Costa Rica, Pura Vida. PART TWO


Tuesday, April 2 – Thursday, April 4

First of all, happy birthday (April 2) to my great friend Kristin — who has known me through a lot of better and a lot of worse – even blue toilet water.  Wish you were here but can’t wait to see you in June!

What a great few days we had.  Dany, Goose and Lizzie arrived midday on Monday.  Just hung out close to home, grilled some of Charlie’s Snook for dinner and got caught up.

Tuesday am, we left for the Quepos Airport to take two flights from here to La Fortuna (Arenal).  After SJO, we took another short flight to La Fortuna.  I sure was glad after we landed in La Fortuna – there were a few little bumps but really nothing much to speak of considering the size of the airplane.


Boarding the flight to SJO – our group made up over half the passengers!


We arrived into LaFortuna and headed straight to the hotel and about 1 minute later the tour company was waiting for us to take us to the Volcano.

IMG_1224We walked for a bit and then got to the point where the last begin eruption happened in 1968.  It was very cool. There were lots of beautiful orchids, birds, monkeys and the view from the top was well worth the little hike.

The volcano was dormant for hundreds of years and exhibited a single crater at its summit, with minor fumaroles activity, covered by dense vegetation. In 1968 it erupted unexpectedly, destroying the small town of Tabacón. Due to the eruption three more craters were created on the western flanks but only one of them still exists today. Since October 2010, Arenal’s volcanic activity appears to be decreasing and explosions have become rare,[4] with no explosions reported between December 2010 and October 2012. (Wikipedia)


Reached the summit of the 1968 lava flow trail


Lizzie, Elsa and Hen starting their hike


Fat and happy cow living alongside Arenal – i think it looks like a “Dixie Cow”



The kids loved the resort – we stayed at the Paradise Mountain Hotel.  It was a great resort but you could tell that the people who worked there were getting a bit fatigued with all the tourists – at the end of the high season.  They were not exactly the most accommodating people but regardless, we had a terrific stay!  The kids thought our bungalow looked like a “Smurf House”.



Wednesday, we headed for white water rafting on the Balsa River.  We traveled on a bus about 40 minutes away.  We had a great guide named Gerald.  We had to split up from D & G because each raft only held 7 people and one guide.  It was amazing.  It was definitely one of the best things we have done on this trip!




I have to run now — we are all getting ready to go on an ATV Adventure this am.  Will fill in more details of our Arenal Adventure including white water rafting, etc. as soon as I get a spare moment.  🙂

Thanks for reading.

Friday, April 5

ATV Adventure!  Wow!  That was fun.

We all rode double with the kids except for Dany who rode solo.  We rode down some very dusty roads into the palm forest.  It was a nice long ride to Rainmaker — all the kids loved it (big and small).


OxCart -- collecting the cut palms

OxCart — collecting the cut palms

ready to roll


After we got to Rainmaker, we parked and walked to the river where Charlie and Henry jumped off a small cliff into the river.  It gave me a heart attack and about 100 new gray hairs.

brave boy

My brave boy!


That water was soooo cold



at natural shower

At the natural shower

Saturday, April 6–

Took D&G to the local market in the am and then headed to the beach for the afternoon.  The waves were crazy — some of them at least 6 feet.  Charlie rented a board and had a tough time with the waves and length of the board (too short).  Henry got a few really good rides on the board though.  It was definitely better suited to him.

We had Bruni sit the kids again last night so we went back to La Luna.  What a view and meal!  Excellent — all the way around.


Sunday, April 7 –

Today started with some rain but then it cleared a bit.  Drove into town for a little souvenir shopping and then off to Manuel Antonio for our last day at the beach.  After the beach, we headed to Byblos for a little monkey watching – we were not disappointed!

View from the front porch

View from the front porch



Tiki Monkey


Manuel Antonio National Park

Manuel Antonio National Park



Monday, April 8

Back to “normal” life for a few days.  D&G left today.

Started homeschooling back up this am after Spring Break, Spanish with Jorge and then off to explore some southern beach towns.

Goodbye Weer family

Goodbye Weer family

Mom, Martha and Alex join us Thursday am.  We cannot wait to see them.  I am certain it will be a most welcome respite from the cold for Mart and Alex!!

We enjoyed a somewhat relaxing day.  Homeschooled, had our brain-bending Spanish lesson from Jorge and then headed to Dominical Beach.  It is known for being a surfer and backpacker destination and oh yes, it was.  


