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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Alajuela, Costa Rica

Feb 12, 2018 - Arenal to Fortuna

We spent a quiet day around the hotel yesterday. The property abuts the National Forest, so in the morning we took a long hike down to the river and back. Beautiful jungle, and the 3 Great Danes lolloped along with us, which I am pretty sure is not exactly kosher... John, who is 82 also gamboled along, guiding us along the path. It was rather humbling, seeing him sprinting up the trail, as I was gasping along behind. Barb, of course, is also like a gazelle along the path. It is lovely here, so peaceful and filled with birds. This is the...

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Feb 8, 2018 - Freshly Made Chocolate; Wow

Today we stayed close to home, where we were treated to a demonstration on chocolate making. From the fruit of the tree, to extracting the beans, which are toasted over an open fire. We both got blisters on our thumbs from trying to get the skin off of the beans. (I think that we have no future as chocolate factory workers.) Next the beans are ground in a sort of coffee grinder, mixed with sugar, a bit of cinnamon and powdered milk. The aroma was amazing!!. Plus we got to sample! I saw some beautiful birds and will add photos. Tomorrow we...

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Feb 7, 2018 - Hiking the Rio Celeste

Today we finally got into the jungle! We were dropped off at the entrance to the National Park here, hired a very pleasant (and thankfully English speaking; my brain is beginning to hurt) guide named Christian. The short story is that we then hiked a few miles in to see this amazing aquamarine river, waterfalls, pools, jungle and a few animals. Lots of tracks from the local tapirs, but no sightings, which is probably okay as that would likely freak me out; they are big! The river is beautiful; a lovely soft blue which I will let Barb tell...

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Feb 6, 2018 - Bijagua; and where is our Spanish interpretor???

We left Liberia today via a very packed, standing room only bus with 1000 (so it seemed) of our very close companions. The journey was only 1 1/2 hours or so, and we arrived in Bijagua; which is closer to the volcanos and much more green and lush. We were picked up by Victor, who drove us down a rather scary road; dodging trucks, road workers, and large cement things. Apparently they are improving the road, but now it seems to consist of mud, rocks and enormous potholes. I am so glad that I am not driving. Anyway, we arrived at our...

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Nov 22, 2017 - Lake Arenal & to Monteverde

Farewell La Fortuna and off to Monteverde and the Cloud Forest. An interesting drive going round Lake Arenal which was expanded in 1979 by the building of the Arenal dam. Hydroelectric power is one of the main power sources in Costa Rica so this was an important development. The roads are interesting, as always in this country, varying between reasonable and potholed beyond belief! We also pass a large wind farm, another arm of the country’s green power generation. Solar power is up and coming but limited due to cost. In La Fortuna we were...

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Nov 21, 2017 - Hanging Bridges & Tabacon Hot Springs

A change in the weather! Truly tropical rain overnight and this morning so no view of the volcano from our room. However, Mistico Hanging Bridges Park is our next adventure. The chance to walk through the canopy of the rainforest ! We walk the 4 Km through the canyon going ever higher, crossing bridges, 6 of which are hanging .... & swinging! The highest is about 150 ft above the forest floor. Lush vegetation, everything larger than life, running out of adjectives to describe this amazing country. So many different microclimates in such a...

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Aug 2, 2017 - La Fortuna

Up at 6am as we have a boat tour on the Sarapiqui River starting at 6.30am, for 2 hours. We walk to the river to meet our boat and its captain, Jose. We travel slowly down river looking for birds and animals. We see quite a few birds, like toucans, curassows, motmots, green ibis, leopard heron, kingfishers and woodpeckers. We also see some bats on a tree trunk and two caiman, one of which we can get within a metre of, so its a nice close up look. The river is so peaceful. We are the only boat on the river and the only other noise we hear...

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Trip Journal


The Americas

Feb 29, 2016 - Day 10

We were up early and got our ride at 7:30am for the Cerro Chatto Extreme Volcano Hike. The volcano which is 1100m high is in the Arenal Volcano National Park next to the Arenal Volcano. It is not an active volcano, but it's crater does have an emerald-green lagoon that one can drop down to. The rim of this extinct volcano in covered with lush rainforest. The climb is slow since the path gets increasingly steeper and very slippery with mud. We started in fields at the base but eventually entered the cloud forest walking through gray mists....

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Feb 28, 2016 - Day 9

We woke up to rain. By the time we got picked up by Desafio Adventure Company for our white water rafting (class II-III) adventure, the rain had stopped. We went through some training for rescue and how to paddle according to the commands that were given by the leader. We rafted on the Rio Balsa. We paddled through rapids named "Morning Coffee, Rock Around the Croc and Trash Can". It was exhilarating. We were in the front of the raft and many times the waves crashed over the boat, slamming into us. Our raft would shoot right up. At times we...

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Feb 27, 2016 - Day 8

We were back on the tractor at 7am for another 1 1/2 hour ride back to where our bus was in La Virgen. We stopped for a coffee plantation tour at Sarapiqui. The beautiful Sarapiqui (named for the principal river that runs through this area) valley lies at the foot of the Cordillera Central Mountain Range. Mi Cafecito Coffee Cooperative, situated in the small village of San Miguel de Sarapiqui is a "G-Adventures for Good Project" that helps 200 farmers and their families. They also farm fresh Tilapia here. We were treated to a traditional...

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Feb 10, 2016 - Botanical garden

Whew, last night was a windy night. A lot of trees blew down in the area so electricity was out all night. In the high elevations there is a lot of rain, however we did have lots of sunshine. Again we did not go to the waterfalls that I had hoped to see because of the rain & fog in the cloud forest. As we drove along we saw lots of fallen trees and crews out cleaning up and working on power lines. We opted to walk through the Else Kientzler botanical gardens instead. This is a 7 acre garden with over 2000 species of plants from all over the...

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Trip Journal


Costa Rica 2016

Feb 9, 2016 - Grecia low and Granum high

This morning we headed toward Bajos Del Toro with the plan to drive to see this spectacular waterfall. However it is in the cloud forest and often there is too much rain and cloud to get any view. Today was one of those days so after we were part way up this very scenic, winding road with increasing rain and cloud, we decided to turn around and try another day. Instead we walked around in Sarchi, a town famous for the beautiful woodwork and furniture. We browsed in some of the woodworking shops with furniture, chess boards, trays and bowls....

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Trip Journal


Costa Rica 2016

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