Costa Rica for one month. Overall San Jose the capital was a dump but once out of the city the place was lovely.
Arrived in the capital San Jose.Stayed in a lovely old colonial house that was converted into a hotel called Hotel Santo Thomas. City not nice at all. Few nice old buildings but loads of dodgy characters. One day we did a tour to a coffee plantation. The company is called Britt coffee. Very good tour saw where they grow and process the coffee. Had a great day there. Saw cocoa plant and the coffee beans and how they roasted them.
La Fortuna was a 5 hour bus journey from San jose. In Costa Rica there is not many roads. Only one main highway (Pan- American highway) and then more or less dirt tracks. So it was a bumpy bus ride. La Fortuna was a lovely town it is located at the foothills of an active volcano called Arenal. Unfortunately for the last few months the volcanoe has become quiet so we did not see any lava but did see some ash. Generally people can view lava especially at night time from a far distance away. While we stayed here we went hiking on a tour around the volcano, went horse riding to a fantastic waterfall and swam in the waterfall and then went to some hot springs. There were 25hot springs pools. Some were boiling you could not dip your toes into but some were like a warm bath.
From Fortuna we had to take a boat and an organised tour bus to this little village. Gorgeous area. Situated in a cloud forest. No roads into or out of the town only a dirt road. Only tourist here and expats working in the restaurants and hotels. Cloud forest is very picturesque so green and lush. Lots of snakes here but thank god did not see any. This area was full of hummingbirds of all different colours, they are so lovely i could not stop taking photographs of them.
Playa Grande & Manuel AntonioHeaded to the east coast of Costa Rica and stayed in a bamboo hut for a week next to more or less a beach to ourselves. Playa Grande was a place were rich Americans and Canadians owned massive houses by the beach. Our accomodation was lovely, we had a kitchen to cook, hammocks to lay out on and swimming pool within the jungle then just a small 5min walk to a huge beach. Every night howler monkeys would scream. It was great, loved the noise. The beach was a protected beach were green turtles would lay eggs every night.
Manuel Antonio another great place. Paradise beaches lots and lots of monkeys, squirrel, spider, howler and capuchins monkeys.
Here we met up with a friend of mine Eoin. He is now managing a volunteer project in a jungle in southern Costa Rica. Had to get a truck (as it drives through rivers) for about an hour.We had so much fun with him for a few days. Wildlife was everywhere here, people even still go around on horse back. We stayed in the jungle with him in a tent. Shower and toilet was outdoors with black refuse plastic as walls. Spiders everywhere dont know how i survived!! But it was some experience. We went on many trecks in the jungle and beachs saw so many species of lizards, monkeys and spiders and birds (macaws). Saw a few green turtles and specific leatherbacks laying there eggs. They were massive.
Costa Rica was a wonderful country full of wildlife.