Costa Rica
Provincia de Puntarenas

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

157 travelers at this place:

  • Day137

    Monteverde cloud forest

    January 21, 2017 in Costa Rica

    We're now in the Monteverde area for a few days. Spent the day today in the Monteverde Cloud Forest reserve, walking the trails, enjoying the views and spotting wildlife (which is actually more difficult than you might expect in the thick forest!). We saw coatis (a bit like racoons), a pygmy squirrel (very cute but too quick for a photo), some giant millipedes, butterflies and lots of birds. We particularly enjoyed the hummingbirds - could have happily watched them all day. The highlight of the day was seeing the most famous (but often elusive) bird of the area, the resplendent quetzal (the green/blue & red bird in the photo) - it made our day.Read more

  • 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

  • Day138

    Curi-Cancha cloud forest reserve

    January 22, 2017 in Costa Rica

    We spent today exploring the trails of Curi-Cancha cloud forest reserve. It was fantastic - at least as good as the main Monteverde reserve, if not better. It is at a slightly lower elevation, so was a bit warmer and had some different birds/animals and more open spaces for wildlife spotting. We saw agouti - funny little animals, like big guinea pigs (see picture). We also saw many different birds, including a toucan, motmot (see photo - a really beautiful bird), and more hummingbirds. We found one spot along a trail with lots of birds and we were happily stood watching them, until Solana piped up "Look at all the ants" and when we looked down, our shoes and lower legs were covered in ants! Needless to say, much running and foot-stamping followed.... Solana walked well but needed a rest in the sling this afternoon, where she enjoyed a cosy nap! We're off out for dinner shortly, which will no doubt involve rice, beans, plantain (like fried banana) and some kind of meat or fish - simple but tasty and filling after all the walking.Read more

  • Day139

    Moving on in Monteverde

    January 23, 2017 in Costa Rica

    Last night we ate again in one of the cheapest and best restaurants in town - this time I had rice without the beans, for a change! This morning we said goodbye to our hotel with coatis on the balcony. We’re still in the Monteverde area but today we moved accommodation to a place that has it’s own little reserve with nature trails – a place called Valle Escondido (hidden valley). On the way, we visited a ranarium (frog centre) in Santa Elena town, where we saw various Costa Rican amphibians with an informative guide. This afternoon, Solana made a new little friend, Lila, who turned out to be the daughter of the owner of the hotel & reserve. Solana is taking everything in and asking some good, and also some amusing, questions along the way. The other day, on our way to Monteverde, we passed some mountains and we were talking about volcanoes – she then asked “Are we on Venus now?”! We have just been on a night walk along the trails with a guide – we didn’t see as much as we’d hoped but we did see more coati, agouti, leaf-cutter ants and a stick insect. Hoping for better wildlife spotting tomorrow....Read more

  • Day140

    Last day in Monteverde

    January 24, 2017 in Costa Rica

    We had a relaxed day, wandering the trails of our lodge in Valle Escondido, today. One of our favourite places along the trails was the "hammock garden" - a lovely place to relax, until a 4-year-old comes along and almost tips you out of the hammock! Gran Anne also produced a kite that she'd brought along - Solana loved it but unfortunately there wasn't enough wind to fly it properly - maybe tomorrow... Wildlife spotting today included a green & black lizard well camouflaged in a tree, quite a few vultures and hawks circling on the thermals in the valley below, dragonflies, more leaf-cutter ants, oriole birds and a little snake (the latter found by the lodge gardener). We also saw a big blue morpho butterfly - very eye-catching, although it would not sit still long enough for a decent photo. In the evening we also saw and heard a very noisy toad, which we think was a cane toad (although we refrained from licking it to test for hallucinogens!). It is also nice to fall asleep to the noise of the forest - mostly noisy crickets, but relaxing nonetheless. So far, we have seen and identified 5 species of mammals, 4 species of reptile/amphibians and more than 30 species of birds (31 that we have managed to identify and even more that we haven't), plus countless insects (some impressive, some biting and some downright ugly!).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

  • Day10

    Puntarenas, Costa Rica

    December 27, 2014 in Costa Rica

    A beautiful day in sunny and warm Costa Rica. We walked on suspension bridges in the canopy of the rain forest-amazing! We are docked in a fishing village and the warm breezes blowing through the fabrics of the stalls of the street vendors made for a pretty site.
    As the sun sets we are watching a tug that is waiting to lead us out of port.

  • Day37

    Bejuco Beach

    March 6 in Costa Rica

    We have enjoyed our week at a beach house on a long stretch of quiet beach.  I can sit on the front porch and watch the waves crash 100 feet away.  Might seem a little far to some, but it makes it so you can sleep without the surf keeping you awake.  We did make it here OK, travelling across the country on public transit is easy, and comfortable and cheap.  We did the whole trip for all of us for $40.  On the bus to Jaco we asked a young woman if she could suggest a place to stay, she asked us where are reservation was for, and was a little surprised to learn that we were arriving there at 10pm with kids, without one.  She suggested we get off downtown Jaco, and when we went to get our luggage an older woman said to come with her and we would stay at the same Cabina.  It turned out to be easy, clean, comfy, and had a pool for same price as some other places we have stayed that were not nearly so nice.   Again, people helping us out!

    The beach here at Bejuco is big, beautiful and empty.  Many fancy homes, but not many people. the weekend picked up a bit with folks from San Jose and nearby towns for the weekend.  Folks camping out.   Some serious rip tides at times, as in Marty can't walk sideways and an eddy forms behind him, but not always.  We are learning to read the water.  I (Stacey) am getting out to walk down the beach every morning at 545 as that is the nicest time of day.  If I could get up even earlier I would!  There is an estuary a 10 min walk down the beach,  where we have gone several times to swim in the calm water, and walk in the mangroves.  The water rushes upstream like a backwards river when the tide comes in.  The water is so warm, getting cold is never an issue.  Did not need to bring Jorja's wetsuit!  Well, not yet anyways.  Its a 15 min walk to the tienda where we can buy enough food, even if it is a little more costly than in Parita which is a 20 min bus ride away.  Way cheaper to cook our own rice an beans rather than eat out. 

