Back from two weeks in beautiful CR with a trip report of highs and lows.
First the lows since there are not many:
1. A shoutout to Nature Air---If your business model continues to be to send people down to the Osa without their luggage and not disclosing that is the general rul and then then not sending the luggage until the next day, then we'll buy up whatever SANSA stock we can----no mas!
2. To a certain beautifully built, cared for, and situated central valley lodge---If you don't have any horses in your equestrian center and no alternative for horseback riding available, then stop telling your incoming guests to wait until they arrive to reserve a time for horseback riding AND if you're not planning a New Year's Eve party with some music don't gladly take reservations for the annual New Year's Eve party!
Now the highs-
1. Wilson Rojas and Elsy Bonilla at Coati Tours in Naranjo---What a pleasure to deal with tour operators and drivers who know not only the Gringo and European favorites, but who also take pride in knowing and leading foks to Tico owned projects. We spent a great morning with Wilson going to San Vincente a tiny town near San Carlos with a beautiful little waterfall, a small soda with crumptious beef stew for lunch, and a coop spirit un every civil aspect of town life. Elsy located a young man to guide us through pastures and forest to the waterfall-great bird spotting and a coati chased by a dog from a small row of corn plants preceded the excellent lunch which also featured a great blackberry punch They also took us to Rancho Amalia, near Zarcero where we rode through dairy land and forests for two hours with wonderful vistas which included sighting of Arenal and even the Pacific. The owner's sister--living in Detroit was visiting with her two children--all delightful companions and the horses were well tended and healthy. Wilson also suggested Termales del Bosque for a couple of hours of hot spring bathing and a massage before heading back---a great afternoon treat! On the same day, Wilson suggested a stop at San Luis Adventure park which is on the way to Arenal-----a zip line activity with great guides and an exhiliarating 550 meter final trip at Superman height and speed.
We topped off the day with a visit to the market in Naranjo and to a coffee shop favorite of Wilson's for the best central valley coffee you can;t buy here in the US. We met Elsy-Wilson's wife- a charming, effervescent young woman with whom we had had several email exchanges in planning the trip--what a wonderful couple--professional and fairly priced throughout!
2. Trogon Lodge--We've been to the Savegre Valley before but this was our first stay at Trogon Lodge-----very warm and comfortable cabins amidst crisp mountain scenery-lots of hummingbirds, very friendly and helpful staff, a nice sendero, questzales nearby, and good meals (especially if you are a fan of fresh truchas). While there, the staff helped arranged a high point of our plan which was to walk down from Cerro de Buena Vista-the highest of the Cerro de la Muerte area-second highest in the country to Chrippo----to Savegre Lodge---our guide,, the young, intrepid Mr. Suria whose mom runs a nice small hotel and restaurant next door to Savegre Lodge steered us throug the four or five micro bio systems from paramo to stream forest-----tons of steep turns, tons of beautiful vistas, eerie cloud forest vegetation and lots of great birds-----while this is ibilled as a 5 to 5/1/2 hour walk it took us close to 7 hours because of an injury---with no complaint or hurry up attitude from young Mr. Suria----- we highly recommend this activity.
3, Casa Laurin--Ginette Laurin runs a quiet and clean B and B in Escazu-walking distance to restaurants-including La Cascada whose grass fed beef steaks are a delicious alternative to what we usually eat in the US. Ginette is funny andsuper friendly; she knows a lot about everything and what make a terrific hostess and tour planner for first timers. We enjoyed our stay with her which included our arrival night on Christmas where we had (surporisingly) a full turkey dinner with excellent wine from the Walmart and a mid trip respite from action before heading down to our final destination on the Osa! A bargain!
4. Last but as always-the best--We spent five nights at Bosque del Cabo. This is the third time we've been there and we be going back again for sure! If all they had was their perfect location and grounds at Cabo Matapalo, that would be enough to bring us back. If all they had was the abundant wildlife- on the land and in the air- that would be enough to bring us back. If all they had was the wonderful food prepared by world class chef Maureen, that would be enough to bring us back. What is most impressive, though, is the absolutely smiley faced, warm, positive, vibe of every single person who works there from Phil and Kim, to Phillip and Carlos, to all the servers, bartenders, groundskeepers, and cleaners. Bosque keeps getting better and better. What a pleasure to stay there--we might even try to go without cameras next time!
So another fine mix of Tico adventures and lux environs. -much more expensive than the bargain priced vacation it was when we started coming for the fishing in 1994, but still our favorite place on earth to visit!Edited: 10 January 2014, 19:40