Costa Rica – Guanacaste

Our Costa Rican adventure came to a fast end. We left the Arenal area and headed west toward Guanacaste for some quality rest and relaxation on the Pacific coast, but not before stopping at Palo Verde National Park first. We took a boat along the Tempisque River with help from the (amazingly wonderful) folks at El Viejo Wetlands. Here are some of the creatures we saw along the way.

Iguana and Bats


We were incredibly lucky to also have caught a sighting of the once near-extinct jabiru, the tallest flying American stork.


And of course… never smile at a crocodile…


The friendly staff at El Viejo Wetlands also served a delicious meal at the Hacienda, complete with rice, beans, plantains and salsa lizano.



I asked our guide if we could try sugarcane from the surrounding plantation, and they (sooo graciously) brought me a small plate to munch on. If you are interested in visiting the wildlife at Palo Verde, I highly recommend doing a boat trip with El Viejo. The folks here really seem to respect the land and the animals, so while you won’t be able to feed the crocodiles (which you really shouldn’t be doing anyway), you certainly do gain an understanding and appreciation for the wildlife here.


Once in Guanacacste, we made Tamarindo our central hub, which allowed us to explore the various beaches and coves along the Pacific. Things got a little scary at this point, as we (unwittingly) went off-roading on some rather treacherous unpaved paths. Trusting our tiny Daihatsu 4×4, we waded through rivers, slid down sides of rocks, and climbed steep mountain paths. All well worth it of course. We found some really awesome secluded beaches, far far away from the throngs of crowds at Playa Tamarindo.

View from our Daihatsu BeGo


A beach resident


Unknown beach and island


Sunset at Playa Tamarindo

While staying in Tamarindo, we were really fortunate to have eaten at some of the best restaurants in the area. And while none of it was Tico food, we appreciated the variety that Tamarindo offered. Being a very touristy town, there were all sorts of international food options.

Seasons (located inside the Arco Iris Hotel), featuring fresh mussels with white wine and jumbo shrimp in coconut sauce.

The Rip Jack Inn Restaurant & Bar (right on the edge of Playa Grande) presented fish tacos, pinto gallo, and salad.

The Falafel Bar served up great sandwiches – really great falafel balls, though not as awesome as L’as Du Falafel.

Ttiki at the Pasatiempo Hotel delivered delicious seafood from a Basque (French-Spanish influenced) chef.

Additional photos of the animals, plants and other foods will be posted on my web album soon. Until then, I hope you’ve enjoyed my Tico adventure. If you haven’t been, I sure hope you plan to. And if you have, then perhaps it help triggered fond memories of your own. Until soon and wishing everyone a merry Thanksgiving.



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