    On Sunday, Shirley, who is one of the caretakers of the property we are staying at, asked if we wanted to go fishing.  Of course!!  Luis (Shirley`s husband) and Ronnie (family friend) had caught a bunch of shrimp (calazone) to use for bait, and we headed to the estuary with them and Shirley and her 5 year old Bradley.  Marty and Caleb fished with Luis and Ronnie and Jorja and I hung out in the calm waters with Shirley and Bradley.  Marty and the others had to swim back after fishing when the tide had come in.  We were invited to their place to have delicious pork and pineapple shishkabobs.  Yumm.  We have met up again, so kids could play, and she brought us rice pudding this morning.  Shirley came to Costa Rica as a six year old and never left.  Her daughter Ashley is 17 and works at the hotel down he road as she speaks great English and is considering a career in tourism or executive management. At her school hey spend part of heir day working o specialty courses and will graduate with courses in a certain field to give them a head start at college. I’d say Shirley and her family are a pretty good example of the contented people that National Geographic said we would find in Costa Rica (recent issue - Costa Rica is one of the happiest countries in the world).

    Ronnie gave Caleb a surfing lesson the next day, and Caleb figured it out fast.  I tried surfing the next day, and not quite the same learning curve.  I suppose it is consolation that it is not a learner's board (6'6" and narrow - and slippery and tippy!!).  We rented the board from him today and Caleb continues to improve and I have been able to stand up a few times!  It is fun to learn when it's warm, and the pelicans are surfing the waves ahead of me.  I don't know if I could ever get past the surf, and onto it, but I'm glad Caleb is having a chance at it. 

    We head out tommorrow. Off to Quepos were we will rent a 4x4 Jimney for a week and do some  exploring.  We have made it over the hump of "why are we here for so long, what can I possibly do for so long, it is so flippin' hot - +30 every day" and even Marty claims to be enjoying himself.  We do actually get some school work done, and with one of us near by, our 11 year old son can actually finish some work in a reasonable amount of time!!   We will be travelling without a tent,  and I'm not so certain of how we are going to find a place to stay each night!  Keep in touch!
    Read more

  • 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!! 
    Read more

  • Day49

    Mountain exploring

    March 18 in Costa Rica

    Marty, as you know, loves to explore.  The steeper and more remote, the better.  We loved the cool air and less populated areas of the mountains so much that we stayed up high for a few more days.   We set off to visit the ruins of a catheral from the spanish conquistador days, only to discover that there is another town called Ujarres, but it is on the other side of the mountains nearer San Jose.  However, we did end up high in the valley, on roads that are not meant for rental 4x4s and we loved it!  We gave Anthony a ride, up to his farm, where we met his father (Alexis) who is retired from working at Dole, and is now exploring being a farmer on his wife's families' farm.  It was incredibly dry, no rain for three months, but the rainy season replenishes the water so well, that water was running from the hills in all sorts of creeks.  They had a tomatoe and bean crop ready to harvest to sell in town, that without the water would have shrivelled in a day.  We were, again, driving around without a place to stay, and didn't want to drive all the way back to Buenos Aires which was closed up for Sunday had been stifling hot and was an hour down a dirt road.  Would you believe that Anthony's uncle owned the only accomodation in the valley?  Anthony lept on his bike, without a helmet and powered up the hill ahead of us, the hill I hadn't been so sure we should drive down, and hurled down the hill on the other side.  A river crossing, and we ended up at a 4 room lodge, where we were the only guests and there was a pool!!!  No cooking facilities, but his cousin found a pot for us and we cooked over a fire as the cicadeas (massive 3 inch beetles that flew into our room at night) and toads and stars came out.   It proved to be still warm in the mountains during the day, but cool at night.  

    We drove off the next day,  and up up up into the cloud forest, where someone had left a bit of forest and not burned it off for pasture.  After visiting a school, (there are schools everywhere) we found a town that wasn't on our map, where we picked up Anita and her grandaughter Diane.  Diane goes to a school, where the teacher drives 28 km one way from Buenos Aires that takes an hour on an insanely steep and twisty road.  And all for 8 students.  Anita invited us back to her house for lunch, a house that was built before she moved here 34 years ago to be with her husband.  They work for the ranch owner and grow cilantro to sell in town.  They have a Toyota jeep, and motor bikes and a horse,  and live in a very simple house.  She cooked for us on a wood stove and talked about her five children,  two who have started families in the village, and one who has gone off to university.  I asked about the upcoming election and what was important to her:  Peace, a roof over her head and education for the children.   Jorja loved playing with Diana, and they managed despite not being able to speak to each other!   It was a treat to meet them. 

    Our next day found us up the roads of the next valley, again visiting indigenous territory, where they are proud to have not succumed to the Spanish.  Many people riding horses, for work or to pick up the kids from school.  It looked like a poorer area, but still water treatment plants and schools.  We stayed cool swimming in rivers, and drove down cart tracks that could have been the road back to the highway, but sometimes ended at a farm or a washed out bridge.  It was with relief that we finally hit pavement and allowed our teeth to reconnect to our skulls and headed to San Vito.  We enjoyed our respite from Costa Rica tourism, and the chance to meet and learn from people. 
    Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Provincia de Puntarenas, Puntarenas

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android

Sign up now