We decided on the "spur" of the moment to visit Costa Rica. Thanks to Trip Masters we managed to select our itinerary and get it booked within 2 weeks before departure. we had a fun and intense two weeks researching and planning for our trip.
Why Costa Rica? Well we wanted to have a trip out of the USA, that did not involve a transatlantic flight, or massive jet lag. We wanted something a little exotic, and accessible. Everything we had read about Costa Rica seemed to fit those requirements. We were not disappointed.
Our flight to San Jose, Costa Rica flew via Dallas Fort Worth. We arrived 7pm on Wednesday night. I was very impressed with the airport at San Jose. It looked new, and modern. We caught a taxi to our hotel - Country Inn. (We found out the next day that the hotel offers complimentary shuttle to and from the airport.) Ah well. Taxi to Country Inn and Lodge cost us $12 (USD).
We spent a very comfortable night at the hotel (enormous room - large enough for an additional couple), and had to get up early to have breakfast, and be ready for the shuttle to transfer us back to the airport to catch our flight on Nature Air to the Osa Peninsula. This is us having our first breakfast in Costa Rica.
And this is us on the tarmac at the airport waiting to take off. (Actually we are in the small plane behind this one...LOL)
Kevin does not like to fly. So we were not expecting to enjoy the flights in small planes. It turned out fine and it was quite a lot of fun taking photos from the plane. I was glad to have packed our cameras.
This is our pilots. Our experience with Nature Air the entire trip was extremely positive. We found the pilots and staff friendly, professional and efficient. This is a mode of transportation that really spoils you for the more usual land transportation (on bumpy, windy and slow Costa Rican roads.)
This is a view of San Jose after takeoff.
We had such fun seeing Costa Rica from the air. We could see how mountainous it was, and everywhere the land was we could see rich verdant jungle and dirt winding tracks that looked completely impassible!
We also had amazing aerial views of the coastline.
We landed briefly at an airstrip for some passengers to disembark, and then we were on our way to the Palmar Sur airstrip.
From the Palmar Sur Airstrip we caught a taxi to Sierpe to meet our boat to take us to our lodge - the Aguila de Osa Lodge. We ran into a small problem - we spoke no Spanish, and our taxi driver spoke no English. But he got us to Sierpe in plenty of time and even managed to get us to pose in front of this train engine.
We had a slight confusion (due to our poor language skills) but eventually we were made to understand that we were at the correct place, and that the Captain would tell us when they were ready to load the boat. So we sat in the shade, by the river and watched the activities around us.
There were a number of small establishments where tourists could wait for their boat transports. Even Las Vegas!
Did I mention that it was hot? Super hot and humid. I felt as though I was slowly melting in my seat.
This photo is of the Sierpe River. It is wide, muddy and flowing quickly.
We were loaded into a boat with a number of other tourists who were catching the same boat transport not to our lodge but to Drake Bay and other lodges in the area.
It was an exhilarating boat ride down the winding river and out into the Pacific.
This is our first view of Cano Island (this photo we have come out of the Sierpe river mouth into the Pacific Ocean.)
After a short time on the Pacific our boat pulled into a private inlet, and the Lodge's landing area...
At last, we had arrived at our lodge.
We disembarked at our lodge, said goodbye to the other tourists, and we were met by Carlos. He escorted us to the dining room, where we were given a complimentary Daiquiri, and had lunch.
We were so glad to have arrived.
We had very comfortable rooms with two double beds, and an en suite bathroom. There was no air conditioning, but also no glass on the windows. We used the room fans quite a bit, to cool down (as well as numerous cold showers.) The photo above was the view from our room.
And this was the view of our room's front porch.
And this is a close up of the gorgeous door...
The gardens around the lodge were beautiful and exotic.
We could watch the boats coming and going.
This is the view from the dining room/ reception/ bar area.
We saw this beautiful moth.
Every evening at 6pm guests gathered in the dining room/ bar area for appetizers, and general chit chat. During this time Carlos would confirm the next day's activities. Dinner was served at 7pm, and guests were seated at different places each night to mingle with others and share the day's experience.
Just before the 6pm mingle we were called away by Robert one of the employees who had something special to show us.
It just kept getting better...
What a marvelous end to our first day in Costa Rica!