Costa Rica - Montezuma
Trip Start Feb 05, 2008
24Trip End Apr 24, 2008
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Where I stayed
Arriving in Montezuma, after a day of about 5 different means of connections, we were ready to simply find a hotel room, shower and relax on the beach. It was evident once we walked onto the main street that this was a pretty sleepy, laid back kinda place filled with inhabitants displaying distinctly chilled out and care free expressions on their faces.
We managed to find a great room in a small hospedaje, which was about 15 meters from the waters edge and had a small balcony out front where we were entertained by the local birdlife during our breakfasts each morning. They would fly up to our balcony banister and eventually pluck up the courage to sit on our table and eat the fruit scraps we put out for them. Beautiful animals!
The 3 days we spent in Mantezuma were chilled out to say the least, so I´ll only mention the highlights of our stay. The first of which was a dinner which Charlotte invited me out for at a very unique and professionally run restaurant right on the beach. We´d agreed before coming on the trip that our valentine presents to each other would be a meal out at a nice restaurant. I´d taken Charlotte out in Belize on Valentines day, but it had taken us over a month to find another place worthy of splurging out on. Restaurante Playa De Artistas played host to our special evening, where we sat at table located right in the sand of a secluded beach with candle lit torches all around. To add to the atmosphere, the full moon cast a glinting light over the sea which was so bright we could make out the palm tree shadows around us. Our starter was grilled squid with a zucchini, lemon, garlic and spices mixture inside. Following this, Charlotte had the fillet main course which was so tender she only had to look at it before it fell apart. I had the pork ribs which were covered in a marinade that would make even the most hardened front row rugby player shreak out with delight at the excitement of tasting something so good! To top it off we had a really great bottle of Chilean red wine to share, and as it was the first wine we´d drank in over a month, it too seemed to good to be true. All in all the atmosphere, professional service (the first in a very long time), the outstanding food, and romantic setting made for the perfect evening
The following day we took a boat trip to possibly the best beach in the area on the island of Tortuga (meaning turtle, because of the dome shaped rock of the island which looks like a turtles shell). It was about an hours boat ride out to sea where we stopped at two snorkelling spots along the way. Besides getting stung a few times by seasonal jelly fish passing through the waters, I was impressed at the array of fish life on my first Pacific Ocean snorkelling trip. The water wasn´t quite as clear as on the Caribbean side, but the variety of small fish life seemed to be even more abundant. After about an hour of snorkelling we made our way to one of the most beautiful beaches that I´ve seen on this trip (which is saying a lot!) on the shores of Isla Tortuga. We were greeted by the familiar Caribbean looking, almost transparent, turquoise waters and perfect white sandy beaches lined with hanging palm trees. A fish lunch was cooked up for us on the beach under the shade of the palms and then we were unleashed to explore the rest of the island. There was a fair amount of wildlife around, two expamples that I distinctly remember were the resident MaCcaw parrot outside one of the shops, and a tame Costa Rican bore, affectionately named "Philomina". Philomina would wonder around amongst the visitors and collapse from the searing daytime heat under our tables, right at your feet as if to encourage a bit of petting and stroking
On the boat trip back to Montezuma, we came across a pod of around 20 or so dolphins! Our boat driver followed them around for about 15 minutes, before they disappeared under the water never to resurface again. They were performing some incredible acrobatics though and one even managed to leap about 15 foot out of the water when we first arrived. Awesome to watch these animals in their element!
On our last day we visited the oldest nature reserve in Costa Rica, which was co-founded by a Danish/Swedish couple back in the 60´s. With the goverment´s initiatives to increase farming amongst citizens, precious forest areas were being cut down for agriculture. The couple campainged against this for years until they were granted permission to aquire a piece of land outside Montezuma and turn it into the first protected national park. Tragically, the husband was murdered in 1975 while campaigning against deforestation in the region. Today, the land remains untouched and is frequented by relatively few tourists meaning that the trails are pristine and there is an abundance of wildlife. We followed the aptly named Danish and Swedish trails (8km´s in total) through dense jungle teaming with animals and birds, eventually ending up on a desserted stretch of beach
The following day we had planned to cross the Pacific, leaving the Nicoya Peninsula behind and heading back to the Costa Rican mainland on the south coast. The boat trip across the sea was interesting to say the least. It was an hour of rough seas and high winds in which every one of the 15 passengers on board got absolutely drenched! Luckily our bags were all in black bin liners otherwise they´d still probably be hanging out to dry. Another hour´s ride in a very comfy 4x4 taxi (yes, we forked out for a bit of luxury to take us to our destination) and we arrived at the unforgettable Manuel Antonio - but I´ll let Charlotte tell you more about that...