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Trip Report Trip report! Bosque del Cabo and Lost Iguana

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Having been to Europe, the Middle East and throughout the US and Canada we decided it was time for something completely different and decided Costa Rica fit the bill. This trip certainly delivered! With 8 days we wanted to explore some different areas, splitting our time between Bosque del Cabo in the Osa Peninsula and The Lost Iguana, bookended by our first and last night at Casa Bella Rita in the suburbs of San Jose. Casa Bella Rita is a lovely B&B overlooking a canyon in the suburb of Santa Ana. The rooms are beautifully decorated and Steve and Rita could not be more gracious. They are animal lovers and have several dogs and birds on the property and Rita is involved with a local animal charity. Our first night Steve made us dinner which was a tasty pork and mango stirfry with delicious homemade chocolate ice cream. On our last night we took a 10 minute walk down to Meme's, a traditional Costa Rican restaurant with delicious casados and naturales.
Our real adventure started the second dayas we boarded our Nature Air flight to Puerto Jimenez. The takeoff out of San Jose was a little bumpy due to the mountains, but once airborne it was smooth sailing. We had a clear view all the way down and the scenery was amazing. After a brief stop in Drake Bay we landed in Puerto Jimenez and immediately greeted by Carlos. 45 minutes and 2 numb behinds later we arrived at Bosque del Cabo-paradise! We were shown to our home for the next 3 days, the Congo cabina. The bed was quite comfortable and we loved our outdoor shower! The deck was perfectly situated and I could have spent hours staring at the Pacific and listening to the harmony of the ocean and wildlife, but we were there to spot wildlife and spent much of our time on the hiking trails. The wildlife was abundant- we saw all 4 types of monkey(photographed 3), coati, agouti, peccary and a plethora of birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians. While there was a puma sighting while we there, sadly it was not by us. Shortly after we had left for a hike on the Golfo Dulce trail a puma was spotted at Casa Miramar, the guests enjoying a late breakfast were driven up and they caught a glimpse of the puma before it retreated back into the woods. We enjoyed ending our days chatting during happy hour and dinner and we met a lot of interesting people with whom I've kept in contact. The other guests were mostly couples ranging in age from late 20's to early 40's, as well as one family and a single man who I am fairly sure is the real life inspiration for the "Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World" commercials. As others have stated, the food at Bosque is amazing! Highlights for me were the Mahi, yucca tots and mango gallette for dessert. and aThe weather was great during the day, it rained late one afternoon and on the morning we left however there were some pretty scary thunderstorms at night. I was pleasantly surprised how well the thatched roofs worked! Also while at Bosque I experienced my first earthquake! The was a 6.0 magnitude earthquake in San Jose and we felt a slight wobble while relaxing on our deck. One of the many highlights at BdC was our horseback riding tour. It was just our guide Colby, my husband and I . The ride started by going down a small river and through the(very muddy!) rainforest and finally along the Pacific Ocean to a small lava rock formation. We got off our horses and explore around the beach a little before going back the way we came. The scerery during the tour was surreal, it felt like being in a movie!
While we were sad to leave BdC we were excited to continue on with our trip. After an uneventful flight on Nature Air we were greeted by our private driver Luis who had been arranged by Rita at Casa Bella Rita. We enjoyed the picturesque 3 hour drive to Arenal, especially driving through the coffee plantations of the Central Valley. We arrived at The Lost Iguana, located on the far side of La Fortuna near the lake, in mid afternoon. While the rooms and grounds of the Lost Iguana are beautiful and the view of the volcano was fantastic, it had a little more of a resortish feel to it. Also the hiking trails were not well maintained with places were the wood for steps had rotted away leaving exposed metal spike that were subsequently covered by leaf litter. While I do not shy away from a challenging hike (my favorite trail at BdC was the Saino Trail) I found the trails at Lost Iguana to be a little dangerous. While at Arenal we enjoyed the SkyTrek zipline, EcoThermales and the Hanging Bridges. We did the Hanging Bridges on our own and I was surprised at the amount of wildlife we saw including a peccary, several coati, various birds and snakes and a ghost moth. The food at Lost Iguana seemed like cafeteria quality and O found it to be overpriced for what you got though we discovered that any of the latin inspired dishes (fajitas, tico breakfast) were better. During breakfast our last day were were treated to quite the show as we watched a pair of toucans raid the nest of some other birds- this went on for about 20 minutes.Prior to this I had no idea toucans were predatory!

In summary
1. Early May was an excellent time to go to Costa Rica. We had little rain during our trip, the prices were lower and it wasn't crowded at all. There were never more than 15 people anywhere we stayed and the attractions at Arenal were not crowded.
2. Bosqe del Cabo was simply amazing, one of the best places I've ever stayed
3. I was not a birder when I left for Costa Rica but I came back as one!
4. We had a general interest in photography , but this trip inspired me to study up a bit and I learned how much I enjoy nature and wildlife photography in particular.
5. We really enjoyed Costa Rica and I've already started researching other places in Central and South America for future trips

Here are some pictures, I hope you guys enjoy!
https://picasaweb.google.com/106548645308290917465/CostaRica2011?authkey=Gv1sRgCNHS0Iir1Mr28AE&feat=directlink

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