Took the bus from Tamarindo around noon to Liberia. Got into Liberia and knew I wanted to get closer to the Rincon de la Vieja park which was my next destination. Made my way to Curubande (about 30 minute bus ride from Liberia... very bumpy gravely road!) and found the El Sol Verde lodge which I LOVED. Read my review for more about that. Arrived in Curubande kind of late so after Gerard and Ingrid gave me all the details about the area I walked up to the street to one of the couple sodas in town for supper. As I walked up the road I could hear "Gypsy" by Stevie Nicks playing at one of the restaurants and was PUMPED. Loove Stevie. Oh also don't think I mentioned my iPod was stolen within my first week so I didn't have any music for any of this trip.
waterfall inside of Rincon de la Vieja
haha yeah it was kind of unfortunate and dumb so I don't want to get into that. Anyways got a lovely casado for dinner and saw this also lovely canadian couple that I had seen earlier at the lodge. (There are only a couple rooms so there were only like 6 other people there). Being alone and they recognized me , they chatted with me for a bit and were so sweet and adorable! Probably in their early 60s-ish. They had already been to the park and I was planning on going the next day, they were heading that way to another daytrip and offered to give me a ride to the park which was very nice! The next morning I woke up kind of early, had a great breakfast at the lodge and headed to the park with my new friends. hehe they dropped me off and went their way.
I was looking forward to the day to hike by myself, I had heard it was a nice hike with a lot of scenery to see. I decided to make a review of the park so you can find the photos and blog in my next entry. Bottom line is I loved the Rincon de la Vieja park, it was a great hike.. many natural hot springs which I had never seen, boiling mud pools, a waterfall, etc! After the day at the park I started walking down the street away from the park where I heard of a volcanic mud spa that was about a mile down the road. Made my way to the Simbiosis Spa which was also very neat! Review has pics. It is basically a spa where you first go in a sauna to open your pores, then scoop up volcanic mud and cover your body, lay in the sun for 20 minutes until it all hardens, wash off and go in the hot springs hottub !! (basically a hot tub haha) it was pretty cool though even though one worker was kind of creeping me out.
. one other worker Kenneth was awesome and even hooked me up with a ride at the end!! Everyone on this trip has been so nice and helpful! I think being genuine and friendly with people can get you far !! So these men picked me up with others that were at the spa and dropped me off back at the area where the others' car was, they drove me the rest since they were headed to Liberia anyways! Got back into Curubande (I can't describe how small this town is.. so tiny) around 4:00, knew I had a couple more hours until sunset and Gerard had told me about Rio Blanco and Rio Colorado - two small rivers near the lodge - so I thought why not walk down to Rio Blanco (about 20 mins from the lodge.) Walked down a long dirt road to the most beautiful seculded river ever.
Simbiosis spa covered in volcanic mud!
.. my day just kept getting better !! I was literally so excited with how beautiful it was . Crystal blue water like I had never seen. There were a couple locals there swimming .. I started walking up the river bank just checking it out and exploring.. I was seriously beaming just because this Rio Blanco was sooo bright blue.. so beautiful.. I was so excited. I kept walking farther and farther seeing different parts of the river.. finally walked back to the enterance area where there is more of a deep swimming area.. there was now what looked like a Tico family relaxing/swimming/etc.. there was a spot where you could jump off and I really wanted to.. but yet everytime I get up there it takes me 5 minutes just to jump because I was kind of scared.
Anyways one of the girls there started talking to me (I think I kind of stick out like I wasn't from there and I was alone, haha I think she was just curious!) So I was telling her about my trip and they thought it was so nuts I was by myself! So many people along the trip would be so surprised I was alone and say "what does your dad think about that?" or that I was "brave." haha I don't know I found that kind of strange because I never looked at it like that I never thought it was really THAT brave of me I guess I didn't think it was that crazy. So turns out the woman was from Canada with her friend, she had travelled to CR before and met this local family who lives in San Jose but they have a vacation type home in Curubande, so they were visiting the family and they brought them to Curubande!! They were such nice people, the man is a lawyer in San Jose and they have two sons, probably like 18.
jumping into Rio Blanco !
. then they even invited me to their home for dinner !! I was seriously so excited it was so awesome to be invited for dinner in a locals home. Leaving Rio Blanco on the way back into town we saw a double rainbow. Double awesomeness! Their house was just around the corner, their cute little quaint 'vacation' home.. she made some chicken and rice, beans, etc, traditional great Costa Rican meal !! Even complete with an Imperial to wash it down! The little neighbor boy came running over at some point, he was adorable. He ran home to get a sweatshirt and came back with a Green Bay Packer sweatshirt !!! I almost died. It was perfect. I didn't know Costa Ricans would even have heard of the Packers.
I asked him if I could take his picture and he was really shy and adorable. It was getting late so it was time to head back to the lodge. I didn't get back until after 8 pm ! Long and incredibly awesome day. Closely one of my favorites from the whole trip!! So much action jam packed into that day and I was leaving the next morning to head back to MA and spend my final few days with others I met earlier in the trip. Got a good night sleep and headed up the road to the bus station the next morning. Walking up the street with a huge backpack on each side of me, also being white and blonde I think it was obvious I was not from around there. Saw a tico boy on the side of the road and said "hi does the bus stop here?" is spanish and he told me yes.
. after kind of struggling trying to talk to him I said "habla ingles?" and that worked better.. haha his name was Rodolfo and he was visiting his Uncle in Curubande.. he was studying to be a veterinarian in Escazu outside of San Jose.. so we chatted on the bus ride into Liberia.. his english was much better than he thought it was and was really fun to talk to ! As we got into town he asked me for a pen and I knew he wanted to give me his email/contact info so he added his info to my journal info of people I've met.. got into Liberia and he helped me get my ticket to Puntarenas (where I had to get on another bus to Quepos and another to MA!) The bus to Puntarenas was just leaving so I literally had to run to the bus and had to say goodbye quickly.
Tico family I met invited me to their home for dinner and Imperials!
. I was glad I got his info we became pen pals ever since! I even returned to CR one year later and we met back up ! It is cool to meet someone like that and be friends and not have it have to be anything more.. it just just nice to chat about the differences in our cultures/lives/etc.. so I got on the bus in Puntarenas with no time to even put my backpack on the bottom part of the bus. There were no more seats so I had to stand in the aisle with all my crap for most of the 4 hours! So wow this may be my longest entry.. in the end.. Curubande was absolutely wonderful !!! Quiet, not touristy, and lots to see and do for cheap. I loved it here!
Curubande Sights & Attractions review
Rincon de la Vieja National Park
I loved the Rincon de la Vieja National Park ! I headed up to Curubande specifically to visit this park. It is full of natural hot springs and sulfu… read entire review