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What's your favorite Costa Rica travel moment?

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
posts: 6,154
reviews: 36
What's your favorite Costa Rica travel moment?

An interesting discussion was started a few days ago about the hidden gems, and it got me thinking about special moments in my time here in CR.

Often times we sit and answer travel questions, and that's all great, but I really dig discussions that while are still travel related, go beyond the "How To". or "Where to" questions we get.

So the question at hand is this. "What is your favorite travel moment you have experienced while in Costa Rica?"

Can be a hidden gem, can be an encounter, can be an experience, or just a moment in time.

The first one that always pops into my mind was swimming with a 40 foot Whale Shark off the Pacific coast about 9 years ago. I was out on my buddies boat, just enjoying the day, and we spotted her.

Immediately mask and flippers were on and the next thing you know I was swimming along side the biggest animal on land or in the Sea that I have ever seen. The size of this is hard to wrap your head around. Like swimming with a bus. As big as they are, and as large as their mouths are (looks like it could swallow you whole and not blink), they are as gentle as a kitten.

I will never forget this for my entire life. It was humbling then and still is now when I reflect back on that moment.

So please share if you will what moment in time jumps out when you think about this question.

Cheers

142 replies to this topic
Bermuda
Destination Expert
for Bermuda
posts: 2,615
reviews: 26
1. Re: What's your favorite Costa Rica travel moment?

so far my favourite is the boat ride from pavona to tortuguero coupled with the river and canal tour of the park. a distant second would be the waterfalls.

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
posts: 6,154
reviews: 36
2. Re: What's your favorite Costa Rica travel moment?

Hey Sonny, please elaborate on that. I want to hear more.

What made that special to you?

What did you see?

What did you feel?

Brooklyn, New York
Destination Expert
for Sarapiqui
posts: 3,430
reviews: 69
3. Re: What's your favorite Costa Rica travel moment?

I'm going to cheat and do five:

Seeing a quetzal flying over our heads in Monteverde, with the tail feathers undulating. It really was mystical and jaw-dropping.

Seeing a jaguarundi from the deck above our room at the Arenal Observatory Lodge--the excitement of seeing something we didn't recognize (it looked like an otter) and the sense of discovery.

Seeing a troop of Capuchin monkeys in Curu encounter a coati in their path. The two lead males tried to chatter at it to get it to move. It displayed initial aggression towards them, but they persisted until one managed to get on a branch behind the coati and yank on its upward-turned tail. The coati had enough of that and walked away.

A juvenile spider monkey and a capuchin monkey playing a game like tag in Corcovado.

Our first two hours in Corcovado--we (1) saw a tree with howler and spider monkeys in the branches, white-collared peccaries and coatis on the ground, as well as a male and female great currasow; (2) followed fresh tapir prints; (3) saw a half-dozen scarlet macaws; (4) smelled both an ocelot and a puma (we came within 30 feet of the latter, as it turned out--the group about ten minutes behind us got a picture of it); and (5) tracked some white-lipped peccaries by smell by following our guide off-trail--we could hear them clickin their tusks at us at one point.

Edited: 3:50 pm, November 10, 2011
Bermuda
Destination Expert
for Bermuda
posts: 2,615
reviews: 26
4. Re: What's your favorite Costa Rica travel moment?

i'd have to invent some new words to explain it exactly as i saw it! the ride from pavona to tortuguero was mindblowing, easily the best $4 (or whatever the boat fare was) i've ever spent. for a lot of the way, there was no sign of man, everything was as wild as mother nature intended it to be and i really like that. it's the closest thing we have to an actual working time machine. this is also why i prefer dirt roads over paved - dirt takes you to virgin lands a lot of the time. impossibly tall trees, crocodrilos nearly everywhere! if you don't see a croc, you see croc footprints. we were lucky enough to see a mama croc with her babies sitting on her head and on nearby logs, lots of turtles and birds with shroom inspired paint jobs. in the canals the water is glass calm, and up ahead of us about 30m or so a blue morpho crossed and the sun reflected of its wings onto the water creating a blue streak on the surface of the water that was gone in less than the blink of an eye. it was mating season for the iguanas so it was easy to spot them with their bright orange let's get it on livery. i could go on and on....

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
posts: 6,154
reviews: 36
5. Re: What's your favorite Costa Rica travel moment?

Racandee - In a word AWESOME!

Just the kind of thing I was hoping to read. Thanks for sharing those moments. Man I have been wanting to see a Puma in the wild here but never had the chance, sounds like you were close to doing it though. I have seen a Margay and cub in the wild here. All the cats are elusive here.

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
posts: 6,154
reviews: 36
6. Re: What's your favorite Costa Rica travel moment?

Sonny - Thank you, Now I understand your moment much better and it sounds like it was a very cool one. Thanks for the elaboration.

Great you saw a croc with babies. This always amazed me in the wild. Folks have an image of Crocs but many don't realize how much care they give there young. Mothers will even carry young in their mouths from place to place. 20 years ago even scientists dubbed them as mindless killers for the most part, only recently has the, for lack of a better word "love" and certainly deep devotion they show their young come to light.

Very cool story, thanks again.

