Trip Report 2

Old Apr 1st, 2004, 06:22 AM
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Trip Report 2

We flew out of Pavas via 2 different charter planes to Tiskita Jungle Lodge the next morning. This place is about 3 miles south of Pavones on the Pacific side almost to the Panama line. It is a beautiful group of cabins and buildings that is inclusive with food and a guide on property. They are very involved in the community and restoration of macaw populations. The guide there (Luis) was fantastic and led a hike for us every day. Birders love this place since the owner keeps fruit trees and makes it easier to find the birds. We actually saw more wildlife here than a day trip we took into Sirena ranger station of Corcovado. Additional warning for Corcovado---watch for ticks. We wore long pants, sprayed with Deet and still picked off 15 to 20 of the little buggers.
Tiskita also rents bikes so you can explore Pavones where there is a large surfer population catching the longest left break in the world.
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Old Apr 1st, 2004, 06:31 AM
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We flew back to San Jose after 3 days and had a driver/guide for the next 4 days. This was a good option for the size of the group. The guide was quite a character and really blended well into my family. He knew vitually everyone in the towns we stopped and kept a happy banter and mood no matter how many silly questions we asked him.
We headed for Monteverde and Fonda Vela. The hotel is nice but needed some detail work to really give it the thumbs up. The rooms have lots of windows and a nice view. We visited the reserve the 2nd afternoon but the forrest did not cooperate too well.
Canopy tour and bridges at Selavtura were fun. Its a nice walk on the bridges and it gives new perspective than ground level. Zip lines are fun, not too much nature involved there other than your own adrenaline.
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Old Apr 1st, 2004, 06:38 AM
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We then headed to Arenal for 2 nights at the Observatory Lodge. We had rooms in the Smithsonian block that were very nice and large. One full wall looks out to the volcano which is very close.
The grounds provide lots of trails and a really nice waterfall.
The volcano was perfectly clear the afternoon we arrived. It was the first time our guide had seen it so sunny & clear for 6 weeks. We watched some rocks tumble and leave smoke dots from
Fortuna. If I went back I would choose to stay on that side since it seems more likely to see the glow and rocks at night. About 4 p.m. that afternoon the clouds rolled in like a curtain and we only caught some random shots of the volcano. We did a hike out to the lava flow from the lodge and enjoyed the mild but warm weather.
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Old Apr 1st, 2004, 06:43 AM
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We took a van from the Observatory Lodge into San Jose to be ready to fly out the next morning. We stayed at Grano de Oro for one night. It is actually the classiest place we stayed on the whole trip. A real interesting mix of rooms and private terraces. We took a walk into Central Market and since it was Saturday the place was full of ticos. It was a great experience with the noise and hussle of the markets and vendors. We had dinner at the hotel and it was excellent. Soak in the jacuzzi to round off the evening and flew out the next day. Great trip and I can see why so many of the posters on this board return often. Thanks again everyone, hope this helps some of you looking at your own trips. Pura Vida

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Old Apr 1st, 2004, 07:06 AM
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Rob, thanks for a great report. I can see you are now hooked, just like the rest of us.
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