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

20 August 2012

Costa Rica: Volcano and coffee

On Monday, we arranged to go on an all-day tour. The hotel had information about various tour packages organized by local companies. Now that we had seen some parrots, it was time for coffee, so we picked out a day trip that would take us to Poas Volcano and the Doka Coffee Estate, then to see some local crafts. As the bus climbed up the mountainside, we entered the cloud forest. ... Read more

20 August 2012

Costa Rica: Did I mention there were parrots?

On Sunday, the sun emerged from the clouds. The weather was beautiful, apparently perfect for cycling as we saw a lot of serious cyclists go by as we waited for the bus. We also saw around 30 or 40 bikers head for Delicias del Maiz for brunch. They weren’t Hells Angels, but I didn’t manage to see the entire name of their group as they went past. Our destination was Zoo Ave, a rescue center turned zoo. ... Read more

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