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Costa Rica March-April 2021. National parks, hiking trails, beaches

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Costa Rica March-April 2021. National parks, hiking trails, beaches

serrs ” 06 Oct 2021, 12:10

During the month from March to April I visited 7 places in Costa Rica. They were all very different, from the hot beaches of the Pacific and Caribbean coasts to the mountain gorge of San Gerardo de Dota, where the temperature dropped to 7 degrees in the morning and only two thick blankets saved me. The first thing I was interested in was nature, beautiful views, animals and hiking trails. But even though the beaches were kind of last, on both coasts I rented bungalows a stone’s throw away from stunning deserted beaches with both beautiful views and lots of wild animals and birds. To summarize my itinerary for Costa Rica: Drake Bay on the Pacific Coast and Corcovado National Park, San Gerardo de Dota, Monteverde, Cahuita on the Caribbean Coast, the Serapiqui River and Tirimbina Park, Caño Negro Reserve and, finally, Arenal Volcano. I left the latter for an appetizer, because in the town of La Fortuna I could take a coronavirus test with the result the next day, take a bus and, without stopping in San Jose, drive to the airport. Pacific Coast Magnificent Quetzal Cloud Forest Monteverde Caribbean Coast Toucan in Tirimbina Park, Serapiqui Caño Negro Arenal Covid Reserve, of course, made significant adjustments to the trip conceived back in ’19. But what a joy it was, after a year of uncertainty and lockdowns, to finally break free, roll my suitcase easily through the brightly lit and glittering with bottles tax-free half-empty airport, look with satisfaction at the short list of flights and go to the boarding with grace and leisure! However, I was in for a surprise at the gate to Costa Rica. Just like in the good old pre-Pandemic times, a crowd of two girls had gathered there, not keeping any distance and exhaling billions of viruses. The transatlantic flight from Madrid to San Jose was packed to capacity. And no wonder: Costa Rica is one of the few countries that accept foreign tourists without quarantine, vaccinations or having to stick a stick up your nose. To pass the passport control, enough health insurance (about $ 10 per day), purchased online from one of the three state-approved firms, and the declaration of your good health in the form of QR-code on a cell phone. If you are also vaccinated by Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson, the above health insurance is not required at all. I must say that from an epidemiological point of view, Costa Rica seemed to me quite safe. Without any vaccinations, but wearing a mask and with washed hands, I spent a month safely traveling around the country by bus and cab. In general, hand washing in Costa Rica has become a cult. In the first hostel with an address like “70 meters to the right of the third intersection” (Costa Rica only relatively recently introduced numbering and not everyone is used to it yet), the hostess met me with a spray gun, sprayed disinfectant on her hands and only then began to talk to me. The next morning the same ritual was performed with me by the pilot of the plane to Drake Bay. There are handwashing machines everywhere – in bus stations, at the entrances to stores, banks, and national parks. If you forget to wash your hands absentmindedly, you will be politely asked to do so. They will also take your temperature. The same applies to wearing a mask. Before the bus departs, the driver walks around the cabin and reminds you to cover your mouth and nose.

All the way around the bus, the wind blows out the rest of the germs. At the same time, it is not necessary to wear a mask in the street or inside the park. The staff of a decent hotel will be sure to wear gloves and a mask, the tables in the restaurant are disinfected, and the food is under caps or behind glass. Measuring the temperature at the entrance to Corcovado Park Despite the good occupancy of Iberia planes, the total number of flights to Costa Rica during the pandemic is still small, and I have not observed any particular influx of tourists. On the contrary. Sometimes you could walk for hours through a national park without meeting a single person. Hotels and restaurants were usually half-empty. I did not see tourists from Asian countries at all. Quite a lot of tourists from Germany. Well, as elsewhere, domestic tourism has increased: Costa Ricans themselves have traveled more in their country and visited their national parks. I am going to write about all the places I visited in my next posts.

