on travel, thoughts, and the art of short fiction

Archive for the ‘Costa Rica’ Category

Cahuita: Life on the Caribbean Coast

In Costa Rica on June 29, 2009 at 1:27 am

I turned 30 today right here overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It was the perfect place to welcome my third decade. Happy birthday to me!

After staying in San Jose with my friend Liza, my beautiful boyfriend flew out from New York to celebrate with me.  Wanting a nice romantic beach location, I scanned my guidebook for ideas. We ended up  taking a bus to the town of Cahuita nestled right on the Caribbean coast.

Cahuita, an English-speaking enclave of people, descendants of Jamaicans brought to Costa Rica as laborers, was truly a laid back and cool place. The people were so friendly and chill, I felt like I was in the Caribbean.

We stayed in a little backpackers bungalow right on the beach. A row of hammocks was set up right outside of our door overlooking the ocean. Every night, we were lulled to sleep by the sound of the ocean waves.  I opene the door in the morning to an exquisite view of the Caribbean Sea.

In the bungalow next door, is a couple from Australia. We buddied up for a few days playing dominoes like the locals (everywhere we went, men sat out with a bottle of beer and a game of dominoes), eating (I wasn’t too impressed with the food), snorkeling (watch out for the sea urchins) and grabbing drinks at local dive establishments.

Cahuita has a reputation for being dangerous. People in San Jose were constantly warning me about the dangers on the other side of the country. I found the exact opposite. People were extremely friendly and welcoming. I believe that common sense is always a persons best guide.

Cahuita Photo Gallery:

The town sign

a closer look

right outside my bungalow door

rocking chairs by the water's edge

the water was a little rough, right by the coast

me and Mark about to go snorkeling

serenity above, sea urchins below

the canopy trail about 1/4 of a mile from our bungalow- home to howler monkeys

monkeys in the canopy

the beautiful caribbean sea

hello mr. crab

a random pond near the canopy trail

i was intruiged by this mossy log

there were monkeys everywhere

the town mural

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Beautiful Arenal

In Costa Rica on June 26, 2009 at 6:01 am

On our way back from Nicaragua ( a very confusing way back due to a bus mix-up and a rain storm) we decided to stop in Arenal before returning to San Jose.

Arenal is the lush mountainous region in the north. It’s famous for its volcano.

Talk about fresh mountain air! Arenal was simply stunning.

I went on a hike through a rainforest canopy.

the first leg of my hike

the waterfall from a distance (this was to be our final destination)

how beautiful is that? once we entered the rainforest it was like stepping into a different world

this tree was enormous

at last, the waterfall up close

too bad i left my swim suit in san jose, but relaxing on the rocks will do

"seasons of mist and mellow fruitlessness"- keats

I went on a horseback trek through the mountains.

of course my horse was crazy and started galloping and running at record speeds away from the group

There were so many things to do, all of which were easily arranged at our hostel. Arenal is a major tourist stop in Costa Rica and there is no shortage of hostels and spur of the minute activities to partake in.

The Rich Coast

In Costa Rica on June 25, 2009 at 2:02 am

Costa Rica marked my first trip to Central America. It took me too long to visit. I can’t wait to return. “Latin America,” my friend Kelley recently described, “is a diverse rainbow.”

Her description of the people and the land was dead-on. Like many post-colonial nations, the people are a blend of their unique stories and histories. In the capital of San Jose a lot of the people seemed very Spanish European. Up North, the people had a different way about them, perhaps they had more Amerindian blood? They were very laid back and embodied the “gaucho” style. On the Caribbean Coast, were communities of people of African descent, brought over from Jamaica, and Island Patois was spoken.

Costa Rica was a beautiful blend of cultures, tastes, energy and art. I was acutely aware of one groups sparse numbers however. You are hard pressed to find many indigenous Amerindians, they have been virtually wiped out, the amazing, disappearing people. It is a sad reality, the dirty side of the Americas.

Anyhow, Costa Rica was a beautiful adventure. Pura Vida all the way!