Costa Rica: Puntarenas

The only thing keeping my eyes open as we descend below the cloud deck was the site of San Jose nestled in a deep green valley.

Arriving in Puntarenas

The only thing keeping my eyes open as we descend below the cloud deck was the site of San Jose nestled in a deep green valley. Theresa and I had been up for over 30 hours having left Seattle the day before. And we still have a couple of hours to go before we arrive at our final destination, Puntarenas on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

I had researched every aspect in regards to traveling to Costa Rica; shots, visas, car rentals, customs, etc. What I wasn’t prepared for as we cleared customs and looked for our rental agency was the number and aggression of competitors trying to lure us away. Luckily, that was our only brush with such aggression.

Rental car secured we headed west towards our first objective, finding Villa Guarias. It quickly became evident that driving in Costa Rica was going to take a little getting used to. Passing on the left or right, passing despite double yellow all seemed to be the norm. Did I mention the toll stations? Well, they there…and there…and everywhere. Best be prepared with some local currency.

iNaturist

The hope had been to work with La Tortuga Feliz and their conservation effort with the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. Apparently Mother Nature had other plans as our turtles were on a different schedule this year.

I had somewhat anticipated this and had decided that I would use the application iNaturist to document as many different species while in the Puntarenas area. By the end of the trip, I had logged over 138 different species. You may have noted that I’m already posting short bios of the more interesting ones under featured animals. Obviously, I won’t post all 138 but more like 30 or so.

For those of you who might not be familiar with iNaturalist here’s a short description from their website;

One of the world’s most popular nature apps, iNaturalist helps you identify the plants and animals around you. Get connected with a community of over 750,000 scientists and naturalists who can help you learn more about nature! What’s more, by recording and sharing your observations, you’ll create research quality data for scientists working to better understand and protect nature. iNaturalist is a joint initiative by the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society.

What appeals to me is the fact that you can post your findings straight from your phone while in the field. Of course, this is assuming you have connectivity. Often in Costa Rica, I was out of range of any cellular coverage so I’m having to go back and manually enter my data on some of the findings.

Costa Rica

We've returned from Costa Rica and what a trip it turned out to be! Now, comes the time consuming process of culling the photographs and footage. Not to mention going through the multiple pages of field notes!

I'll be posting both detailed reports on our excursion out into the field as well as some 'Featured Animal' articles highlighting some of unique animals we encountered.

I'll also be posting some behind-the-scene clips and such over on our Twitter account.

Puntarenas Past Glory

First known as Bruselas, in colonial times it linked Costa Rican commerce with Panama and South America. A royal order of 1814 initiated improvement of the harbor facilities; and a cart road from San José, the national capital, was opened in the 1840s. Puntarenas was the shipping center for most of the Costa Rican coffee that went to Europe around Cape Horn. Later connected with San José by the Pacific Railway, Puntarenas became an increasingly important port for the export of bananas and coffee and for imports from the West Coast of the United States.

This city is home to over 100,000 residences and sits a peninsula, the width of the town is less than four miles long and a quarter-mile wide, with views of the ocean on either side. Apparently, at one time Puntarenas was quite the tourist attraction. However, it seems that’s no longer the case. Many of the attractions I had read about were closed and in a state of disrepair but the architect is still wonderful to look open and imagine when this port city was the most important commercial port in Costa Rica.

It seems it’s biggest draw is the ferry which will take travelers across the Gulf of Nicoya to the white beaches and parks on the Nicoya Peninsula. The ferry ticket booth was packed with travelers with the line extending around the block.

The only thing keeping my eyes open as we descend below the cloud deck was the site of San Jose nestled in a deep green valley.

Member of the following

We are the learned society for geography and geographers.
as-seal-gr
Working to provide opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to make a difference as they play in the outdoors.
coasst-logo
Working to translate long-term monitoring into effective marine conservation solutions.
Sea Grant Washington
Provide integrated research, communication, and education to coastal communities that lead to the responsible use of the nation’s oceans.

Latest Instagram

The forecast for this weekend was questionable but it turned out, as so often the case, to be a beautiful day. Enjoying the sun at Pacific Beach. ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #cascadiaexplored #oregonexplored #theoutbound #pnwexplored #getoutside #naturelovers #follow4followback #pnwlife #pacificnorthwest #likeforlikes #photographylife #washingtonstate #pnw #like4likes #followforfollowback #photooftheday #follow #pnwcollective #picsart #naturephotography #thatpnwlife #roamtheplanet #photography #nature #picsarttutorial #upperleftusa #optoutside #pnwadventures #pnwwonderland #liked ...

