Costa Rica


So we are sending the kid for a 2 week immersion Spanish class around the holidays. And wife said lets go down the second week avoid him and get some sun, 12/28/19-01/04/20

Its a town called Gunacaste, average temperature 30 Celsius, I'm ok with that in January :), pictures and report upon return if my Canadian friend doesn't mind :)

Is that in the Guanacaste province in the NW corner of the country around Liberia?


That's exactly where it is

Looks like I spelled Guanacaste wrong in the first post and Ken caught me again :)

A lot of cool towns in that area.  I like Playa Brasilito.  It's where the Ticos go for beach time.

I'll be in touch as we get closer, btw why is your Alaska trip in Other Stuff and not travel :)

"I dunno, Kirk - figure I should lend this guy a hand?"


"Alright man - if you give him the thumbs up then I will too."

Sounds like you're good, Elvis. Sorry I can't help on the Costa Rica plans.




that's ok the plans are 85% firm just need to book hotel and excursions, easy peasy, DUDE you look great glad you are up and about. sad about the NYCH tour being cancelled

I have been to the Guanacaste area in the same time of year. It was 90-95 degrees F every day and about 65-70 F at night. That is summer vacation for the Tico's.  Lots of cool little beach towns around the area. 

My advice is don't take anything to the beach you don't mind having stolen, and wear good sunscreen. While in the ocean we were watching a group of locals pilfering through peoples stuff while they are in the water. They would take the items back to a van and go back for more. We had a bag of ice with cans of Cuba Libre (rum and coke in a can), even that bag was looked into. One person in my group went back to our towels and confronted her and she said she thought it was hers. After that we always left one person at the towels.  Other than that incident we had a good time. 

Spent a day in the Palo Verde National Park, that was awesome. Lots of cool birds and Caiman. It has been a few years since we went, but I would def go again. The problem is there are so many cool places to go on this planet we occupy. 


Thanks for Palo Verde, we had it on the list of places to see, the beach advice is taken

We went to Costa Rica last year and had a blast. Take a catamaran sailing cruise if you can. It was reasonable, maybe 10 people on the boat. Snorkeling and sunset cruising. Good times. The volcano area was also cool, tropical and in the mountains. The drive from that part of Costa Rica to the beach areas in the NW province was enjoyable. We never felt unsafe and never saw any theft. It was pricier than I expected overall. 

>>>> It was pricier than I expected overall. 

They say "Costa Rica is the new Hawaii and Nicaragua is the new Costa Rica."   Nicaragua is much less expensive than Costa Rica and there are some amazing natural places there, but right now, there is also a fair amount of political turmoil so if you are thinking about going, look into the conditions on the ground before booking your trip.

Last time I was in Costa Rica two years ago, we parked our rental car at the border, walked into Nicaragua, took a local bus to the nearest town, and spent several days traveling down the Rio San Juan and jungle tributaries.  It was pretty bad ass and very affordable.

Hey Ken, I took the same trip down the Rio San Juan, then got dropped off at the Costa Rican border... in a leaky boat, no less. We were bailing it. 

I have been to both coasts of CR as well as through the mountains. 

Really enjoyed the Osa Peninsula (Puerto Jimenez).

And the warm "hot tub" river near Arenal volcano -- that was fun. 

That's funny about the leaky boat on the Rio San Juan.    I can totally see that.  We took a long, skinny water taxi from San Carlos down to El Castillo, then a panga the next day to the mouth of the Rio Bartola, and then a dugout canoe up the river to a little village where we stayed a couple days.  We had to get out of the canoe a few times to make it over the shallows.   On the way back out, we were attacked by a group of monkeys who were screaming and throwing sticks at us.​Bartola River_0.JPG

The water taxi dropped us off too near the CR border on the way back up the river.   We were the only gringos on board and it was funny how it would pull off at seemingly random spots in the jungle and drop off people with all their groceries and packages they picked up in town.

>>>>Really enjoyed the Osa Peninsula

Me too.  We were there on another trip in the little town of Bahia Drake.  Here is the view of the bay from our cabana:

Bahia Drake 2.JPG

Monkey near the beach.  They get fed by the tourists so they are pretty fearless and will snatch your stuff if you are not careful:

CR Monkey_0.JPG


Also, about the Osa Peninsula, getting in and out of Bahia Drake is a bit of an adventure.   We flew on a puddle jumper from San Jose to a small grass airstrip outside of town.  You could barely see the patch of grass coming in and it looked like we were going to fly right into a mountain.

We took the local bus out of town, but there are eight river crossings and no bridges on the dirt road through the forest reserve to the main highway on the east side of the peninsula.  We had to time our trip out of town with the rains to make sure the rivers weren't too swollen to cross.   I guess we timed it just right because as soon as we got to the main highway, the skies opened up and started dumping.

Waiting at a crossroads for another bus to take us to the Panama border:

CR Bus Stop.JPG

 And speaking of Arenal, here was the view from our cabana on a more recent trip:


>>>>And the warm "hot tub" river near Arenal volcano

Was that the undeveloped spot right down the road from the big resort?   We did that, but was disappointed by the amount of trash left around.    There was also a family of coati hanging around trying to mess with people's stuff while they were soaking in the river.

oh hey Ken - just now saw all your cool pics! we've been to a lot of the same places in CR. 

Yes, the hot tub river below Arenal was that place near the big resort... I went there in the late 90s and again in early 2000s so maybe that's why there wasn't tourist trash then.

For the Osa, we stayed at a cool place on the bay that I would definitely return to -- -and flew from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez. Here's where we stayed:

We stayed there just a couple years after the couple from Colorado bought the place... looks like they've made a lot of improvements, new website, etc... it's on a great beach for swimming and we'd see a pair of scarlet macaws fly up the beach at sunset pretty much daily. 

I've started my offical countdown, 34 days. It's already too cold for me

Have a safe trip down there!   Are you flying into Liberia?

Yes we arrive at 11:30am their time . Hope to be poolside by 2

So how was Costa Rica?   Pura vida?

We had a great time . Only did 2 1/2 day excursions so the pictures are few and just wildlife. Rest of the time poolside or spa. The people were outstanding and the food was great. I'd go back in a NY minute and do more exploring . This trip was just to let the wife relax 

Glad you had a good time and good for you for treating your spouse to a relaxing vacation.  

I took my SO to Belize and it was too hot and buggy for her tastes, so I do my tropical travels these days with my brother and son (looking at Chiapas in late summer).

Post those wildlife pictures when you get a chance.











Nice pictures.  Is that a howler monkey in the third shot down?    Río Tempisque?

Like the iguana shot too.

yes it's a howler  oh thanks as always to Fingers On The Fret Board for posting for me

Great pics, all! Catching up on this thread today. 

Ken -- re: attack monkeys > I remember meeting 2 young traveling women on Ometepe, NI who kayaked out to a small island in the lake only to be attacked by a mob of small attack monkeys! The monkeys lept onto their kayaks! The girls had to go to the clinica de urgencia because of the severe wounds to their legs.  

I heard this story just a day or so after I had done a short jungle hike solo --- eek -- violated my own hiking rule, too.

Looks like we will be going to the Osa Peninsula in March 2022. Lots of great info/pics in this thread.

Thank you all!