Blogs from Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean - page 7


For us the answer to this question is via Volaris, a Mexican budget airline, this being the cheapest way to make the short journey from San Salvador to the Costa Rican capital. Despite a few glitches with their booking website and it taking a couple of goes before we successfully managed to check-in on line, generally everything with the Volaris flight goes smoothly. As we don’t have access to a printer I download the boarding passes to my tablet which works fine for all the baggage, security and boarding checks. The bag drop turns out to be one of the simplest I’ve encountered and there is zero queue, immigration is also strangely deserted, which means we are early for the flight departure. The plane departs on time and arrives early. San Jose airport is only 20km ... read more

We left Monteverde to stay in San Jose for a couple of days. It is our base to explore the central region. First stop is fantastic Poas volcano. It's a very popular park and for good reasons. The road(s) to get there from Alajuela or San Jose, slowly climb through various farms landscapes and showing superb views. Close to park entrance, there are a couples of farms growing strawberries. All in the car agreed they were as good as ones in Canada!!! Visitor center is well designed and has many interesting displays. The road leading to the crater builds up your expectations... and at the crater itself, you are not deceived. The crater is more than 1km wide, and the view is spectacular! The trails in the park brings to a special forest with short trees, ... read more
endemic poas squirrel
trail in forest

In 2015 while exploring a small town in central Costa Rica called Monteverde, I stumbled into a tour guide establishment and grabbed several of the brochures that were advertising some of the most popular excursions in the country. In 2015 I was a newly graduated professional and in search of new adventures. One of the brochures was on the Volcan Irazu crater which looked amazing. This volcano crater was something new which I had to discover for myself. During a study abroad trip with University of South Florida in 2014 we visited Arenal Volcano which was amazing, although Irazu national park provided the opportunity for observers to hike up the face of the mountain and observe the volcano crater. Inside the Volcan Irazu crater there is a lake that changes color from aqua blue to blood ... read more

After we stayed 1 week in Playa Hermosa, it was time to move to greener pastures, in Monteverde region. Monteverde is not a village with a real center, but rather a patchwork of group of houses on hill tops, giving it a distinct flavor. It contains a lots of activities for the whole family, and you could stay there for a week doing different things every day! We stayed in a rented house, a bit before Monteverde's reserve on Bajo del Tigre road. There were forest trails all over the place, so it was simple to take forest hikes at any time. Convenient and full of animals! We didn't visit Monteverde's reserve as it was crowded, but rather the Santa Elena, with similar look but more peaceful! In the reserve, we did Quetzal sounds. We didn't ... read more
climbing to Monteverde: landscape
We left the highway, and already looking for birds!

It was the last place we wanted to visit before leaving Guanacaste region. It's one of the hottest places in Costa Rica and I can confirm! Too far from the sea to get any sea breeze and far from any mountain or volcano. It' We went anyway, in the park and it was tough to walk more than 2 hours due to the temperature, (> 36 degrees Celsius). But the best spot during that time of year, is the visitor center!! There's a water source there, and trees are green. We saw coati troops. monkeys and beautiful mot-mot birds. Next stop, Monteverde's region.... read more
Toad in the rest rooms.

Well this may have been the final week, but there was no slacking!! My mornings started with a lovely breakfast of fruit, yogurt, granola and fresh juice courtesy of my hosts each morning, served in the garden with the scent of jasmine around me - not a bad start to the day! Then Maricela would pick me up on her way, and we spent each day at Sam’s place working away. We started out reviewing the new processes and forms for the visitor centre that I had implemented my last week in Islita so they’d have a full understanding of how things should work there. We spent time reviewing and reconciling all the data that had been entered into their new accounting system. We interviewed 3 potential candidates for their year-end accounting and taxes. We also ... read more

Friday morning I headed out early, driving from Puerto Viejo to Moin, near Puerto Limon. Moin also has a seaport and loads up ships with fruit destined for other parts of the world. When I booked my boat tour Thursday evening, the gentleman at the tour centre gave me instructions on how to get to the boat dock, avoiding the main port or he warned I would be going to Europe with the pineapples and bananas! Friday was a sunny day, perfect for being out on the water. We went through a series of canals that run adjacent to the ocean (probably about 75 km), stopping to see any animals we happened upon during the journey. We mostly saw birds - cormorants, anhingas, pelicans, herons, bitterns, egrets, roseate spoonbills (related to the flamingo!), jacanas, but also ... read more

Wednesday: back on the road, this time for a bit longer journey - the Caribbean Sea or bust! (hopefully not bust!) After successfully navigating my journey without the aid of the GPS on both Sunday and Monday, I decided to give it another shot for this longer leg. I mapped it out online beforehand and committed it to memory, keeping the GPS on just to make sure I was still on the road I thought I was. On this day, not relying on the GPS turned out to be a good thing, as there are new roads up in this area that the GPS did not know about - and they were good roads! So my GPS was showing me driving through the middle of the wilderness for probably an hour - who knows what route ... read more

We decided to take a little tour of North Nicoya's peninsula. More than 10 years ago, I did something similar between Samara and Montezuma, and really enjoyed it. You pass through ranches, isolated forests, ford rivers,etc.. real adventure. This time, we would go from Playa Hermosa to Ostional and come back by a shortcut through the mountains. WE stopped at different little villages, looked for animals, and finally reached Ostional. Sadly, it wasn't the turtle 'arribada' season, but it's a beautiful place anyway. The big fun was to come back through the mountains. The first part of the shortcut is paved and okay. But then, it gets very narrow and seems more like a moto cross trail. At one point, you reach the watershed line and see lots of telecommunications antenna. Then you go down, first ... read more
green beetle

My Monday started out with a drive through the countryside - from Holstein dairy cows to fields of pineapples (seeing pineapples never gets old…sorry for the lack of pictures…it was raining) to bananas. It’s not every day you end up behind a dump truck full of pineapples or see the box of a pickup truck filled with bananas! I arrived in LaFortuna early afternoon and spent a bit of time wandering around, checked out another old church, had some very delicious quesadillas for lunch! Then I made my way further south to LaTigra to a hotel that Jon and I discovered on our last trip here - LaTigra Rainforest Lodge. I had been hoping to include it in my travels, and I booked myself 2 nights so that I’d have ample time to enjoy the rainforest ... read more

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