Costa Rica - October 2005
Pictures from Costa Rica - October 2005

Volio Waterfalls, Bri Bri, Costa Rica - 
  A nice place to cool off on sunny days
  Volio Waterfalls, Bri Bri, Costa Rica - A nice place to cool off on sunny days
Most tour operators in Puerto Viejo (de Talamanca) area have package trips to Bri Bri and Kekoldi Indian reservations. The highlights are a visit to Bri Bri farm with medicinal plants, a visit to an iguana farm and a short hike to Volio waterfalls.

Watch out for little red frogs on the trail. You will be wading through knee-deep water in a couple of places. So wear a pair of sandals for this short hike. The rocks near the streams and the waterfalls are quite slippery.

You will need your bathing suit and a towel. The hotels usually loan you a towel if you don't have one. The vehicle is usually parked along the road, but I would not leave any valuables in the vehicle. If you buy any souvenir at the Bri Bri or Kekoldi Indian reservation, you will want to take them with you to the waterfalls. Stay away from buying the animal products such as claws.

Baby Iguanas - 
  Baby iguanas at an Iguana farm at Kekoldi Indian Reservation, Costa Rica
  Baby Iguanas - Baby iguanas at an Iguana farm at Kekoldi Indian Reservation, Costa Rica
Iguanas at Kekoldi iguana farm - 
  Iguanas at a Kekoldi iguana farm, Costa Rica. 
  Iguanas at Kekoldi iguana farm - Iguanas at a Kekoldi iguana farm, Costa Rica.
Closeup of Iguana - 
  Close up of iguana at a Kekoldi iguana farm, Costa Rica 
  Closeup of Iguana - Close up of iguana at a Kekoldi iguana farm, Costa Rica
Playa Chiquita - 
  Playa Chiquita south of Puerto Viejo (de Talamanca), Costa Rica
  Playa Chiquita - Playa Chiquita south of Puerto Viejo (de Talamanca), Costa Rica
The ocean water is very warm in October. It is so farm that it is not refreshing. The ocean is very calm in October. There are corals along the beach from Puerto Viejo all the way to Manzanillo. There are quite a few streams flowing into the ocean and so during the rainy season the water is quite muddy and chilly.

I have seen a snake and some poison frogs in the little forested area between the beach and the road. Most hotels are located west of the beach road, but it is really no big deal to walk extra 50 yards and cross the road. Army ants are all over the place and so are the leaf-cutter ants.

Striped Poison Dart Frog - 
  Striped poison dart frog near Playa Chiquita, Costa Rica
  Striped Poison Dart Frog - Striped poison dart frog near Playa Chiquita, Costa Rica
Army ants hunting down a scorpion - 
  Army ants swarming all over a scorpion (Costa Rica)
  Army ants hunting down a scorpion - Army ants swarming all over a scorpion (Costa Rica)
In a few minutes, the scorpion was dead. All attempts to rescue the scorpion failed as the ants found the scorpion very quickly which could not move fast enough to escape due to intoxication. Within a few more minutes, the army ants managed to cut the scorpion into pieces and took them away. The ants themselves left the entire area after a few more minutes.

These army ants are quite aggressive. They raise their torso to strike back if you try to scare them with sticks or leaves.

Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica - 
  A view of Arenal Volcano from the city of La Fortuna.   
  Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica - A view of Arenal Volcano from the city of La Fortuna.
The lava flow is not visible from La Fortuna. Be sure to get the current map of the lava flow on the volcano at monteverdeinfo.com.
Horses, Arenal - 
  Beginning of the horseback ride from Arenal
  Horses, Arenal - Beginning of the horseback ride from Arenal
Desafio Expeditions offers horseback ride trips from Arenal to Santa Elena (taxi, boat, horseback and then taxi). The horseback ride lasts for about three hours and it is a great way to experience the rainforest area.

You will get to see a number of birds and possibly other wildlife such as wild boars and monkeys during your ride.

It rained very heavily as we approached Monteverde. Rio Chiquita was flooding and the horses were quite unwilling to cross the river. The guide has a poncho for every rider. Additional horses carry your bags. The horses used by Desafio are very well-cared for.

Banana Bud - 
  Banana bud (the shoots are edible, the leaves are not). 
  Banana Bud - Banana bud (the shoots are edible, the leaves are not).
As you peel the layers of the banana bud, you collect the shoots/flowers. Dice them and steam them. Stir fry them with a little bit of oil and some coconut flakes. Add some salt and now you have a side dish that is quite popular in South India.
Bird of Paradise, Monteverde - 
  Bird of Paradise flower at Monteverde area, Costa Rica
  Bird of Paradise, Monteverde - Bird of Paradise flower at Monteverde area, Costa Rica
Trees in Manuel Antonio National Park - 
  Trees along the hiking trail in Manuel Antonio NP, Costa Rica
  Trees in Manuel Antonio National Park - Trees along the hiking trail in Manuel Antonio NP, Costa Rica
Trees in Manuel Antonio National Park - 
    Trees along the hiking trail in Manuel Antonio NP, Costa Rica
  Trees in Manuel Antonio National Park - Trees along the hiking trail in Manuel Antonio NP, Costa Rica
Punta Cathedral Trail - 
   Punta Cathedral trail, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
  Punta Cathedral Trail - Punta Cathedral trail, Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
The forest is hot and humid. It was 89 deg F near the trail. Yet you will need long pants and some sturdy rubber boots to hike along this trail. It is not long and takes about an hour to complete this trail. During October the vista points are fenced off due to possible mudslides and rockslides.
Punta Cathedral trail - 
     Punta Cathedral trail, Manuel Antonio NP, Costa Rica
  Punta Cathedral trail - Punta Cathedral trail, Manuel Antonio NP, Costa Rica
Playa Manuel Antonio - 
  Southern end of Manuel Antonio beach, Costa Rica
  Playa Manuel Antonio - Southern end of Manuel Antonio beach, Costa Rica
The Punta Cathedral trail ends here. I don't have a picture of the beach, but it is very beautiful.
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica - 
  Island off of Manual Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
  Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica - Island off of Manual Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
Punta Cathedral, Manuel Antonio - 
  Punta Cathedral under rain, Manuel Antonio NP, Costa Rica
  Punta Cathedral, Manuel Antonio - Punta Cathedral under rain, Manuel Antonio NP, Costa Rica
Punta Cathedral and Playa Espadilla - 
  Punta Cathedral and Playa Espadilla, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
  Punta Cathedral and Playa Espadilla - Punta Cathedral and Playa Espadilla, Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
Punta Cathedral and Playa Espadilla, Costa Rica - 
  Rainwater runoff from forests muddies the ocean
  Punta Cathedral and Playa Espadilla, Costa Rica - Rainwater runoff from forests muddies the ocean
The ocean water is almost clear on dry days. Once it starts raining, however, the rainwater runoff muddies the ocean.
Punta Cathedral and Playa Espadilla, Costa Rica - 
  More silt deposits in the ocean, during rain
  Punta Cathedral and Playa Espadilla, Costa Rica - More silt deposits in the ocean, during rain


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