Costa Rica or as we like to say Costa Lotta!!!
We loved Nicaragua and had met some really nice people, but it was time to move on. Our taxi driver from SJDS whizzed us to the border early doors in anticipation of a long winded border crossing.
This wasn’t to be the case. A screaming Betty put a stop to that and as other travellers were being turned away by Costa Rican immigration for not having proof of onwards travel, we were whizzed through and were boarding a bus bound for Monteverde (well sort of! We had a four hour wait in the middle of nowhere and a SLOW bus up a very long hill as well).
Monteverde is up high in the hills. Its rainy and cold (Costa Rican cold), but above all expensive. The cooler conditions were a welcome relief to the heat that seems to have followed us since the off and it made for a nice few days, especially for Bet. We were introduced to the local saying ‘Pura Vida’, it means pure life and you will hear this saying many times throughout your travels in Costa Rica, the locals love their country. There’s a lot of tours and activities to do in Monteverde including the ‘Superman’ zip lining, but you will pay. It seems overly pricey, but as we were to learn in the next couple of weeks, so are most things.
Of all the dollars shed, the best afternoon, was spent watching the Hummingbirds at the entrance to Monteverde reserve. It’s free and it’s a really really nice place to chill out and drink decent coffee for an hour or two.
Monteverde to Montezuma is a long journey. Not in distance, but in time. It’s also a bit of a bone shaker, down from the mountains to the sea. You can either take a private shuttle, which are everywhere or the public buses. Either way you’ll be on the same ferry. We took the bus which saved us a small fortune. The shuttles are pricey and the public buses are cheap and decent. Take the public buses unless you are in need of door to door service.
There’s not a lot to do in Montezuma or really the Nicoya peninsula in general apart from hitting the beaches or surfing the waves. We have a poor track record of surfing the waves, so guess what? We hit the beaches. The nicest we found was Playa las Mancha’s to the South of Montezuma. If you get there early you can bag yourself the best pitch in the Nicoya Peninsula!!! The rock formations conspire to create a natural bath on the sand, which when the big waves come in, fill your bath back up with the cool fresh seawater! It’s also just the right size for a small family. The other beach goers (all 5 of them), were ready to pounce, should we have decided to dry off, but that wasn’t going to happen, not until lunch at the local Soda called.
Manuel Antonio is touristy and not really what we usually go for, but we liked it.
Bet had a friend in Illiam, a French/Canadian boy, who along with his family were sharing a house that we had rented. It was really nice to have some company again for a few days at least.
The beaches are once again the draw here, along with the park of the same name. It pays to go early though, before the hordes arrive and the trails fill up. You will also have the park beaches, which are fantastic, pretty much to yourself, well apart from the racoons. The pesky bag snatching racoons!
To be honest we saw as much wildlife in Ruben’s back garden in Montezuma than we did in the park, but what we did see was a three toed sloth up pretty close and moving at what i’m guessing is ‘rapido’ in sloth land! An American tourist spotted the fur ball coming down a vine. While a few of us crowded around, his tour guide tried telling us that it wasn’t a sloth! Maybe it was the speed it was moving that confused her or she’d been on the pop the night before, either way i don’t think she was earning her $25 per person fee…..
I’ve got to say we were lucky again with the weather in Costa Rica, but we did see the rainy season in full force a couple of times in Manuel Antonio. The thunder was so loud that it shook the house and set off all of the car alarms! Just a little reminder every now and again, that nature rules these parts.
Reading this back, there’s a lot of mention of prices and how expensive things were. Costa Rica is no Nicaragua. It’s more developed with better infrastructure. It’s also beautiful but a place to come on holiday, not for budget minded travellers me thinks.
Pure Vida!!!…….. Well sort of.
- Rachel’s breakfast at Casacolores! Gracias.
- The butterfly house at Monteverde, but do the tour, its quality.
- Speedboat from Montezuma to Jaco. Quick and you don’t need sea legs. We saw turtles swimming on the way!
- Mamon Chino!!! Lychee style fruit.
- Having friends in Manuel Antonio.
Most used phrases –
- How much!!!
- Fancy getting a bag of those spiky fruits?
- Really need to brush up on the Spanish!
- How small are Bet’s feet?