Land of enchantment; feels like there should be unicorns around every corner. Skate Creek in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest..⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #pnwonderland #pnw #thenwadventure #upperleftusa #pnwdiscovered #cascadiaexplored #pnwparadise #optoutside #wildernessculture #wanderwashington #pacificnorthwest #pnwlife #nature #keepitwild #pnwphotographer #lifeofadventure #exploretocreate #beautifuldestinations #hikingadventures #wanderlust #thatpnwlife #explorewashington #roamtheplanet #thegreatpnw #photooftheday #washingtonexplored @washingtondiscovered @nextstop24 #nextstop24traveler ...

Here's another shot of Skate Creek in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The creek was running high between the spring melt and thunderstorms. ...

An enchanted creek bed along NF-52. This stretch of road bisects the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Skate Creek runs alongside much of it.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #cascadiaexplored #oregonexplored #theoutbound #pnwexplored #getoutside #naturelovers #follow4followback #pnwlife #pacificnorthwest #likeforlikes #photographylife #washingtonstate #pnw #like4likes #followforfollowback #photooftheday #follow #pnwcollective #picsart #naturephotography #thatpnwlife #roamtheplanet #photography #nature #picsarttutorial #upperleftusa #optoutside #pnwadventures #pnwwonderland #liked ...

Goat Creek runs beside our campsite located just outside Mt. Rainier National Park. Feels good to be outdoors again.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #cascadiaexplored #oregonexplored #theoutbound #pnwexplored #getoutside #naturelovers #follow4followback #pnwlife #pacificnorthwest #likeforlikes #photographylife #washingtonstate #pnw #like4likes #followforfollowback #photooftheday #follow #pnwcollective #picsart #naturephotography #thatpnwlife #roamtheplanet #photography #nature #picsarttutorial #upperleftusa #optoutside #pnwadventures #pnwwonderland #liked ...

Looking out at Mt. Rainier from the trail leading to the High Tower Lookout. Hoping to get back out there this weekend if all goes well. Be safe everyone.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #cascadiaexplored #oregonexplored #theoutbound #pnwexplored #getoutside #naturelovers #follow4followback #pnwlife #pacificnorthwest #likeforlikes #photographylife #washingtonstate #pnw #like4likes #followforfollowback #photooftheday #follow #pnwcollective #picsart #naturephotography #thatpnwlife #roamtheplanet #photography #nature #picsarttutorial #upperleftusa #optoutside #pnwadventures #pnwwonderland #liked ...

Had to go to the photo abutment for this one but it’s a sunset after a storm on the Washington coast featuring the North Head Lighthouse. .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #seascape_lovers #pnwlife #ig_worldbeaches #sunset_greatshots #lighthouses_around_the_world #pnwcollective #ig #lighthouses #unlimitedsunset #pnwwonderland #sky_brillance #lighthouse #lighthouse_world #pnw #sealandscape #raw #pnwonderland #pnwlove #thatoregonlife #pacificnorthwest #oregonlife #explore #oregonisbeautiful #oregonexplored #pocket_beaches #lighthousesofinstagram #nautical_images #seascapephotography #pnwisbest #wastateparks ...

Cattails at Frenchmen’s Cove on Hood Canal with the Olympic Mountain Range in the background.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #cascadiaexplored #oregonexplored #theoutbound #pnwexplored #getoutside #naturelovers #follow4followback #pnwlife #pacificnorthwest #likeforlikes #photographylife #washingtonstate #pnw #like4likes #followforfollowback #photooftheday #follow #pnwcollective #picsart #naturephotography #thatpnwlife #roamtheplanet #photography #nature #picsarttutorial #upperleftusa #optoutside #pnwadventures #pnwwonderland #liked ...

Decided to test the new Mavic Air 2 from my backyard; still waiting for campsites to open here in the Pacific Northwest. Rather pleased with the quality of the new sensor. #dji #mavicair2 ...

It was 40 years ago today that Mt. St. Helens erupted. But life is rebounding to the volcano and she's rebuilding herself.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #herpnwlife #pacificnw #pnwlife #anniversary #40yearsago #cascadiaexplored #40thanniversary #pnw #landscape #washingtonexplored #volcano #mountrainier #volcanoeruption #mountsthelens #optoutside #upperleftcoast #history #pnwhiking #sky #upperleftusa #columbiarivergorge #mthood #oregonisbeautiful #pnwadventures #pnwonderland #washington #washingtonstate #eruption #nature #pdx ...

