Pura vida! Welcome to Costa Rica, strange house rainforests, volcanoes, beaches, big cities and tiny hamlets. The people here are warm and friendly, and adventurous enough for everyone. Culture is inviting, stunning scenery, and out & # 39; e just. This "green" country. The people, mostly a mixture of Spaniards and Indians, called a poke. Spanish language, although many speak in English. "Pura vida" – it tykanski way of saying "Enjoy life!"
While familiar in many ways, the culture of Costa Rica has a fairly unknown aspects to be intriguing. Coming from the airport to our hotel in San Jose, we saw a cow that was grazing near the overpass, and along the road below the horse.
We spent the first day at the hotel Gran, luxurious accommodation 1930s. It is the only hotel in the country, which is considered historic. During lunch and dinner there was a concert piano. Very chic! Our breakfast was a typical tykanskim: Beans, rice, choryzo and cheese, with a strong coffee. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Especially good was maont Rudolph. We visited the zoo, the National Museum and Butterfly Garden. While almost everyone we met were warm and friendly, hang it on the bag and camera. Theft can be a problem. Mercado under the open sky, or the market has clothes, books, souvenirs, wallets and much more. Excellent purchase! For dinner we chose Nuestra-Tierra. Dinner was tserviche, tasty mix of shrimp and fish. Again we met with the staff warmly. After lunch, walk, lunch at the hotel was Robesp & # 39; er, perfectly tender dish of steak, seasoned with rosemary, thyme and sage.
Cars were allowed to travel only in the spare days, depending on the last digit plates, odd or even. This reduces traffic and air pollution. We do not need a car because we walked everywhere! Stay in a place where there are people, and wandered in the less populated neighborhoods to avoid trouble. City of San Jose is alive, but crowded. Most shops are fully open on the street side. Shopping diverse as in any large city. Across the city are sculptures of cows: cows dancing, chess cows, pink cows. It called the Cow Parade. This is a very capricious!
We visited a small National Theater Museum to uncover the history of Costa Rica. Early humans were beautiful gold jewelry. We saw the exhibits on native animals and much more. Plaza is perfect for people who have watched and fed pigeons. Everywhere there are benches for fresh produce and a small kiosk that sells magazines, toys, snacks and the like. It makes a very colorful scene of the city! Parks provide green space and quiet oasis. The mountains are always in view. We wandered into the zoo, where we seized the alligators, tropical birds, big cats, monkeys, snakes and flowering plants in bright colors. Ponds and streams creating a natural habitat.
Spanish influence is evident in the decorative forged iron and decorative wood. The National Museum of Costa Rica, we were talking about this great nation. There are dioramas of early natives, the Spanish guns of the 16th century custom of burial, pottery, exhibits local animals, colonial furniture, displays with coffee and sugar industry, as well as colored fragments, which are part of the culture.
After breakfast with fried Yucca and sausage in tomato sauce, which was delicious, we left the city for the country, driving along the two-lane highway with hundreds of other machines. In one of the carbonated beverage or snack, we stopped for lunch. He was next to the calm river and it was very nice. Most sodas are open at the sides to catch the breeze. We are pleased to riding, seeing the mountains, forests and tiny villages. In each of them there is a church, a school, a football field and a soda. We stayed at the Do Do Center, version tykanskaga Lowe & # 39; s or Home Depot. The audit was fun! There were children's toys, kitchen utensils and appliances. This is a non-profit social organization. Our journey took us to the Pacific beach in Playa Hermosa, the hotel El Valera. Our hotel had a swimming pool, a private beach and outdoor dining. It was the other way around San Jose, being very small and quiet. This is paradise! The little animal has done some interesting images for Easter eggs in the sand! We swam in the warm water and watched the brilliant red sunset. Because it is near the equator, and 7:00 it was dark. The staff, again, was very pleasant. Dinner was delicious, Shatobryyan. It is made of beef, mustard, mushrooms and sherry. Our room was nice, and the porch catches the ocean breeze.
Another tykanski hearty breakfast with cakes, cheese, beans and rice with a strong coffee helped us to start our day. The morning we spent snorkeling and swimming. We were almost alone on the beach! We saw very beautiful fish and found some unusual shells. The water was very clear and warm. What a wonderful way to start the day! We were curious about the Play del Coco, close to the seaside resort. A short trip brought us to the colorful and sleepy little town. We shop at Mercado (shoes, dresses, masks, CDs, etc.), and a cool drink in a secret garden. One of pubs called The Louisiana Restaurant and Bar. Our Lady of Carmel – the Catholic Church in the city. It is open to the public, this is a very beautiful church, and a good place for a quiet moment. We enjoyed our long walks on the beach. On the way back we visited the supermarket, which was significantly less than in the American supermarket, but he had kostorikanskoy dishes, and it was the most interesting.
Our dinner had tapas in ginger around the beach: summer rolls, caprese salmon atstekavski soup and ahi tuna. Everything was nice! We took the local liquor sample Guara. It is made from sugar cane, is very popular in tykanav. It was very nice, and we did not care about the taste, but it was better in the mojito. For the time to go for a night of moonlight beach walk, and it was. Tomorrow I dive!
Today was exciting because I went to the diving! Marine wildlife was abundant! We're talking about the many varieties of fish and sea turtles. The water was clear; guides know their sites. I would like to do more in another trip! It was my first dive Pacific. Greg sat on the deck and did the tour. After we arrived at the Panama of Play on the winding road, which consisted of a small hotel and the beach. Great for really getting away! We returned to our hotel to find electricity. Perhaps, it happens frequently and it's anyone guess when he'll be back. We all turned, and tonight was bbq hotel. Food, of course, was delicious. There were many people from the community who came and we met some Americans who now live in Playa Hermia. There were interesting conversations! We joked with the bartender! The day was a good one! We really like the embankment Rico!
