Costa Rica trip report--traveling with a toddler

Old Jul 10th, 2002, 09:40 AM
  #1  
Monica
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Costa Rica trip report--traveling with a toddler

Oh my gosh, we had the best time!! We stayed at Xandari plantation in Alajuela, the Tulemar Bungalows outside of Quepos, and Barcelo Playa Tambor. Except for Barcelo, they were great! We didn't have a bad meal the whole time we were there, and saw so much wildlife! My husband is a convert, I doubt we'll ever go to Hawaii again (Hawaii seems so dead compared to Costa Rica because there is so little fauna, and now that the tourist infrastructure in Costa Rica is where it is, there's no need to settle!)
We saw tons and tons of things, so many birds that I am now interested in them, we wish we had brought binoculars. In particular we saw Scarlet Macaws (in the wild! So awesome to see them fly) and I saw scarlet billed Acararis (toucans, but not the fruit loops kind, although they have those too). We saw Jesus Cristo lizards (but unfortunately this time we didn't see them walk on water, although I did see that last time), dragon lizards, iguanas, and many more. Sloths (both two and three toed), bats, coatis, monkeys (squirrel, white-faced and howler), and many many butterflies and caterpillars. Crabs by the dozens, who knew there were so many kinds?

My daughter, Genevieve (20 months) did very well, we're raising a little traveler. She understood the concept of "our room" (she'd go by every one saying "this not ours, this not ours....This One Ours!!), she loved the swimming pools and she became an excellent caterpillar spotter ("Caterpillar right there! Touch it caterpillar? Bye bye Mr. caterpillar") She also liked the monkeys "Monkeys eating balls! Monkeys eating balls!...Monkeys playing peek-a-boo). She also liked the fuss she generated whereever we went--fair-haired babies are very popular. Everyone would say "Que linda la bebe! Que perfecta! Es una muneca! Que gordita!" and she would just grin and bat her eyelashes. She thought everyone's name was Hola because we would say "say Hola" and she would and when the person left she would say "bye bye hola". Silly girl.

My husband is going to upload all of the pictures today and I'm going to write the trip report while Genevieve is napping. I'll post the link as soon as it's ready.

Thanks again for the great advice, especially to Iza. Such a wonderful trip.
 
Old Jul 10th, 2002, 09:44 AM
  #2  
Iza
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Monica, I am so glad you enjoyed your trip! I was thinking about you the other day when lurking around here and was wondering how you did. Looking forward to your trip report.
 
Old Jul 11th, 2002, 09:26 PM
  #3  
Monica
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I've finally finished the trip report, it can be found at http://www.markandmonica.com/Travel/costa_rica.htm . Be warned, it's very long! Pictures-only are posted at http://www.markandmonica.com/Photos/CostaRica/index.htm
 
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 05:09 AM
  #4  
Iza
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Monica, what a great trip report!
I have to keep Tulemar in mind for our next trip - it sounds like a great place. And I am glad you liked Xandari, one of our favorite places in Costa Rica.
Of course, you confirmed my suspicions about Barcelo Playa Tambor - your report makes it crystal clear that small independent hotels are the way to go in Costa Rica. Avoid the chains!
Your report brought back many memories - our daughter also loved chasing the hermit crabs on the beaches.
Well, we're off to Kauai in 3 weeks but I know we will return to Costa Rica some time - it is such a great country.
 
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 05:46 AM
  #5  
Les
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Monica,
Great trip report, cute, cute little girl. I must say though, the picture of the monkey standing up near the road is not a howler monkey. Howler monkeys are black, but hey, you saw two or three of the 4 species on your trip, PLUS AScarlet Macaws! Awesome
 
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 07:43 AM
  #6  
Monica
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Les: Any idea what kind of monkey that was then? We'd seen howler monkeys earlier and they seemed like they could be dark brown not black. At any rate this monkey wasn't acting like a howler but I didn't think it could be anything else.
 
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 08:26 AM
  #7  
Les
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Monica,
Well, I guess you could say the howlers range from very very dark brown to black, but I've been to CR 7 times and have never seen a howler that light brown color...I think that was a Spider monkey you saw! CR has Spider, White Face, Squirrel and Howlers, so as I said, you saw three of the 4 species! Took me three trips there to see all 4!
 
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 08:41 AM
  #8  
Les
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Went back to the picture and looked again. Yep, that's a spider monkey. Howlers are very dark brown or black all over. They don't have belly's that light but are dark all over! Gotta go...I want to see your pictures of Hawaii! I'm going to Maui (3rd time) and Kauai (1st time!) next year!
 
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 01:56 PM
  #9  
Monica
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Thanks Les, I've changed it on the website. If that was a spider monkey we saw four out of four because we did see howler monkeys while in Tambor.
 
Old Jul 12th, 2002, 11:50 PM
  #10  
Kathy
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Dear Monica,
Thanks to "helperbee" I now know how to "cut and paste" and was easily able to locate your trip report. Here I am past midnight laughing while reading about your daughter, your travels and appreciating your clever, humorous writing style. Thank you for sharing your Costa Rica travel experiences. Kathy
 
Old Jul 13th, 2002, 08:37 AM
  #11  
Monica
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Kathy: I'm so glad you enjoyed it!
 
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