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Costa Rica Guide


Getting to Montezuma from Monteverde is easy enough. Catch the first bus from Monteverde at Punta Arenas. An American girl on our bus had her bag stolen as the bus was unloading at Puntarenas, so, as always keep your wits about you in these situations. From the bus station catch a taxi or the local bus to the ferry. There is one bus waiting at the other end and there are a lot of people on the ferry, so make sure you get of quickly and get a seat. The town of Montezuma has little to recommend it. Many of the restaurants are over-priced with poor food with gringos in rented 4WDs thinking they are getting a bargain. We stayed at Lucy's, a local lady with a nice hotel right on the beach. At high tide the waves come right up to the deck. A room with private bath is US$5 per person.

Wildlife, Costa Rica

Walking along the coast in either direction is beautiful, but to the East is especially nice. The only down side is the tide brings a lot of debris, including a lot of plastic rubbish. Swimming is possible at several of the beaches, but some are too rough and rocky to make swimming much fun. Boards are available from a couple of places at Montezuma.

The park near Montezuma was an interesting walk, but it had been raining for several days and more than half the track was either a swamp or a mud-slide that made it less of a nature trail and more of adventure trail. We saw a couple throw their shoes away when they got back to the park entrance! The beach at the far end is pretty, but terrible for swimming at low tide. If you want to spend any time at the beach head there on the first bus of the morning otherwise you will have time for a very quick dip and lunch (bring your own and lots of water) before heading back. We saw white-faced capuchins and howler monkeys as well as some birds, insects, lizards and a snake.

Quepos & Manuel Antonio

We stayed at Hostal Mar y Luna. A double with private bath costs US$15. Nicer rooms are upstairs. The owner is a little strange, making several sexual innuendoes towards Ange, and then complaining that we put our own lock on the door. Nice hotel, but the management was just a bit too creepy to recommend it.

There are a couple of good sodas opposite the bus station and a place that does delicious fried chicken. El Avion on the way to Manuel Antonio is a definite splurge. Get off the bus when you see a military transport plane converted into a restaurant. The food here is excellent, as is the decor. The interior of the aircraft has been converted into a bar. However, the service is pushy - and not surprisingly service is automatically added to the bill.

Wildlife, Costa Rica

Manuel Antonio is a heavily visited park. Despite this we saw an amazing amount of wildlife in a very short space. We went with guide Juan Louise Brenes (Ph 506-352-8002, email , www.aguilatours.com) and saw 2 and 3-toed sloths, a boa, turtles, 3 types of monkeys including the squirrel monkeys (which are very rare and only found in 2 places in Costa Rica), many types of birds including humming birds many and many insects, 2 species of bat, armadillo, 3 types of lizard, a salamander, a deer and more - all in a 4 easy hour walk! Juan charges US$15 per person, but we got in on the back of another tour and only paid US$10. The tour was only only supposed to be 2.5 hours, so 4 hours was a real bonus.