Posts Tagged ‘Playa Chiquita’

Jaguar Rescue Center

Posted in Costa Rica on January 28th, 2010 by Vagablonding – 1 Comment

On the morning of Wednesday, January 27th we rented bikes and rode 3km south to the Jaguar Rescue Center. The Center takes in all sorts of wildlife, rehabilitates them, and then releases them back into the wild. They also breed endangered snakes.

Sloth - Jaguar Rescue Center

At the center I enjoyed the best wildlife experience of my life; I held a baby sloth! Sloths are my favorite animals and they are even cuter in real life.

Sloth - Jaguar Rescue Center

Sloth - Jaguar Rescue Center

The light colored ones are 2 toed sloths and they are more aggressive because they hunt for insects. You can only pet them on their backs. The 2 toed sloth’s fur is softer than the more wiry fur of the darker colored 3 toed sloth. The 3 toed sloths are super friendly; they just want to hug you all day. One of the baby 3 toed sloths came to the rescue center when it dropped off its mother from a tree right into their garden. When the mother sloth drops her baby she doesn’t usually go down to collect it. The center has tried to release both the 6 month old 3 toed sloths into the wild but they just keep coming back!

Sloth - Jaguar Rescue Center

Ryan and I both got to hold the baby 3 toed sloths. When it was time to go visit the howler monkeys the volunteer put one of the 3 toed sloths on the tree. Ryan started taking pictures of it on the tree, then it grabbed onto him and climbed right on his neck!

Sloth - Jaguar Rescue Center

He held it for a while, then we tried to put it back on the tree but it was hard because it had a very strong grip. It was so cute; the sloth didn’t want to be on the tree, it wanted to be on Ryan and it kept reaching for him after he let go of it. These guys are major buds. I could hug them alllll day.

We also saw the baby 2 toed sloth attacking the baby 3 toed sloth. It was the slowest fight ever. The 2 baby 2 toed sloths had a love hate relationship with each other. Sometimes they were fighting and sometimes they were licking each other’s faces. The 2 baby 3 toed sloths really liked each other and the volunteer said they sleep together at night curled in a little ball. Sloths are usually solitary animals and they keep to themselves in their tree most of the time.

Sloth - Jaguar Rescue Center

We went in the big howler monkey cage and the baby howler monkeys climbed all over us. They were having a good time chewing on the camera strap, and on my hair.

Howler monkey - Jaguar Rescue Center

Howler monkey - Jaguar Rescue Center

After playing with the monkeys we saw 2 baby crocodiles in a pond, an owl with a broken wing, and lots of poisonous and non-poisonous snakes.

Last we saw the Margay cub. The Margay is a beautiful wildcat related to the Ocelot. They are adept tree climbers and jumpers.

Margay - Jaguar Rescue Center

When the tour was done we paid the $10 donation and rode home. Tomorrow we are leaving Puerto Viejo to go 12km south to the super small town of Manzanillo to enjoy the lovely beaches and hike in the wildlife refuge.

Five lazy days in Puerto Viejo

Posted in Costa Rica on January 26th, 2010 by Vagablonding – 1 Comment

We’ve been laying really low the last 5 days because Ryan has been really sick (probably from eating questionable chicken) so from January 22nd to the 26th we spent our mornings in the hostel and our afternoons relaxing and people watching on the beach.

Beach crowd - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Locals arguing - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Ryan was relegated to a diet of powerade, ramen, and pizza, but I continued to be adventurous and try various foods including rice and vegetables with fried plantains and salad for 2,500 colones from Sunrise Backpackers (tasty, large plate of food), a veggie burger from Veronica’s for 2,500 colones (it was just ok), cheese pizza from Pizza Boruca for 850 colones (good and cheap) and pb&j with salad for 2,200 colones from Bread and Chocolate (very good).

Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

The dog that lives at Hostel Pagalú, we think his name is teddy, has a funny habit of walking around and around this tiny palm tree in the yard very very slowly. He’s a sweet dog, we think he is a rescued stray. There are a ton of stray dogs here and they’re much friendlier than the strays in Indonesia.

I’ve noticed that families start early in this part of the world. We’ve seen tons of pregnant young teenage girls and older teens with multiple children. There is also constant PDA no matter where you look; a stark contrast to Indonesia where even holding hands in public is looked down upon. The people here seem very happy despite the poverty and terrible living conditions that affect many of the locals.

Locals - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Local girls - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

One night, after eating dinner at Ali Baba, we were approached by a hippie looking old white dude. He told us he was a comedian magician and he entertained us with jokes and card tricks for about 15 minutes. He had us laughing a lot, so we gave him a donation of 500 colones. My favorite joke was “How many deadheads does it take to change a lightbulb?” “None, they just let it burn out then follow it around for 20 years.”

There are wild horses that roam the beaches here. The stray dogs like to herd them.

Wild horse - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

On Sunday, January 24th we saw eels, crabs and an octopus under some coral at the beach when the tide was really low. While there we played fetch with 2 stray black lab sisters who insisted on fetching the stick as a team.

Stray dogs - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

On Tuesday, January 26th Ryan started to feel better so we rented bikes again and rode to Playa Cocles. We watched the surfers and collected shells.

Surfers - Playa Cocles, Costa Rica

I bought a coconut from an old guy with a machete for 430 colones. It was yummy.

Drinking from a coconut - Playa Cocles, Costa Rica

We rode on to Playa Chiquita and I bought a watermelon from some guys in a truck for 1,000 colones. We parked our bikes and walked south along the beach. We saw the same fishing yellow lab again and we collected a lot more shells.

Tomorrow is going to be an exciting day. We’re going to the Jaguar Rescue Center where we will see sloths, monkeys and snakes!

Sunset - Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica

Bike ride to Punta Uva

Posted in Costa Rica on January 24th, 2010 by Vagablonding – 2 Comments

We heard that Punta Uva, 6km south of Puerto Viejo, is one of the best beaches in the world, and THE best in Costa Rica.  Of course we had to check it out.

On Thursday, January 21st we rented bikes for the day for 2,000 colones each, and headed south. On the way to Punta Uva we stopped at the end of Playa Cocles to take a break from the hot sun.

Playa Cocles, Costa Rica

Playa Cocles, Costa Rica

We rode on to Playa Chiquita for some swimming. Ryan made friends with a super cute yellow lab that was fishing for something and jumping around in the waves with us.

Dog - Playa Chiquita, Costa Rica

After our swim break we stopped at a store for a guava juice (615 colones) break. Next we grabbed some food from a place just before Punta Uva. I had rice and beans with salad for 1,800, and Ryan had the same with chicken for 2,500. We didn’t know it then but this turned out to be a terrible idea.

Post-lunch we finally got to Punta Uva. We were already pretty sunburned but we ignored it (oops) and frolicked in the sun and water anyway. Punta Uva is an incredibly gorgeous white sand beach lined with palm trees stretching to the water. I even tried my hand at climbing one, but I kind of sucked at it.

Punta Uva, Costa Rica

Climbing a Palm Tree - Punta Uva, Costa Rica

Before it got dark we rode home and turned in our bikes. We went to Bread and Chocolate for dinner where I got a fantastic Mattwich (sandwich with cream cheese and avocado on wheat bread made at the restaurant) with salad for 2,500 colones. Ryan had a turkey bacon sandwich with fruit for 3,200 colones and a pineapple yogurt smoothie for 1,400 colones. We also split another one of those tasty mint chocolate brownies; we earned it!