Monday, September 27, 2010

Trip to Costa Rica - Part 1

You know they say you are lucky if your dreams come true. But what is it when you end up with something you consider it remote possibility even to dream.

Its more than luck. Its called being blessed. I would say that I am blessed. We had Labor Day long weekend during 1st week of September. Generally, people from the Bay area go to San Diego, Los Angeles or Las Vegas. Few stretch and manage to visit Niagara or Washington or Seattle or Chicago.

But I ended up going to an exotic place very few would even dream to go and still fewer mortals who would actually go. Got once in a lifetime opportunity to visit the Central American country of Costa Rica. It was decided that Gautam and I would go ahead with the trip after all the initial indecisiveness and miserably failing in ticket cancellation. We had no other choice but go on the trip.

No plans, no bookings, dont know where to go and what to do. We just set off with a vague idea that we wanted to trek through the rain forests of Corcovado and watch an active volcano.

The moment we landed, we realized language would be a huge problem. Not many speak English, even in the capital of San Jose. But people are very friendly and helpful. We could do our way through gestures and during our course of stay, learnt decent Spanish to survive. To ask for drinks, food and route.

Day 1

Landed in San Jose from San Francisco. We knew we wanted to go to Puerto Jiménez. It is the largest town on the Osa Peninsula where the Corcovado National Park is situated. There were no direct flights to Puerto Jiménez from San Jose that day. We were suggested to take a flight to Golfito (meaning little bay) and take a ferry ride for 2 hours. We did not want to waste any time further. So bought tickets; we had 2 hours to wait.

 Decided to go to San Jose downtown, have breakfast and exchange for dollars for Costa Rica's currency Colones. San Jose is a nice city, people ride 2 wheelers which look like the ones we had during early 90s. Had a scrumptious Costa Rican breakfast and got our dollars exchanged. Roamed around a bit; the taxi driver was trying to explain me through his gestures not to be careless with my belongings. His efforts I must praise, he had feraful expression on his face to show this place had thieves and that I be careful.

Spanish everywhere. People, learn Spanish. It would help. Its going to one of the major languages of the world!

This roughly translates to "to make peace is to reduce the speed"

Costa Ricans are very obsessed with their 'bandera nacional' :-) National flag that is. Its draped everywhere and anywhere, its showcased wherever possible.

A traffic signal in downtown San Jose

Typical Costa Rican breakfast - Arroyo Pinto which is Rice with Black beans, fried sweet plantain, omelet.

A famous cathedral. No time to go in

 City Square

A government building. 


 Thats the flight :-) It was so much fun to travel in a tiny flight. The 2 pilots. They were sweet.The flight journey sitting behind the pilots is a totally different and new experience. Its like commuting by bus! :-P

 Matchbox size buildings

 As seen from the flight. The fluffy clouds playing hide and seek. Those rivers criss-crossing the green landscape to join the sea. The foamy wave bordering the ocean like a delicate lace.

The flight radar screen

Arriving in Golfito. It was raining. Initial reservations about going to Golfito vanished the moment we landed there. It was so beautiful

The port.

Now why would I miss the chance of getting clicked with the flight in the background and 2 handsome and smart pilots for company!!

Waiting for the ferry to Puerto Jiménez

A slab which reads Republic of Costa Rica, Central America

Ferry arrives

The ferry ride just proved how the unplanned and hasty decision can also be worthwhile and thrilling. The most beautiful journey and I kept pinching myself to make sure all this was true.

The town of Puerto Jiménez. Largest in Osa peninsula with a population of 1780. The country is close to the equator and has tropical climate throughout. The season now is rainy in this southern part and hence the rains. 

That evening, we had to book return flight back to San Jose. At a travel agency, this man was amused trying to pronounce our names. Captured his amusement.

More in the next post :-)


  1. I'm simply fascinated by the peaceful wide roads! They're too rare around here; even cycling through them is terrible. So when I see the roads in your pictures, I feel like teleporting instantly to those places!
    Ah don't show the spicy foods, my tasate buds are going crazy :)
    The best part is indeed the mini flight. I just loved the idea, and the shreds of spongy clouds.
    Finally, what made me go aww is the photo of the bridge - the one with the blue shade. Calm and serene!

  2. Also this is the first time I got to comment first in your blog ;)

  3. Wow!! Damn cool, lady!!
    Have a great time enjoying and exploring!
    Loved this travelogue. Looking forward to part-2!
    Cheers :)

  4. Quite good pics as usual.
    However a bit envious about this whole travel of yours, especially this jet setting to Central America

  5. Lucky you! You get to go to all these fabulous places. Thanks for sharing the experience. The pictures say it all :) Waiting to catch-up on the rest of your trip!

  6. Wondeful pictures. Hope, you and Gautam along with the local guides enjoyed the trip to Costa Rica and nearby places.


    i loved the golfito pic the most. the amused travel agent was too funny:D

  8. Wow! Lucky you!
    Lovely pics, you sure had a great time, didn't you? :)
    Puerto Jimenez looks like a small town of Kerala on a rainy day :)

  9. Yea, Yea! I am the first! :)

    First - Bravo! Thats the path, thats the untrodden path to take! Who care two hoots about Niagara and San Diego?

    Country looks very much like Kerala, with a coconut (?) palm.

