To reach the Peninsula of Nicoya on the Pacific coast you have to cross the whole country to the South West. With a car, three busses and a ferry boat we traveled 8 hours (180km) to the small surfer village Santa Teresa. The village is located on the west side of the peninsula. The road until Cobano - the last station before Santa Teresa - are pretty good. After Cobano, the streets with macadam change to dirt roads with big potholes.
Around Santa Theresa are the villages:
Mal Pais (southwest),
Cobo Blanco Park (south),
Montezuma (east) and Cobano (north).
We checked in at a lovely hostel just a few meters away from the beach. After we checked in, we went directly to the beach. On our way to the beach an adorable stray dog decided to join us and stayed with us for the rest of the day. Instead of rain we had sun and a wild blue ocean with big waves. The place is well known for surfing and in the whole village you find people who offer surf classes and surfers on the way to the beach. In this village you really understand the meaning of Pura Vida.
At the end of the day we watched an amazing sunset. Some big rainclouds went down from the mountains and created a speechless atmosphere. I'm so happy I had my camera with me for stunning sunset photos.
Sorry for the poor quality of the photos on the blog which are a photo made with my phone camera of the screen of my reflex camera. For good photos you definately need to check Laura's Blog! ;)
The next day we decided to have a trip around Santa Theresa to visit the other villages. Best way to do it was with a quad bike.
It was fun and I really enjoyed it. The dirt road with holes, puddles and mud everywhere were perfect for the trip. We drove 8 hours and about 60km along plenty of beautiful lost beaches.
The first place we planned to visit was a waterfall in Montezuma. Unfortunately it had been raining a lot during the night and the creek rose up a lot so that it was impossible to see the waterfall. Instead, we went to have some delicious seafood in Montezuma. And - oh wonder - you can go as far as you want, in the most hidden place you still find people from Luxembourg.
After our break we drove to Cabuya. In the village we picked a random street to drive to the beach and arrived at a dead end on the beach. Some boats floated in the water and there was an island a bit further away in the ocean. We didn't exactly know where we were.
Actually the little island we saw wasn't just an empty island. The local people who got ready for fishing told us that the island out there was their cemetary. The only one in the world which is on an island in the ocean!
To get over to the island to mourn for deceased familiy members you don't need a boad. During the low tide it's possible to walk over. But you will have to hurry up and watch the time to come back before high tide.
The next day we went to the north eastern part of the peninsula to visit the wildlife refuge Curù.
The whole reserve was a bit strange for me. There's a road leading from the main street to the beach. The beach is the main interest of all the visitors in the Curù reserve and all visitors drive there directly. Besides the impressive high amount of wildlife we found a dead Howler Monkey and a broken bridge was so that we had to turn back.
The first 2km was pasture land, later it changed to an old lost plantation which had been turned into forest. We spotted some Coatis, Racoons, Agutis and plenty of monkeys (White-fronted Capuchin (Cebus albifrons), Mantled Howler (Alouatta palliata) and Ceoffroy's Spider Monkey (Atleles geoffroyi)). Including the Spider Monkey we have now seen all 4 species of Monkey's in Costa Rica.
The last part of our hike were mangrove forest with fighting crabs in it. The last hours we spent on a huge, almost empty beach.
Our last day we planned to relax on the beach before we travel eight hours back to Heredia. Unfortunately everything changed.
During the breakfast, some people of the hostel walked to the garden because they thought that there would be a monkey around. After hearing that it fell off the tree we got curious too and had a look about the "monkey who falls off a tree". It was strange.
As we arrived at the place we found a Kinkajou (Potos flavus) on the ground and plenty people taking pictures of it. When I released the last Kinkajou in the Peruvian jungle, the people said: Have a good look, an nocturnal animal like this is difficult and rare to spot and you will probably never see one of those again.
At the first view it was easy to see that this animal wasn't feeling well and had problems. Instead of taking pictures of it we gave it something to drink and eat because there must have been a reason why this animal came to us. The Kinkajou was laying on the ground and really appreciated the food and drink. After a while we discovered his paw which was rotten. We decided that only giving him bananas and water would not help enough and that he needed medical care. Well - try to find an animal refuge which is open on Sunday morning.
We had to make several calls and after a while we were lucky to find the Wild Sun Rescue Center which is stationed in Cabano. They arrived within 30min with a box and took the Kinkajou with them.
Have a look at the link below!
On Monday they amputated his rotten paw and gave him medical care. We are happy he didn't died and survived!
So what's coming next?
Our time in Costa Rica is over. Laura finished her volunteering work and we are ready for our travel. Costa Rica is a beautiful country with amazing landscape and very interesting wildlife. I really love Costa Rica and recommend to visit it!
Our plan was to start on Friday but we had to change everything. The hurrican Otto came from Panama and they recommended us not to go to the coasts until everything was over. Therefore we started today. We are now in Puerto Viejo and we'll leave the country tomorrow to our next destination and second country of our trip: Panama.
Unfortunately birdringing in Costa Rica didn't work. I texted several birdringing stations and ornthologists but I never got an answer. However birds find me anyway. During the lunch in the delicious seafood restaurant, a man arrived with and Collared Aracari who hit an electricity pole and was unable to fly away. Also some White-throated Magpie-Jays came to the restaurant to steal some food.
Surprisingly the penisula de Nicoya had a high amount of bird species. Beaches and creeks were full with birds! In the Wildlife refuge Curú birdwatching was interesting too.
--- Sorry, because of storage problems on my site, I had to delete those photos. -----
--- I'll upload the photos in a better quality after my trip. ---