The Way to San Jose

Fortress of the Museo Nacional Costa Rica, San Jose

We had what amounted to nine waking hours in San José, the capital of Costa Rica. We’d never been to a large city in Central America before, and now we have a better idea of what faded grandeur, a huge population, a vibrant art scene, a lot of concrete, a long swath of parks and a glut of cheap goods can do to a place.

But to be fair, we already had a shorthand advantage: we live in Los Angeles.

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El Remanso: The Best Seat in the Rainforest

Continued from
The Roads Less Driven: An Osa Peninsula Journey

During our one full day in Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, we found ourselves in cushioned chairs on a wooden deck that sits 20 feet above the ground, surrounded by a primary rainforest and perched atop a long, long slope to a wild and empty stretch of Pacific Ocean coastline.

The air felt soft and damp, and every few hours it would rain. Awhirr with clicking and buzzing and flitting and rustling, these trees were the highway for a whole kingdom of creatures.

This was a wildlife lodge called El Remanso, and we dearly wish we were still there.

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The Roads Less Driven: An Osa Peninsula Journey

The road to Carate on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula

Ever been to a far-flung place that makes you wish you had much more time to explore, partially because it’s an odyssey just to get there? Well, for us, the latest corner of the Earth to make that list is Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula.

The fact we had only two days down in this wild, unspoiled, gorgeous swath of jungly coastline could be considered criminal.

But then, so could the freakin’ potholes.

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Strolling Through Hacienda Baru

There are hundreds of jungly acres to explore at Costa Rica's Hacienda Baru

When she heard we’d be driving down the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, Adam’s cousin handed us a dog-eared brochure for Hacienda Barú and said: “Oh, you’ve got to check out this place – you can see sloths from up on the zipline!”

We wouldn’t get to see this marvel for ourselves, but way down on the ground, Barú also has a green and lovely jungle walk and a windswept beach you can have all to yourselves. You might just want to hang your hat and stay awhile.

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Si Como No: Yes and No

Along our Costa Rica drive from the Guanacaste beaches of the northwest to the southernmost Osa Peninsula, we were advised to break our journey into two parts by staying overnight in the Puntarenas region, the halfway mark on the Pacific coast.

We were pointed towards Manuel Antonio and the sustainably-run Si Como No…which proved to be a partially good idea.

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