28 August 2012

Costa Rica: San Jose and saying goodbye

On Saturday, we decided that we ought to check out San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital. However, after a week of good weather, the Green Season climate finally caught up with us. It began to rain, heavily and steadily, in a way which suggested it could keep it up indefinitely, and had every intention of doing so. In the city, attractive young Costa Ricans, all wearing red T-shirts, were wandering through the congested traffic collecting money for what turned out to be a local equivalent of Habitat for Humanity. ... Read more

26 August 2012

Costa Rica: Carara

Rather than returning straight to Alajuela, we decided to take a detour to Carara National Park. Located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, it’s one of the best places to see scarlet macaws in the wild. Unfortunately, best times to see them are morning and evening; we were too late. We heard some macaws heading off into the distance, but we didn’t see any. Carara is the northernmost area of rainforest in Costa Rica. ... Read more

25 August 2012

Costa Rica: Monte Verde coffee farming

Our next Costa Rican destination was Santa Elena, near Monte Verde. This presented some logistical challenges. The distance from Alajuela to Monte Verde is around 75km as the macaw flies, but unfortunately there are some rather large mountains in the way. Once you factor in meandering roads, the route ends up being around 130km. In addition, the people of Monte Verde are concerned about what’s happening to areas of Costa Rica that are popular with tourists. ... Read more

24 August 2012

Costa Rica: The Ara Project

Thursday, we visited The Ara Project. Visits are by appointment only. I had contacted them by e-mail, and been told that the best time to visit was about 10:30, and that they were available on Thursday. We set out in our rented mini-SUV, and had almost made it to our destination when we hit a roadblock—the main road was closed for maintenance. I looked at the GPS, and picked what appeared to be a reasonable alternate route. ... Read more

23 August 2012

Costa Rica: Toucans, waterfalls and beer

After our bus tour of Doka and Poas, we reluctantly decided that we were going to have to drive. By this time we had a pretty good idea of what to expect, so we knew that we needed something with 4 wheel drive and good ground clearance. We rented a mini-SUV. If you’re planning on driving in Costa Rica, then based on our experiences, here are some things you can expect to encounter: ... Read more

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