June 2010, Costa Rica

In late June and early July of 2010 Colette and I visited parts of Costa Rica.  Although it is a rather small country, there is actually a lot to see and experience.  We focused this trip on the Arenal Volcano, Manuel Antonio and San Jose areas.  Colette and I took this trip on our own while Trent maintained the house in CO.  We spent the first three nights just outside of La Fortuna at the Mountain Paradise Hotel.  The place was great.  Our shower was a waterfall and our patio door opened to a great view of the Arenal Volcano.  The resort also has a naturally-hot, spring-fed pool.  In addition to hearing periodic volcano rumblings and seeing the accompanying smoke, we took several "tours".  Two were with Sunset Tours.  One was a boat trip in the Cano Negro Wildlife Reserve on the Rio Frio and the other the Arenal Hanging Bridges canopy hike.  Both of these tours were very good with great guides.  Between the two we saw family groups of three types of monkeys, a sloth, a poison dart frog, a couple cayman and various types of birds, bats, insects and so on.  Good stuff.  A third tour was to the backside of the volcano in the evening.  This late evening excursion enabled us to see the red glow that accompanies the volcano activity.  Although a rather long drive for what we got to see, I figure it was worth doing once. Next we traveled around 5 hours or so to our next resort in the Manuel Antonio area on the pacific coast.  The roads through the mid part of the country were extremely twisty since they follow the very rugged terrain.  But, the country side was very nice.  We stayed at the Tulemar Resort in one of their bungalows.  This place is very nice but wish that it had a balcony.  There is a great private beach and nice nature trails.  We spent some time enjoying the beach and saw a lot of three types of monkeys, some sloths, a raccoon like animal and various lizards, etc.  We also checked out Manuel Antonio National Park (a little down the road).  The park was nice with with good walking trails through the rain forest and several really great beaches.  Here the monkeys got really close.  We also saw various other types of animals.

Our trip back to San Jose became more critical due to Colette coming down with a very serious lung infection (bronchial pneumonia).  She saw a private Doctor in Quepos and then got xrays in a public hospital there.  The next day we caught a shuttle to San Jose where she was able to start treatment in a bigger hospital.  She spent two nights in the hospital getting IV antibiotics and then they released her at 3:30 the second morning so that we could catch the 6:30 Frontier flight back to the US.  Back in the US she visited the emergency room where they confirmed how bad her lung was but then released her since the antibiotics she received in CR had wiped out the infection.  Kudos to her CR medical care.  Medical care appears to be quite good in Costa Rica.  According to a very helpful lady from the Tulemar Resort who acted as our interpreter at the Quepos hospital, nine percent is taken out of wages to cover full medical.  They don't have to pay for anything else.

Trip Images - Click on them to see larger versions

In the Arenal Volcano Area

In the Manuel Antonio Area

A Few from San Jose (Near the Hospital)

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