Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Costa Rica: December 26, 2009

We checked out of the Mariott and had an uneventful early morning cab ride to Pavas regional airport.  A quick breakfast, and we're boarded on a 20 seat Nature Air prop plane headed south to Puerto Jimenez on the Peninsula de Osa -- our destination was adjacent to Corcovado National Park.

Fun, but cramped plane ride.  I should have taken the aisle seat, but I would have missed some good shots..

When we landed we were met by the staff of Lapa Rios, which is a generator-powered eco-nature-wilderness-lodge 40 miles from no where in the middle of the rain forest.  After a quick wifi sign-off and a young coconut welcome drink, we were ushered to the back of a 4x4 for a bumpy ride to the lodge.

Our Cabin (#4) was incredible.  Perched about 800 feet overlooking the pacific ocean.  We had our own private sun-filled deck with a hammock for relaxing. No glass on the windows -- just a rough mesh to keep out the large insects at night.  And thankfully no air conditioning.

This was the view of our deck

We signed up for a night hike, settled in the room, had a delicious lunch (tres gallos for me), took a quick dip in the pool (salt water), then a hike to check out the beach.  En route we spotted some spider monkeys in the trees.  Beach was nice, but a little rocky.  Soon it was off to the night hike, which was fantastic.  Our naturalist guide, Danilo, was a botanist with 22 years experience in the rain forest.  We saw a vine snake, a giant toad, bullfrogs, scorpions, geckos, fresh water shrimp, iguana, giant spiders and even larger cockroaches.

The rain forest is awesome.

Another delicious meal at the lodge with two glasses very chilled Merlot -- I thought that was amusing, but it was 80 deg at 9:45 at night, so it was perfect.  The sound of the jungle was all around and the crash of the surf added to the soundtrack.  I remember thinking to myself that I didn't want to sleep so as to soak up every drop, but I couldn't wait to fall asleep to the sound of nature.  I heard no machines.  Danielle said that Lapa Rios, "under promises and over delivers" and I think that's pretty accurate.

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