La Semana Santa in Cost Rica

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When I received the “Pura Vida” (Pure Life) greetings from our Airbnb host, I really wondered if Costa Ricans really loved life that much. It seems true after our family short vacation week  during “Semana Santa” (Holy Week) in Costa Rica.

After a little confusion at arrival in San Jose, we started our journey to a Fraijanes area of Costa Rica with the famous Poas Volcano.  The guest house we stayed in was located on a nice hill top – windy, cool with wonderful view of farmland.  Cattle, dogs, goats and cattle egret spotted the nature scenery with farm life. Humming birds were abundant along with butterflies in our backyard to watch.  A small steep hike through Hydrangea garden lead us to a river and a small waterfall.

Erica with “Nero” and “Harvey”

Poas Volcano on our second visit

Erica captured many walks with the four dogs that stayed in our guest house, including one trip where two of the dogs wandered into the woods to come back after about 6 hours! Kiran snapped a few pictures of humming birds, black vulture and a hawk.  Rajiv enjoyed the internet access to review Hobitt movie series and hiked with us everywhere.  Pori had fun with the dogs and chasing butterflies.  After a failed attempt to see Poas volcano due to its cloud cover, we got to see this spectacular volcano just two days before its unexpected eruption that caused this park to be shutdown [Read more].

Waterfall encantada (enchanted) at La Paz

Costa Rican dishes @Tortillas restaurant

The stop at La Paz waterfall reserve and animal rescue center exceeded expectations with trails and a collection of feeders that attracted number of beautiful birds.  We avoided the standard buffet at the park to enjoy a more traditional Costa Rican dishes like fried papaya, queso (cheese) pancake, platanos maduros (fried banana) and grilled fajita.

Horse riding tour at Trogon Lodge

Early morning Quetzal birdwatching tour

After an adventurous drive from Fraijenes to Los Quetzals national park, we checked into our next airbnb host’s cabin.  Wonderfully laid out in the woods with plenty of nearby trails in Trogon lodge, Truchas Reales hiking trail and plenty of cataratas (waterfalls) to explore.  We enjoyed meal (trout and steak) at a local restaurant two nights in a row with a background of religious television playing for the “Holy Week” – a definite catholic cultural experience.  An early morning bird-watching tour brought us good view of a beautiful Toucanet and Quetzal.  We enjoyed many hiking trails filled with beautiful birds to watch and enjoy the scenic cloud forest.  We even managed a horse ride in this national park going along the dizzying mountain passes shared with cars, bikes and motorcycles.

Sendero a la cataratas

Music dome at San Juan close to “Central Park”

A short few hours of stay at San Jose during our return to the airport exposed us to the city life with its markets, museums, theaters and local life.  A stop at KFC in Calle Uno (First street) with some locals of San Jose had now completed our vacation week in Costa Rica.  As we stepped out of the cab, we heard the driver repeat “Pura Vida” – an eternal optimism and a desire to enjoy the simple things “pure” in life.

Pura Vida!

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