Blogs from Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean - page 5


The plan before leaving Monteverde was to add in a second natural reserve dedicated to conservation as was Curi Cancha. Unlike before, the alarms got set for a slightly later time to take our shuttle bus. Ascending several 100m from Santa Elena town, we climbed for a good fifteen minutes up a bumpy gravel road, with several works in progress trying to recuperate it with the imminent wet season. The mainly European tourists aboard joined the bus bit by bit, but fortunately, being the off season, the chances of entering were greater than it could’ve been. A beautiful lush scene of dense rainforest lay before us, and in minutes we’d parted with $25NZDpp to enter this paradise. Of the 48km of trails laid here, we’d time for a fraction choosing the ‘de bajo’ and ‘encantadora’ in ... read more
Monteverde to Canas
Ecologically valuable bats - mossie control and pollinators
Crocodile, Palo verde

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Limón October 23rd 2018

“All good for our pick up from the airport, at this stage” read my reply email. Emphasis on ‘at this stage’. Looking at the email to the ground transport company in Costa Rica, second day in, it read relevantly of what was an exhausting 48 hour period beforehand. On the day of departure, arranged many months in advance, we got a text one liner. ‘Flight cancelled’. Into a spin it threw us. No reasons given. As well as trying to fit work in myself that day, P2 kicked off the alternative planning involving lengthy calls to the insurer, travel agent and AirNZ, plus emails to ground transport Desafio and our first hotel night. Several hours and dollars later, with a fortunate late check out from our Airbnb, meant we’d got it at least half sorted. The ... read more
San Jose from our hotel room
Passion fruit lodge
Locals, Costa del Caribe

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica October 23rd 2018

We flew into San Jose via San Salvador, skipping through our fourth country in two days since leaving Honduras. We landed in the capital city of what is allegedly the safest country in Central America and made our way to immigration who have adopted the most inconsistent arrivals policy we have encountered so far. We had read that we would have to provide proof of onward travel upon arrival in Costa Rica which we found unreasonable and restrictive; it meant we would have to plan three weeks ahead, which was not something to which we were accustomed. However, after reading accounts of people being turned back at the land border, we decided to err on the side of caution and booked a bus ticket for our crossing into Panama next month as evidence that we didn’t ... read more
Crocodile Bridge

Central America Caribbean » Costa Rica » Puntarenas September 3rd 2018

Here we are, finally back to some world class diving...Cocos, reaching easily my top 5! Coming to dive Costa Rica and not diving Cocos, is a little like...missing what is the jewel of the country when it comes to diving. But I have to admit, this is not cheap at all, and it requests some serious advance planning and booking! But here I am, I've now dived Socorro, Galapagos as well as Cocos...I'm one of those very few fortunate ones! Let's not mention the price of a 10 days trip, 7 of them diving on the Okeanos I from Aggressor Fleet. I'm not a big fan of Aggressor, but put it simply, they are way cheaper that the two other boats going to Cocos, I name the UnderSea Hunter and the Argo. So I did it, ... read more
With my new dive buddy!
Males chasing femals...
Our little home for 10 days...

On February 24th, my daughters and I all flew into Liberia (LIR) airport, Costa Rica from different locations: Colorado, New Hampshire and Florida, for a weeklong celebration of my turning 70 in June. We had rented a Hyundai Creta 4x2 automatic car through Adobe Car Rental, a local agency located a few miles from the LIR airport. This agency was recommended by Mytanfeet, a company written by a Costa Rican couple, that offers recommendations of places to go, tours and other valuable inside information. Since we arrived at different times from different locations my NH daughter and I who were first to arrive were able to leave the airport in the Adobe Car van to pick up our rental car (about a 3/4 hour process), in time to return with the car and anxiously wait for ... read more

Early on our first morning we woke to see the breathtaking view outside our room of the colorful tropical garden with the impressive Arenal Volcano in the distance. Not having the luxury of time, we dressed quickly, ran down to the same resort restaurant for a very delicious buffet breakfast including freshly made omelets, yogurts, pastries, oatmeal, many local specialties, and my favorite, the “digestive juices” that changed each day. This morning, along with a hearty breakfast, we enjoyed a refreshing lemon-cucumber juice and excellent Costa Rican coffee. We ate our breakfast in the open air restaurant overlooking the volcano, gardens and lovely birds. With no time to lose we were soon dashing to the main entrance where we met Jose from Jacamar Tours for our first Costa Rican adventure. Jose was waiting for us at ... read more
The beginning of our Safari Float
Big open air kitchen at the local finca
Making coffee with a Costa Rican Chorreadore

Sky Tram and Sky Trek Zipline! This zipline experience was the highlight of my trip to Costa Rica to celebrate my 70th birthday and what a trip it was! I couldn't wait to do this zipline, but one of my 40-something daughters was not so eager. After we finished she was glad she did. We booked our date and time for Sky Tram and Sky Trek with Viator weeks in advance which I recommend because this is very popular, at least in February. A van picked us up at 8:15am at the Hotel Arenal and we were soon off to zip! When we arrived at the Sky Trek Zipline a long line of people were being processed and informed about the risks involved and how to safely travel on the ziplines. (There are lockers available to ... read more
Riding the Sky Tram to the top
Views of Lake Arenal from the top platform at Sky Trek Zipline
Arenal Volcano from the base of Sky Trek Zipline

Today’s main attraction was a guided trip in the jungle. Oscar from Jacaranda Tours picked us up at the Manoa Resort at 7:45am for the Hanging Bridges Tour. It is always better to go early to see wildlife and birds and also to avoid the crowds, so although my girls might have wanted a slower pace, they did agreed on the early morning tours, even if they had to wolf down breakfast. We were whisked to the nearby park to begin our hike with Oscar. As we walked up and down the paved paths that carved out the various habitats he explained all the indigenous flora and fauna of this part of Costa Rica. We observed the parts of the native heliconias that feed the butterflies, a parade of leaf cutter ants, monkey ladder vines and ... read more
Our guide Oscar at the Hanging Bridges Tour
White Faced Capuchin Monkey
Nanku, La Fortuna

It was time to leave our spa hotel for Playa Hermosa but first: a must stop at the Rainforest Chocolate Tour in La Fortuna. We packed the car after our last wonderful buffet breakfast with a plan to head to Playa Hermosa, a good day’s drive with stops along the way. Our first stop was just outside of La Fortuna at the Rainforest Chocolate Tour. I had no idea what to expect but when you say chocolate and tour, I'm in! This was a last minute decision before leaving La Fortuna and we were really glad we went. We found that they are usually booked in advance but since we were doing the tour early in the morning there were just enough spots for us to join the first tour. We were a small group, there ... read more
Gustavo's assistant further grinds the precious chocolate
Chocolaty goodness on my spoon
A fun street vender in Tilaran

We had another early start with coffee and stale German pastries, before heading to the lobby for our 8am pickup for our Sail-Snorkel-Rum-Punch-Lunch trip. We had arranged for the sailboat-lunch-snorkel cruise from the hotel the day before. A woman from the boat tour picked us up and drove us in her car to a beach in Playas del Coco where the sailboat was anchored off shore. The harbor, set in a secluded cove, was filled with other sailboats and fishing boats. A dingy soon came to shore to pick us up and carry us to the sailboat. We were the first to arrive but soon were joined by a French family of four, bringing us to only 7 of us on board. The seas were calm yet there was enough breeze to get us underway. We ... read more
Secluded snorkel cove and cave beach
Sailing the Gulf of Papagayo
Monkey Head Island

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