Travel Photo Of The Day- Sunset In Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Sunset in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

Photo By Timurk

Sunset in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica

The three main beaches attract visitors because of their pristine, white sand. Tourists can snorkel in the tidal pools that form near the Manuel Antonio and Espadilla beaches and traverse the “tombolo” or sand bridge that connects the two sandy stretches. The coastline offers visitors the opportunity to see dolphins and migrating whales. Active water enthusiasts will also enjoy other recreational opportunities such as scuba diving, sea kayaking or deep sea fishing.

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Travel Photo Of The Day- Sunset Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Sunset over Pacific Ocean, Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Photo By Jeff Stein

Sunset Over The Pacific Ocean, Tamarindo, Costa Rica

The Playa Tamarindo is a long stretch of white sandy beach that offers two excellent wave breaks for advanced surfers. One is the rocky Pico Pequeño point and the other is the El Estero near the mouth of the river estuary.

Costa Rica with miles of beaches with pure white sand and sparkling waters, where visitors can swim, surf, and even whale and dolphin watch. Rainforests, mountains, and tropical fauna cover the land. It is a veritable paradise.

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Montezuma Costa Rica

Montezuma Costa Rica

Located on the southern shore of the Nicoya Peninsula is the seaside village of Montezuma. The village has a carefree laid back atmosphere which has attracted many young foreigners over the years. Montezuma has been found to be a great place to chill and enjoy the quiet tranquil atmosphere, with many local flavored shops and restaurants adding to this bohemian lifestyle. Backpackers and eco tourist have found the rock strewn beaches, rivers as well as the scenic waterfalls make this a must see destination in Costa Rica.
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Window to the Pacific Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve Costa Rica

Window to the Pacific, Cabao Blanco Nature Reserve Costa Rica

Window to the Pacific, Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve Costa Rica

Located at the southern most point of the Nicoya Peninsula lays Cabo Blanco “Absolute” Nature Reserve. Listed as one of Costa Rica’s best and beautiful nature reserves, Cabo Blanco is made up of 2,896 acres of pristine white sand and shell strewn beaches. From the tide pools along the ocean to the evergreen forest inland, this moist micro climate makes this a Naturist paradise. Winding trails and deserted beaches one will find Cabo Blanco is quite different from the rest of the Nicoya Peninsula.

Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve was created in 1963 much from the efforts of Nils Olof Wesberg and his wife Karen Mogensen , Danish-Swedish immigrants that lived in nearby Montezuma. The couple was upset after finding large sections of the area clear cut in the late 50’s and pushed for the area to become a Nature Reserve in the Costa Rica Park system. Today only around 15% of primary forest remains with the largest portion of forest being around 50 years old. Wesberg and his wife Mogenson were intrumental in the push for ecological areas and reserves throughout Costa Rica. Wesberg was murdered in 1975 during one such campaign in the Osa Peninsula. Mogensen continued the couples work till her death in 1994.
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Rio de La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Yesterday was kind of a slow going day here in La Fortuna, Costa Rica, pretty much rained most of the day so the day was kind of a hang out day in town, as we were making our rounds to all the small shops in La Fortuna we stopped to taste some local coffee at Down to Earth, after sampling we had to take a bag home to try, we chose the “Dota Select” and for desert a bag of chocolate covered coffee beans.

While sampling the Down to Earth coffee at the coffee store we did run into Michael of Travel Costa Rica Now website. Talked a little about Costa Rica, La Fortuna and his web site. I was able to check out the Travel Costa Rica Now website later that night, I found a lot of good in-depth  information on traveling around Costa Rica and a great selection of Youtube Videos that Michael and his website partner D’ Angelo have made on everything you need to know about traveling in Costa Rica. It would be well worth a visit to the Travel Costa Rica Now website for up to date information on your next adventure to Costa Rica

We decided to hold off on doing the Arenal Volcano tour until the next day, in hope that the rain would stop and would be able to get a good view of the volcano.

