Accommodation Review – Greenbank Hotel Falmouth
Greenbank Hotel Falmouth

Accommodation Review – Greenbank Hotel Falmouth

The Greenbank Hotel Falmouth is truly the perfect base for a stay in this lovely part of the world.  It is Falmouth's oldest hotel and is stepped in history yet manages to feel fresh, modern and comfortable at the same time.

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3 Days in Northumberland
Embleton Bay Northumberland

3 Days in Northumberland

3 days in Northumberland based in Berwick upon Tweed. Explore Gossick, Lindisfarne, North Berwick, Seacliff Beach, Eyemouth, Cocklawburn, Embleton.

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Marino Ballena National Park – Uvita
The Whale's Tail Uvita

Marino Ballena National Park – Uvita

Marino Ballena National Park The drive from Lapas Rios to Uvita took just under three hours and brought us roughly half way back to San José, so it makes a…

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Accommodation Review – Lapa Rios Eco Lodge – Lapa Rios
Lapa Rios Eco Lodge Costa Rica Room with a View

Accommodation Review – Lapa Rios Eco Lodge – Lapa Rios

Lapa is the Costa Rican name for the scarlet macaw.  When the American couple who founded Lapa Rios first visited the area, they spotted a number of macaws flying across the jungle in tandem, creating a river of red.  Inspired by this beautiful image, they named the lodge Lapa Rios – River of Scarlet Macaws.  It took them 8 years of searching to find the perfect place to realise their vision of creating an eco lodge in Costa Rica.  They poured everything into it - savings, pension pots, heart and soul.  It was well worth it - this is such a stunning place.

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The Idle Traveller …
Hermit Crab

The Idle Traveller …

Dan Kieran’s book “The Idle Traveller” invites you to re-assess what you are searching for when you travel.  He urges you to bin the travel brochure, glide rather than fly, embrace disaster, be epic in your travel pursuits and immerse yourself in the life-changing experience of true journeying.  It is an entire philosophy of life rather than just a book about travelling.  His philosophy is to slow d

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Buen Provecho – Sunrise on the Osa Peninsula
Pacific Ocean Sunrise Costa Rica

Buen Provecho – Sunrise on the Osa Peninsula

The day started early at 5am with a beautiful sunrise - doubled by its reflection in the Pacific Ocean.  The first few minutes just before I wake up are usually like intermediate steps from light to shadow - my vision is dim and my mind not yet fully focussed.  This morning, I was woken by the loud shrieks of howler monkies and the din of a million cicadas, then soothed by the sound of the ocean as the sun rose over it.  It was the quickest move to sharp focus I can remember - the sunrise was absolutely spectacular - the outstanding highlight of this trip.

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Bajos del Toro to Osa Peninsula
Lapa Rios Eco Lodge - Welcome Drinks - Pipa Fria with bamboo straws

Bajos del Toro to Osa Peninsula

We set off at 10.30 from Bajos del Toro on a cool, wet morning and arrived at San José Domestic Departures terminal a couple of hours later, all set for a short flight to Puerto Jimenez on the Osa Peninsula.

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The Oxcart Path to Sarchi
Sarchi Oxcart

The Oxcart Path to Sarchi

It's not many trips that offer you a bare knuckle ride two days in a row.  Yesterday, we were expecting adventure.  Today, we were expecting a quiet drive to the colourful little town of Sarchi about an hour or so from El Silencio.

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“High Five – Pura Vida” – Sarapiqui River White Water Rafting
Sarapiqui River Rafting

“High Five – Pura Vida” – Sarapiqui River White Water Rafting

The next day took us an hour back down the windy mountain road to the Sarapiqui River and a knuckle clenching raft ride on the white water rapids with Pozo Azul Adventures..  These are Class II/II rapids and rough enough to be quite a thrilling ride.  You don't just get a bit wet on this ride, you get completely soaked.

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Arenal Volcano National Park – En Armonía con la Madre Naturaleza
Arenal Volcano Hanging Bridges Trail

Arenal Volcano National Park – En Armonía con la Madre Naturaleza

When you have had a shower outside in the rain and an open air bath on your balcony (safely concealed by the jungle!), it seems fairly pointless to wear an uncomfortable rain coat to go on a hike.  Skin is waterproof after all?  So today, I carried nothing except my camera and didn't let the rain bother me at all.  I was feeling rather  in harmony with Mother Nature (en Armenia con la Madre Naturaleza) and excited to explore Arenal Volcano National Park.

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Hola Arenal – Mucho Gusto Amigos!
White Capuchin Faced Monkey

Hola Arenal – Mucho Gusto Amigos!

A warm welcome at Nayara Springs and the return of the sun enticed us into sampling a Caribbean fashion cocktail (7 year old Centenario rum, coconut water infused with rice, cinnamon and orang peel, orange syrup and angostura bitters) and spending the rest of the day doing little more than exploring everything this very beautiful resort has to offer - see the accommodation review for all the details.

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Accommodation Review – Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel – Celeste River
Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel Costa Rica

Accommodation Review – Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel – Celeste River

Rio Celeste Hideaway Hotel is a small resort-style, ecologically-conscious hotel right in the centre of the lush cloud forest of Rio Celeste in Volcan Tenorio National Park.  You can walk down to the beautiful blue river directly from the hotel.

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Walk with the Eyes of …
Red eyed tree frog

Walk with the Eyes of …

This afternoon, I am visiting the Celeste River National Park aiming to walk with the eyes of a tour guide and see if that helps me to spot wildlife I would otherwise have missed. Come and walk with me and see what I discovered ...

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Rio Celeste – Un Mundo Differente, Un Mundo Fascinante
Your best chance of seeing a tapir

Rio Celeste – Un Mundo Differente, Un Mundo Fascinante

Established as a National Park in 1995, Rio Celeste is in the cloud forest region.  A massive 3.7 metres of rain falls here a year - around six times more than the UK - and that sometimes feels very wet!  A legend tells that after God was done painting the sky, he washed his brushes in the river that now bears the name of Rio Celeste  - Light Blue River.  It was worth a 4 hour hike to see how beautiful this looks in real life.

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Tortuguero to Volcan Tenorio National Park
Cortez Amarillo Tree

Tortuguero to Volcan Tenorio National Park

Guess what - it rains in a rainforest!   Last night, it rained pretty well all night.  It hammered on the tin roof of the lodge for all it was worth, building up to a crescendo drum beat for a few deafening minutes before petering out to a bit of a tap dance and a finale of sprinkles and tinkles in the gutters.  Then silence, filled only by the constant hum of the air con which intermittently halted as the electricity cut out.

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Salut Manatus!
Three toed sloth (and baby!)

Salut Manatus!

Our base in the Tortugero National Park is the Manatus Lodge.  Access is via boat transfer only - and let's hope they keep it that way!  

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Alajuela to Tortuguero
Local girl on a swing Tortugeuro National Park Costa Rica

Alajuela to Tortuguero

The transfer from Alajuela to Tortugero took all morning - but what a lovely way to spend it.  We drove past banana plantations, fields of papaya, coconuts and plantains learning a little about the beautiful country that is Costa Rica (Rich Coast) as we travelled.

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Accommodation Review – Xandari Resort & Spa – Alajuela
Xandari Resort & Spa Alajuela - Welcome drinks

Accommodation Review – Xandari Resort & Spa – Alajuela

Xandari Resort & Spa - Alajuela Architecturally designed Xandari Resort & Spa Alajuela has 24 spacious villas nestled on a 40-acre plantation surrounded by lush gardens, with terraces facing spectacular…

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