Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama
San Jose Travel Blog› entry 4 of 6 › view all entries
On November 6 I got on a plane leaving to San Jose, Costa Rica... ok, the flight was quite long and to be honoust I didn't like the airline that much (Iberia from Spain) but we got there on time and safely.
Our first 2 days we spend in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica and we visited the Poas Volcano; really beautiful! We were in luck because we got the see the crater and the craterlake just before a big fat tropic rainstorm! Ok, welcome to the "rainy season"... From San Jose we travelled to Monteverde Cloud Forest (on the way we had lunch at the Treehouse Restaurant, I highly recommend that place) and did the Canopy Tour and suspencionbridges of Selvature National Park! The canopy was really awsome with at the end a real TARZAN SWING for the daredevils.
From Monteverde we went on to Granada in Nicaragua. It was a long journey (almost 9 hours) and it took a lot of time to pass the border at Nicaragua, but I have to say it was the BIG surprise of my vacation! What a great place to be! Nice restaurants and great night life! The first day we took a boattrip on the Lake Nicaragua and saw Spidermonkeys and Whitefaced monkeys, all different kinds of birds and even had time to enjoy the sun and get some suntan! We also visited the Masaya Volcano and the local market... if you have a strong stomach just walk through the market and take your time. It's worth seeing how the "locals" buy their stuff. Unfortunately we only stayed for 3 nights in Nicaragua (I wanted to stay longer because it truly is a beautiful country) and we got back to Costa Rica to Rincon de la Vieja. We went to the National Park there and in the afternoon we went horseback riding.... also a great experience! Next stop was La Fortuna... the Arenal Volcano was supposed to be there but it was raining for 2 days in a row and the volcano was all clouded so we didn't get to see a thing!!! We spend the day on the Rio Frio and did the Cano Negro tour... got to see cayman's, the Jesus Christ Lizard, howler monkeys, Iguana's, lots of birds and just to enjoy the beautiful countryside there, I can't get enough of the pictures. That made up for NOT seeing the Arenal volcano, luckely I had seen it the year before.
Then it was of to Quepos, the beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park, where we just spend an afternoon at the beach after walking through the park. The monkeys and racoons are very used to humans over there so you really have to keep an eye on your belongings, they'll take it with them the first change they get!!! It was worth a few laughs actually. From Quepos we went on to Dominical, a beautiful resort at the beach with a great swimming pool.... as cheap Dutch people (sorry) I didn't go on the optional tour to Corcovado National Park... I just didn't have the extra money to go there (105 US Dollars) but that gives me another reason to go back next year! From Dominical we crossed the border with Panama to go to Bogueto to spend just 1 night there and travel on to Bocas del Toro... really a treat!!! Did snorkling, went to Dolphins Bay and the Red Frog beach, and partied at night at a great bar, dancing with the "locals" who are very friendly! They all can teach you Merengue and Salsa!!!
From Bocas del Toro the journey continued back to Costa Rica to Cahuita, lunch first at Puerto Viejo (a great reggae town at the beach) and in Cahuita National Park we (again) spend the afternoon at the beach. For a most of our group this was the end of the tour but we booked a 4 days extension to Tortuguero... spending just 1 night in Guapiles to be picked up the next morning for a boattrip to Tortuguero... for everyone who wants to go to Costa Rica... DON'T FORGET TO VISIT THAT PLACE FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS!!! It's magnificent!!!
The 28 days I spend in Middle America went by way too fast... if it had been up to me, I would have stayed there forever, but duty calls and after Tortuguero we had to go back to San Jose and take the plane to Madrid and then Amsterdam... I really hope I get to go there sometime again, I really loved the country and the people there!!!