Pura Vida Travels - A Guide To Travel In Latin America








These are some photos from my latest Costa Rican Adventure. The first series are of my charming hotel. I went "upscale" this trip and stayed at a high-priced place. The $38/night it cost including taxes really put a crimp in my travel budget but I managed to get by. ;) In the photos you can see the tallest building in San Jose, the Holiday Inn, and the mountains off in the distance. The room, like most in Costa Rica, has no air conditioning or heat but I've never once had the need for either there. The high temperature every day is between 75-80 degrees with lows in the upper 60's. That's the weather forecast 365 days a year!

View From My Room

View From My Room

View From My Room

View From My Room

My Room

My Room

My Room

My Room

My Room

My Room

My Room

View From My Room

I stumbled across Cafe Mundo while walking around town one day and decided to have lunch there. My timing couldn't have been better because 10 minutes after I took the photos the place was packed. This was a beautiful spot to have lunch. It's right in the middle of the city but you would never know it.

After lunch I went to el theatro nacional (The National Theatre of Costa Rica) and took a tour. It costs an arm and a leg to go on a tour ($3) but it's well worth it. The theatre was built in 1897 and is one of the most ornate buildings I've ever seen. The paintings and sculptures were done by a lot of famous European artists that I had actually heard of but I don't remember their names because I'm a neaderthal when it comes to anything related to art. The pictures aren't the greatest because you aren't allowed to use a flash inside the theatre.


Cafe Mundo

Cafe Mundo

Hotel

Hotel

Hotel

Plaza De Cultura

Theatro Nacional

Theatro Nacional

Theatro Nacional

Theatro Nacional

Theatro Nacional

Theatro Nacional

Theatro Nacional

Theatro Nacional

Theatro Nacional

Theatro Nacional

Theatro Nacional

Theatro Nacional

Theatro Nacional

Theatro Nacional

Theatro Nacional

Theatro Nacional

Theatro Nacional

Fat Lady Statue

On Saturday morning I WAS NEARLY KILLED by the building in the picture below. I was walking down the street when I heard a large cracking sound. I looked up and a huge chunk of the building was sailing down at me. Had I taken 2 more steps it would have nailed me right in the head. I found one of the local policia later in the day and took him to show him the problem. I wish I had a video of me trying to explain to guy in Spanglish what had happened.

After cheating death I walked past the statue of Juan Santamaria and decided to go see the museo nacional. It's the Costa Rican version of the Smithsonian Institute. It's housed in an ancient fort in the highest part of the city. I had to pay the gringo tax here as they "soaked" me for $4 to enter the musuem. (Locals pay 50 cents) The 2 highlights of the museum for me were the ancient sculptures and the "hidden garden". The sculptures in the pictures below were carved out of a single piece of volcanic rock some 1500 to 2000 years ago. The round balls in some of the pictures are a mystery. No one knows what their purpose was but they are everywhere in Costa Rica. They were carved by hand thousands of years ago yet they are perfectly round. No one has ever been able to figure out how they were made or what they are for.

The hidden garden was in the tent you can see in some of the pictures. It's a tropical garden filled with butterflies. Costa Rica has a gazillion species of butterflies that are incredibly beautiful. Unfortunately it's incredibly difficult to take pictures of butterflies especially when your as bad a photographer as I am.

Ooops, almost forgot. 2 of the pictures from the museum are of artifacts from the national liquor factory. It's been in the same spot since 500 AD. I found it interesting that people have been gettng drunk for that many years...


Death Trap

Debris That Almost Landed On Me

Juan Santamaria Statue

El Centro

Fresh Fruit

Museo Nacional

Museo Nacional

Museo Nacional

Museo Nacional

Museo Nacional

Museo Nacional

Museo Nacional

Museo Nacional

Museo Nacional

Museo Nacional

Butterfly Garden - Museo Nacional

Butterfly Garden - Museo Nacional

Butterfly Garden - Museo Nacional

Butterfly Garden - Museo Nacional

Butterfly Garden - Museo Nacional

Museo Nacional

Museo Nacional

Museo Nacional

Parque Espana

I learned a valuable lesson this trip, they don't like it when you take pictures in the grocery store in Costa Rica. I found it interesting that the eggs are kept by the checkout counter without refrigeration. I guess they haven't heard about Salmonella (sp?) in Central America yet. Anyway, after I took the picture the store manager yelled at me for a while in Spanish. I nodded and said lo siento (I'm sorry) a lot and that seemed to make him happy.

I now have a novia in Costa Rica. Junieth is from Nicarauga and for some odd reason likes me. I met her on the bus on my last trip and have been practicing my Spanish with her via e-mail. I took her out to dinner a few times on this trip and we had a great time. I don't understand half of what she says (she doesn't speak any English) but I don't understand half of what English speaking women are saying either. ;) This photo is also proof that I am possibly the most unphotogenic person on the planet...

The final picture is of the Costa Rican take on the "Good Humor" man. The guy peddling his bike up the street had a cooler full of ice cream. I was a little late pulling out my camera so it's not the best pic but you get the idea. Things are a lot different than what we are used to here.


We Don't Need No Stinkin' Refrigeration!!

Me And Junieth

The Ice Cream Man


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