Costa Rica
Osa

Here you’ll find travel reports about Osa. Discover travel destinations in Costa Rica of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

46 travelers at this place:

  • Day142

    Uvita, Pacific coast

    January 26, 2017 in Costa Rica

    Yesterday we moved on from Monteverde to Uvita, on the Southern, Pacific, coast of Costa Rica. The journey took about 5 hours but we saw plenty along the way, including vultures and other birds of prey, palm plantations and some massive crocodiles - lots of them! Our accommodation here is nice enough - large room, outside cooking facilities and a small pool - but it is more isolated than we'd expected and quite difficult to get anywhere without a car. Our main reason for coming to this area was to go whale watching but we were informed when we arrived that there are actually no whales here at the moment, so we're a bit gutted about that.... We have ended up hiring a car for a few days, to at least enable us to see some of the surrounding area whilst we're here. Laura is driving and it's an "interesting" driving experience, with only the main roads being made up and most of the minor roads being more like bumpy dirt tracks - plus the idea of road signs does not seem to have caught on here very much at all! This afternoon we went to Cascadas Verde - some waterfalls with pools where you could swim - it was a bit of a treacherous walk down with Solana and she was reluctant to go - but once we got there she loved swimming in the river and didn't want to get out! Afterwards we went for a walk along the beach, which looked and felt very tropical. The temperature here is much higher than in Monteverde - temps in early 30s C.Read more

  • Day143

    Last day on the Pacific coast

    January 27, 2017 in Costa Rica

    After a shaky start in Uvita and a lack of whales, we had a great day today and have decided that we do like the place after all! This morning we went to Playa Ventanas. We had to drive through a river to get there (luckily the car we've hired has 4WD!) but it's a lovely beach, with caves that you can walk into at low tide. We managed to time our visit right and could walk into the gloomy caves, see the waves coming in, tiny crabs and crustaceans like giant woodlice climbing the walls - very spectacular. There was also a river flowing into the sea, which was lovely to swim in after a dip in the Pacific, cool and got rid the sand in places you don't want sand! This afternoon, when the weather was a bit cooler, we went to the beach at National Park Marino Ballena, which has a sand spit in the shape of a whale's tail at low tide. We didn't time our visit here quite as well but did enjoy a long walk along the beach fringed with palm trees and dotted with plenty of tiny hermit crabs. This time, we had to walk through a river (happily only knee height) to get to the whale's tail bit! This evening we ate out at a local restaurant - more rice & beans, this time with fish. Costa Rica is more expensive than we were expecting - we are going over budget most days, so we've been staying in some places with cooking facilities and making our own food. Pasta & tuna is wearing a bit thin now though, so even the rice and beans was a welcome "change"! Here the currency is called Colones and the current exchange rate is about 680 to the GBP, so we're having to get better at large numbers in Spanish quickly.... Tomorrow we head North towards the capital city, San Jose - the road signs here are terrible, so I hope we know the way (cue the song!). We have nowhere sorted to stay for tomorrow night yet, so wish us luck....Read more

  • Day18

    Playa Ventana

    January 11 in Costa Rica

    Ventana is the Spanish word for window. You can see where this beach got this name. The water has carved long tunnels through the rock. There were lots of locals laying in their hammocks, picnicking with their families, and cutting open coconuts. Our students tried a favorite snack of Costa Rican.

  • Day17

    Hurricane Nate

    January 10 in Costa Rica

    We have learned about and seen the destruction from hurricane Nate. Remains of landslides can still be seen. As I write this, we are in a road that was half washed away and has not yet been rebuilt. The country revived a month’s worth of rain in just hours. Rivers flooded communities and washed away homes. Communities were trapped...and rivers are still brown from sediment from landslides.

  • Day7

    Dominical ou la vie simple

    March 31, 2017 in Costa Rica

    Chaque journée à Dominical sera rythmée par un lever aux aurores, footing pieds nus sur la plage (jamais je n'ai autant aimé courir) en admirant ce paysage fantastique. Puis, une douche à la bouteille d'eau (nous avons découvert une source d'eau gratuite l'avant-dernier jour, sur le terrain de foot du village), petit déjeuner, sieste, longues ballades où nous avons découvert l'autre bout de la plage, un endroit vraiment désert où nous avons installé notre hamac...ici, il est question de profiter du moment présent, presque de méditer même, et se contenter du peu de confort que l'on a.
    Pour nous occidentaux, habitués à nous gaver d'internet, de vidéos, de news, et j'en passe...la vie à Dominical est dépourvue de tout cela (et encore, le wifi est dans le bar d'à côté si on veut).
    C'est lorsque l'on est privé de certaines choses que l'on se rend compte qu'elles ne nous sont pas dues et surtout à quel point elles nous manquent et elles sont chères à notre petit quotidien! La valeur de l'eau, bien qu'on la connaisse, m'a sauté aux yeux lorsque je ne pouvais pas prendre de douche...
    Ici, le lever et le coucher du soleil sont déterminants. Tout le monde se couche tôt, même les fêtards se couchent à minuit, et tout le monde se lève tôt tout simplement.
    Une vraie belle expérience sans fioriture !
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  • Day53

    Heading up the coast

    March 22 in Costa Rica

    We reluctantly left Pavones, knowing we didn't want to have to drive the 8 hours to SJ in one day.  The Osa Penninsula is where Corcovado National Park is located, and is a huge tropical rainforest area that is protected, much of it primary rainforest.  It is difficult to get into, as you need a guide and a permit to hike in the park, not to mention the dreadful thought of carrying a loaded pack in 30+ heat and sodden humidity.  Not for the feint of heart, and not for us.  We did decide to drive into Drake Bay, and the road was beautiful, with river crossings but clouds of polvo (dust).  Marty rescued a spanish couple who had decided their vehicle couldn't make it up a hill.  The man said he was a very good driver, and Marty said he may be, but Marty was better and the gentleman swore softly as Marty roared his way past.  Drake Bay is a strip of varied accomodation driven up against the hills by the ocean.  We searched for accomodation, Keith patiently asking at several places if we might have a room for 5 for under $50.  Marty declared that there was no way he had driven in the road, just to give up and pay to sleep away from the water and finally we found a hostel, that was an old converted farm house (where we paid $36).  Angel and his wife (the farm belonged to her parents) rent out rooms.  Sadly Angel's wife is battling cancer. 

    Marty and Keith made their way to the beach and then town after the rest of us had gone to bed, to see the local bar scene, but were disappointed.  Still, Costa Rica, as much of central america, was awake at 5 am.  Motorcycles roaring past with folks off to work, busses picking up children for school that starts at 7am.  We were able to find the public path south that leads all the way to the park and would be a great hike on its own, without having to arrange to be in the park. Crossing over a bridge, there was a capuchin monkey that bared it's fangs, but it turned out it was protecting its mate and newborn baby that didn't even have hair yet. We passed many fancy lodges, and used their showers at the beach where we swam and played baseball with the almonds that the macaws dropped.

    We drove through the palm oil plantations up the coast which have replaced banana plantations on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Palm oil refineries in several locations are owned by Shell and Mobile which confused us. I know palm oil goes into cookies and margarine and ice cream ( oh dear, more rainforest destruction that I am inadvertently responsible for), but the big oil companies interest in palm oil comes from using palm oil as an additive in biofuel production. Last year the EU was considering a ban on using palm oil in biofuel because of its contribution to rainforest destruction. And you thought this was all just about sun and fun! We made it up to Uvita, where the arial view of the promontory at low tide is exactly as a whale tail.  It is Balena National Park, and migrating humpbacks pass through here.  We found a route into the park, that avoided the front gate, but had us holding our bags and Jorja over our heads and crossing the river where the signs warned of crocodiles.  I think we may be pushing it with the save a few colones idea!!  The snorkling on the outside of the tail was the best, and only, snorkling we had in Costa Rica.  Keith had just taken his dive course, and we all agreed we were able to see a great diversity of fish.  Just ahead of where the waves were breaking, we were surrounded by schools of large fish, and in the more sheltered areas we saw all sorts of colorful tropical fish.  Caleb thought it was amazing.  The boys walked over to the other beach, in the hot sun, with salt soaked thighs, and suffered for their reward of finding a much nicer accomodation for our second night.  Really, the afternoons at this time of the year need to be spent in the shade, and the pool and the nice Canadians who owned the place were worth Keith and Marty's pain. 
    Driving north, we contemplated heading into the mountains to get to SJ, but felt like we had got more than our monies worth out of the little rental that could, and didn't want to push our luck on the last day.  We stopped in to say a goodbye to Shirley, Luis, Bradley and Ashley in Bejuco, and hope we will see you again some day!  It was burning hot, and Marty had just passed many vehicles tico style, but the highway bridge at Tarcoles, did not disapoint.  There were at least 20 VERY large crocodiles lying in wait.  I did not hold Jorja up to look. 

    The car cleaning and return was easy, we love Alamo!!  We said goodbye to Keith, and we almost made 1600$ giving up our seats, but they put us on at the last minute.  Onto Vancouver to start phase 2 of our adventure!! 
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