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Travel Central America: A Glimpse of Costa Rica

Updated on March 10, 2012

Creative Use of Mangrove Roots

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Costa Rican Masks

We took a captivating tour through the mangrove swamps, where we were able to see crocodiles, numerous bird species and an anteater which was perched high up in the canopy. On the way back to the hotel we passed by this craft store. It was amazing to see the detail, facial expressions, and the use of the roots for hair and beards on these masks. The indigenous Boruca Indians are famous for a different type of distinctive mask shown in the YouTube video below.

Montaverde Cloud Forest Hanging Bridges

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The Butterfly Garden
The Butterfly Garden | Source

Ecotourism

The Monteverde Cloud Forest's beginnings were in 1951 when 11 Quaker families, who were avoiding the draft moved from the U.S. to Monteverde to graze their cattle. They preserved the rain forest above their land and the preserve has grown to approximately 26,000 acres today.

Mondeverde is a prime Ecotourism center. It is home to around 400 bird species including the famed resplendent quetzal. It is also well known for three toed sloths, howler and cupuchin monkeys, butterflies and hummingbirds. The cloud forest offers varied activities including hanging bridges, zip-lines, reptile, insect and butterfly houses and nearby horseback riding.

Arenal Volcano
Arenal Volcano | Source
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Arenal Volcano

The Arenal Volcano has spewed ash and lava since 1968 until 2010 when its activity decreased dramatically. We saw some steam and smoke on our visit but no lava. The view however, is quite majestic.

The Springs Resort & Spa

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There are beautiful hot springs in the area. We attended one with a lavish system of pools with varied water temperatures and a colder spring fed pool located down a meandering path. It is well worth your while if you come from Guanacaste on the Coast to take the time to relax your weary body after jouncing on rough roads for quite a few hours.

Search the Treetops for Wildlife

Costa Rica is rich in biodiversity. Plants, birds and animals flourish in this tropical paradise. Bird lovers, orchid enthusiasts, botanists and nature lovers will fall in love with the place. There are travel agencies that cater to your particular hobby or life-style, whether you are an adventurer or someone who is happy to enjoy looking at the beautiful countryside.

Giant Anteater
Giant Anteater | Source
Howler Monkey with Baby
Howler Monkey with Baby | Source
Rainbow-Billed Toucan
Rainbow-Billed Toucan | Source

Private Gazebo overlooking the Bay

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Alternatives to eating at the Hotel

Although we had a really nice hotel and the food was good, we chose to save our money for exploring the country and decided to eat at local establishments. One of our favorites was a little place overlooking the bay. The food was simple but good and we felt that we were able to experience Costa Rican cuisine. Often we were able to sit at a private gazebo, and watch the hummingbirds, parakeets, and mot mot birds from our table.

Sunset on the Beach in Guanacaste

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Although I was only able to spend a week in this Paradise it is a place I would love to see again and again. I hope that this brief glimpse of Costa Rica will encourage you to plan a vacation there. It is a place where you can relax and enjoy the nature and diversity that you are certain to find. Thank you for reading my first hub. I hope that you will follow my hubpages in the future and post a comment below.

Lenzy

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    • Lenzy profile image
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      Lenzy 5 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      I am indeed blessed to be able to have traveled to such wonderful places. I hope to be able to continue to travel in the future.

    • Caveman Etris profile image

      Caveman Etris 5 years ago from Cincinnati, Ohio

      This is another part of the world that I would love to travel around in and see the natural beauty with all the wildlife which exists there. You are so lucky to travel to such great places.

    • Lenzy profile image
      Author

      Lenzy 5 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Thanks Randy,

      My hobby is bird-watching, so I was really hoping to see a resplendent quetzal but I did get to see a Jabiru. They are pretty impressive birds as well. Where did you live prior to Costa Rica?

    • Randy M. profile image

      Randy McLaughlin 5 years ago from Liberia, Costa Rica

      You have some great photos and did a good job outlining some of the highlights of a vacation trip to Guanacaste, Costa Rica. I have lived here for 5 years, but still have to see a quetzal as well. I guess I don't spend enough time in the forests.

      Voted up, etc!

    • Lenzy profile image
      Author

      Lenzy 5 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Thank you so much Cardisa. I appreciate that you took the time to read my hub and am so glad that you enjoyed it. We loved the time spent in Costa Rica. I know my husband wants to visit again when the orchids are in full bloom. I still have to see a resplendent quetzal flying through the cloud forest in Monteverde.

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 5 years ago from Jamaica

      Hello Lenzy, elcome to Hubpages!

      I had no idea that Costa Rica was so beautiful! This hub is a delight and the photos are wonderful.

      I hope you are enjoying writing on Hubpages. This is a great place to hone your writing skills, earn passive income and make great friends.

      Thanks for joining our community of writers.

    • Lenzy profile image
      Author

      Lenzy 5 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Jake, We had an amazing time in Costa Rica. It is a trip we planned for our 25th wedding anniversary but were finally able to go for our 32nd. If you like plants, wildlife, beaches or great scenery you would love it. Thanks, Lenzy

    • Jake Werner profile image

      Jake Werner 5 years ago from USA

      Interesting read, good pictures