lunes, 7 de noviembre de 2011

Earthly paradise Costa Rica Pura Vida

I travel every year to destinations in Central America and South America, this year we all went to  Costa Rica,  or  officially the Republic of Costa Rica Pura Vida as a phrase they used to mean that all is cool.
Is a country in Central America, bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east. Costa Rica, which means "Rich Coast", constitutionally abolished its army permanently in 1949. 
Because Costa Rica is located between 8 and 12 degrees north of the Equator, the climate is tropical year round. However, the country has many microclimates depending on elevation, rainfall, topography, and by the geography of each particular region.

 Costa Rica have 7  provinces:

  1. Alajuela
  2. Cartago
  3. Guanacaste
  4. Heredia
  5. Limón
  6. Puntarenas
  7. San José
We have awesome time our week started on Monday, we arrived at the hotel and saw familiar faces as it was the second time we traveled to Costa Rica and we were staying at the same hotel like few years ago Centro Colon Hotel now knowing like Days Hotel  and in now in November knowing like Trip Hotel. 

Our Room view of both sides of the city San Jose.

 Fist thing first as Puerto Ricans were crazy for drink  and what better to start with the country cerveza El Aguila Imperial beer.

 In our second day Thursday   we went   to Alajuela is a province of Costa Rica. It is located in the north-central part of the country, bordering Nicaragua to the north, and clockwise the provinces Heredia, San José, Puntarenas and Guanacaste. The province covers an area of 9,757.53 km², and has a population of 767,143.

We visit The Peace Lodge La Paz Waterfalls Gardens a gorgeous place.  We first stop to drink coffee, 
they work different types of coffee and harvest their own.

We arrived in La Paz Waterfall Gardens

 The gorgeous bathroom.
 The sink

We start the tour in the Aviary Toucans, Pavas, Scarlet Macaws, Grosbeaks, Tanagers ans more fly freely in the Aviary. Those birds watcher's paradise, as you will see some of the most exotic and colorful birds of Costa Rica, without binoculars. The Aviary is a refuge for wild birds that have been either captured illegally by hunters and confiscated by the government or donated by their owners. Many of these birds lack the basic skills to survive in the wild on their own.  

The Butterflies Observatory is an enclosed structure that allows over 20 different species of butterflies to soar freely while we walk amid the natural habitat. An on-site laboratory allows us to follow the life cycle and metamorphosis of these amazing creatures from egg to caterpillar to  butterfly.

 The Monkeys the playful additions to waterfalls gardens amuse the guest almost as much as themselves. Spider monkeys and White faced monkeys flex their cuteness quotient as they literally fly through the tress of the monkey pass. Above, below, and beside you they will delight you with their antics. 

The Hummingbirds Garden adds new meaning to birdwatching. These normally skittish creatures are so tame they will feed right from your hand. This is the only documented place in the world to find 26 hummingbird species.

The Snakes the museum quality Serpentarium exhibits 30 of the most beautiful and deadly snakes of Costa Rica. The exhibition puts you face to face with such famous snakes as the Bushmaster, Terciopelo, Green Vinesnake and Golden Eyelash Viper to name just a few.

Colibries Restaurant a Unique Dining Experience in Colibries Restaurant. The buffet lunch includes typical Costa Rican fare coupled with traditional favorites like pizza and hot dogs. The food is only enhanced by the view of the rain forest and the sounds of the cascading waterfalls. Rated four forks by the Costa Rica Tourism Institute.

Casita de La Paz enjoy life as it was a hundred years a goin La Casita de la Paz.m This unique reproduction was built using the tools available to the average farmer a century ago. Step back in time and taste some fresh milk ( right from the cow ), take a ride in a ox-driven cart, sample freshley made tortillas and see how the the Ticos lived and worked on rural farm.

Forgs taking a walk through the one of a kind Ranarium. Poison dart frogs and leaf frogs are everywhere, climbing freely in a natural setting. You won't want to miss this truly un"frog"ettable experience.

Jungle Cats the newest addition to Waterfall Gardens is the Jungle Cat exhibit. Walk on the wild side as you discover the difference between an ocelot and a Margay ( an Ocelot is larger ). The Jaguarundi is the own welcome committee as he delight in playing hide and seek through the glass enclosure ( perfect for photos ). This Exhibit is offered on a limited basis.

Waterfalls have you ever felt spray of 120 foot waterfall on your face? With over 70 of wildlife and forest to explore. La Paz Waterfall Gardens allow to wander through 3.5 kilometers of paved trails which take you above, below and right next to five awesome waterfalls. The trails wind along the La Paz River through both Cloud and Rainforest showing the diversity of the plant and wildlife the natural surrounding. 

Our third day  Wednesday we visited San Jose City where we had the opportunity to see the  New National Stadium that the Chinese gave the Ticos in gratefully  the Precident gran to 50 Chinese  the Costa Rican Citizenship. Has a capacity of 40 000 persons duly seated each with his chair  at the request of the President Oscar Arias, plus an accommodation center for 350 athletes (hotel). 

Our second stop was at a jewelry designs emeralds and they work in the lost wax.

Our third stop we visited the Natural History Museum La Salle. Has many stuffed animals and inside were not allowed to take pictures.

Our fourth stop we visiting Craft Factory.

Ready for lunch....

 My hubby ate Olla de Carne here in Puerto Rico we call it Sancocho (lik a Stew)
 I ate Parrillada (grill) includes chicken, pork, beef, rice and beans, corn and pico de gallo. 

Our fourth day Thursday   our first stop we visited the  Poás Volcano is a powerful symbol of the geothermal forces that formed Costa Rica. When the mist and clouds part you'll see the sulfuric, bubbling, green rain fed lake at the bottom, surrounded by smoke and steam rising from fumaroles. Water from the lake is constantly seeping through cracks in the hot rock, evaporating and building pockets of steam.

This plant they call it  umbrella for poor and used as such by how big it grows its leaf.

Our second stop we visit the town of Greece to see the Metal Church.   
The Cathedral de la Mercedes is the centerpiece of this small city northwest of San Jose. The church at the center of the small city of Grecia is made entirely of metal, and is a century old. The parishoner's decided to construct their church of metal after two previous churches had been destroyed. The first church, was made of brick and adobe, but was destroyed by a strong earthquake. Shortly after that church was rebuilt, this time of wood, it burned to the ground. Therefore, it was decided that the third church would not be built of materials so easily destroyed, and the order was placed for a church made of iron that would resist earthquakes, and could not burn.

The story goes that Grecians commissioned a European architect to design a church for them of metal. The plans approved, orders where submitted to have the pieces of this church to be prepared and shipped to Costa Rica, from northern Europe. However, when all the metal pieces arrived in Limon on the Caribbean coast, the money was used up shipping them to Grecia. The pieces were stored at various places in Coasta Rica, until finally, after about a decade, the parishoner's commissioned the architect to come to Costa Rica (to Grecia) to supervise its construction.

The Cathedral de la Mercedes is a gothic style church made from metal pieces that were imported from Belgium in the 1890’s. This church is as beautiful from the inside as it is impressive from the outside.

Sarchi is a small town not far from Grecia, and is the center for the manufacturing and painting of the traditional Costa Rican ox cart. Sarchi is also a very popular shopping town for Costa Rican's and tourists alike.    

Other pictures 
Group of Puerto Ricans
Eating at Restaurant  Nuestra Tierra (Our Earth)

Typical breakfast in Costa Rica 

I hope you have enjoyed this journey with me, if you want to know more you have to visit Costa Rica Pura Vida.

Stay healthy and beautiful 

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