serrs newcomer Posts: 21 Photo: 211 Registration: 09/30/1921 City: Riga Thanked (a): 3 times. Has thanked: 7 times. Age: 66 Reports: 3 Gender: Male

Re: Costa Rica March-April 2021. National parks, hiking trails, beaches

serrs ” 14 Oct 2021, 19:12

All the way around the bus, the wind blows out the rest of the germs. At the same time, it is not necessary to wear a mask in the street or inside the park. The staff of a decent hotel will be sure to wear gloves and a mask, the tables in the restaurant are disinfected, and the food is under caps or behind glass. Measuring the temperature at the entrance to Corcovado Park Despite the good occupancy of Iberia planes, the total number of flights to Costa Rica during the pandemic is still small, and I have not observed any particular influx of tourists. On the contrary. Sometimes you could walk for hours through a national park without meeting a single person. Hotels and restaurants were usually half-empty. I did not see tourists from Asian countries at all. Quite a lot of tourists from Germany. Well, as elsewhere, domestic tourism has increased: Costa Ricans themselves have traveled more in their country and visited their national parks. I am going to write about all the places I visited in my next posts.

serrs newcomer Posts: 21 Photo: 211 Registration: 09/30/1921 City: Riga Thanked (a): 3 times. Has thanked: 7 times. Age: 66 Reports: 3 Gender: Male

serrs newcomer Posts: 21 Photo: 211 Registration: 09/30/2021 City: Riga Thanked (a): 3 times. Has thanked: 7 times. Age: 66 Reports: 3 Gender: Male

Re: Costa Rica March-April 2021. National parks, hiking trails, beaches

serrs ” 22 Oct 2021, 17:51

Where the quetzal live: San Gerardo de Dota and Monteverde

Resplendent Quetzal (aka quetzal, aka quesal) is a sacred bird of the ancient Aztecs and Mayans, the decoration of Guatemala’s flag and the name of its national currency, the dream of photographers and bird watchers. In Costa Rica, this rare and extremely beautiful bird is very likely to be found in the small mountain village of San Gerardo de Dota, on the border of Los Quetzales National Park. In addition to quetzals, it is home to a mass of hummingbirds and has a beautiful hiking trail. The village of San Gerardo de Dota is located in a deep mountain gorge at 2,100 meters above sea level near the Palmar Norte – San Jose trail. There are a couple of not-so-expensive hotels here, as well as more or less affordable bungalows. Public transportation from Drake’s Cove: 7:30 – 8:30 boat to Sierpe, then cab or “collectivo” (cab for several people) to Palmar Norte, at 10:00 Tracopa bus from Palmar Norte to San Jose via Cerro de la Muerte. Ask the driver to stop after San Isidro at kilometer 80 of the highway at the side road to San Gerardo de Dota. This will be at about 2:00 p.m. Arrange in advance with your hotel to have a cab sent for you. Hotel Trogon Lodge Booking a bungalow, it is advisable to make sure that there are at least warm blankets, as the temperature at night drops to 5 degrees (with a 35-degree heat on the coast). The small heater in my bungalow was no more warm than a regular hair dryer, and two thick blankets were a real salvation. Many of the hosts in the village raise trout. If you want, they will give you a fishing rod to catch your own dinner. You don’t have to take a guide to see the quetzal during the nesting season (February to May). Any local resident will show you where it lives. However, it only comes to the nest early in the morning and not every day. So by 6 a.m. you have to be in place, about 20 meters away, not to scare it away. As far as I understood, there are 2 nesting places in San Gerardo de Dota: one at the top of the village, not far from the highway, and the other at the bottom – between Trogon Lodge and Savegre hotels. And the difference in elevation and the distance between them is quite large, so without a guide and without a car in one morning to visit at once in two places will not work. I recommend the hiking trail to the waterfalls. The trail begins at the end of the village, behind the Lauraceas Garden, and follows a beautiful mountain river through a mossy cloud forest. Travel time from the start of the trail to the first waterfall is about 1.5 hours. Further (plus another half an hour of walking) the trail is not very well groomed: some rusted and broken iron steps, slippery in some places – it is better to turn back with small children. But the second section is much more beautiful and interesting. But the most interesting part is when you come to the goal of your walk and see that the second waterfall can only be descended along an almost steep wall, holding on to a thick rope with knots. All in all, San Gerardo de Dota is a beautiful place where I enjoyed spending three days. Especially since I was able to film the nest building process with a couple of quetzals – see video at the link below.

