I had finally reached it, the place I had been waiting for such a long time. The coast of Pacific Ocean. As we set out on a muddy little road with the ridiculously diverse wildlife hanging above our heads we began to hear a rumbling sound ahead of us. The sound of the most powerful ocean showing us its strength and beauty at the same time.
For weeks we had been struggling where to spend our summer holidays of July 2017. Most of the destinations in Mexico, which we had considered a long time, seemed too touristic for our taste and the selection of the small islands in the Caribbean was simply impossible. We had earlier abandoned Costa Rica due to the rainy season twirling over almost the entire country during our holidays but somehow no other destination intrigued us nearly as much. Turned out, our fears of getting soaked with heavy rain were uncalled-for. On the contrary, the occasional showers of rain only made the tropical rainforest seem lusher.
Climate, Nature and Wildlife
It is definitely hot in Costa Rica but during our holiday the temperatures were quite tolerable. The daily Celsius numbers hovered somewhere around 30 to 35 degrees whereas the night degrees dropped to 20 to 25. We experienced one really heavy thunderstorm and there were a couple of longer showers of rain but we felt it only improved our trip since there were fewer tourists on the beaches and villages. I basically always advice people not to fear the rainy season exactly because of that – you’re likely to find yourself at half empty beaches with really beautiful sunny days.
Nature and wildlife were the two major attractions for us. Last year we spent three weeks in Indonesia in Bali area and in Sumatra and fell in love with the rainforest of the Leuser Ecosystem so we kind of wanted to experience something similar.
Costa rican nature truly was beautiful! We took little hikes in the jungle and saw amazing things: howler and other types of monkeys, one sloth, a great variety of birds and insects. My big wish was to see tucans and I had almost given up my hope but then just two days before our departure we saw a huge group of them just beside the pool area of our accommodation. I also saw a small opossum like animal hurry into the jungle but I still don’t know what it was.
One group of living creatures I wasn’t really looking forward to come across the green paths was the big monster spiders. Luckily enough, we didn’t see any of those guys but some smaller ones did pay us a visit. So if you have a crazy arachnophobia (like I do), don’t worry, they are probably more scared of you than you are of them and they will stay in their holes.
Getting Around in Costa Rica
Due to our relatively short stay of two weeks in Costa Rica we dediced to let ourselves get easy with the transportation. It seemed that everyone was driving around the country with their rental vehicles and for the most of the time we got weird looks after explaining that we needed a bus or taxi between the longer transitions.
Our transportation of choice for reaching our destinations was a tour operator called Interbus Costa Rica. A trip from San Jose to Santa Teresa, for example, cost around 50 dollars per head including the three hour bus rides and an hour long ferry trip. The service was from door to door and our drivers were always on schedule. Interbus was really the right choice for us and it made our transitions extremely easy. Highly recommened!
How do vegans survive in Costa Rica?
I try to keep my diet vegan and I have to admit that I was concerned what I would find in Costa Rica in the culinary world. I ended up eating quite a lot of rice with beans and vegetables but there were also some really good vegan dishes that I got to experiment. One of the most interesting dishes was a vegan burger that I ate at Finca Luna Nueva Lodge (more about it later) that was served with fries made of yucca. Yucca is comparable to potato and the taste and texture is surprisingly similar. Another vegan food that was somehow different from the ordinary beans and rice was vegan sushi.
One thing that I missed during our trip, food wise, was an alternative source of protein (in addition to beans). I couldn’t find tofu, soy, seitan or such products that would have kept my protein levels up. Or maybe I didn’t go to the right places.
Breakfast was always quite easy to manage thanks to wide selection of fresh fruit including pineapple, watermelon, papaya and toast with jam.