Sendero Group Travel Blog

Follow Sendero travelers on their adventures using accessible GPS.

Monday, June 24, 2013


Costa Rica Wrap up

I first went to Costa Rica in December 2004. Gena had also been there on her own trip. We came this time with her two kids and stayed in two places, both on the Caribbean side. The first accommodations were very unique near Puerto Viejo, where we had never been before. Being able to touch monkeys and Sloths was very special as were the zip lines.

Mike, Gena and kids on a boat to TortugueroIt was a 5 hour or so trip by car and boat to our second stop in Tortuguero at the Pachira Lodge, where I had stayed 8 years ago. They now have an adjacent property with bungalows called Aninga. Across the river is the Evergreen Lodge.

Activities here have included nature hiking, going on a guided group boat ride through the National Forest to see all sorts of animals up close, swimming in the hotel pool, (the river isn't safe because of the Crocodiles), shopping in the village, massage, more zip lines and eating 3 meals a day included with our room.

The rain storms here are very impressive. It pores so loudly that you cannot hear a person speaking 3 feet away. The thunder rattles you to the bone. The Howler monkeys (audio file) don't like the rain so they start hollering. This tends to take place from about 4 to 7 in the morning.

Mike and Gena at a Pachira barThe Pachira rooms are screened but no glass making sure you can hear the entire symphony of animals around the clock. Amazing how many things are making sounds at night, frogs that sound like birds and the occasional boat engine. Mike recorded an audio file of the sounds at breakfast.

The other guests sound to be mostly Americans so it sometimes feels more like you are in Hawaii than Central America. The food is decent and copious. The staff are very helpful, many speak English and they don't seem to mind those of us who wish to practice our broken Spanish. There seem to be more groups here than couples or families. They consider this the low season.

As you would expect in the rain forest and tropics, it is humid with lots of bugs. The kids complain about this a lot but they have enjoyed most of the activities, especially the animals and the zip lines. They are too used to air conditioned American hotels so these rustic accommodations have been rough on them.

One of the things about Costa Rica is once you arrive in the capital from overseas, most anywhere you want to go is a 3 to 6 hour production. There is air service to some places but boats, vans and buses are the main way of travel. We hired a guide in Puerto Viejo, which really helped. She and her husband even cooked dinner for us one night. A particular thanks to Zaida and David of the IPED Spanish school for arranging this trip and looking after us. With kids involved, I am very happy we had their guidance and help.  It is one thing to wing it as a couple and another to do it with kids.

This sounds wonderful! Looks like you guys really had a great time in Costa Rica. Lovely photos! Nice share!
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