We woke up early to catch our shuttle. They were due to pick us up at the Parador, but were running a couple minutes late (nobody in Costa Rica is ever really in a hurry). While we waited in the lobby, we could see Pedro peering out from his hole. Pedro is a large iguana that roams the grounds. There is a drainage pipe in the round about near the drop off that he lives in. It is even decorated above with “Pedro’s Residence.”
The owner of La Brisa’s del Nara arrived to pick us up in a Turismo van. We had one more stop to make before we headed into the mountains. At another hotel in Quepos, we picked up Art and Damien from Washington D.C. Art was a school teacher. They were very friendly and we enjoyed their company. It was about a 30 minute drive into the Nara Mountains, and the views were stunning.
When we arrived, we were greeted to fresh juice and coffee. There was another group that arrived shortly after us in another van. It was an open air dining area with incredible views of the river, and valley. Workers were all around us setting up and the smells from the kitchen were heavenly. Servers came around and took our orders for breakfast. The breakfast were very traditional, and consisted of eggs, beans, and rice.
After Breakfast we headed over to the horse pen behind the kitchen where we got a quick safety briefing. I could tell Billy was getting a little worried. This was only his second time on a horse. I knew he would be fine. When I was his age, I was terrified of horses. I had my nose broken by one when I was four years old. It really did a number on me, and I have a crooked nose, and messed up sinuses to this day. Eventually, I got over my fears, and good thing too, because I lived with horses all through childhood.
Billy’s horse was named Canario, Canary. All the horses were named after birds. I can’t remember the name of the horse I was riding. I did feel pretty bad for him because he had a limp. Our guide told me that he had an impinged hip. I nicknamed him despacio, slow because he was slower than the others.
Our trip started up a gravel road. Soon a little dog joined us on our journey. It was beautiful up in the mountains. After about a 30 minute ride, we made our way up to a waterfall.
We spent about 30 minutes at the waterfall and Naranjo River, and then it was time to head back. On the way back, instead of backtracking, we continued up river into the rain forest for about 5 more minutes. There was a definitive border crossing over into the old growth rain forest. It was beautiful!
At this point is where we turned around to head back. Once we got back, the cooks were again making us a delicious smelling Tico lunch. We opted to sit at the bar overlooking the Naranjo river. I was able to snap some pretty awesome pictures of the valley.
While eating lunch we got to mingle with the other group. Gary, Elizabeth, Sam, Mia, and Tia were also vacationing to Costa Rica. They were from Dallas, TX and were very cool people. We rode back to Quepos together after lunch. While we rode, Gary was telling us about traveling through Mexico. He definitely talked us into a future trip!
The first thing we did when we got back to our resort was go inside with the A/C for a while. It was heavenly. Once we had cooled off, we went to Emelios café for a café negro para llevar. After we got coffee, we tried to go to Manuel Antionio National Park, but unfortunately for us, the park was only open for about 30 more minutes, and it would have taken us much longer to walk through. I did not want to rush it, so instead we opted to go to Playa Espadilla instead.
This beach was crowded, however, not as crowded as Biesanz. We had a lot more room and the water was clearer. Be prepared to be haggled by solicitors though. One of them suckered us into renting two beach chairs and an umbrella for the day for $5. Totally worth it!
Playa Espadilla in Quepos, Costa Rica. The beach was sort of a controlled chaos.
Once we got our fill of the beach, we were ready to fill our bellies with some food! We had seen a place in all the travel books and had been anxiously wanting to eat there. El Avion is a café in Quepos overlooking the ocean. The interesting thing about this place is that the café front is a crashed C-141 cargo plane that was used by drug smugglers. The food and service were excellent!
The views from the back of El Avion were incredible!
Spied these Toucan playing in a tree while we were eating dinner at El Avion. Pura Vida!
After our awesome dinner, we went back to the resort to relax. The day we had was one for the books. Nothing like a dip in the pool and a cool drink at the pool bar to top it off! We needed the rest for tomorrow’s catamaran snorkeling adventure.