Pacific Coast, sailing, snorkeling

Ocotal Travel Blog

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The view of the marina from outside our hotel room at the Ocotal Beach Resort & Marina.
    We woke up bright and early to head out of the hotel to see a purple coach bus (with antennae...side mirrors) waiting for us. (At least it wasn't as bad as the white water rafting bus which has a white water raft in the rapids going down the side of it with fake waves and stuff...haha.) Anyway, we hopped on the bus, met Hans, our bus driver, and headed west out of the central valley to Ocotal for the first two days of our adventure tour.
    On the way out, we made a stop in Sanchi, where 80%-90% of all of Costa Rica's souvenirs are made (supposedly). There is one big store there that has anything you could find anywhere in Costa Rica. I bought a few shot glasses, and some nice wood coasters and other kitchen things for my parents.
Playa Ocotal is a black sand was beautiful.

    We got to the Ocotal Beach Resort & Marina at around 2pm. I don't think any of us really expected to be in a high class resort, especially after coming out of the lodge in the rainforest, or homestays in Gandoca. It was nice...up on a cliff, views of the Pacific Ocean (my first time looking at it), nice hotel room, tennis courts, three pools, a gym, a nice restaurant...very resort-ish (which kind of put us all in culture shock).
    After around 7 hours of sitting in a bus (and 3 hours of traveling the day before) we all immediately changed into bathing suits and went down to the beach for a swim in the first time in it ever. It was chillier than the water in the Caribbean that we had been swimming in for the past two weeks, but it was nice and refreshing.
My first Pacific sunset.
Also, because of all the volcanoes in Costa Rica, the sand was black. I know there's black sand in the US (like Hawaii), but I've never been. It was really beautiful.
    We all showered and then met at the main lobby. I got to see my very first Pacific sunset and it was awesome. We went to dinner as a big group to a place at the edge of the resort called Father Rooster. I got a burger and it was wonderful...haha. Liza took us there because it was somewhere we could get American food and we were all definitely up for that.

    The next day, we got up early, had the breakfast buffet, and headed down to the pools to get snorkeling stuff. There was a sailboat and a motor boat. I wanted to get there early enough to get on the motor boat, because it went to two different snorkeling areas, but when we got there, there was only room for one or two more, and I had been having trouble with the flippers they insisted I take, so I didn't get to go.
The little penninsula off the beach at low tide. (It's an island at high tide, which Brittney and I found out when we almost got stranded.)
It was nice on the sailboat anyway. It felt good to be in the sun and get to relax and stuff. The snorkeling wasn't too bad, and definitely different than anything I had done in the Caribbean. It was in deep waters, and I got to see a lot of fish I hadn't seen before, as well as a nurse shark hanging out on the bottom. (The only problem with Pacific snorkeling is that there is a ton of kelp in the water, which clouds it up a bit, leading to a less clear underwater view.)

    Later that afternoon, Brittney and I went exploring the small penninsula/island off the resort. I say "penninsula/island" because it's all very dependent on the tides. When we started, it was a penninsula...2 and a half hours later, it was an island and we almost had to swim to get back to shore.
Another Pacific sunset from Ocotal.
Walking around there was fun...with the waves coming in over the volcanic rocks, lots of colorful crabs and other interesting water creatures. We also saw a few pelicans up in the trees on the bluff. We collected a bunch of shells and took a bunch of pictures as we watched the sun begin to set. We got so carried away wandering around out there on Tico time, that we barely even noticed the tide was coming way in. By the time we realized, we had lost our walking area and had to climb along the sides of the bluff. The area that was all rock and sand, was now submerged in a few feet of water and the current was fast. It was funny. (The rocks were pretty sharp, so slipping was out of the question.)
    We got back with just enough time to shower and meet up with around half the group to go into town for dinner. When we got back, it was time for a few phone calls and bed. It was going to be an early morning the next day and another 4 or so hours of traveling to Monteverde.
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The view of the marina from outsid…
The view of the marina from outsi…
Playa Ocotal is a black sand beach…
Playa Ocotal is a black sand beac…
My first Pacific sunset.
My first Pacific sunset.
The little penninsula off the beac…
The little penninsula off the bea…
Another Pacific sunset from Ocotal.
Another Pacific sunset from Ocotal.
This is when we should have realiz…
This is when we should have reali…
One picture from my first time sno…
One picture from my first time sn…
photo by: smhirsch