A travel blog of a journey that I started in 2010 and I don't know when it will end ...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Costa Rica

This time I decided to visit Costa Rica!
Traveling to Costa Rica in October-November is risky, you can have rain all day... Theoretically it is still rainy, but it depends on the year is good enough to discover the country. The best is that is still low season (cheaper and accommodation without booking requirements).
As I was traveling alone I didn’t consider renting a car. The public transport system works well and is cheap.




I didn’t have a defined route, just a list of places I wanted to go and things I wanted to do:
- After a day in the PN Corcovado the Osa Peninsula.
- The summit of Cerro Chirripó Chirripó PN.
- Visit the PN Tortugero
- See animals to get tired

The route I've done:




I flyed from Barcelona (BCN) to San Jose (SJO) stopping at Miami (MIA) with American Airlines.

San Jose and Poas Volcano
After the first night in San Jose (for another time I would choose Alajuela insted), in the morning I walk to the parque de la Merced to catch a bus to Alajuela and from there another bus to the Volcano Poas. The road climbs up to 2708m throught a valley full of strawberries and coffee plantations ...
The Poas Volcano National Park is a well-conditioned main crater and a path through a forest to the lake in the crater nuvulos Botos.


Returning to San Jose a little stroll through the center ... I think it's not worth spending much time.
The next morning I go to the Terminal Gran Caribe to catch a bus to Cariari.

Tortugero
To get to Tortugero, or you take a small plane that takes you in a heartbeat, or you have to go by bus until Cariari, change bus to Pavone, and then take an hour and a half boat across the river Tortugero to the village Tortugero.


I had the feeling of being back in the Amazon. From the boat, you can see some wildlife ...
We eat in a Soda, Casado with chicken.
The village is small, there is a side channel of the river and the other a huge beach.
The first night I choose the cheap ccommodation (room $ 7) Cabinas Meryscar.
In the morning I went with a guide and a canoe to the Tortugero National Park (TNP).
During the ride we see alligators, Garces, iguanas and several species of monkeys, in addition to countless birds of all colors and sizes.


The second night I changed accommodation. Princesa del Mar, for $ 10 a sea front room and a cozyer place.



In the afternoon I went to walk at the PNT until dark.
I have Dinner with Lora and Dimitri at Restaurant Miss Miriam, really nice Caribbean food.

Restaurant Miss Miriam (Caribbean Food)


La Selva Biological Reserve (Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui)
I take off the bus 2km before arriving in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, and I walk about 800 meters to the entrance of the La Selva Biological Reserve . Is the perfect place to observe another way birds and plants in Costa Rica. This is a private reserve, with facilities for up to 100 researchers from Universities all around the world.
I stay one night.
At the same afternoon I go for a walk to many of the trails. I have dinner with the director of the center and the 5 researchers that are these days in the facilities of the reserve.
In the morning, after breakfast, I do the sighting of birds with a guide. I see Iguanas, Canchos Monte (White-Lipped Peccary), the Ranes Blue jeans and green and black, and many birds ... Crested Pava, Motmot, toucans, Guacamayos bats ....


After this 3 hours visit, I grab my stuff and leave ... On the road I stop a taxi heading towards Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui, and after pact the price I take the ride ....

La Fortuna (Arenal Volcano)
At Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui I take a bus to San Carlos de Quesada and from there another to La Fortuna.
It is a  cool vilage with good views of the volcano if is not cludy (as I've found).
I go with Kiko and Laura to walk Cerro Chato, we were luky because we were in the forest when start to rain… it look like a little rain inside the forest but it was a raining cats and dogs outside. We couldn’t see uncovered the Arenal volcano from Cerro Chato.


We saw the La Fortuna Waterfall from a far viewpoint and the $ 10 of entry we saved we used to took a taxi to go to Chollito, part of a river with thermal water that is not run by springs and it’s free.
I decided to go to Santa Elena (Monteverde) the next day.

Santa Elena (Monteverde)
From la Fortuna to Santa Elena I take a bus that goes surrounding the Lake Arenal, it takes ages...
The next day I visit the Hanging Bridges of Selvatura, the Natural Reserve of Santa Elena.

After resting a little I booked the Kinkajou Night Walk, It is the perfect place to observe different species of animals such as: sloths, armadillos, porcupines, possums, coatis, bassaricyon (olingos) y kinkajous (martillas).



Puerto Jiménez and Parque Nacional Corcovado
At Puerto Jiménez I arrive at 20:30 pm .... 
I'm staying at Cabinas The Corner, near the bus stop.  Kiko y Laura recommend it. It's a good choice.... a quiet and close to everything in town. 
I have been in touch (via Whatsapp) for the last two days with Juan Carlos, a guide that a friend from Tarragona recommended me to see he can find any group to enter at the Corcovado National Park (PNC) with them. 
In the morning I meet with Juan Carlos, and he tells me the routes that can be done at this time of the year, the rates (minimum for two people)... We talk about his life, and what else I can do around Puerto Jimenez. The first thing he advise me is to make the booking for access to the park and place to sleep at Sirena station. 
I go to the office of PNC and I make a reservation for 3 days and 2 nights at Sirena. The transfer must be made before 4 pm at Banco Nacional (it's like a game... no credit cards or cash..). Now I have to find at least one person or another group to share a guide. From 2014, is required to access the park with accredited guide. 
I visit the village, and I eat a brilliant ceviche in a small soda - Cebicheria Marbella (100% recommended) 


At the afternoon, and through Juan Carlos I meet a French couple (Charlotte and Clement) who are going into the park with another guide. They adopt me! Their guide agreed...

So I'm in!... and that's how I meet who will be our guide to the PNC, Roger Muñoz. I make the payment at the bank for the access and accommodation, buy some food and relax.

The route 

Corcovado has an unusual level of biodiversity in a similar area size on the planet. The area includes about 25 ecosystems which hosted grands populations of species such as the jaguar, puma, the tapir and pig monte. 

During our route I saw monkeys tern, Congo and spiders, bears or tamandúas ants, Coates, tapir, bats, toucans, frogs .... 



and as far as we went out of the park ... we see Babies turtles being Born on the Beach... Baula turtle.


Guides: 
Juan Carlos Araya Mesén www.corcovadodreams.com (+506) 89637092 
Roger Muñoz motmotcorcovado@gmail.com (+50685156852) 

When we return to Puerto Jimenez, I do a rest day. 
well.... At 8 am I went to the Corcovado Park's office to see if they can help me to book a permission to go to Parque Nacional Chirripó. 
Jessica rolled and lots band officially called to see if we could book directly.. no luck. She let use the phone to try make reservations .... 45 minutes trying to connect with the office's responsible for giving permission ... when we almost gave up, we connect .... and we arrange the reservations ...! 
After making the payment in to the bank, I went to the Mangroves by Kayak. 
And I have a Casado for dinner! 

Some Fotos: