Costa Rica
Pérez Zeledón

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

18 travelers at this place:

  • Day33

    Manuel Antonio National Park

    January 31 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    All sorts of scare stories about this park! From 'you won't get in after 8am' to 'the monkeys will pinch everything'. We were confident as we had dated tickets-wrong! I luckily checked the night before and found they were open tickets. Not good news so we were up early and off by 7.30 with the staff at the lodge warning we would have to queue just to get parking and then to get in.
    Well I found a nifty short cut and we joined the queue about 5k from the entrance. Well that turned out to be just a very slow cement lorry and once we passed it there was no problem right up to the entrance and we were in by 8.45!
    Ok so now onto the park itself. Very beautiful with well laid paths to the main sites. We saw monkeys, raccoons, sloths, frogs, crabs, iguanas and a variety of birds before relaxing on one of the beaches and enjoying a cooling swim.
    Back at the lodge we found there was live music that night with an extended happy hour and much cheaper snacks for sale. So we sat around the pool and had a few drinks whilst listening to a very cool Ohion singing many of his own compositions and being entertained by the antics of a two year old boy in his own little world!
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  • Day32

    The long drive day

    January 30 in Costa Rica ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

    We had to make a fairly early start as we had about 270k to drive today. Certainly the longest drive day of the trip. The first 30 l took well over an hour on unmade roads but then we reached the Pan American Highway and we thought the journey would improve! Uh uh heavy traffic and hold ups kept our average speed down and then our sat nav let us down and we had to revert to an old fashioned map! Anyway we sorted it out and bowled along for the final 150k of the trip.
    Our new lodge was wonderful! Great views over the Pacific, a warm pool, a well appointed two bed villa and friendly staff. Pity the drink and food prices were a bit steep!
    We had to be up early the next morning so after a nice meal and a quiet drink in our villa ( that we had bought at a supermarket!) it was off to bed for the now familiar early night!
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  • Day41

    Cloudbridge Nature Reserve

    March 10, 2018 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

    We travelled from Bejuco to Quepos on the bus, and went to Alamo to see if we could rent our car a day early.  Not only could we get it early (with no hastle - Love Alamo!) but they upgraded us to a 4x4 that actually will fit Keith when he arrives and our packs.  And off we went.  Marty and Caleb immediately felt better being able to choose our route.  We headed up into the hills, on the smallest road we could find.  Made a few mistakes, then Marty drank a beer outside a small grocery with some older cowboys and asked if we could drive through to San Marcos on the little road.  Of course!  Take a right, another right, through the river, another right and derecho (straight ahead).  It was like driving up 9mile.  Except people were farming and living everywhere.  When the road couldn't get any steeper, it did.  They just put a bit of concrete down for extra traction.  Driving through this area which is heavily farmed, or growing coffee or cacoa on 80 degree slopes, I appreciate the National Parks of Costa Rica even more.   We made it to San Marcos just as the sun was going down, with no indication of where we were going to stay.  We drove around for about an hour, following people's tips, and finally settled in at $40 per night in a local place.  We all slept, except Marty, but that is not so unusual anyways. 

    We headed off good and early with some pan dulce that had dulce de leche in it instead of brown sugar (sweet bread).   Off onto another track, that might be a road.  Stopped to let some cows go by, and jumped out to ask if they were for carne or leche.  The herder took us to meet the owner, and she showed us how they made the cheese in their little two room factory.   I can ask my questions in Spanish well enough, that I get a jumble of unintelligible Spanish in return.  I know they make cheese!!  It reminded me of talking to cheese makers in the alps.  We made it to the highway, and travelled over the La Muerte pass, which is at 3500m, on a little two lane paved road which is the main connector between San Jose and the south.  It took us almost 2 hours to decend 60 km with all the other traffic down to 1100m.  San Isidro is a city that has been around for 100 years, and it fed us, and then we headed up to San Gerardo de Rivas, again without a place to stay, but at least earlier.  All the online bookings were full, but we figured there might be something.

    And sure enough, we drove to the end of the road to Cloudbridge Nature Reserve, and they had a cabin open for two nights.  Tada!  Its beautiful, quiet, and cool (we used blankets for the first time in 3 weeks) and in the cloud forest , and borders onto Chiripo National Park.  That may be an adventure for another time, as the peak is the highest in Costa Rica and the trail is 42 km.  Jorja did impress us with her hiking today as we were out for 6 hours in the secondary and primary cloud forest. We decended through the boulder strewn creek for our decent.  There are waterfalls and massive granite boulders throughout the creeks.  Apparently Costa Rica is only 5 million years old, and was actually glaciated 10,000 years ago.  Who would have guessed!!!  A couple bought this property in 2002, when it was ranching land, and over the years have aquired 700 acres that has been reforested.  It is now used as a research and education center.  A great treat to stay here.  We hope Hazelton folks that you are excited to be on your March break!!!  Talk to you soon. 
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  • Day40

    Last trip to the indigenous @ Chirripó

    October 1, 2015 in Costa Rica ⋅ 🌙 21 °C

    Being back in the territory of the Cabecar we enjoyed watching the school art festival where students from all the different indigenous schools competed against each other in music, acting, dancing, singing and painting. So excited to see that the school, where our education program just started, won most categories 🎉🎉🎉

    Already feeling so sad that this will be my last trip to the indigenous and that the last days as member of the project are already running out...
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  • Day178

    Finca LiL Capi Costa Rica

    January 25, 2018 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    U scho si mr am letschte Ort vo üsere 6 monatige Reis acho. Mer si ez uf de Finca vo Licht in Lateinamerika, wo de Töse vor 15 Jahr e Jahresisatz gmacht het. Für de Töse scho fascht biz es heicho ine vertrauti Umgäbig. Da dörfe mr es schöns Gästehuus bewohne u da und döt biz mithälfe, aber ou eifach dUmgäbig uskundschafte u dHängatte gnüsse. De Gedanke, dass mr i weniger aus e Wuche heireise, stimmt üs freudig ufs Wiederseh, aber ou biz truurig, dass die wärtvoll Zit scho bald verbi isch. Drum gnüsse mr die Täg da umso meh 😉Read more

  • Day319

    Platanillo, Costa Rica (Suti)

    April 15, 2018 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    25. März - 15. April 2018

    Die Semana Santa (Osterwoche) verbringe ich im gemütlichen Airbnb von Randine in Platanillo (20min bis zur Pazifikküste). Die Aussicht von seiner Terrasse ist umwerfend. Randine ist ein Aussteiger aus Jamaika/England und hat das Haus und den Wald vor zwei Jahren gekauft. Es stehen noch viele Gartenarbeiten an. Weil mir die Lage und sein Lebensrhythmus gefällt, entscheide ich mich kurzerhand, die nächsten 2 Wochen hier zu helfen.
    Erstes Projekt: Hängende Gärten. Dazu sägt man Bambus auf, füllt Kompost ein, säät Salat, Tomaten und Spinat und hängt das ganze ans Terrassengeländer.
    Zweites Projekt: Alles Gemüse in den Garten.
    Dazu sucht man alle Gemüsepflanzen (Tomaten, Peperoni, usw.) auf dem Gelände zusammen und pflanzt sie im Garten ein.
    Drittes Projekt: Alle Sträucher müssen aus dem YinYang.
    Ist eigentlich das Gegenteil vom zweiten Projekt. Hierbei grabe ich alle Büsche des mit Steinen geformten YinYang-Zeichens aus und verteile sie auf dem Gelände. Das Lemongras pflanzen wir strategisch so, dass es gleichzeitig als Erosionsschutz wirkt.
    Das vierte Projekt kommt unverhofft. Während eines Gewitters dringt ein Sturzbach von der Strasse ins Gelände ein. Schnell müssen wir das Rohr bei der Strasse von Schlamm und Sand befreien.
    Fünftes Projekt: Dolmetschen. Die Umweltbehörde kommt vorbei, um die Bäume zu beurteilen, die Randine fällen möchte. Er braucht eine Meniskusoperation und daher müssen ein paar Bäume verkauft werden. Da er auch nach zwei Jahren in Costa Rica noch kein Spanisch spricht, mache ich die Übersetzung.
    Sechstes Projekt: auf der Terrasse sitzen, Kaffee trinken und über die Menschen und die Umwelt philosophieren.

    Die Weekends verbringe ich am Strand. In Dominical paddle ich mit dem SUP durch die Mangroven und lösche die Schwelbrände am Strand, die von den vielen Lagerfeuern ausgehen.
    In Uvita chille ich zusammen mit Marsha (Kanada), Avi (USA), Elli (Deutschland) am Strand und im coolen Hostel, inkl. Yoga.

    Freitag der 13te, ein Unglückstag? Weit gefehlt!! Es regnet zwar in Strömen, aber heute sehe ich Sabina wieder! Yipiii!! Die Reunion wird mit einen guten Weisswein und frischem Zopf auf der Terrasse gefeiert.
    Unseren Aufenthalt bei Randine runden wir mit einer, für Suti zweiten, Wanderung zum Wasserfall ab.

    Memories: Autostopp bis Soda Doña Marlén, Wiedersehen mit Raúl, Autostopp mit Südafrikanerin und Brite bis zum AirBnB; Vogel von Katze gefressen; SUP-Tour (Tiere: Tigerheron, Faultiere, Kingfisher beim fischen, Krebse, Ágila Negra, Kapuzineraffen und verschiedene Mangrovenarten) fast verschlafen!; Klammeraffe und rote Pfeilgiftfrösche in Platanillo gesehen; Strand in Uvita in Form einer Walfischflosse (Tiere: Krebse, Wasserschnecken, kleiner Seestern, Kugelfisch).
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  • Day67

    Cerro de la Muerte, Costa Rica

    March 23, 2017 in Costa Rica ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Our big day of driving continued from Sierpe and took us high up into the mountains that cover a large proportion of the lower half of Costa Rica. The highest point took us to the top of Cerro de la Muerte at 3451m, which was a fair amount of hill climbing for old Terry. We were just happy we weren't covering this by foot. The change in altitude bought with it a massive drop in temperature and a complete change of weather. We started the day in stunning sunshine, blue skies, strong heat and humidity in Drake Bay but in the mountains we found ourselves in the clouds, lapping up the cool breeze and even a few stray drops of rain.

    The locals obviously make use of the altitude up here as we saw many different types of food crops and of course many a coffee plantation too. Costa Rica is another Central American country which is well known for its quality coffee and have an estimated 130,000 coffee farms. Subsequently it is one of their main exports, although not as much today as previously, considering at one point in the 1900s it accounted for 90% of all their exports.

    The rest of our journey was largely uneventful but long, with the driving shared between Mike and Shorty until we hit the other side of the capital San José where there was much more traffic. With just single lane roads and a double yellow line constantly, everyone seems to just pass each other anyway whenever there is the smallest gap to do so. Shorty followed suit but didn't realise that there also happened to be two police cars parked on the opposite side of the road. Subsequently they pulled us over and then proceeded to try and tell us that it would be a $600USD fine for passing on s double yellow line. This was when I wished I'd done a bit of reading up on how corrupt the cops are here and how best to play it but obviously we knew this was a big yarn. $600 was laughable but maybe some people would fall for that. Eventually with a bit of bartering and pretending that we only had $50 on us, the end result was somewhat more of a bribe so they didn't write a fine. We probably could have got away with less or not even paid at all but in broken Spanish and just wanting to get back on the road and be on our way, Shorty and Em took the hit.

    By this point this 10 hour journey was really becoming a chore. Get us to Puerto Viejo. Stat.
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  • Day64

    Cataratas Nauyaca, Costa Rica

    March 20, 2017 in Costa Rica ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    A visit to a stunning waterfall, but not before a horrific walk that left the four of us dripping in sweat, looking like the waterfall we were trying to get to.

    This post is a bit out of order just to make things confusing but think of it more as a side post. As I wrote previously, with messing up our timing in Manuel Antonio to visit the national park, (i.e being there on a Monday, the only day of the week the park is closed) we had to do a bit of a switch around of our plans. We'd intended to visit a waterfall called Cataratas Nauyaca on our journey from Manuel Antonio further south, but ended up doing this as a day trip instead.

    The road took us past huge palm tree plantations and subsequently a palm oil factory. We're unsure if this is an eco-friendly one, but that's the hope. It looked rather ominous though. Costa Rica is the leading producer of palm oil in the Americas and while there are global ethical standards to be followed in terms producing palm oil whilst still protecting the environment, not all companies actually follow these. Some companies here have been in trouble for degrading the environment plus child and immigrant labour issues. Sigh.

    On a brighter note, we found another cheap (for Costa Rica) roadside restaurant that did good and cheap food for lunch on the way and then ended up returning again for dinner because when you find a good one, just stick with it.

    In hindsight, it probably wasn't our wisest move to embark on this one hungover and in the brutal heat in the middle of the day. This waterfall is on private land so we purchased our tickets from the grumpy woman at the desk and set out to walk to the falls. We quickly realised she hadn't actually told us where to go nor were there any signs, so had to go back to the office and ask, much to her displeasure it seemed! We left our car on the main road because the woman also didn't inform us that we could have driven the first kilometre or two and parked our car in a carpark. Normally this wouldn't be such a big deal but this first kilometre or so of the walk happened to be a rather steep hill which was fine for the way down but the whole time, we were thinking how bad it was going to be walking back.

    The rest of the walk was undulating, through farms and across streams. Normally it would probably be quite an enjoyable 5-6km walk, but on this particular day it felt like hell to all of us in the sweltering heat and humidity. It would have been about 35 degrees and humidity that day must have been at least 80-90% and honestly, I don't think I've ever wanted a swim more in my life. I'm not sure I've ever been so sweaty in my life either. It took us about an hour and each kilometre there was a sign telling you how many more there were to go. I'm not sure if this was a good or bad thing, but each kilometre began to feel longer and longer and signs further and further apart.

    The relief of finally reaching the waterfall was immense. Shoes and clothes couldn't be discarded fast enough and we scrambled over the rocks into an amazingly refreshing pool at the base of the waterfall. Bliss.

    The waterfall itself was stunning with multiple different layers and levels. You could sit underneath it and have a free shower or water massage due to the power of the water. In some ways it was surprising the amount of water here because there are so many other waterfalls and rivers that are just completely dry at this time of year - it being dry season and all - but definitely weren't complaining. There seemed to be many American school or university groups and families around, perhaps this is a common area to be holidaying in for them. Some of the lads scaled the waterfall and jumped off various levels which was fun to watch.

    We spent an hour or two at the waterfall and then succumbed to the fact that we were going to have to endure that walk all over again. A quick visit to the upper section of the waterfall that you're not able to swim in and then we were on our way. The walk back was actually much more pleasurable and seemed to pass much quicker, possibly because we had cooled down and the day was cooling down too. Until we reached that beast of a last hill, that is. Our somewhat higher spirits were quickly dashed especially with cars driving past us. Even the two-wheel drive cars were battling to get up the hill on that dirt road.

    Normally you'd probably say a beer was well deserved after this day but after the previous night, none of us could face one. It's fair to say we were all well and truly pooped!
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Pérez Zeledón, Perez Zeledon

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