View from the bridge at Rio de La Fortuna, Costa Rica

View from the bridge at Rio de La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Today, waking up from another afternoon and night of rain we decided today we would venture out to Rio de La Fortuna, yesterday when we were in town we had heard that there was this great watering hole that the locals as well as a few adventure seekers would trek too on the outskirts of town..

So we headed into town, then took the road leading from La Fortuna to Ramon, we had been told the river was located just passed the other entrance to Catarata  de La Fortuna, at the third bridge from town. The walk was a very comfortable 20 minute walk from La Fortuna on a flat surface.

Passing the entrance to Catarata de La Fortuna we found the third bridge maybe another 100 meters around the corner. The bridge crosses over the Rio de La Fortuna which is down stream of the major water fall of Catarata de La Fortuna, from the top of the bridge you are given a great view of the small waterfalls spilling in to the watering hole. There at the watering hole were about 20 people swinging on a rope from the nearby bank dropping about 30 feet into the swirling water below.

I had to try the rope swing at least once, the problem is that I am not as young as I think I am and one time was about all I could handle. At 50 years old, thinking I am a 20 year old I could feel the strain in my upper back as I swung out over the water hole and dropped the 30 feet into the cold water below. Well worth it, yet once was enough for me. My son and his friend spent the next hour and half swinging from the rope or jumping from the rocks into the base of the waterfall. A 15 year old could handle this all day long and not get tired.

All in all we spent about 2 ½ hours with the walk to and from La Fortuna and swimming and jumping at Rio de La Fortuna. The morning was very well worth the trek out to the watering hole. The great thing was also that it was free, kind of interesting that this was not on any of the tours that they try to sell you back in La Fortuna.

Word of caution, even though we felt very safe here, a mixture of locals as well as travelers, we did hear of the typical stories, so just leave your valuables back at the hotel and enjoy the rope swing.


Catarata de La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Monday morning in La Fortuna, high over cast skies, yet the Arenal Volcano was clearly visible as I walked out the cabina door. Ground was moist with plants covered with thin layers of water droplets from the night before rains. Plenty of birds singing announcing the new day.

A nice relaxed breakfast of Casado, the local breakfast of Costa Ricans meaning the “the marriage“ Rice, beans, plantains, eggs and toast with a nice cup of fresh Costa Rican coffee to get the day going.

Over breakfast we decided we would spend the morning exploring the Catarata de La Fortuna, the waterfall of La Fortuna. A 200 foot drop waterfall coming off the canyons of volcanic rock formations at the base of Arenal Volcano and the dormant Cerro Chato Volcano.

The road leading up to the waterfall park was just around the corner from our hotel, Arenal Rossi, there is also another road leading from the highway between La Fortuna and Ramon.

The sign said 4 km to the waterfalls, ok that’s just under 3 miles, we can walk that with the weather being nice and all. We started the walk with the road being gravel and very little traffic, I think we made it about 1 mile before the complaining started, my son, how much farther, this is going to take for ever. My comebacks were, you know how much I walk in London, Sao Paulo, this is a piece of cake, oh yeah, did I tell you I rode my bike across America? Well knowing the road would get a little steeper and not wanting to hear the whining all the way up I told them to flag the next taxi. 2 minutes later we had a ride, 1200 colones,  just over 2 dollars put us at the ranger station. Well worth it, not from the walking but the complaining.

Reaching the entrance we paid our 8 dollars admission to the park. If the water fall has a 200 foot drop then we had to descend a least 400 feet to the base of the waterfall. The walk down the canyon is a winding and for the most part a well maintained stepped trail through some great rain forest with spectacular views of the surrounding canyon. Every once in awhile you would get a glimpse of the waterfall through the trees. The trail to the bottom took about 20 to 25 minutes, a little slow going with the trail being wet and a little slippery from the nights rain.