We walked around a bit  and then went to Tortilla Flats for a drink and then headed home.  It was a great day.



Lots of stalls selling all kinds of goods - some native and some definitely hecho en Mexico or China.

Lots of stalls selling all kinds of goods – some native and some definitely hecho en Mexico or China.



Tuesday, April 9 –

We had a great day today.  Henry, Charlie and I all took surfing lessons from the MASS (Manuel Antonio Surf School).

Charlie and I split the 3 hour lesson so someone could be with Elsa on the beach but Henry surfed the entire three hours and never once gave up.  He had at least 10 – 15 great rides all the way into the beach.  Even when he got wiped out from the 6 foot waves, he came out of the water with a huge smile on his face.  That kid is a true Pisces. He loves water!

Our next goal is to get Elsa surfing. Maybe this Spring on Folly. I think she’d be great.




Not sure of our plans for today, Wednesday.

Thanks for reading. Miss you all.

Wednesday, April 10

Today was a bit of a crazy day going back and forth dealing with all of Mom’s, Martha’s and Alex’s messed up travel plans.

Mart and Alex were delayed out of NY and missed their connection to San Jose out of Ft Lauderdale.  They stayed the night there and caught the first flight in the am.  Mom however, had no problems with her flights out of Atlanta.  She came on through to San Jose and we had her met by a driver who brought her to the house in record time —  about 2 hours.  It was 3 am our time and 5 am hers.  It was a very long day for her but at least she was here safely.

After staying close to home for most of the day, we went to dinner at MarLuna. Not too far from the house.  It was fine – nothing spectacular.  🙂

Thursday, April 11

Mart and Alex arrived about 3 pm from San Jose and apparently had no trouble getting here – with the help of their trust WeGo and GPS.

We had a nice dinner and everyone was in bed by 9:15.

Friday, April 12

I took Alex and Martha to Manuel Antonio Nat Park for an early morning hike.  No monkeys but tons of iguanas.


Top of Cathedral Point




Completed our whirlwind tour of the park, did a little birthday shopping for Elsa at a local stall (this was a first).

Had a visit from Jorge and then we all met the taxi to take us to the Ocean King for sunset sail and snorkeling.  We tried a different boat from the first time we did and it was so great. Everything about the Ocean King was better.  Planet Dolphin was fine but now we have a comparison, Ocean King is way better.  Bigger boat – top and bottom deck, big bar, very friendly staff, double water slides,….


Henry and Elsa waiting for them to open the slide

Henry and Elsa waiting for them to open the slide

Elsa steering the boat

Elsa steering the boat

IMG_1486Captain Henry at the helm

One small incident…Mart and I jumped off the 22 foot top deck and it was a beautiful jump until we hit the water.  Mart must have done the “Martha” and landed in a weird way because when she surfaced, dislocated or broken finger.  OMG!  Freak me out!  Got her back to the boat and thankfully, there was a doctor and a nurse on board.  The doctor assessed that her finger was just dislocated so she yanked it back into place. OWWW!  Nothing that a rum and pineapple couldn’t help.


A little while later…finger is splinted and she’s feeling a lot better



Makarena, anyone?





Dolphins playing in the waves of the catamaran



Mommy and baby


All in all, it was a great day and a really fun time on the Ocean King. I would definitely recommend to anyone.

Captain Henry at the helm

7 thoughts on “Costa Rica, Pura Vida. PART TWO

  1. Pingback: ATV and Rainmaker Adventure | The Moore Family's European and South / Central American Adventure, 2012

  2. Liz, Charlie, Hen, & Elsa – thank you for being such amazing hosts on our adventure in CR. We had a blast & made memories for a life time. On our ride back to San Jose airport, we each discussed our trip highlights. They were riding 2 small aircraft up to volcano, dip at Rainmaker – Goose. Hiking up volcano & spending beach time with Hen & Elsie – Lizzie. White water rafting, swim up bar at La Fortuna, dinner @ La Luna, monkeys @ Byblos – Dany. Ok, so I have a few…Love you all & thank you again!!!

  3. Pingback: Check, check, check. :) | The Moore Family's European and South / Central American Adventure, 2012

  4. Pingback: Ocean King, perfect — with one exception | The Moore Family's European and South / Central American Adventure, 2012

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