Tag Archives: costarica

The wild Animal side of Costa Rica

Costa Rica was the perfect country to find oodles of animals.  Whether we were camping on the beach or deep in the jungle we would hear or see wild animals all around us.  Only once did a raccoon try to rob us, but a little american boy played vigilante for us.  Costa Rica was by far the most expensive place that we have visited, it reminds me of a tropical California.  Unlimited things to see and do, but it’ll cost ya.

We went on a three hour hike with 700 dogs at Territorio de Zaguates.  I had been following this dog sanctuary on facebook for at least a year maybe longer.  It seemed crazy but I wanted to see this place for myself, how it could exist and it what state.  Our dog is in the Midwest with Chris’ brother so we were in need of some pup-time.  There’s so many dogs here its one thousand percent overwhelming.  Overall it was a decent experience, while you are going for the hike with these dogs you can’t help but wonder what’s the deal.  The owner is a vet who used to have a cow farm and started taking in strays.  People from the area drop dogs off at the gate daily.  Eventually the vet sold his cows and turned his farm land into a home for strays.  Even though he is a vet he is not aloud to treat any of the animals at his sanctuary or he will lose his licence.  In July 2016 the month that we visited they had 160 successful adoptions and almost 6000 since they have been opened in the last four years.  This was relieving to hear because for a minute while you are there you wonder if you just found the craziest dog hoarder of all time.  Here’s their facebook page if you would like to donate and help out.  Territorio de Zaguates

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It’s hard not to smile

 

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Christian was serenaded buy a local with our guitar
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white face monkey

We parked and camped on the beach near Manuel Antonio National Park for about $3 a day.  The monkeys showed up in the morning and stole everyone’s fruit, they mostly were stealing mangoes and mamoes.  To the locals these adorable creatures were a nuisance but I just couldn’t get enough of them.

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Tiny Titi Monkeys snatching up bananas very quickly
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titi monkeys, one could fit in a coffee cup

We were camping in the southwest corner of Costa Rica and while we were doing our chores you could hear this tiny squeaking like sound from a bird, bug or a chipmunk.  We sat outside the van under the awning and I could see tree branches bouncing around, so we stood still.  Yes! They started jumping out of trees and flying from one branch to the next.  There was a little girl throwing pieces of banana out in the garden and the tiny Titi monkeys were coming out of the woods for it.

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Our first Sloth sighting

We were walking about five minutes through Manuel Antonio Park and way up in this tall tree was the cutest sloth taking a nap while smiling.  How ridiculous is that guy.

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Manuel Antonio Beach

The beaches in Costa Rica are not just picture perfect, they are exactly what you imagine when you’re in the states battling terrible weather or having a bad day at the job and you have to “go to your happy place.”  The natural scenery is colorful, alive and wild.  The water is warm and all shades of blue and green.  Don’t miss out on Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica, the picture of the first sloth on down are all taken on our hike through this awesome park.  Pro-tip: bring your bathing suits on this hike, we did not because we had no clue what we were walking into.

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Momma and her infant
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the stripe down her back denotes a female sloth
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slow down
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Manuel Antonio National Park
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snack time
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Manuel Park Beach

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Until next time Costa Rica, you are amazing!

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Off to the captivating Costa Rica and through the jungle by zipline.

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Driving towards the coast

We spent our first week in Costa Rica hunting for the best beaches, little did we know that the first beach we found would be the best and our favorite.  Pro-tip: Look for Hotel Playa Conchal just southwest of Playa Brasilito, drive down the beach access road until it ends and opens up in a beautiful cove.  The drive to beach was anything but dull right off the highway.  The road turned into a rugged dirt route quickly and here is where we met our first of many river crossings.  We would let the dinky cabs pass us first before diving the van into the river, all went well.

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Our first camp-spot in Costa Rica

We showed up here late Sunday afternoon which is a noob-move and we knew that.   The beach was packed until sunset, after the sun sets it completely empties for the week.  We pull up to the beach careful not to hit the soft sand and then we dug in.  As soon as we woke up the next morning we slid the sidedoor open to the water and we have the beach to ourselves.  This van has a room with a view like none other.

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Playa Conchal.  Pura Vida

My favorite moment here that sticks out in my mind is probably our third day on the beach.  Christian and I split the day by staying in the shade under our awning or dipping in the bay for a swim to cool off.  Off in the distance we see a family of four kayaking right towards us from the other side of this bay.  The mom approaches us under the awning and asks us “how much are ya’ll renting four-wheelers for?”  Christian replies very nicely “Mmm I am not sure how much they are but I think you can rent them down the beach at the hotel.”  Lovely mother of two replies “Ugh, so you’re what are doing then, just sitting here?”  She was damn right, we were just sitting and soaking up this kick-ass place while not doing a thing.  She thought quite highly of us thinking that we were running a four-wheel tour company out of our van though.

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This place is free
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Let’s never leave
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We found this awesome waterfall on the side of the road

Our drives through this country were Christian’s favorite part of Costa Rica, pull over anywhere and you are guaranteed to see at least a waterfall.

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Driving through Costa Rica

MonteVerde National Park, Costa Rica

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I was feeling brave and excited when we arrived to Monte Verde, Costa Rica.   On our PanAmerican-Highway Trip Bucket List is another box I was ready to check off, zip-lining above the Rainforest.

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Christian in the first part of the mile-series lines
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Superman over the jungle for a mile

I am a nervous wreck when it comes to heights, I get dizzy standing on a chair or using a short ladder.  I can’t even watch someone cliff-dive on TV without getting butterflies.  Zip-lining over the tree-tops is way beyond pushing my comfort zone.  Honestly I loved this, it was dreadfully marvelous.

After MonteVerde we camped down at Lake Arenal for a few days making our way around Costa Rica.  We had a lot of rain here so working our day (finding groceries and a bank) around the down pours was our only qualm here.  Two blocks from this camp spot into town was a German Bakery that sold all things delicious.

We received insider information where we could find free thermal springs right across the street from a pricey Hotel Spa.  The directions were iffy but I mean what else do we have to do, nada.  We brought nothing with us beyond a go-pro, yet again another novice move.  What’s our deal, right?  Next time…cold drinks, snacks or a cooler full of hot springs items at least.  This gem was found underneath a small highway bridge.