Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Costa Rica - Day 1 (1/19/2016)

Early this morning, Pam and I were driven to Tampa International Airport by my son, Randy, for our long-awaited trip to Costa Rica.  Check-in was uneventful, giving us time for a nice breakfast before our flight to Atlanta.  The flight was smooth and our connection to the San Jose flight went without a hitch. On the flight to San Jose, we met a man who owns a coffee plantation in Costa Rica, although he continues to live in the U.S.  It was interesting to hear him describe his operation and experiences in Costa Rica.

Map of Cost Rica
 No problems with Costa Rica customs, we had a short wait for our hotel shuttle, allowing a small group of other Caravan customers to join us.  Caravan handled everything at the hotel, as was the case at every stop on the tour.  They certainly make it easy to relax and enjoy the tour.  We were met by Tour Director Elston Valentine, a genial man with tons of information and a ready smile.  Elston's humor was a big plus throughout the entire trip.

Since other customers were still arriving, we had an opportunity to stroll the hotel's beautiful grounds and meet others in our tour before orientation and dinner.  

Our Hotel 

 Our room had a great view across San Jose to the outstanding soccer stadium built as a gift to Costa Rica by the People's Republic of China.  There was also a view of the sunset, but it was nothing special.

Small part of the pool.

Pink Ginger

Red Ginger


Lobster Claws (one type)

Red Bananas

Lobster Claws (another type)


Golden Shrimp Plant
At the orientation, we each introduced ourselves and gave a brief description of our interests.  Elston provided an overview of the tour and began teaching us to speak Spanish.  Our first, and most important, phrase was "Pura Vida".  Literally translated to "Pure Life", it loosely means "Life at its best" and can be used to answer any number of questions, such as "How are you?", or "How do you like that?", or "How was the (fill in the blank)?  This was undoubtedly the most useful phrase of the entire trip.


  1. This is great . . . I'm sure you'll love CR . . . we spent 10 days there a few years back . . . has a little of everything . . . love this posting site . . . enjoy

  2. That comment was from me . . . was showing Bill's profile . . . changed it but not sure it'll work . . . Judy Fleming

  3. Stan, Happy to meet you.
    Beautiful Costa Rica photos.
    Nick & Barb Hockman