Now that we know the beach, we want to meet the volcano! Mt. Arenal – active volcano in central Costa Rica. The roads were twisted, narrow, hilly, and gave us great views! Of course, we took pictures! We stopped on a combined German bakery / cafe / store original craft! German food was a turning point in Central America. While we ate our quarrel, a man on horseback went outside and then came back again. We do not see in the cities of Florida! We looked at a small market, and went on their way. Lake Arenal is breathtaking! We noticed that the flowers of the field – a combination of tropical and those that we grow at home, which makes it a rather exotic. We stopped for coffee in a small cafe overlooking the lake. Protective gate at the entrance reminds us that there is a problem of crime, if we are not careful. A trip to the park "Arenal" took 6 hours due to unpaved roads and stops. We watched as a monkey jumps the road. We spent the night in the mountains. Arenalnaya Observatory Lodge, with a clear view of the volcano! We have heard and felt the rumbling, and after dark, we watched as a red, glowing lava flows on the mountain! It was an amazing experience! How often can you sit up in bed and watching the volcano! The park has hiking, surfing, fishing, biking and much more. We went to the rainforest, exciting experience! When we reached the waterfall, we splashed in the pool to cool down. Everywhere we saw hummingbirds and butterflies! The bar offers two specialty drinks, both of them are burning in honor of a volcano! Tomorrow we leave for the rafting!
Adventure on the alloy was beautiful! We ran into three rivers with capable guides. Our tour guide, Tony, caught attractive, although poisonous, a tiny blue female frog. We nibbled, jump and fly through the water. After a rigorous trip to the raft we had a delicious lunch with our group in tykanskay steakhouse. Lazy, hung on a tree, caught our attention. Quick tour of the magical town of La Fortuna will allow us to evaluate the culture of Costa Rica, especially the calm rhythm of life and appreciation of education in this country. We like the colors, the food, the music, the friendliness.
Santa Elena – a mountain town, which was only a very narrow, unpaved road. There are potholes, no guard rails, and a stream at one point ran across the road. On the road it was dark. I did not know if we can get to the top. However, Santa Elena is worthy of all this! This is a great place to visit! We stayed at the Hotel Finca Valverde & # 39; s. After we followed the perpetrator of a long and serpentine trail, we were able to sit in our hotel room in the middle of the rainforest.
We sat on the porch, drinking coffee and watching kinkayvusam, toucan and other tropical birds. After breakfast, there was a garden of orchids. It was heavenly! Many kinds! Colors, sizes and shapes varied. It was pieces, cafe / bookstore / laundry services. This is a great place with a great selection of books and lots of food choices! It was here that we met Cindy, a Texan who loves to live here and know where to find something! There was serpentarium. It was full of snakes and lizards of all kinds. There was a tour of a coffee plantation / sugar cane. We drove on and made aksakartse candy at the end of the tour, to take home. How often do we get to do it! So much to do in one day! There were hotels, restaurants, shops, all with a little urban flair. The town is very small, so the walk – the best way to get around. At the end of the day we are tired, but very happy to see and do so much. And tomorrow we button up in the canopy!
Today's breakfast was in the hotel and the Treehouse restaurant, where the actual tree growing through the roof! Tykanskaya coffee has become our favorite. It is strong and full of spirit. We ate a hearty, because today was our tour of the canopy in the cloud forest of Santa Helena in Selvatura park. The rain was falling, but we were in a rain forest! There are trails and gardens that occupy the time while waiting for the lightning. Walking across the sky were spectacular and gave us a spectacular view. Vegetation great! I have the feeling we button up above the canopy, like flying! We looked down at the trees and flew through them from one platform to another. This was our first zip code, and we loved this experience! Amazing! I went to the Tarzan swing, and Greg watched! Which is fun! We watched as some monkeys playing in the trees. The rain was falling, so we suggest to pack a poncho to exit and about.
For dinner, we drove a short distance to the steep and Chimera in Monteverde, where Cindy worked evenings. The view was wonderful. Food, tapas, was delicious! Especially tasty was SORB mango. Very reasonable price too.
Hike to the breakfast to the tree, only to find a coffee machine spoiled! Oh no! Fortunately, Chunches and Cindye were available, so we had breakfast and chatted with his new friend.
Cheese-making factory in Monteverde has many varieties of handmade cheeses. We bought some delicious-looking Gouda. Several shops along the road were open, so we looked. Back in Santa Elena, we visited the pond frog, full of tropical frogs and toads. It was a good time, as the rain came again. Butterfly Garden was close to dozens of gentle, lush, multi-colored butterflies. In Glasswing have transparent wings! Both rides were fun! Unfortunately, it's time to go back to the mountains. We had to say goodbye to Santa Elena and Cindy! Back down the narrow, steep and serpentine road in San Jose again. On the way we stopped at a soda for lunch. The man drove a small herd of cattle on the road past us. Very colorful!
Even in the heart of San Jose, we stopped again at the Gran. We felt like old friends, before the staff we met. From our room we had on the corner was a good place for street zabavlyalnikav. We were opposite the Teatro Nacional Plaza and all the people. We had lunch at Le Manastery, a former monastery, which stood high on a hill with fantastic views of the city lights at night! The food was excellent! It is highly recommended by hotel staff and travel costs! Night walk through the city was great for people who watched our last night here. There were a few street performers, and music coming out of clubs.
Once we were at the airport, we found that most food courts only takes cash from ATMs and vending machines are out of order. By counting our changes, we were able to buy a drink and a bag of chips each for dinner! Adyos, Costa Rica! Prices for most of the places were moderate, facilities were modern, weather & # 39; e was good and people were delicious! We look forward to another visit!