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Costa Rica 2015


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NSY

Costa Rica March/April 2015

Day 1: Fly Manchester to San Jose via Atlanta Hotel  Xandari Plantation Inn

Day 2: San Jose at Hotel Xandari Plantation Inn

Day 3: San Jose at Hotel Xandari Plantation Inn

Day 4: Fly San Jose to Puerto Jimenez and drive to Osa Peninsula.  La Leona Eco Lodge

Day 5: La Leona Eco Lodge

Day 6: La Leona Eco Lodge

Day 7: La Leona Eco Lodge

Day 8: Drive to San Gerardo De Dota.  Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge 

Day 9: Dantica Cloud Forest Lodge

Day 10: Long drive to Tenorio. Rio Celeste Hideaway hotel

Day 11: Rio Celeste Hideaway hotel

Day 12: Rio Celeste Hideaway hotel

Day 13: Drive to Liberia airport & fly Liberia>Atlanta.   Atlanta>Amsterdam

Day 14: Fly Amsterdam>Manchester

 

Day 1: Flights

Fly Delta Man-Atlanta (flight time 9.08) then Delta Atlanta-San Jose (flight time 3.01) Delta seems to have a lot of older airport staff & cabin crew. This seems to work well as everything seems to flow smoothly. Transfer to Xandari Plantation Inn which is set in a former coffee plantation. This was before BA started direct flights UK to Costa Rica.

 

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Stream in hotel grounds

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Black Throated Trogan 

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Flame-Colored Tanager  

 

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NSY

Day 2: Lazy day at Hotel

Breakfast is in an open fronted restaurant at Plantation Inn with views down valley to San Jose. We have a lazy day to recover from our flight and wander around the extensive verdant gardens; it is a joy to do so.  It’s so peaceful and relaxing.  The food here is excellent.  They have their own vegetable and herb garden and everything is fresh, the salads are amazing.

Day 3:  Poas Volcano

Today we go on a trip to Poas volcano, a very busy tourist spot. The drive there passes a lot of coffee plantations.  We then have a walk of approximately half an hour to the crater rim and look down into a green lake and steam coming out of vents.  Quite an experience looking down into the steaming cauldron of a volcano!

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Lava flow going own into valley 

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NSY

Day 4: Fly to La Leona Eco Lodge on the Osa peninsula one of the most remote places in Costa Rica. The lodge is just next to Corcovado National Park. 

 

After breakfast we transfer to San Jose Airport for flight with Nature Air Puerto Jimenez. The Plane is a very rickety 12 seater plane with gaps around the door.

From the plane there are views down to forest and into the Gulf of Dulce with whales swimming below.

 

 We are picked up by taxi driver in his old Toyota 4X4 for the trip to La Leona Eco Lodge. This is about a 2hour drive on some rough roads. We stop and drop our bags off at a hut for transfer to lodge.  The bags will be transported across the beach by horse and cart.  We continue our drive to the end of road, here our taxi driver points us along beach and says it’s about 2miles down there then he drives off.  

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The Horse gets a cool down paddle 

 

It is a very hot walk along the beach but beautiful. 

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We see Scarlet Macaws bickering with each other in the trees.  By the time we get to the lodge we are very tired, walking on the soft sand is not easy. We are greeted on arrival and passed a glass of iced tea, very welcome indeed!  We are taken to our tent which is about 20 feet back from the beach and the Pacific Ocean. From our tent we can see various lizards about including Jesus Lizards so called as the can run on water.

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Jesus Lizard

 

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Yellow Headed Caracara just in front of tent 

 

 The tent is basic, a bed and outdoor W.C & shower. There is only electric by generator 8am-9am & 4pm to 9pm, no mains water and no heating or cooling. We go down for dinner which is eaten outdoors on table made from a tree stump.  The food was very good especially considering the basic cooking facilities.  We head back to our tent and go to sleep with the lullaby of the ocean.

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Day 5: Lazy day at La Leona

Breakfast time and then a self-guided walk up into the rain forest.  There are great views down to the ocean and Capuchin Monkeys watch us from the trees above.   We spot Poison Arrow Frogs at the side of the path.

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After dinner with go on a guided night walk; the only special dress needed - a pair of wellies (wellington boots). There are lots of animals and insect noises in the forest. We see some large cane toads. Then we hear something very noisy coming through the undergrowth towards us, eventually a skunk appears and just runs past us. There are the two of us and one other guest on the walk.

After about an hour walking up into forest, we start the decent by walking down the middle of a stream and are told to follow the guide’s footsteps exactly. The guide spots a Cat’s Eye snake which is not very poisonous but then a Fer de Lance one of the most poisonous snakes in the world. It is hard to keep footing at time and we are told not to put our hands down where there are leaves as snakes may be under leaves!  Another Fer de lance spotted but my wife does not seem too keen on taking a photo of it as it is only 6ft away.

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Cat’s Eye snake

 

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Fer de Lance

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Fer de Lance

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Day 6: at La Leona

Today after breakfast we go on a guided walk along coast. There are six of us and the guide. We find tapir tracks but no animal seen. Howler monkeys are spotted in the trees and Spectacled Caiman in the river.

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The closest we got to Tapier 

 

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as near as we wanted 

 

We have a packed lunch on the beach watching hundreds of hermit crabs looking for new larger shells, fascinating!  On the way back we get caught in a heavy tropical shower and in a matter of minutes we are all dripping wet but the sun soon comes out again and the heat dries us off in no time.

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Day 7: at La Leona

A self-guided walk today, back in the direction of the road but this time in the forest instead of along beach. There are lots of Scarlet Macaws in trees which seem to be constantly arguing with each other but their colours are beautiful, we could watch them all day.  It is very hot today so after lunch we just laze about reading and listening to the calming sound of the ocean.

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