After close to 20 hours travel time from Alaska we arrived in San Jose the evening of the 2nd of February. Clearing customs was very quick and Glen, from the Clara de Luna, had a driver meet us at the airport so we did not have to worry at all about transportation. The Clara de Luna was great and Glen was really a big help with planning routes we were going to take, tips on where to eat and he especially helped with the rental car people. Here's a link to the Casa Clara de Luna
We took off the morning of the 4th for MonteVerde. We'd driven in San Jose before and knew we didn't want to do that again. That was one reason for staying at the Clara de Luna, it's North of San Jose so it was much easier to get headed in the right direction. The road to Monteverde is very rough, sometimes 1st gear is too fast, and it's narrow and steep. Great views and lots of scenery though.
The thumbnail above is a picture taken along the road to MonteVerde.
It only took 5 hours or so for us to get to MonteVerde, and that includes getting lost and driving all the way to Puntarenas when we didn't need to.
This is the Sunset Hotel. It's a really nice place and it's away from the main roads so there is no dust to deal with. MonteVerde can get really dusty when it's dry and windy. It's got a great view to the West, you can see the Pacific, and the MonteVerde sunsets are awesome from here.
Above, left to right, is the front yard, Julie and me sitting on the porch and a sunset.
Here's Julie on one of the bridges at the Sky Walk tour. That was a lot of fun, we also went on up to the Santa Elena Preserve and walked around on their trails. Here is a video that might give you an idea what it's like to be in a cloud forest when a storm is coming in. It can get pretty chilly in MonteVerde, even in the summer!
After a few days in MonteVerde and it's back to Puntarenas - we're supposed to be here now. We're here to get on the ferry to get over to the Peninsula de Nicoya, we have a couple nights pre-paid at the hotel La Cascada
Here is a ferry in Puntarenas. It's not ours, we had to wait about 3 hours for ours. While we were waiting, we met Bob in the bar. He was a great help telling us how to get ferry tickets. What a scam that is!! There's a guy telling you where to park your car and another guy telling you how to buy tickets and they both, very forcibly, want tips for doing this for you. It was kind of funny once but if I ever go back they won't get another tip out of me.
I just liked this fishing boat.
Bob and his wife Sue turned out to be really great people and we kept looking them up/running into them all over for the next few days. We went out one in Montezuma night and cleaned up on the locals playing pool - Bob is a very good pool player and carried the rest of us.
Here's downtown Montezuma
This is a little beach we found one day when we were looking for Bob and Sue's hotel. We headed out the wrong direction and drove almost to Malpais before we decided their hotel was not out this way. We stopped and asked a lady on the road for directions and she told us to go ask at the next house which belonged to a friend of hers. The guys name was Dennis and he's the only one that gave us good directions for the hotel we were looking for. He also showed us his one winged pet Pelican. Fishermen had cut one wing off to untangle her from a net. She was a pretty cool bird. On the way back we stopped here and wasted the rest of the afternoon.
We got a late start when we left Montezuma because we'd spent most of the morning goofing off with Bob and Sue - had a hard time finding a place to eat lunch that day. That got us on the last ferry to Puntarenas so we got there in the dark. It was Festival time too. Lot's of parades, every couple blocks it seemed. Lots of traffic and people too. The roads are pretty good around there though so we decided we'd just keep heading South because we didn't really like Puntarenas much. We went a 100 kilometers or so and found a hotel to crash for the night. I'm not going to say the name of the place here but it was the absolute worst meal of the whole vacation.
The next day we had lots of time to do some sight seeing on the way to Dominical. We stopped in Quepos, pictured above, and even stopped in the El Gran Escape but we just weren't hungry enough to eat yet. It looks like a great place. Since we were there we went ahead and drove up to Manuel Antonio National Park to have a look. Probably a nice place but it was the most touristy, commercialized and crowded place we'd ever been in Costa Rica. We turned around and left without even taking a picture.
The next place we stayed at was George and Susan's Pacific Edge. One of the most incredible places we've ever stayed in Costa Rica!! We loved it there.
This was our cabina at the Pacific Edge