Blogs from Costa Rica, Central America Caribbean - page 8


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

After a very typical Costa Rican breakfast of eggs with rice and beans + some fruit and a little extra time on the beach, I headed north east from Tamarindo towards Liberia, one of Costa Rica’s larger centres. I’m happy to report that my trip did not include ANY gravel roads! One of the first places I noticed as I was driving into town was a Wal-Mart, followed by McDonalds, Taco Bell, KFC, Burger King, Subway…I must say I was a bit tempted to go for the familiarity of a chocolate milkshake, but when traveling, we try to avoid anything we could do/eat back home. So instead I opted for a fruit smoothie from a small stand as I walked around the town square and downtown area. I visited a church while there, one of the ... read more

Sunday evening I ventured out to the pub in Punta Islita and met the owner, Miguel - a very friendly guy who is a genius chef! All the food coming out of his kitchen looks like it belongs in a 5 star restaurant. The previous week I had tried a bite of someone’s (a complete stranger’s!) hot dog and had been thinking about it all week long…so I finally went and got my own: yum. All sorts of sauces and toppings, including a slaw on top. So delicious. Totally made me ready to take on a new week. This week was slower work-wise as Sam and Maricela are back in San Jose, and Maricela is actually off for the week. My to-do list included wrapping up loose ends on site with Tom (site manager) and Chucho ... read more

Still in Costa Rica, Guanacaste region. Apart from Santa Rosa national park I went before, the Rincon de la Vieja park, is the other must-visited park in the region for nature lovers. Even in dry season, it has forests more humid than lower altitudes near the ocean, with very big trees like ceibas. It has a good network of trails. In the forest, you can see many types of birds, like the beautiful mot-mot, even some largers ones like the members of the guan family, and many medium sized rodents, like the agoutis. Don't forget the lizards! Those who want adventure can go to climb the volcano, (check with visitor center first). Many volcanic features can be seen in the trails, like fumeroles, mud pots, etc... Check here, waterhole boiling because of volcanic heat: There are ... read more
ameiva lizard

Week 2 in Costa Rica complete! Some days have brought more adventures than others :) My mornings start with a yogurt in my outdoor dining room aka picnic table. On Tuesday I met Isabel’s husband (still haven’t quite figured out his name) and they showed me all the art pieces they make out of coconuts. They also offered for me to park my car in their garage / carport, very sweet older couple! Thursday morning I had the unfortunate surprise of a flat tire, and not only that, but my spare tire was flat as well. My host filled up the spare tire and helped me change the flat (which is almost its own story with language barriers and pouring sweat and that one lug nut that just would not give), but given that I had ... read more

In this trip, one place I really wanted to go was Santa Rosa national park. It is a good example of well preserved dry tropical forest. In these forests, during dry season, most of the trees shed their leaves. It's like fall season in temperate places, except that it's scorching hot! On the plus side, animals are easier to spot and photograph. The park is not busy like Rincon de la Vieja, and you have some trails all for yourself. We entered from South side, and did all the trails before arriving to the coast. You can visit part of the park with a car. But the last kilometers before the sea is really rough. We did not regret the 4WD. We saw many animals, and some I never saw before. It's a relaxing place and ... read more
guanacaste trees on highway
On a trail

This morning we left the hotel at 7:00am to head to Monteverde Cloud Forest (a tropical rainforest). There is all kinds of plants, birds and mammals (sloth, monkey, ocelot, and pizote) that can be found in this rainforest. The drive took about 3.5 hours and the last 1-1.5 hours was uphill, curvy, bumpy (partly unpaved) road. The parking lot at the reserve was full, but the adventure tour company had room in their lot and were shuttling people the last kilometer to the reserve. The tickets were $22 for each adult. We started our walk towards the waterfall and It was a beautiful easy walk. We could hear so many different birds singing. This took around 45 minutes. We then headed towards the other side of the park and the suspension bridge over the cloud forest. ... read more

We rented a car today with the goal of going to Palo Verde National Park. The rental came with a gps in which the lady put in the location of a boat tour. We really didn’t know what to expect. We were driving for about 30 minuets or more on a dirt farm road through sugar cane fields When we came up on an beautiful hacienda. We were met at the front of the house by a welcoming gentleman who did his best to get us to relax and belay or concerns of being in the wrong place. Turns out that it is a company that gives tours through the wetlands and a river boat tour and also runs a 20,000 acre sugar cane farm. We were expecting it to be maybe $20pp but it wound ... read more

When booking our airport transportation I also booked a tour with the same tour company, Maleku. It turns out that we had the great fortune to have our tour guide be the same person that we were coordinating with in advance. Eugenia definitely made this a special day! From the moment my wife and I got in the van, I knew we would be instant friends. Though she was born, raised and live most of her life in Costa Rica, her English is a perfect Midwest accent thanks to a year as a foreign exchange student. The adventure tour we booked was a day at Rincon de La Vieja Volcano Area which included a plethora of activities: horseback riding, zip lines, water slide, visit to the old fashion sugarcane mill, and visit to the old kitchen ... read more

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