Costa Rica has two seasons – wet and dry. We went there in March which is almost the end of the wet season – yes, there were some mini-wet days, but for the most part we were spared the incessant rains of the region. Additionally, we were able to catch the lush greenery everywhere because the rains had just ended.
Our trip was arranged by a custom package tour company called “Pacific Trade Winds” who did an absolutely wonderful job in arranging the trip for us and taking care of every need. Quite a few meals were paid for, there was a vehicle available to take us to our next destination and they were extremely flexible and understanding in planning the trip destinations and stays with us. The vehicle drivers were all very friendly, professional English speaking drivers that knew about the area very well and stopped at various spots so we could see the abundance of wild-life! (Wait!!! Did you plant that two-toed sloth up in the tree? How could you spot it while driving at 60 miles an hour?) ☺
Of course, this being our family trip, as always, we made the best of the 7 days that we had there and drove from coast-to-coast, North-to-South – to cover everything that we possibly could.
Day 1 – To the Caribbean Coast:
San Jose, where we spent the previous night – was nothing much to boast about. At least the area that we stayed in was like any other city in the middle of downtown. We had walked around a bit the night before but aiinh!! Not much to do there. The drive from there to Cauhita on the Caribbean coast is something else though. It took us about 5 1/2 hours to get there… mostly because the roads are unlike the US, but all that was expected. We made plenty stops on the way too trying to soak in all the scenery and taking loads of pictures. There are several local food places on the way where you can stop by and indulge in authentic local cuisine or just your regular noodles, sandwiches etc.
Cauhita is a small town bang on the Caribbean Coast. The hotel that we stayed in was just across the street from the beach and felt like a true tropical resort with its wood cottages, hammocks in the front yard, LUSH green trees and tropical plants with humongous leaves, multicolored gigantic flowers and all kinds of butterflies swarming on them. The main town with several eating joints is about a 20-minute walk from there – don’t forget to try the seafood there since there is so much variety available.
Day 2 – Snorkeling in the Caribbean:
There are several tours available in town – we went with one of the tour guides who had approached us while we had dinner the night before. It was a very personalized trip for the 2 families that our group comprised of. The boat picked us up from the town and we rode about an hour into the snorkeling spot. Guides were available for the kids – there was plenty of sea-life to be awed at there and we spent a good 2-3 hours snorkeling in the world-famous Caribbean blue waters there. Lunch was a variety of fresh fruits – healthy and totally filling!!
Post lunch, we went on a short guided hike into the rainforest – and saw several animals and birds and plants including some rare poisonous frogs. A great trip with a wonderful set of tour guides.