Click to see a little larger and thus easier to read. It may be that only people who live here or travel in Costa Rica a lot can appreciate the broad variety of places I have visited in 3 years and this is only the big name places like National Parks. There are so many little towns and places I have visited like Zarcero, Sarchi, Pura Vida Gardens, La Paz Gardens, Zoo Ave, waterfalls, fiestas, farm tours, etc. that simply won’t fit on this little map! Continuous adventure!
I am so fortunate to live in such a beautiful natural place with so much to see and photograph! I love it here! And I enjoy every moment of every day whether traveling, sitting in my garden, or waiting in some long, slow government line. ¡Pura Vida!
AND ADDING TO THE MAP THIS YEAR: I earlier listed some of the places scheduled for my visits the next few months and now I have extended the list for one trip every month through next February 2019. So if any of you guys in the states want to visit, you will have to work around my trips or join me on one of them! 🙂 I have a trip-a-month for May through February with reservations for places that will help fill in the white spaces on the above map with 4 repeats:
Manquenque Ecolodge, Boca del Tapada near Pital on Rio San Carlos (a new wild rainforest & wetlands) Sleeping in a treehouse for the first time! A top birding place seldom seen by most tourists. – January
It promises to be my best “bucket list” year yet here in Costa Rica and I’m doing exactly what I planned to do when I made the decision to move here in retirement for these final “golden years” of life! (The “decision process” was documented earlier on this blog, starting with my first post, June 26, 2014.) Wonderful decision! (Not fully made until September that year.) As my friend Bill Peters at LifeWay used to say: “Every day’s a holiday and every week’s a vacation!” (In jest about working at LifeWay) But when you retire in Costa Rica that is almost true! ☺
Copied from a blog of an expat living in Jaco, Costa Rica. 🙂
“Remember what Bilbo used to say: It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”– JRR Tolkien
Beach or Mountain – Every Place is Good to Visit Here!
Above is sunset at Flamingo Beach.
That is part of my retirement job of “enjoying retirement.” And though my entire photo gallery titled “Charlie Doggett’s COSTA RICA”includes much from these trips I take about every two months or more frequently, it has been mostly organized in subject galleries like Birds, Butterflies, Flora & Forest, places and events. Because people ask me about traveling to a specific location, what I saw there, about guides, activities, hotel, food, etc. I decided to add a new section to the photo galleries called “TRIPS.”Here you will find a gallery or folder on each trip with most recent trip at top and most include multiple photo galleries, like one for all the birds I photographed there, one on the hotel, other animals, scenery, etc. So if you are interested in what you might see and do in say Drake Bay, Tortuguero, or Sarapiqui, just check out my trip gallery to that place. And you already know that nature is my primary focus on all trips! 🙂
I guess this will be most helpful to persons considering a particular place to visit to see if it is something that interests you. Now also be aware that I travel to places multiple times and usually in different hotels/lodges. So check out all three of my trip galleries to San Gerardo de Dota for example. Or if you are just wanting . . .
HOTELS & LODGES
Me at hotel by Arenal Volcano
And if you only want my opinion on a hotel or lodge? Well, I’m using a new “story-telling” feature on my web gallery host (SmugMug) now to present my opinions of the various hotels and lodges I have visited, over 30 in 3 years! These are listed alphabetically by locations (town. park, etc) and include links to the hotel’s website as well as other links of interest like my above trip galleries! 🙂 You find it in my big gallery under “PLACES & THINGS” as Cost Rica Lodges & Hotels.
And for different kinds of reviews, I also write a report on most hotels on TripAdvisorwhere you should find a list of my reviews.
Most Americans are addicted to cars and thus will use a rent car with a GPS that will get you to any location. Just don’t depend on maps and addresses since house numbers are not used in Costa Rica much nor are streets or highways labeled, which can be a problem at the intersection of two highways where you need to turn. In addition to GPS systems, a lot of locals use WAZE on their cellphones for directions since it includes traffic problems, wrecks, construction work and detours. Or Google Maps provides good directions also on phones. Just bring a car charger for phone!
But if you want to forget the stress and travel the Pura Vida way, take a public bus to anywhere in the country for pennies on the dollar compared to rent car and no stress or getting lost. At your destination town, take a taxi to your hotel or many hotels provide shuttle transportation. To find bus schedules and plan your trip use http://horariodebuses.com/EN/cr/index.phpand if you can’t handle Spanish, there is a menu item to “Change the Language” with many major world languages included, like English! 🙂
NOTE: Since this post I now use a private driver for most trips not needing a plane. I use Walter Ramirez whose business is linked in the right column of this blog and to logo at left. I highly recommend him and all of his drivers. It costs more than a bus but is quicker, more efficient, more comfortable and relaxing with stops anytime you wish.
For longer distances and to save a long bus ride, I recommend the Costa Rican Sansa Airlines to get you across the country quickly and efficiently (telephone them is best) or their Canadian competitor Nature Air. Booking online has not worked efficiently for me, so I recommend telephoning either airline. NOTE: Nature Air has gone out of business since this post. But Sansa was always better anyway! 🙂
Typical 12-passenger plane used for in-country flights
and to neighbors Nicaragua and Panama.
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It
Well, I may have gotten carried away with travel information and opinions! Sorry! My original purpose was to simply introduce you to my new set of photo galleries called
If you are not aware, most Cubans trying to get to the states have now chosen to fly to Columbia and travel by land up through Central America to the Texas border, meaning we have crowds of Cubans coming through Costa Rica daily.