The alluring rainforests and warm beaches of Central America was a major decision maker for our summer vacation in 2012. So we took off for a 10 day adventure packed vacation to Costa Rica. I found pictures of this trip recently and thought it would be nice to blog about it.
Pura Vida! Pura Vida! That’s the friendly greeting you would get accustomed to hearing in Costa Rica. Pura Vida is interchangeably used to say ‘Hello,Bye, Take it Easy, or Have a Good One’.
Journey with me as I take you along the highlights of this beautiful vacation. Our first stop was at San Jose (the country’s capital), a night-life city, close to the airport. We stayed here overnight and the next morning, we take off to a town called Manuel Antonio by taxi. After a couple of hours of driving and chatting with our driver, we arrive at our hotel. A very hot and humid weather welcomed us which was foreign to our kids. Suddenly, I was swarmed by complaints and whining. Next, one look at the exterior of our Hotel Plaza Yara, made me wonder if this whole thing was a wrong idea. The hotel was just very ordinary looking, with no parking lot, enclosures, etc. and situated right on a narrow street, so narrow that we had to step aside and wait till cars passed by. Anyways, things turned around when we checked into our room which was huge, airy, bright with a spacious balcony and a jungle like view. The whole place was so homely, even had an on site pet cat, a beautiful hidden gem of a breakfast area, set among tropical vegetation.
The next day, we made a trip to the Manuel Antonio National Park with a private guide. I prefer private tours to groups, so our kids and I can take time to stop and look at anything that interests them, which meant perusing my husband to agree.Private tours costs some extra bucks. Btw, Costa Rica is not cheap, they make money through tourism.
Our guide was a young English speaking Costa Rican with eyes and ears that were so trained that he knew exactly where to find anything that would excite us. He was very informative on both flora and fauna.
Come along, walk, with us into this reserve. No stop!! Let’s set up this huge binoculars, and spot that iguana. Where, you ask? Look closely, or zoom in, the lazy guy is right under that roof, still as can be. Do you see it? This is the best shot I could get of him, as he was way too far off. Let’s get going, this is just the beginning.
It’s gonna be a long walk, but hey, you will be, for the most part, engrossed in nature that you will probably not think of time. We are surrounded by numerous shapes, sizes, and shades of green with bright bursts of orange, red, and pink blooms. Look at these interesting plants, notice how the leaves are growing in spirals, they are spiral ginger plants that are so common in the tropical zone.
Shh, what’s that big brown fuzzy thing among the bushes? It’s a white tailed deer, now that’s a novelty for our kids! We run our eager hands gently on its back, does the deer like it? Guess not, because he licks the spots where our hands have touched. Let’s leave it alone and get going.
Oh, I am loving this tour, so organic – no pollution, no disturbances, no ugly buildings but just the sounds of birds and animals and the the lush green sight is a feast the eyes. Hey, no noise, see what is camouflaging among those bushes. It is a kind of green lizard. We would have never spotted this little thing, if not for the keen eyes of our guide. Didn’t I tell you, he was good? Sorry, I couldn’t get a front view of this little green guy, if I moved any further, I would have lost him. I am talking a lot, well, so much is happening, how can I not?
Remember, those bright orange hues I spoke about earlier? We are told that these are heliconia flowers. Our guide tells us that water collects in the bracts of some species, providing a drink for birds and a habitat for many tiny aquatic living things.
We see a sloth and howler monkeys way up in the tall trees, too far to take a picture of them, we are told there are many of them around. Lots of tiny coconut crabs crawling around, aptly named as they are known to climb up coconut trees. Mind your step, lots of fire ants crossing our path. Hey, look to your left, there’s a tiny lizard wondering what he should do- ignore us humans, or find a spot to hide. Ok, lets leave him to figure out what he wants to do and lets get back on track. Anyways, as we chatter and move along, stopping by to notice anything that is catchy, our guide tells us that it is time for us to venture on our own and go to the hidden beach where there are more surprises. So let’s meet on the beach and catch up on the tour in my next post.
Pura Vida till then!!