~Costa Rica was an amazing country to visit. Not only is this country very beautiful in its own unique way but it’s also very diverse. This Central American beauty, officially known as the Republic of Costa Rica, is enriched with culture and independence. There is a wonderful mix of lush green jungle, gorgeous beaches, and rustic landscapes.
Ecotourism plays a big role in the rapid development of society. From long hikes through the rainforest to snorkeling adventures through a coral reef, you can really experience a lot of fun stuff on a trip to Costa Rica. We were lucky enough to have had close encounters with the rich wildlife including Turtles, Iguanas, Geckos, Capuchin monkeys and Howler monkeys, which sound like dying donkeys if you were wondering where they got their name from. 🙂
My boyfriend and I decided to keep ourselves situated on the Pacific Coast. We had limited time to see everything we wanted to see and then work our two weeks at a Turtle Conservation in the middle of the trip. We booked our rooms through Air B&B, which turned out to be an interesting experience in itself.
Our first stop was in Alajuela, which is the third-largest city in Costa Rica after San José and Desamparados. We stayed there for 2 days to get our barrings straight and rest up post-flight. I noticed immediately that the city life had adopted American culture. There were a lot of billboards and signs in English, American music playing in the stores and American products for sale everywhere. Sometimes when purchasing items, the currency is quoted in American dollars as well, especially when you’re a tourist. If you are speaking English with a local and don’t understand the Costa Rican colón, you will be given the figure in American dollars. Taking out Canadian dollars from a bank machine down there turned out to be pretty expensive since it was converted to American dollars first.
Roaming around near the city mall you can find cows or horses drinking out of various things like fridges even when you’re staying close to the airport. We stayed in a little hotel 10 minutes away from where we landed. We were so close that we could hear the planes taking off all day.
From there we decided to leave the city and go down to Montezuma, which is located at the South Western tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. It just so happened that our Slovenian neighbors who had arrived on our second night in Alajuela, were driving in that same direction so we ended up catching a ride with them.
Now, driving in Costa Rica is slightly terrifying, to say the least. The roads are incredibly rough in a lot of different areas and people don’t tend to follow the basic rules of the road. There are no blinkers to warn you what drivers are about to do and when passing another vehicle, it doesn’t matter if you have the right of way. I was pretty much white-knuckling the edge of my seat the whole time. It’s amazing how your heart drops into your chest when your seconds away from a head-on collision; and that’s just the norm there.
The countryside was a mix of farms and hills full of trees. Everywhere you look you can spot many different colorful birds flying around. Once we arrived in Puntarenas, we had a long 2-hour wait for the ferry. It was extremely windy and if you had a hat on you had to hang on to it as tight as you could. We sat at a little restaurant eating Ceviche and drinking Imperial beers while watching the hustle and bustle of the passengers getting ready to board the ferry. Finally, once the ferry arrived it quickly went from this:
in no time at all. It was actually quite exciting to watch as the dock workers pulled the long chains manually bit by bit. Two big men reeling as hard as they could to lift and lower the dock to level it for the oncoming boat. Once the cars were cleared, we boarded the ferry. Only one person is allowed to drive the vehicle on board. Everyone else must walk on for some reason.
Montezuma was awaiting us on the other side and I was giddy like a child crossing over. There were huge Pelicans everywhere that would dive bomb head first into the ocean, snapping at the fish below the surface. The water was dark blue and the islands that surrounded us as the boat crossed the peninsula, were flourishing with green leaves and long high palms waving in the sun.
What do you think? Travel Tuesdays?
I like the sound of that 🙂 I’ll schedule my Montezuma story for next week!