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Costa Rica - Turtles and Rainforest
Wendy and Amy at the Flower Market
Costa Rica Tour - Turtles and Rainforest. This was one of The Great Vacations! We made new discoveries and new friends every day. Everyone we met was delightful, and Adventure Life's organization ran without a flaw. Thanks to all involved!
San Jose--Hotel Le Bergerac
Note: This was the second trip with Adventure Life for me and my wife Wendy--three months earlier we'd gone on a tour of Patagonia, and found the trip so fantastic that we talked our friend Amy Litos into joining us for Costa Rica. The Patagonia trip was a celebration. We didn't travel during 2004 because I was battling colon cancer, getting …
Pacuare Nature Reserve: Day One
After breakfast the next morning, our driver arrived for the long trip to Pacuare Nature Reserve. Marvin, the driver (he, like most of the guides, anglicized his name. Amy speaks excellent Spanish, and I can stumble by even without her, so that wasn't really necessary) was friendly and efficient. He stopped often to let us enjoy and photograph …
Pacuare Nature Reserve: Day Two
For the next morning Alvaro took us on a nature walk. Now, this is deep in the Costa Rican jungle at the Caribbean coast, so calling this a "nature walk" doesn't do it justice. Helliconias grew in outlandish variety, each more extravagant than all the others, with other plants even more exotic.
[Photo 8: Helliconia in the …
Selva Bananito: Day One
After two nights, we left this wonderful spot and its delightful people for the Selva Bananito Lodge.
This was decidedly less rustic, but no less adventurous. The cabins are beautiful and comfortable, and each has only three walls. The fourth opens onto the most glorious view I've ever had in a hotel: a mist-shrouded mountain forest seen …
Selva Bananito: Day Two
The next day presented a choice of many activities. We chose a hike up a creek bed to a waterfall. Justo was our guide throughout the stay, and he was great--quiet but always helpful and knowledgeable, perfect for our group.
One of the honeymooning couples joined us, and we were all enchanted by the array of wildlife along the creek--frogs, …
Selva Bananito Lodge: Day Two
The next day was devoted to a jungle walk and zip line. This area was different from the Pacuare Reserve; it was higher in the mountains, cooler, with a different flora and fauna. We encountered a coral snake, hummingbirds, toucans, and more ants than I've ever seen in one place, including parades of Leaf Carrier Ants, engaged in their appointed …
Whitewater Rafting on the Pacuare
We left the lodge the next morning at 7 AM sharp for a day of whitewater rafting on the Pacuare River with Exploradores Outdoors. The Pacuare is one of the favorite rivers for the sport. Its rapids reach Class V, stopping just short of the "certain death" level that some thrill-seekers demand. It was our first time (we've been back …
Epilogue: Pura Vida!
Wendy and I have a custom. At the end of any trip, on the way home--not a moment sooner--we ask each other what was our favorite part of the trip. On this one, we really couldn't choose. The hotel and restaurant were superb, the turtle adventure on the beach and the surrounding jungle were inimitable, the beauty and serenity of the Selva Bananito …
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