If this is your first waterfall, Catarata de La Fortuna is very impressive, if you have seen other great waterfalls like Niagara Falls, yes this is small in comparison. Yet compared to Cascadas de Montezuma “not quite sure when they use Catarata or Cascadas” this fall is a least 3 times as high. The neat thing about Catarata de La Fortuna is how close you can get to the waterfall drop, I mean you can actually get in and try to swim under the fall, yet the chances of making it are pretty slim to none. The force of the water dropping is so strong it pushes the water out at what I would think is at least 10 miles a hour “a guess”, my son and his friend as well as other people visiting the waterfall tried and only got within about 20 feet of the outer edge of the fall.

Around the corner and over a little rise is a great swimming hole that is a lot calmer, making for a great spot for families to experience the clear cold waters of Catarata de La Fortuna with out the force of the fall.
Across the river there is also trails going to the top of the waterfall as well as a trail following the river downstream.

We easily spent a 11/2 hours at the base of the falls, the scenery was great, the waterfall and swimming were well worth the trip down. The climbing back up the canyon was a little harder on the body, yet I think overall it was easier than coming down. On the trip down we were more worried about slipping on the wet stone steps while the way up it was easier maneuvering the wet steps.

In overall I would highly recommend a trip down to see the Catarata de La Fortuna, very impressive and one of the main reasons for coming to Costa Rica , at least for me, to see jungles and waterfalls.


Headed to Liberia Costa Rica

Saturday was suppose to be spent relaxing in Orlando catching up on some errands before we headed to Costa Rica on Sunday. My son had decided to invite a friend along for the trip , which was better for me and my wife, this way we would not have to entertain him, he would have a friend to help occupy his time while we were in Costa Rica while letting us relax. It makes for traveling with a 15 year old a whole lot easier.

Lake Arenal Costa Rica

Lake Arenal Costa Rica

Looking at the flights leaving out of Orlando to Costa Rica for Sunday morning, it looked like the flight from Miami to Liberia Costa Rica was wide open, the problem was the flight from Orlando to Miami was a little tight. This always seems to be the problem when traveling with the family and trying to get out of Orlando on standby. So the decision was made to take the last flight out on Saturday night, spend the night in Orlando the catch the flight in the morning from Miami to Liberia.

Sunday’s flight from Miami to Liberia Costa Rica was uneventful, cleared customs and met up with our driver, Tony, of Costa Rica Tours by Tony. I don’t rent cars in foreign countries, see my Driving in Foreign Countries Tip. We caught up with Tony on happenings since my last trip to Costa Rica back in March when I last had used Tony’s services.

Heading out of Liberia on the Pan American highway the traffic was light since this was Sunday. With the radio playing the final World Cup Soccer match between Netherlands and Spain for my son and his friend we head for our destination 3 hours away , La Fortuna and the Arenal Volcano.

The scenic ride up the foothills was breathtaking, with over head clouds the visibility was still great, you could see for miles in all directions.

Cresting the ridge we were treated to the fantastic view of Lake Arenal, stopping for pictures, you could see from one end of the lake to the other. Tony told us it was 28 km around the lake.
Through winding roads we made our way around the Lake Arenal from the small towns of Tilaran and Nuevo Arenal. Driving along the northern side of the lake we were treated to tempting glimpses of Arenal Volcano as the clouds would clear for a few minutes only to engulf the volcano once again.

Making our way along the base of Arenal Volcano we passed the two main hot springs in the area, Tabacon and Baldi. As we made our way to La Fortuna we also passed what seemed to me many new small hotels and restaurants that have popped up in the last 5 years since my last visit.,  This was my  second time to La Fortuna this was the first for my wife and son. On the recommendation of our driver Tony, we checked out the Hotel Arenal Rossi,. Right on the road from La Fortuna to Arenal Volcano we decided Hotel Arenal Rossi would serve our purpose and be our home for the next 3 nights..

Being the rainy season in Costa Rica, the weather lived up to its legend as we walked the shops around the plaza in the center of La Fortuna, at 4pm the rain just came down, and came down for almost 2 hours. Not a problem, just find a dry spot, we sat in a restaurant off the park and ate had a few drinks and watched the rain come down. No rush, we were in Costa Rica now and it was time to relax. What do the Tico’s say “Pura Vida” “have a good life“.

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