Costa Rica

February 2007

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We had a fantastic family vacation to Northern Costa Rica.  Our friends Mike and Teri along with there five year old son Henry rounded out our group.  The trip started with a little beach time in a small town called Playa Hermosa where Sierra, Cooper and Henry were able to explore tide pools, play in the sand and swim in the hotel swimming pool to their heart's content.

After a few "decompression" days at the beach, our group then all piled into a rental van and headed up to the mountains around volcan Arenal.  It was a regular 3rd world drive down memory lane for me, remembering Mexican adventures of my younger days, with the one way bridges, random livestock dodging, big car right-of-way rules (the bigger the vehicle, the more of a right it has to do whatever it wants), and general lack of "traditional road rules" made for fun driving.  We spent three days exploring the natural wonders of the area.  The rain/cloud forests were truly stunning, teaming with a plethora of plant and animal life.  As "zip" lining is a bit beyond us (with Cooper and Sierra at 3 and 5 years old) we went hiking in on trails with suspension bridges, affording us views of the forest canopy.  A nice hike to a waterfall outside of La Fortuna was also a hit, providing us with a cool pool for the kids to swim in as well as animals to discover (fish, frogs, insects, etc).  One day we enjoyed poaching a "closed" natural hot spring where we had a rushing creek of bath temperature water to ourselves.  Apparently a competing business across the street put them out of business, leaving only a fence between its warm water pools and would be water soakers like ourselves.  But the highlight of the area (in my mind) was the volcano itself, with constant eruptions sending rocks tumbling down the flanks of the mountain.  This display was enhanced at night, as the rocks would glow molten red as they toppled down, exploding like fireworks as they skipped along.  It was an amazing display, an a bit frightening to someone like Elaine and I, who enjoy climbing (dormant) volcano's.

After a drive back to the coast, and an evening enjoying the sunset on the natural bay that is playa Hermosa, we awoke bright an early for our flights back to the frigid February temperatures of the Midwest.  Ahh Costa Rica!

Click here to see video footage from the trip

Click on the thumbnail images to enlarge

Sierra and Cooper

Playing at the airport

Sierra

On the flight

Cooper

On the flight

Elaine

On the flight, not feeling well

Airplane view

Flying over Cancun, Mexico

Airplane view

Flying over Isla de Ometepe, Nicaragua

Airplane view

Flying over the Costa Rican Pacific coast

Sierra

Playing on playa Hermosa

Cooper

Playing on playa Hermosa

Cooper

Showing off a tide pool discovery

Sierra

Exploring the tide pools

Playa Hermosa

Sunset

Sierra

Playing on playa Hermosa

Cooper

Playing on playa Hermosa

Sierra

Playa Hermosa

Cooper

Playa Hermosa

Cooper, Sierra and Elaine

Burying Cooper in sand

Cooper, Sierra and Elaine

Burying Cooper in the sand

Cooper

Covered in sand

Sierra

Enjoying a good night snack

Cooper

Enjoying a good night snack

Playa Hermosa

Sunset

Sierra, Henry and Elaine

On the drive up to the mountains

Cooper, Elaine and Sierra

Pool side in La Fortuna

Volcan Arenal

Sunset

Sierra and Elaine

Walking in the woods

Cooper and Jake

Walking in the woods

Sierra

Walking in the woods

Cooper, Sierra and Elaine

Walking in the woods

Elaine and Cooper

Walking in the woods

Trail view

Rain - cloud forest

Sierra

Walking in the woods

Elaine, Cooper and Sierra

Exploring the forest mid canopy

Family photo

Sierra and Cooper

Sierra, Henry and Cooper

Trail view

Lush forest

Cooper, Henry and Sierra

Standing by a butruss tree

Leaf ants

Volcan Arenal

Volcan Arenal and Arenal lake

Panorama

Family photo

With Volcan Arenal

Volcan Arenal

Spitting rocks down the left flank

Sierra

Posing by the pool

Jake and Cooper

Flower

Parrot

La catarata de la Fortuna

View

La catarata de la Fortuna

View

Family photo

Jake and Cooper

Cooper learning about waterfalls

Sierra and Henry

Trying to catch fish in a swimmimg hole

Sierra

Trying to catch fish in a swimmimg hole (fish are circled)

Sierra

Trying to catch fish in a swimmimg hole

Sierra

Taking a break

Frog

Elaine and Cooper

Cooling off

Teri and Elaine

Las Fuentes Termales

"Closed" hot spring

Las Fuentes Termales

The group "poaching" the closed hot spring

Elaine and Cooper

Enjoying the hot springs

Unexpected visitor

At the hot springs

Sierra

Enjoying the hot springs

Family photo

Driving by Volcan Arenal one last time

 

Click here to see video footage from the trip

Travel links

Trips from the last two years    Interactive travel map

 


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