Costa Rica

The quick trip to Costa Rica is coming to an end. The people were all so friendly and helpful. I had some great food and the scenery was beautiful. I’m pretty sure there is a gecko living in the hotel room as there is some mysterious chirping noises at night. Once night, stuff started falling from the ceiling so I know there was something up there. Tamarindo was a great first experience to Costa Rica, and I know I’ll be back to explore more. Perhaps my planning wasn’t perfect. Rainy season really does mean it will rain a lot. And when it rains the mosquitoes are out to get you. Pretty sure I had over 20 bites on the first day. It was hot and humid every minute of the day, sunscreen and bug spray was always a must but I can see why Costa Rica is considered to be a Blue Zone. A Blue Zone is an area where residents enjoy an extraordinary long, healthy lifespan. Residents in a Blue Zone can often live to over 100 years old.

I’m going to miss my breakfast buddy.

I watched a lot of ants carry a lot of things around. And they are really hard to actually vidoe.

i felt like this crab really wanted help getting back to the ocean.

PS-it made it back to the ocean.😁

Tamarindo Estuary Boat Tour

After heavy rain for hours all night Thursday, the skies cleared up early in the morning for our boat tour. It is only a 5 minute drive to the estuary, and we enjoyed a 2 hour boat trip looking for animals and exploring the mangrove forest. Mangrove trees are only located in tropical locations because they can’t withstand freezing temperatures. The tide from the ocean will cover all of the roots at high tide. We were lucky to be in between tides so we could see the puzzle of roots reaching for the ground. We also had great timing to see hundreds of crabs. The heavy rains over night meant they spent a lot of time out of the ground. I’m amazed at how big of a hole they make. We saw birds, crocodiles, crabs, monkeys and one raccoon feasting on some crab. Near the end of the tour, the guide parks the boat and we walk through the forest to find the howler monkeys. Our tour guide did a great job at waking up the howler monkeys from their nap. He was able to make a sound like they do which made all of the male howler monkeys call back. Once back at the boat, he took a pineapple out of the cooler and cut it up for us to enjoy on the ride back.

Crocodile waiting to get a crab

Tenorio Volcano National Park

We decided to do a full day trip to Tenorio Volcano National Park. It is about a 3 hour drive from Tamarindo. We did a private tour to keep the number of people in the van to a minimum. We had two tour guides who I’m pretty sure were a father son team. We believe they were both named Warren. (The man that picked up from the airport was also Warren.) They picked us up at 6:30 AM which meant it was too early to get the free hotel breakfast. The one thing that Warren and Warren really liked, was dogs. They know some of the dogs on the drive that aren’t fed. So we made a couple of stops on the way to feed dogs. They dogs looked so happy to see them come with food. They also made a stop at a bakery to get us breakfast.

Part of the reason the drive is 3 hours is because there are very few traffic lights. I think we saw maybe two total in the whole drive. Our guides were great at pointing things out on the drive. The tour in the park was to see the rain forrest and animals. The guides explained that we would see more animals outside of the park entrance because of the people in the park. They really did take their time in finding us animals before we entered the park. They would setup a telescope so we could see the birds up close. We made probably over 10 stops on the way to the park to see different birds. We saw sloths, monkeys, snakes, termites, butterflies, beetle, lots of birds and a poison dart frog. The guides were very excited to see a couple of king vultures perched on a tree. They said they usually only see them flying around. We saw some tracks of a tapir in the park but luckily didn’t see one. I didn’t know what a tapir was but it is basically a 400 pound animal that can attack without warning It looks a lot like a pig.

The park was 5 km hike out and back through the rain forrest. We were lucky on the way out to the waterfall because it was dry. Although it was extremely humid and climbing up and down a lot of stairs was quite the workout. We made it to the waterfall and you could start to hear some thunder in the distance. We continued on a little bit to see the Blue Lagoon but the guides recommended we head back after that. The thunder was getting closer and we were in the middle of the rain forrest. The thunder was getting so loud you could feel the ground move and then it poured. I’m glad they had us turn back when they did because that would have been a very muddy difficult hike. Overall it was a great day tour with Warren and Warren. The only downside was the younger Warren lost his phone on one of the stops. We looked for a good hour but he never did find his phone.

All of the following photos are animals we saw in or around the park.

Pictures of the park.

Although we were all soaking wet, they stopped at a restaurant for lunch on the way back down the volcano. We were the only people there for lunch but it was probably one of the best meals I have ever had on a trip. There wasn’t a menu but they made you a fresh juice with local fruit and then a typical Costa Rican meal.

Tamarindo, Costa Rica

It has been almost three years since my last international trip but I was able to sneak away from work for a quick week to Costa Rica. The weather won’t be ideal but that won’t stop me from getting outside and seeing the animals and flowers. It isn’t often that I don’t pack a jacket or pants for a trip. It is rainy season and will be in the 90’s and humid everyday in Tamarindo. The lightning storm as the sun set on the flight down was fun to watch.

Tamarindo is on the Pacific Coast side of the country. It was about an hour and ten minute drive from the airport. The sun sets at 6:00 PM so it was a pitch dark drive to the hotel. This is one of the first trips I haven’t rented a car so I thought I would get to take in the scenery but I couldn’t see anything. I wonder if they don’t turn on a lot of lights at night because it uses energy and it attracts all of the bugs. Speaking of bugs, I have had to get used to having a number of different bugs in the hotel room. I’m still a little concerned that I can’t find where the last cockroach went.

The first day was just spent walking on the beach and seeing Tamarindo. The ocean is so warm that it doesn’t really cool you off at all. I’m pretty sure I could spend all day outside just watching for monkeys or birds.