Monteverde I took the Transmonteverde bus from San Jose to Monteverde, departing at 2:30 p.m. from Terminal 7/10, to which it is better to take a cab from the Tracopa terminal for $5. Over Santa Elena, the administrative and tourist center of the province of Monteverde, there is a rainbow and wind almost daily. This town is 1,400 meters above sea level, and from here the famous cloud forests, or fog forests of Monteverde literally go into the sky. Here is the continental divide between the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Warm and humid air masses meet the mountains, cooling and forming the tiny water dust, which constantly saturates the local air. That is why all the trees in the cloud forest are thickly covered with moss and many epiphytic plants like orchids that live on them. All this gives the forest a mysterious and fairy-tale look. Even if you don’t encounter a wood sprite or at least one hundredth of the 500 species of animals and birds promised in the guidebook, you will remember your visit to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve for a long time. From the road to the Monteverde Reserve, you can see the Pacific Ocean. Personally, from 7 a.m. until closing time, I only saw a couple of sockeye, a flock of capuchin monkeys, and a man who saw a quetzal. That was something. Tired but satisfied, I returned home. I still had hope of seeing the coveted bird the next day in Curi Kancha Preserve. Curi Cancha Reserve will be more modest than Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve: it is much smaller in area and has no cafe. It is located a little lower and only a 40-minute walk from Santa Elena. Here there is more sun and there are open glades with single trees of wild avocados, which the quetzal feed on. The only thing to do is to ask at the entrance to be marked on the plan of the tree on which the fruit is ripe, because on different trees they do not ripen at the same time. The rest is a matter of luck (see video).

All the way around the bus, the wind blows out the rest of the germs. At the same time, it is not necessary to wear a mask in the street or inside the park. The staff of a decent hotel will be sure to wear gloves and a mask, the tables in the restaurant are disinfected, and the food is under caps or behind glass. Measuring the temperature at the entrance to Corcovado Park Despite the good occupancy of Iberia planes, the total number of flights to Costa Rica during the pandemic is still small, and I have not observed any particular influx of tourists. On the contrary. Sometimes you could walk for hours through a national park without meeting a single person. Hotels and restaurants were usually half-empty. I did not see tourists from Asian countries at all. Quite a lot of tourists from Germany. Well, as elsewhere, domestic tourism has increased: Costa Ricans themselves have traveled more in their country and visited their national parks. I am going to write about all the places I visited in my next posts.

And also went down to the waterfall ($6 for admission) where you can swim. That was the end of the quetzal plan, the Caribbean coast was waiting for me.

Locals get up early, so many establishments close before 8:00 p.m. and most restaurants close before 10:00 p.m.

serrs newbie Posts: 21 Photo: 211 Registration: 09/30/2021 City: Riga Thanked (a): 3 times. Has thanked: 7 times. Age: 66 Reports: 3 Sex: Male

Tips for vacations in Costa Rica

We’ve compiled 2019-2020 Costa Rica vacation reviews. Find out how tourists rate the weather, hotels, beaches, sea, tours and entertainment in the tropical country. What are the pros and cons of vacationing in Costa Rica in 2021.

Content:

Costa Rica weather reviews

Thanks to its subequatorial climate, Costa Rica is warm year-round. The average annual temperature is +22°C on the plains and +10°C in the mountains. True, in winter, frosts as low as -5°C are possible.

In the lowlands, where all Costa Rican resorts are located, during the year the temperature ranges from +27 ° C to +33 ° C. The Caribbean coast receives three times as much rainfall as the Pacific coast. The dry period lasts from December through April. It rains the least in the north of the Pacific Coast. Rainfall there occurs only in the spring and fall.

