Trip to Costa Rica
June, 2004

 I, Lisa and Chris flew in to San Jose and stayed at  the Alta Hotel.
A magnificent hotel, excellent view and excellent service.

The hotel itself is outside of San Jose with a
magnificent view of the city.

 The trip from San Jose to Arenal was fairly easy.  It was a
beautiful drive in a slight drizzle.
 On the way we stopped at Volcan Poas National Park.
Because of the drizzle we saw nothing of the volcano, but the
butterfly exhibit and waterfall hike were worth it.


 We stayed at Arenal
Paraiso hotel which was okay.

The ride from Arenal to Monte Verde became a little more
interesting.  The critters, the huge pot holes and then the lack
of paved roads made for a fun and exciting drive, even though
I don't think the passengers found it as fun.


 We arrived in Monte Verde after about 4 1/2 hours of driving
on muddy gravel roads in the rain, it was great!
 We stayed at Sapo Dorado hotel  (the Golden Toad, first found
and documented by herpetologist Jay Savage but rare to find).
The hotel itself  was beautiful with a great view.

 The next morning we went on the "Sky Trek", very cool!
There was a lot of hiking and climbing involved but we had
a blast.   The gear was good, the cables looked to be in good
shape and the guide was both knowledgable and fun.



 The drive from Monte Verde wasn't as exciting, still gravel roads through
steep mountain drop offs, but no rain or mud, darn!   We stopped in Puntarenas
for lunch and hopefully for a swim but it seemed more suited for shipping than
swimming.  Then, the roads, although paved, got really hairy.  I have never seen
potholes that big in my life.  You watch the guy in front of you, on this 6 lane
2-way highway suddenly shoot over 3 lanes into incoming traffic and then shoot
back,  I'm thinking, "what the hay..." and then you see this pothole the size of a
Volkswagen in front of you, so I shot over 3 lanes....
  From Pantarenas the drive along the coast was beautiful.


 Definitely check out Manuel Antonio national park.  We saw more
wildlife in those 3 hours than we had seen the previous week.  Aside from seeing
monkeys, we saw bats, sloths, blue morpho butterfly, but most importantly, we saw
the leaf cutter ants (David's request).  In Manuel Antonio we visited the frog museum,
El Ranario, and the World of Insects.  The frog museum displayed the infamous red-eyed
frog.   The guides had the frog sounds down.    The World of Insects was not as amusing.
David was intent on having us hold a roach the size of my hand.  It wasn't happening!



 We stayed at the Hotel Eclipse in Quepos and it was truly
magnificent.  The staff was friendly, the rooms were beautiful,
a great pool, great restaurant (except when they dumped a
load of shrimp pasta on my lap), there were iquanas and monkeys
running around, quite a place.

 I loved it so much, and the girl I was with, Lisa, that I proposed
to her at the table below.  Luckily for me she said yes!