sure! I uncontrollably let out a small squeak when the first plane dropped whilst coming in to land - something which amused those around me considerably as I cling white knuckled to my seat!! But I did manage to make a few friends on these flights, which made them somewhat less stressful. The second flight ended up being just myself and another single female traveller ... read more
Inside the tiny plane - with the oldest cockpit I have ever seen!

Nick: What with the salt flats tour, trip to the Amazon and visit to Machu Picchu (not to mention the bout of illness between the two), the last two or three weeks of travelling had definitely been the most intense so far and it started to catch up with us. As such, we were looking forward to our time in Costa Rica and having a few days to calm down and recuperate before the next leg. We'd wanted to visit Costa Rica for some time - it had only just been pipped to the post for our honeymoon destination by New Zealand - and when we'd drawn up our travelling plans, we couldn't resist bolting it on to the end of our South America itinerary, since we were in that neck of the woods (sort of!). ... read more
Beach, day 1
Taking a dip

On the last evening of our stay in Costa Rica we went to this elegant restaurant high above the hills overlooking the Central Valley. We had booked this tour through our hotel and the cost was $70 per person which included transportation, buffet style dinner, soft and/or alcoholic drinks (as much as you want) and the folklore show. I thought it was a good deal, and we were not disappointed. The van came to fetch us from the hotel at 6:30 pm. There were already two ladies in the car. Later on we found out they were from Mexico. I thought we were going to pick up more guests, but the van headed straight for the town of Aserri in the outskirts of San Jose. It was a long drive the last part of which was ... read more
San Jose, Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica
San Jose, Costa Rica

Another sunny, warm day in Costa Rica. We had peaceful night’s sleep. Not a peep from the adolescents. I guess they are not a sports team of some sort. The birds started chirping before dawn. No monkey sounds though. I thought I heard thunder but I think it was the first plane of the day taking off from the airport some ten kilometres away. Coffee was served around the pool shortly after six and breakfast started around seven. I was one of the first in so there was lots of everything. Once the kids arrived, the waiters were kept busy refilling jugs and platters. I am sure they ran out of milk. We lazed around the pool until checkout time and then hung around the reception waiting for our taxi. He arrived early, having brought a ... read more

Last day in Coahuila. I had planned to go to the beach one last time before the van picked us up at 1pm but slight stomach cramps dictated I stay close to the loo. Granted, the bubbles of the breaking waves would make a good tummy massage but I feared adding to the flotsam being stirred up by the rip tide. I contented myself with laying in the hammock and listening to the surf. Of course, our shuttle was a half hour late. Clo was pacing and becoming increasingly agitated. The van arrived and away we went. It was a much more comfortable one that that of the way here. Since it was Good Friday, all the locals were at the beach. It stretched from Cahuita all the way up to Limon, something we did not ... read more
Rosa de America Hotel
Rosa Cabin
Rosa Flowers1

After the excursion at the Poas Volcano Park we arrived at the Waterfall Gardens the last stop of our Combo Tour. This nature park is situated in the middle of a rain forest, and it actually rained while we were walking along the many trails and paths. Earlier our guide had told us in the car that this was going to be a 100% 'nature tour.' It proved to be the highlight of the day's trip. Although this vast 70 acre park boasts a wildlife refuge, to me it was just a small zoo with an aviary, a butterfly observatory, Monkey Pass, hummingbird garden and a serpentarium. We went through all of them except the last one as I have an aversion to snakes! The most interesting, at least for me, was the butterfly observatory which ... read more
Alajuela, Costa Rica
Alajuela, Costa Rica
Alajuela, Costa Rica

Today, Claudette is taking a vacation from vacation. It is a do nothing day for her. For me, vacations are all about doing things. I do enough of nothing in my regular life, so today I am off to Cahuita National Park for a stroll through the jungle bordering the beach. It is not far to go, only a ten minute walk to the other end of town. It opens directly onto a beach. You can hire a guide to point out wildlife or do it on your own. The trail follows the coastline with spurs leading to small secluded beaches. At one point, the trail cuts across a peninsula to give the hiker a since of the real jungle. The signage gives fair warning at some of the beaches that rip tides are present. These ... read more
Ant Highway
Blue Crab 1
Blue Crab 2

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