Monday, December 8, 2008

Costa Rica

We just got back from a family vacation to Costa Rica. We had a great time hanging out with PoPa, MoMa, and Josh. Travelogue:

Day 1: We hopped on a flight from Denver to Houston, and then finally landed in San Jose. After a long day of travel we headed over to our hotel and crashed out.

Day 2: We got in our rental car and decided to check out Poas National Park, or more specifically the active volcano therein. Unfortunately, the weather (hucking down rain) and lack of time made us turn back at the entrance. The drive up gave us a taste of what traveling around Costa Rica would be like - bad roads, sketchy drivers, and pedestrians walking nonchelantly down the middle of the road. It's not suprising that Costa Rica has one of the highest vehicle accident rates in the world. Eventually we made it to down to our bungalow in Playa Hermosa and unpacked and settled in.

Day 3: Wanting to check out some local stuff, we drove around the countryside near Jaco. We stopped at a bridge overlooking the Tarcoles River to watch the crocodiles sunbathe. After that drove into the foothills to see a local fauna zoo. Xander wasn't to sure about the snakes and frogs, but everyone loved the monkeys.

Day 4: Josh, Rochelle and I decided to hike into Carara National Park for a few hours. It was really pouring but the jungle was thick with a dense canopy. There were some really cool plants and tress, but not many animals on display. We did a 10km loop, ate some lunch, and headed home pretty soaked.

Day 5: The whole group loaded up and drove south down to Quepos to check out Manuel Antonio National Park. None of had bothered to read up before we left, so of course when we arrived the park was closed - for cleaning. It was like that scene where the Griswalds get to WallyWorld and it was closed. Major bummer! Anyhow, it was a beautiful day so we hit la playa and had a great time. Xander had a great time playing in the surf with PoPa.

Day 6: The zip-lines were calling us (well Josh and I) so we dragged Rochelle up into the mountains to take a canopy tour. It was definately one of the trip's highlights. There were about 13 segments with one that was around 700 meters - all crazy fast and high. After Chelle stopped shaking she actually started to enjoy herself (somewhere around the fourth segment). =)

Day 7: It was back to Quepos to explore Manuel Antonio N.P and let me tell you, it did not dissapoint. We hiked in through the entrance and not a mile in we saw sloths and boas high up in the trees. We didn't stand a chance locating the animals in the dense foilage by ourselves so we poached tour groups. It was simple, if you saw a group of gringos looking up into the canopy with cameras in hand, there was a good chance you were going to see something cool. We spent a few more hours in the park walking around the trail systems that went from thick jungle to pristine beaches.

Day 8: Back to Quepos (yet again) for a catamaran tour. The boat took us around some smaller offshore islands. Eventually we stopped in a small bay to do some snorkeling. The water was your typical Pacific murky but we did spot a few colorful fish. The crew served us an awesome meal and we imbibed tasty rum drinks in the sun. Fun and relaxing indeed.

Day 9: We basically just chilled around the bungalow and played on the beaches. That evening we threw Xander a pre-birthday party. It was a nice way to end the trip.

Day 10: Packed everything up and drove back to San Jose on a different, but definately "entertaining" road. Eventually we got home and crashed hard after a long day of travel.

Pictures
Gallery 1 - Gallery 2 - Gallery 3 - Gallery 4

Video
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Tarcoles River Crocs

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Playa Quepos

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B on a Zip Line