Playa Grande & Palo Verde National Park

Tamarindo Travel Blog

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Urracaste Bird
OK, so we get up early, get ready, eat breakfast (which by the way we have our daily visitors come by and hop from table to table waiting for anyone to leave so they can pick at leftovers. They are called Urracas (U-racas), and head out to Playa Grande (Big/Grand Beach). It's absolutely beautiful. The beach goes on for miles! Alex grab's his surf board and before I can say "have Fun" he's already half way out to the surf break! I decide to get a little sun and watch him fight for a wave. One of the sad things about visiting a third world country is all the orfan dog's and cat's. Of course they all flock to me and I can't stand seeing them hungry so what do I do.
Playa Grande
..feed them. I become their seraget Mother (for a few hours at least!). So, at Playa Grande I became the mommy for the sweetest, most gentle dog. She followed me around and layed next to me the whole time! I nick named her Precious. It killed me to leave her at the beach but, the guard and bartender of the local spot said everyone takes turns taking care of all of the local dog's. Everyplace we go there is a dog or cat in the restaurant looking up at you giving you their big cute eyes! We give them as much as we can! You know me have to save everyone and every animal! Alex and I said if we moved to CR or a third world country we would be running an animal shelter or farm of some sort! Sorry for the long detour! So back to Playa Grande, it was tons of fun. The waves were to big for me (I figured it out the hard way) so we went back to our hoel.
Precious!
Once we got back Alex took me out to the calm waters infront of our hotel for a surf lesson. Finally after about 1 hour I got it! I STOOD UP FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!! It was only for about 2-3 seconds but I stood up! It was like I won the lottery! I did it a few more times and called it a day!

So today, we decited to take a break from the beach and go visit the Palo Verde National Park. We read that they had a good ecological reserve with Hummingbirds, Monkeys, Crocodiels, and a bunch of different birds. So we thought, why not?!?! We looked on the map and it looked somewhat close. We asked the front desk and they said it was about 2 1/2 hours away. Ok, not bad, so off we go in our little tonka rent-a-4x4  truck! We decide to take a short cut in stead of taking the long way.
Church in Nicoya
Ok, maybe not the best idea. We hit another X-Games dirt road! It was the back, back, back, back road way! We saw some of the most beautiful country side views which was nice! Once we got to the second town, Nicoya (Nee-ko-ya), it was lunch time. We thought we were making good time so why not stop and look around! It was such a cute and lovely town. Like most little towns in Mexico! We saw the only Historical building left in the whole town, a church. Unfortunately today was a national holiday (Mother's Day!) and most places were closed (banks, the church, and some stores). Because of this we were not able to go inside the church (Big Boo!!) but the outside was wonderful! So, we walked around for a while bought some art from a local artist (amazing work!) and headed out to PV Park (after some sketchy directions from one of the locals).
On the road in CR
So, off we go into the wild blue yonder, map in hand and hoping for the best! Quick side coment: our map only has the major roads labled the rest are just black lines going all over the country and most of the directions we've gotten at this point are vague at best! So, off we went! We think were about 1 hour away from PV Park. Oh boy were we wrong. We kept driving, and went over the Puente Amiastad (Amistad Bridge) over the Nicoya Golf. We thought the entrance was just around the corner, or around the next hill in the open country. We drove, and drove, and drove. No sign's or enterances! We get to the next town and ask them where the enterance is (at this point were wondering if there is one at all?!). They tell us it's about 15 miles north. So, we look at eachother and know we have come sooo far we might as well go all the way! So, off we go again! We finally get to a little intersection and see the smallest sign to the Reserve.
One of the signs leading us to PV.
BTW it's now about 2:30p and we started this little adventure at 11:30am! So, we take the road to PV Park and what do ya know, it turn's into the X-Games Dirt Road AGAIN, but for about 1 hour! I wanted to scream! There were only 3 things keeping me sane, Alex, the georgus scenary, and sheer determination to see the damb park! At one point we were head to head with a huge tractor on the small one lane dirt road and had to figure out who would turn which way to pass eachother (kinda scary!). We keep seeing signs pointing us to the Park and are getting more and more excited just to see the front gate! We finally get there, the gate is open so we go in (YAY We made it!!!). All is well, so we think! We drive up to the guard station and notice there is no one around, anywhere! They just closed 15minutes earlier! =P  But, Alex decides that since the gate is open and we traveled now over 4 hours to get there we might as well go in.
Puente Amistad
The only way to get around in the park is by car so we drove in! He as determined to see something cool! OK, I'll be totally honest I was very nervous and worried at this point! It was getting dark, it was raining off and on, the sky was dark gray so a storm was comming and I have no idea where we are in the park and no one knows we're IN the park! Basicllay I was freaked out! I made Alex turn around and go back! I did not want to get caught in a storm trying to get out trough the X-Games Dirt Road! We didn't see anything cool but at least we accomplished the goal of getting to the park! Alex could scence my nervousness and high tailed it out of the park and back onto the crazy, bumpy, and very rocky dirt road! We got back onto the main road and decided to go north to Libera (the city we flew into) and go around back to Tamarindo! So, since you might not know what the road map looks like we literaly drove in a big circle around the entire PV Park and beyond! We arrived back in Tamarindo at 7pm! The quick 2 1/2 hour drive turned into an 8 hour tour of the CR country side! OMG! Remind me never to do that again! Best part of the whole thing.
The small one lane road (where the tractor and we danced!)
... we got some great shots of the country and we did it together! =D
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Urracaste Bird
Urracaste Bird
Playa Grande
Playa Grande
Precious!
Precious!
Church in Nicoya
Church in Nicoya
On the road in CR
On the road in CR
One of the signs leading us to PV.
One of the signs leading us to PV.
Puente Amistad
Puente Amistad
The small one lane road (where the…
The small one lane road (where th…
Entrance sign to Palo Verde!
Entrance sign to Palo Verde!
Road in side Palo Verde park.
Road in side Palo Verde park.
Tamarindo
photo by: Nico22