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. The little plane – with a cheery “Pura Vida” emblazoned on its carriage – had 12 seats only 5 of which were occupied. Check in was pretty painless. Interestingly, we were weighed in as well as our bags – maybe a sign of things to come on international flights? We paid a $10 excess baggage charge (one bag was, we knew, 20% over the 40lbs weight restriction – but well worth it for being able to bring the hiking boots and the SLR camera). We flew at 9500 feet over the corrugated iron grooves of San José outskirts, through the clouds and over the sea to the hot and sunny South Pacific coast of Costa Rica. By 2pm, we were being greeted by the Lapa Rios Eco Lodge staff with two fresh coconut milk drinks, safely installed in a land cruiser and transported down the very bumpy gravel road for 45 minutes onto the next stage of our adventure. Our route was blocked mid way by a huge bull which had to be captured by a couple of cowboys with lassoes, which added a bit of drama.
Lapa Rios Eco Lodge has welcome down to a fine art, including a short but invigorating massage on arrival to get you in the mood for deep immersion into the rainforest experience. On the short walk from reception to our bungalow, we saw a pair of stunningly brightly coloured macaws, a toucan and a spider monkey – this was obviously going to be a very special place indeed!
Macaws mate for life and often spend 50 and sometimes up to 90 years together. When one member of the couple dies, the other soon follows.
Tip for Future Travellers: My tweezers were confiscated at the airport – put them in your main baggage if you bring them, not your hand luggage!