    Next holidays, go to Tierra del Fuego!

    Hey, where's my dog picture? ;)

  10. oh I envy you!! I saw the pics of your trip..loved are indeed blessed :)

    i loved the cloud pattern, the first pic and all the pics yaar :))

  11. You seem to be enjoying every moment at your disposal.Smart move.Keep it up and enjoy yourself.

  12. oofff..oofff..amazing post..gr88888 pictures..u r indeed blessed yar..enjoy the moment..and thanks for sharing..:)

  13. Pictures get their jewellery's when you caption them.


  14. Nice description. Excellent pictures. I always wanted to go to Costa Rica. I envy you. Costa Rica is famous for its national park and its biodiversity. Waiting for Part 2.

  15. et,

    The roads are wider and there's no much vehicles. But downtown San Jose is chaotic. Its a very small area of chaos so no problem. Otherwise Costa Rica roads are pleasure to drive.

    Food was amazing; yummy and scrumptious :-D

    You have to take the mini flight if ever you get a chance, dont miss it.

    Its so beautiful; the flight and the experience.

    The bridge is the Golfito Bay. It was a tiny little village with very less people. They were friendly, but we couldnt talk much due to language problem. Yet they were such sweethearts.

  16. et,

    Boy! is that so? I am happy as well :-)

  17. Shilpa,

    Gracias senorita :-)

    Yes, making most of my time in exploring.

    Yes, yes, Part 2 coming your way soon!!

  18. anil,

    Thank you. :-) I know!! You should also try doing some crazy things like this.
    Just dump everything and jet set. I know it would be a mess of things left behind but it settles down once you get back with vigor and energy :-)

  19. RGB,

    Yes :-) I push myself to go to all these places. Once in a lifetime, never want to miss. Coming soon!!

  20. Naidu sir,

    Pictures are mine and Gautam's :-)
    Yes, we had lot of fun. I hope he has already shared that with you. :-)

  21. WD,

    Yes wow!! :-)
    Golfito was heaven! The amused travel agent really did well.
    Spanish folks can pick up Indian things fast and the same with us.

  22. Destiny's child,

    :-) I did have the most wonderful time of my life!
    Yes, it very much resembles Kerala.

    I will write the similarity and difference in my next post :-)

  23. Bala sir,

    :-) Thank you. Yup!! Always want to take the untrodden path :-)

    Yes, the place looks very similar to Kerala. I shall write about it in my next post.

    Dog picture, I am sure I have captured. Let me check and put that up for you :-)

  24. Neha,

    :-) Dont! Look for an opportunity and backpack!!

  25. great pics
    with excellent narration

  26. Chowla sir,

    Yes sir, what else is life for? Enjoy the moment :-)

  27. SG,

    This is just the beginning. You have to make a trip once.
    Part 2 is the crux. This is just an introduction.

  28. The government building was the National Theater and the reason for all the flags was that Independence Day was Sept 15th.

    The rain is killing us.

  29. Hi Anonymous,

    Wish I knew your name. Oh I guessed so. Thought some national occurrence near the corner. Oh! I am so sorry about the rain.

    Thanks so much for sharing this information.

  30. awww...u are giving me a world tour through ur blog..:)

  31. Whatevr other destinations you have written, I have seen, but missed it...looking so beautiful..

  32. Madhu,

    Yedho...whatever is possible from me :-)

  33. Samvedna,

    Costa Rica is really beautiful :-)
    You should go if you get a chance

  34. Did you try any of the spicy food there like mexicans? You had your charm over the pilots too and managed a shot of the cockpit!

  35. Holy Lama,

    I tried most local food. I mean, I cant try all as I am a vegetarian. But they were too happy to modify their non veg meal to veg meal for me.

    Generally, tourists want their own food and dont try local flavors. When I was ready to try them, they were too happy to oblige :-)

  36. This is like one of the things you dream of right? Visiting an exotic country. You hope that nothing goes wrong. And you want to take in everything possible. I know that feeling :P

  37. kish,

    I didnt even dream these kinds :-) Thats what I mentioned. :-)

  38. Aww...I am the last one. :(
    (what to do was busy packing my bags for home.)

    these pics are so awesome,I could feel the cold breeze blowing across that ferry.
    the selection of the pics was nice too.
    (nothing much left to say, all have been mentioned above).. :(

  39. wow wow wow :D someone is enjoying a lot :D
    the roads looks so beautiful and those clouds pic - amazinggggg :D

  40. Anurag,

    You are not last :-)

    Oh going home? Have fun!!

    Thanks so much. I am not sure if the pics do decent justice to the beauty of this place. The ferry ride was outta world experience. :-)

    Some more coming your way

  41. Rajlakshmi,

    Yeah yeah yeah :-)
    :-) Thanks so much

  42. Oh wow..lucky you. This reminds me of Motorcycle diaries - Che Guevara!! :) It must've been an unforgettable trip I bet. So what was your name pronounced as? I'm curious. And how was Mexican food! :)

  43. lostworld,

    :-) Yes, it was something of that sort.
    Its going to be unforgettable for sure.

    Costa Ricans managed to pronounce it well. It was the second name that they had difficulty. But they could manage as they can pronounce 'r' well.

    Its not Mexican but Costa Rican food :-) It was delicious :-)


I'd love to know what you thought :-) Please shoot!