Will: “It didn’t rain anywhere in March. Only when we arrived in Cowita the day before we had some rain. Then the moisture evaporated and it got hotter and hotter every day. In the afternoon there was often a haze in the sky.”

Elena: “We were lucky in August. On the coast it rained once in all 6 days of our stay, but it was a downpour from lunch until almost evening.

Vasily: “In October and December we had a lot of rain in the mountains of Costa Rica. We`ve been in heavy downpour 3 times, when the wipers turned on to the maximum, could not cope. There was almost no visibility.

Playa Cocles, Puerto Viejo (Photo: unsplash.com / @mohsenbencheikh)

Tourist reviews of hotels in Costa Rica

Look for discounted hotels on Rumguru. Here are the top rules for finding hotels.

Reviews of vacations in Costa Rica

Tourists stay in comfortable hotels 4-5* (there are even with all inclusive), budget hotels 2-3* or inexpensive gesthouses – small family hotels. Many houses for rent – rent for short and long term. In reviews of hotels in Costa Rica in 2019-2020 tourists note that the staff speaks good English. Many like the high level of service.

Most of all expensive hotels in the capital of the country – the city of San Jose. There are small comfortable hotels in coastal villages, near waterfalls and in the jungle. On their territory you can meet iguanas, parrots, lemurs, capuchin monkeys and raccoon-like coatis.

Montezuma (Photo: unsplash.com / @miloezger)

To make your vacation in Costa Rica in 2021 a success, study the reviews of tourists about hotels and make your choice.

Sergey : “Pros of the Courtyard by Marriott San Jose Airport Alajuela 3* are the convenient location near the airport and shopping center. Good and varied breakfast.

Alexander : “Hotel Presidente San Jose City Center 4* – all attractions within walking distance. Always a free cup of tea or coffee in the lobby.

Adelante-66 : “The pluses of the Hotel Banana Azul 3* are the remoteness from the road, the absence of dust, the fabulous greenery, the silence and the singing of the birds.

Tourist Reviews of Costa Rica

We found negative reviews for hotels in Costa Rica.

Andrey : “Hotel Radisson San Jose-Costa Rica 4* needs renovation. The ventilation in the rooms doesn’t work. The seats are stained and streaked, the bathroom is old, all in cracks.”

Hotel Banana Azul (Photo: booking.com / Hotel Banana Azul)

Reviews of the Beaches and Sea in Costa Rica

Tourists love Costa Rica for its beautiful sandy beaches. The sand here has different shades: white, silver, yellow, and black. The Playa del Coco coast is loved by divers, Tamarindo and Jaco by surfers, and Playa Flamingo is visited for sea fishing.

Playa Grande Beach is famous for being the place where turtles lay their eggs. Playa Conchal is covered with amazing white sand. Bonita and Portete beaches are popular on the Atlantic coast, and Jaco and Punta Leona on the Pacific.

ekaterinam1804: “Punta Uva Beach is a very beautiful and peaceful place! The views of the seascape are marvelous! Especially beautiful after the rain: the rainbow appears all over the sky.”

Reviews of Costa Rica

kamalissa: “Everything in Puerto Viejo was beautiful – both the Caribbean Sea and the endless sandy beaches. There are beaches with black sand.”

INMSpace: “The beach at Manuel Antonio was fantastic! Velvet yellow sand, clear blue water, and a wall of rainforest along the entire beach! It’s hard to cool off, though, as the water is very warm at +28°C.”

Haco Beach (Photo: unsplash.com / @lindarose)

Tourist reviews of excursions in Costa Rica

Most of the excursions in the country are related to outdoor activities. These are rafting on mountain rivers, trips to waterfalls, coffee and sugar cane plantations. According to tourists, in Costa Rica, it is interesting to take part in “Canopy tour” – a spectacular trip through the jungle on a tightrope.