Costa Rica
posts: 19,417
reviews: 23
7. Re: What's your favorite Costa Rica travel moment?

1. Sitting on a tree stump in the middle of a rainforest and just soaking up all the beauty and smelling the wonderful air. Seeing all the beautiful flowers, watching little birds flit around, stooping to pick up a jicaro that was gnawed by a tapir, walking softly as a gentle rain drifted down around me.

2. standing on a canopy bridge very early in the morning and watching a jungle cat heading for a nap.

3. Tortuguero: - the boat ride there and back. Standing on a soccer field and looking one way and being able to see the Caribbean and the other way, being able to see the river lagoon. Watching a sea turtle come ashore and lay her eggs. Watching a baby sea turtle make his way back to the ocean (with my tight stomach muscles trying to help him!)

4. People, people and more people. The guy at the little eco lodge where I spent a couple of days who called me at home to say hello and see how I was doing. The wonderful ladies all over the country who make those wonderful meals at sodas - and with a smile and a greeting. The driver or hotel employee or guide who goes WAY out of their way to help with something: returning a lost object, taking you to the doctor when you are sick, holding your hand going down a muddy trail, giving you that big shove onto the horse and not making fun of you. Just friendly people everywhere.

5. Sitting on the edge of a beautiful, natural hot spring with no one else in sight. Watching the gentle flow of water as it comes out of the opening and just in total awe of this evidence of the power of the Earth. Swinging around on the rock where I was sitting to put my feet in a cold, fast-running tiny river.

6. Sitting between boulders and watching a huge waterfall as it tumbles over and around more giant boulders that have been thrown out of a volcano. The water making so much noise, that it was impossible to talk.

Feeling like we were the last two people on earth. Not one sign of civilization apart from us.

7. Volunteering with some friends to help an elderly man who was living alone and in squalor on top of a mountain and had gotten sick so couldn't even walk to town for food and his outdoor kitchen had burned down.

8. Sitting at a concrete table with my feet in the sand and eating the best seafood dinner I ever had while watching the sun set in the Pacific Ocean.

9. Seeing a troop of coatimundis high-tail it (literally!) across the highway in front of me.

10. Stopping to watch some Guanacaste cowboys round up a herd of cattle. Stopping to watch a rice harvest. Going to the cattle auction on Saturday morning. Going to a small town "Cultural Week" with local artists, horse parades, oxcart parades, community dance and - of course, a highly contested soccer game. Greeting the local dairy farmer who milks his cows every morning and then gets on his horse to deliver the still-warm milk around town. Watching kids jump off a bridge into the river. Watching a guy and his kids fishing with a handline.

These are about 1/100th of the things I have seen and loved about Costa Rica. And - not a zip-line among them!

Grecia, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Province of Alajuela
posts: 6,154
reviews: 36
8. Re: What's your favorite Costa Rica travel moment?

Thank you Hattie, you did not disappoint with that answer. I particularly like #1 #3 #5 #7 and also the lack of any ziplines!

The moments that make life special is what it's all about. Thank you for sharing some of those moments with us.

Edited: 4:41 pm, November 10, 2011
Slovenia
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 5,436
reviews: 52
9. Re: What's your favorite Costa Rica travel moment?

Driving slowly in the back country with windows opened and in the company of my wife and my daughter.

Every minute with Monteverde guide Andras "Andy" Alvarado. Should have a tape recorder then i could publish a book about nature.

Waking up very early and listening to the nature with a cup of hot Costa Rica's coffee in hand.

Having a dinner in local soda with Rolf; not for the food but for the conversation.

Listening to the story about "cojones blancos" told and acted in local Spanish dialect by a young guy on Samara beach. What a performer!

Building an aviary in Tierra Hermosa (OK, that was my daughter's). Eating freshly baked banana bread for breakfast made by Alex.

Meeting people; making friends; staying in contact; coming back.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
posts: 39,262
10. Re: What's your favorite Costa Rica travel moment?

I love all the great moments from each of you guys...lovely!

I drove not long ago...3 guys...they toll me that they were friends since primary school...now 2 were lawyers and the other one a well know Dr in California..

Most of the time I drive people from point A to point B...they toll me to please to stay with them...It was a kind of an ugly, rainy day around La Fortuna...

They ask me to drive them to a high land to see the sunset..

I drove them to a point that I love... on the way to La Fortuna Waterfall..as we were parking the car......one of the guys was almost in tears...and he said look at that...it was part of the Santa Clara Plains...some showers some sun rays..and 3 RAINBOWS no 1 no 2 ...THREE...and as we were there about 5 toucans flu just feets away from us...then the sunset...red sky...yellow ...orange all kinds of great colors ... so full of life

That was God putting the best show for us...never been so close to HIM..

The three guys were speechels...I did not know why they were so touch about the whole thing...they were almost praying all the time!

Days later they send me a great E-mail...they toll me that since they were kids they promise each other to give support and lift either one that was down...a few days later after the trip the Dr. die...but the other two once again were so greatfull and thank me one more time...as they said...that was the perfect GOOD BY to a dear friend...

Thank you INCA great idea..God Bless!

roadadvisor

Edited: 5:37 pm, November 10, 2011
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