Costa Rica  September 2012     It has been 14 years since our last trip to Costa Rica.  This is our third visit, and we're excited to explore the south Pacific coast of Costa Rica.  After one night in San Jose, we drove to the mountain town of Atenas, located in the Central Valley, the coffee growing region of Costa Rica.   We stayed at Vista Atenas, a small b&b with amazing views of the valley.

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coffee bushes

We drove to Manuel Antonio on the southern Pacific coast; it has not changed much since our last visit.  The town is too touristy for us, but the ocean views and the national park are beautiful.

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Costa Verde hotel had a room which was part of 727 fuselage tucked into the forest! 

 

Our next stop was the small surfing village of Dominical where we had great smoothies and snacks.  Just a few miles south was the town of Uvita, with great amenities, hotels and beautiful isolated beaches.

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We saw so many animals: squirrel monkeys, howler monkeys, coatimundis, sloths, iguanas, toucans, parrots, scarlet macaws, whales and many birds.  The humpback whales travel 5,000 miles to have their babies in the warm waters here in September and October, before heading north.

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squirrel monkey

 

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howler monkey

 

 

We met Annie Drake from Greenleaf Realty, and her parrot, Buffy.  Annie is originally from Georgia, and she has been living here for many years.  She showed us property, and she gave us information about the area.  Annie is a wonderful person, and so helpful.

 

We stayed in Uvita at a lovely home of a U.S. expat.  The house had a beautiful view of the ocean and was tucked in the rainforest.  The howler monkeys and birds woke us in the morning.  We enjoyed the owner's pets on the property.

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We stayed a few nights in Ojochal, a small village off the beaten track with gourmet restaurants and a growing expat community.  We rented a cottage which was designed and built in Bali.   The owners of the property were expats from the U.S.  We were treated to eggs from their chickens and homemade banana bread.   I took a private yoga class for $5 on the property's yoga platform.  Their 5 acre property had trails, a river, beautiful gardens and a labyrinth.  We were greeted every morning by their dog.

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We visited Ventana beach, which has some sea caves which you're able to go through.  The beach was practically deserted; so peaceful and relaxing.

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El Castillo, a small hotel with restaurant in Ojochal, had amazing views of the ocean and Osa Peninsula.  We enjoyed our afternoon lunch and cocktails by the pool.

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On our drive back to San Jose, we stopped in Manuel Antonio.  We were in our hotel when we experienced an earthquake.  The building was shaking for several seconds.  The epicenter was 87 miles west of San Jose and north of us, and it had a magnitude of 7.6.  Luckily, because the earthquake was deep, no major damage happened.  Whew!

We thoroughly enjoyed our third trip to beautiful Costa Rica....fascinating nature, stunning views, nice beaches, good weather, great food and coffee and of course, the lovely people.  We'll be back!!

 

 

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