From Behind the Big Rock: African Tulip Tree!

From behind the big rock at Roca Verde entrance
you see the red-orange flowers of our African Tulip Tree.
Atenas, Costa Rica

African Tulip Tree
Zooming in on another tropical tree that blooms for about one month.
Atenas, Costa Rica

I walk about half a mile up a steep hill to Chef Dan’s house 2 or 3 times a week for one of his gourmet meals for dinner. Monday I had Shrimp Alfredo with side salad and Italian bread. Tonight I walked up the hill for Curry Chicken Salad Wrap with side salad and mango chutney. I eat pretty well most of the time to be living in the rainforests of Central America!  🙂

I begin my ascent at this big rock near the front gate and of course come back by it on my way home for this view. The front side of the rock is often covered in moss, thus the name “green rock” (roca verde).
This big tropical flowering tree is by the guard house at the front gate but you see it better from behind the big rock! It is a native to Africa but planted in many tropical areas including Costa Rica as an ornamental tree. The scientific name is Spathodea campanulata or commonly called African Tulip Tree. What’s really neat about all the tropical trees with beautiful blooms here is that they nearly all bloom in different months, so that we almost always have some tree blooming somewhere in Costa Rica! What will I see next week in the Caribe?

For other blooming trees in Atenas, see my Walking Atenas photo gallery

Or for the whole country, see my larger Flora & Forest photo gallery

Rainy Season, el invierno, winter, or “Green Season” is at its peak in Central Valley in September and October when we get the most rain, typically 6-8 hours a day, mostly in late afternoon and evening. Great for sleeping! November is the “shoulder” month or when it tapers off and by December no rain for 6 months! Sad to me. I prefer the rainy season! Not only is it greener and cooler, but fewer American tourists!  ¡Tranquilo!   🙂

Another interesting phenomenon in rainy season is that while Sep-Oct are the heaviest rains in Central Valley, it is also the time when the Caribbean gets the least amount of rain! Thus I always plan my trips there in Sep-Oct!  🙂   Also note that both coasts are coastal rainforests which get rain year around, even when it is not rainy season here. I would like living there for that but not for the always hot and humid condition of the beaches. (Though the NW corner called Guanacaste is the desert area and pretty dry year around.) So I think the Central Valley is the best place to live with easy access to the whole country and the best overall weather! In fact the PR slogan of Atenas is “el mejor clima del mundo” or “the best weather in the world.”

One realtor’s take on it: 
And the Canary Islands also claim the best weather in this interesting video:
But that is the other side of the world! Different continent!

¿El mejor clima del mundo? InterNations Says So!

Recently, an international survey of expats found Costa Rica as having the best weather in the world. The organization InterNations asked the question about weather in its survey to expats in 195 countries. There were 14,000 respondents. InternNations stated, “If you move to Costa Rica, Cyprus or Greece, you can be sure to enjoy the outdoors almost every day of the year.”

The organization also went on to say that, “The most popular reasons for relocating to Costa Rica are for a better quality of life and a thirst for adventure.” “The country’s friendly people and great work-life balance are just some of the reasons why expats decide to move to this tropical paradise.”

My internet research also puts the Canary Islands up near the top of this list. Still a subjective opinion!   🙂    But I like being in the mix and most often at the top!  🙂

InterNations’ Best/Worst Weather Map

Weather was not my only reason for choosing to retire in Costa Rica, but a major factor. I literally live outdoors all the time in an alfresco style house with doors and windows always open all day and only window screens separating me from outside at night. I have no need for air-conditioning or heat at any time of the year and rarely use my ceiling fans on some warm afternoons.

The PR Slogan for my little farm town of Atenas (on the back of all our buses) is:
El mejor clima del mundo!   (vinculada al artículo en español)

The best weather of the world!   (linked to English article)