Reviews of vacations in Costa Rica

cflippen: “We are happy with the rafting on the Balsa River. Before getting on the raft, we practiced paddling. An experienced guide took us through several rapids. ,

sa21199: “On our honeymoon we rafted the Amigos del Rio. The guides were amazing! They were very friendly.”

Zipline instructor in Costa Rica (Photo: unsplash.com / @perrygrone)

Tourist reviews of attractions in Costa Rica

  • The name of the country translates to “rich coast”. Indeed, there is a lot to see in Costa Rica. Natural reserves and national parks are especially good. People come to Costa Rica to climb active volcanoes and see exotic plants and animals.
  • In reviews, tourists advise to visit the attractions of Costa Rica:
  • Arenal, Irasu, Turrialba, Poas volcanoes
  • Ruins of the ancient city of Guayabo
  • National parks Corcovado, Manuel Antonio, Monteverde, La Amistad, Guanacaste
  • Tortuga and Cocos Islands
  • Caves Wenado
  • Lake Arenal
  • La Fortuna and Nahuaca waterfalls

San Jose Gold Museum

Tabacon Thermal Springs Park

To plan your vacation in Costa Rica in 2021, read tourist reviews about the attractions.

Locals get up early, so many establishments close before 8:00 p.m. and most restaurants close before 10:00 p.m.

Irina Dementieva: “At the observation deck of the volcano Poas, at an altitude of 2700 meters, you are allowed to stay only 20 minutes. We were lucky, we saw the volcano in many different guises.

Anika2018: “The main things that make Costa Rica so attractive to tourists are volcanoes, nature reserves, a variety of flora and fauna, the Pacific Ocean with its incredibly beautiful sunsets.

Basilica de Nuestra Señora de Los Angeles, Cartago (Photo: unsplash.com / @jim_ahlberg)

Pros and cons of vacationing in Costa Rica

  • Tourists who visited Costa Rica in 2019 and 2020 left many positive reviews. The country came to the taste of connoisseurs of warm sea, good beaches and outdoor activities.
  • The pluses of rest in Costa Rica in 2021, according to reviews of tourists:
  • For Russians – the possibility of visa-free entry for up to 90 days.
  • The mild warm climate.
  • Beautiful nature.
  • Excellent sandy coast.
  • Clean sea.
  • The benevolent locals.

A lot of good hotels.

A relaxed atmosphere.

  • Juliet75rus: “Despite the fact that the country is poor and lags behind European standards, the service in hotels is 10 out of 10! The most gorgeous hotels I’ve been to are definitely Costa Rican.
  • Cons :
  • Long flight – about 17 hours.
  • Living and vacationing in Costa Rica is not cheap at all – everything is geared toward Americans.
  • The infrastructure is only evolving.
  • On the roads, local drivers easily drive on the wrong side of the road and by the side of the road.

There are poisonous insects and reptiles.

Locals get up early, so many establishments close before 8:00 p.m. and most restaurants close before 10:00 p.m.

The locals profess the principle of pura vida – “pure life”, “life is beautiful”. They are not in a hurry, they enjoy life, everything is done after the sleeves.

Hatchet-Harry: “In short, Costa Rica is a country of victorious idleness. … The same appearance of activity, concern for the welfare of all, and a total inability to do anything right.

Wind turbines in Costa Rica (Photo: unsplash.com / @ji_pak)

The nuances of vacationing in Costa Rica and tips for tourists

Hotels in Costa Rica are filled with tourists year-round. If you like an option, book a room in advance.

Do not expect to see a European-style infrastructure and special amenities. Costa Ricans have chosen ecotourism as a direction of development, so the authorities are making efforts to preserve the wildlife. Much less attention is paid to the level of urban economy.

There are many stores for tourists and expats. There is a wide range of products, but prices are high.

The climate in the coastal area and in the mountains is different. If you plan trips to the mountains or rain forests, bring warm clothes, athletic shoes and rain protection.

To see all the sights, rent a car, so you will save on excursions.

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