Blogs from Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean

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After our very brief visit to San Francisco, we flew via LA into San Jose. A new country for both of us having never traveled to any country in Central America before it was exciting to be somewhere new. We arrived at night and had to pick up our hire car, drive on the right side of the road and navigate our way to our air bnb - good thing we had GPS, Sam managed well to get us there. The next day we had a 9am tour booked at the Toucan Rescue Ranch about 45 mins drive away where their soul mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and release as many wildlife creatures they can. What sat well with us was the fact that they are not a zoo, they are a non-profit organisation and they ... read more
Two Fingered Sloth - Toucan Rescue Ranch
Two Fingered Sloth - Toucan Rescue Ranch
Two Fingered Sloths - Toucan Rescue Ranch


For our last day in Fortuna it was a full one! We started out by heading to Fortuna Waterfalls, apparently just a short walk down the road. Fortunately we brought 'Sammy the carolla', because it would have been quite a hike! Before the hike that is actually quite a large and well groomed park. There were many steps going down the waterfall to swim - they say about 500 but there must have been much more on the way up for all the complaining from our little friend, Scott. Probably the most complaints this whole trip. Maybe something to do with the temperature of the water? Scott didn't swim, but he did wander about in the shallow pools below the main waterfall. There were a couple of schools of pretty big fish to scare off, so ... read more
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This morning we got up and went to Arenal National Park for a hike on the lava flows. We were given the choice between an easy hike about one hour, or a hard hike about 2 1/2 hours. We knew we could do the long hike so that’s what we chose. The trail meandered around a lake where we spotted chestnut mandibled Toucans, Oropendolas (they make the strangest sounds... hard to describe), herons and 30 other species of bird we couldn’t identify. We also saw beetles, leaf cutter ants and a scorpion! It was over 30°, there was significant elevation, and humidity was near 100%, but Scott persevered. The views of the top were worth it, and as promised we did walk on the lava flow. It was around 1230 when we got to lunch, and ... read more
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After a dreaded 5 AM wake up, we got Tiffany and Alexa to the airport successfully. Apparently they had no problems, their plane was on time, and they’re now enjoying the relative cool of Canada, including a fresh layer of snow at home.It was about 2 1/2 hours to Fortuna and we had most of the day ahead of us, so we decided to try the local hot springs. They naturally mix with the river so there’s different temperature pools so going to the hot springs in a tropical country isn’t as crazy as it sounds. Options range from free public pools to high-end and swanky. We opted for high-end and swanky. It was expensive but it was very nice and apparently the only place where the water is not treated - just routed through seemingly ... read more
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This would be our second day at altitude (about 3000m) and slightly cooler temperatures. Such a relief! We enjoyed the lovely breakfast buffet orchestrated by a very French head chef. He pleased the crowd of mostly seniors and very serious bird watchers. We had come to the right place?! With our tiny bit of advice we started onto the trails in search of a brightly coloured Quetzal, the star of the area. Sadly we never did spot one but Scott and Alexa managed a pretty long hike in the forest. Aside from arguing over the best sticks and who had the next turn to hold them, the hike was great! Many things were spotted like yellow birds and blue birds and black birds with orange beaks. There were lots of fruit trees, clouds and views from ... read more
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We were sad but ready to leave Charlie’s - I mean sure we were all burnt and covered in bumps but we were becoming pretty attached to that pool. The kids’ swimming really making progress and a lot of delight when the cows would arrive in the next door pasture. So we all piled into “Sammy the carolla” and we started off for the mountains. The first part of the drive was pretty straightforward windy, twisty roads full of aggressive passers. But then we turned off on our road to Sagevre River and things started to feel a little hairy. Steep inclines. Uneven roads and nary a few inches of passing room. But beautiful country, too. After about an eternity and 8 kilometres we arrived! Our Airbnb was part of a larger hotel / spa. They ... read more
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The beach today was such a success we decided to do it again (except for the sunburns). Tiffany decided to rent a surfboard and hang 10! She insisted she didn’t need a lesson and to her credit she did get up a couple of times. For some reason the waves this day were far bigger than previous days. This made for challenging surfing but very fun boogie boarding. After a pizza lunch it was, of course, back to the pool. For dinner was, can you guess? Rice and beans. Was early to bed as we had to get up early the next day for a departure into the mountains. It was Jen’s turn to read some BFG which doesn’t really make the kids sleepy as they get very excited. For those of you that don’t know ... read more
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Today we decided we had enough of tours and busy touristy places, as well Charlie had Helped us rent some boogie boards so we decided to stay on the beach. Our suite came complete with beach umbrella and some beach chairs so we dragged them all down to the ocean side. We got the kids under an umbrella digging holes in the sand and gave the boogie board a try. The waves were perfect and we had it down in no time. It was quite a bit of fun. Alexa didn’t take much convincing to get on the boogie board but Scott took some cajoling. Both kids were going 20 or 30 m by themselves by the end. The adults all somehow got burnt to a crisp. Jen is convinced the sunscreen is defective, but I ... read more
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For Alexa’s birthday we decided to take a trip into a beautiful set of waterfalls. There were three options to reach the falls. One - hike 4 km up-and-down steep dusty roads in the 35° heat. Two - ride sweaty hot horses four kilometres up-and-down steep dusty roads in the 35° heat. Three - a pick up truck foor kilometres up and down steep dusty rose In the 35° heat. I’ll let you guess what we chose.The waterfalls were spectacular. There were two of them, one for taking pictures at which was the higher of the two, and a smaller one for swimming which had a large pool at the base of it. The water was beautifully cool, clear and refreshing. The children didn’t much care for it maybe because of the fish swimming around ... read more
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Today we decided to visit the very famous Manuel Antonio national Park. We had to get up very early as we had been told that park gates open at seven and if you get there too late they’ll be a multi-hour line. Immediately after arriving we were swarmed with offers of tours and parking and somehow decided on our guide Eduardo. He was very nice and spoke great English And had a very powerful spotting scope. He also really liked Tiffany. He showed us the Eagles, two toed sloths, three toed sloths, white face monkeys, Howler monkeys, butterflies, and iguanas. We heard the tucans but never saw them. We then had a swim in the ocean at the beautiful beach. We also had a little bit of a an encounter with something called a coatimundi which ... read more
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