San Jose, Costa Rica

Our last full day in Costa Rica. Tomorrow we fly to Houston and then to San Francisco. Today we checked out the Costa Rica Jade Museum. It’s a five story relatively new building and very interesting.

Our last dinner of the trip was at La Diez Parilla Argentina, quite near our hotel. My steak was tender and tasty and the service was great. They told us they had only been open four months.

Cachi

This morning Duke and I hiked up the trail that we scoped out yesterday. It starts just above where we are staying and goes up, up, up. It was only about a mile total and 500 feet elevation gain but it felt pretty steep. The humidity is so high here that my glasses fog up when we hike and sweat immediately starts running off my body.

The rest of the day we just took it easy and enjoyed this peaceful spot.

Puerto Viejo to Cachi

La Costa de Pepito where we stayed in Puerto Viejo the last two night was wonderful. I especially liked how our bungalow was open air and very much one with the tropical environment. The whole time we were there we would occasionally hear a strange very load noise that I can only describe as the sound of an unhappy donkey braying. This morning before we left I asked what that noise was. They said it was howler monkeys!!

Today we retraced our steps back towards San Jose where we will turn our car in on Sunday morning.

We are staying at a beautiful spot in the mountains near Cachi, Hotel Quelitales. It feels very remote although it is less than thirty miles from San Jose. After we got here we checked out the waterfall and the hiking trail.

Our bungalow is very comfortable and modern.

Our dinner tonight st the hotel was one of the best we have had on the entire trip.

Cahuita to Puerto Viejo

This morning before we left Cahuita we went for a walk in the National Park. We walked down the beach.

Then we walked back through the forest on a path that parallels the beach.

Tonight we are in Puerta Viejo just a few miles south of where we were last night. The place we are staying is called La Costa de Pepito. We have our own bungalow surrounded by trees. It feels very private. There is no air conditioning but there are lots of fans and for the first time on this trip we have mosquito nets. It was lovely to sit on the porch and relax and read this afternoon.

For dinner we had great seafood. Duke had a whole red snapper.

Manuel Antonio to Danaca Cloud Forest Lodge to Turrialba

Saturday we went from sea level at Quepos to almost 11,000 feet. We had one long dirt road detour because of storm damage but on the whole most of the storm damage had been cleared. Danaca Cloud Forest Lodge where we stayed is in Quetzales National Park. It is a beautiful spot. Unfortunately their internet was down because of storm damage so I haven’t been able to publish the blog for the last couple of days.

We had a sofa in front of a giant picture window to relax and enjoy the view.

On Sunday morning we hiked through the cloud forest down to the river below the lodge.

This morning a giant moth had died outside our picture window. He was six inches across.

Today we headed towards the Caribbean coast. There are still many roads out so to go east we had to first go north through San Jose. Tonight we are at Hotel Villa Florencio in the country just outside of the town of Turrialba.

Manuel Antonio Day 2

Several times while we have been here at Plaza Yara we have seen families of monkeys in the forest behind the hotel. We have watched them from our balcony and from the patio near the breakfast area. They are really fun to watch.

This afternoon we took a boat tour through the mangroves to Damos Island. The guide pointed out all the damage from the big storm just before we got here. For over a week this area was cut off by flooding all around the area. When we got to the boat launch site he showed us many different plants including this paprika tree.

We were the only tourists on the boat. The ride was beautiful and relaxing. We saw bats and lizards.

A snake and a crocodile.

And then the guide got us some fresh coconut to drink.

And we fed a family of monkeys!

Our trip was with Cambute Tours. The guide was knowledgeable and entertaining. The whole trip was really fun.

Manuel Antonio

A correction to yesterday’s blog. I said that I thought all the palm trees we saw along the road were date palms but I found out from our guide today they are being farmed for palm oil.

We left the hotel at 7:20 this morning for a guided hike in Manuel Antonio National Park. We had a wonderful time. Our guide Roger Orozco found plants and animals we never would have seen. I would highly recommend Our hotel here, the Plaza Yara and our guide Roger. Roger can be contacted through the hotel.

He had a tripod mounted scope and used it to show us lizards, colorful grasshoppers, bats, land crabs and monkeys. He also used the scope to take some great pictures with my phone.

We also saw lots of varieties of mushrooms.

And raccoons at the beach where they are a pests because they have been fed by tourists.

We hiked to the beach and back.

On our way back to the hotel we stopped at the side of the rode to look at a tree sloth.

For dinner we went into Quepos and ate at a lovely restaurant overlooking the harbor, Gabriellas. The food was wonderful and we had live guitar music and very friendly service.