Looking forward to getting back into the Olympics soon. Hopefully, we can do so responsibly in the very near future.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #landscape #oregonisbeautiful #pnwlife #naturalwonder #landscapephotography #explorewashington #pacificnw #waterfallsfordays #mountains #naturalwonders #rockformation #pnwparadise #waterfalls #scenicview #waterfall #pnwwonderland #cascadiaexplored #waterfallhike #nature #pnwroamers #naturephotography #wanderlust #rockformations #pacificnorthwest #waterfallphotography #waterfallchasing #photography #water #oregonlife #pnwcollective ...

One of last winters sunsets just after a storm swept the beach. ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #naturephotography #pnwadventures #ig_stormclouds #columbiariver #photography #oregonexplored #love #severeweather #sunset #pnwwonderland #stormphotography #blackclouds #clouds #pnwcollective #thunderstorm #spokane #sky #thunder #upperleftusa #stormchasers #cloudy #pnwlife #photooftheday #rain #bnw #stormchaser #nature #stormclouds #oregoncoast #oregonlife ...

With the relaxing of our 'Stay-at-home' order, we were able to get out and enjoy a bit of the outdoors. Didn't mind the rain one bit. Here's the Nisqually River near the entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #landscape #oregonisbeautiful #pnwlife #naturalwonder #landscapephotography #explorewashington #pacificnw #waterfallsfordays #mountains #naturalwonders #rockformation #pnwparadise #waterfalls #scenicview #waterfall #pnwwonderland #cascadiaexplored #waterfallhike #nature #pnwroamers #naturephotography #wanderlust #rockformations #pacificnorthwest #waterfallphotography #waterfallchasing #photography #water #oregonlife #pnwcollective ...

We found a way to safely camp this weekend without violating our stay at home order or endangering anyone else. Nice to have breakfast outdoors again.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #loveyourself #positivity #quotes #inspiration #positiveenergy #photooftheday #positivequotes #love #happy #happiness #motivation #fitness #postivity #positivethoughts #positive #success #positiveaffirmations #positivevibesonly #quoteoftheday #positivevibes #inspirationalquotes #positvity #mindset #positiveoutlook #life #selfcare #lifequotes #positiveaffirmation #positivequote #selflove ...

Sunrise over Port Angeles. I have to keep reminding myself that this crisis will pass. ⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #sunriseporn #clouds #sky #upperleftusa #oregoncoast #pacificnorthwest #pnwlife #photooftheday #sunset #skyscape #beautiful #love #sunup #sunrise #pnwadventures #instasunrise #pnw #nature #photography #cloudporn #sunsetlover #pnwisbest #oregonexplored #skylovers #orangesky #oregonlife #spokanedoesntsuck #centraloregon #sunrise_and_sunsets #travel ...

We were so lucky to have the La Fortuna waterfall to ourselves for close to an hour this morning. It really doesn't get better than this.⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ .⠀ #españa #travel #quedateencasa #costarica🇨🇷 #alajuela #ecuador #argentina #costaricacool #guanacaste #colombia #uruguay #mexico #panama #peru #chile #costaricatravel #heredia #cuarentena #costarica #bolivia🇧🇴 #puravida #paraguay #visitcostarica #bolivia #literatura #nature #venezuela #historias #italia #puertorico ...

Puntarenas Present Appeal

Things might have been a bit tarnished from days of past glory, but that hardly means Puntarenas isn’t without its charms. What Theresa and I found most appealing was the very fact that it didn’t feel touristy.

True there was a bit of a language barrier since our Spanish is limited, but it wasn’t insurmountable. We both felt it was well worth the trade-off to get this unvarnished version of Costa Rica. It’s also worth pointing out that the people were every bit as helpful and friendly as those areas we visited that were more geared towards an international mix of tourists.

Please share this:

More to explore

Wild China
Journal

Wild China – Exploring a Different and Enchanting Land

Along the way, I managed to cross the highest mountain pass I’ve ever been on, view the highest mountain I’ve ever seen, immerse myself in the cuisine and culture of ancient peoples, and gain a new and renewed appreciation for this home of ours which is, of course, my favorite planet

Read More »
Old Growth
Journal

Search For An Unnamed Waterfall

The sign stated that the private tree farm was closed to motor vehicles but opened to foot traffic. So, if we wanted to find our unnamed waterfall that meant hoofing the last 1.5 miles on foot. The thing that worried me was the high voltage wire crackling above the FJ.

Read More »

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.