Costa Rica is probably one of the most well-known and most western countries in the whole of Central America. It is also the most expensive! We had visited the east coast for a 2-week vacation 3 years ago. We really loved the beaches and seeing the wildlife.
This time our plan was to visit the West coast, and to meet up with friends along the way.
Our first stop after the border crossing was the Osa Peninsula, the southern most peninsula in Costa Rica. It is known for the Corvado National Park, which is said to contain one of the last remaining untouched rainforests in Central America.
We headed to a beach camp at Carate on the Pacific coast of the Peninsula. The drive there was beautiful, taking us through rainforest, with several small river crossings and some pretty bad roads. We had a toucan fly across the road in front of us, which was pretty cool.
The beach at Carate was gorgeous. Our camping spot was under the trees right near the beach. The beach stretched for miles in either direction with the border of the National park 2 kms from where we camped.
During our stay there, we had macaws flying over and roosting in the trees right around our camp. We saw 2 different types of monkeys, squirrel and woolly monkeys. We could also hear the howler monkeys loud deep call in the surrounding trees. Hermit crabs inhabited the whole area, coming out in force in the evenings.
We spent our days swimming, reading, and going for walks. Keira spent many hours catching and releasing hermit crabs. And in the evenings we had a fire on the beach. We were in Paradise once again.
We could have stayed on the Osa Peninsula longer but we needed to start heading north to meet friends and Mike needed wifi for work purposes.
Many months ago in Chile a friend Tori, told us about a tree house hostel near Uvita. We decided to check it out and were not disappointed. Cascada Verde is indeed a tree house with open living areas, rooms and a fully equipped kitchen. It is run by a German couple who run a pretty tight ship, but their rules make the hostel a clean and comfortable place to be in.
The owners were very accommodating allowing us to park and camp in a pull out of their driveway. We basically slept in the tent and spent all our time in the wonderful living spaces. The tree house is surrounded by rainforest with visiting monkeys. There are hammocks, sofas and rocking chairs to relax in.
The extra bonus was that the owners had a 3-year-old daughter. They had an amazing play area, a tyre swing and also a dog! Keira was so incredibly happy.
The only downside was that as we were setting up the tent, my old back injury decided to revisit me with vengeance. I was in a lot of pain and had trouble moving. Once the pain settled a little Mike and I began using the techniques that my friend and PT Genevieve had taught us. Over the course of 2 days it improved but I was still in pain. Genevieve came to the rescue for the second time during the trip. We completed a Physical Therapy session via skype and she was able to guide us through some techniques. Thank you Genevieve!
It still took me a few more days of stretches and butt massages (Mike provided these with no complaints) to feel Ok again. I am still working out the kinks. At least I had the ideal place to recuperate.
Once moving well enough we visited the waterfall close to the property. It had several very cold-water pools, which we swam in. It was glorious!
Leaving the tree house was hard but our next stop would be at Manual Antonio where we would meet our friends Nita and Kevin, so we were excited.
HIGHLIGHTS/CHALLENGES OF THIS AREA:
MOST VALUED POSSESION: our fresh water tanks – we have enough water to last 5-6 days of wild camping
BEST EXPERIENCE: Mike- Osa peninsula camp; Keira- catching hermit crabs and playing with Lutsi, the little girl at Cascada Verde hostel/swimming at the waterfall; Riss- everything about the Osa peninsula
MOST CHALLENGING EXPERIENCE: Mike-treating Riss’ back; Keira- leaving Cascada Verde, Lutsi and all the toys; Riss- definitely dealing with my back injury
BEST FOOD DISCOVERY: Mike- nothing stands out, Keira- icy poles/popsicles in the heat; Riss- Mike’s cooking
BEST CAMPING SPOT: Carate surf camp on Osa Peninsula
Just a place to keep our mates informed on where we are at, and what we are up to.