Hanging Bridges - Drive in to Puntarenas
Trip Start Apr 04, 2009
15Trip End Apr 14, 2009
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Where I stayed
Doubletree Resort by Hilton Puntarenas
Our lunch stop was at the other end of Arenal Lake. More rice and beans, but some delicious mesquite chicken and some home made hot sauces, one of the inferno variety. They had a tasty pastry for dessert that was corn flour with jam baked in the middle. The gauva juice is very common. If you like tropical fruits and juices, this is the place for you. The meal quality continues to be top notch even when the menu options are limited.
It is winding down the Easter week festivities and it was apparent today on the roads. We hit several areas of considerable congestion, even grid lock at one point (funny, because there is only one each way on their highway 1, but it still is gridlocked like Vancouver). We stopped at an icecream shop where everyone got a scoop or a milkshake for the road. The heat on the Pacific ocean side is noticably higher and the land is much drier here. There were a lot of scortched fields and dead trees. We even saw a brush fire which took out a few power line poles from the bottom of the pole. They were still smouldering when we drove past. The "30" minute bus ride from the ice cream stop in to Puntarenas took two hours due to traffic. The highlight was a tree with two white faced monkeys climbing around, so we have seen all three common monkeys now. The howler is everywhere, we saw a few spider monkeys in Tortuguero and two white faced monkeys near Puntarenas.
We finally arrived at the Doubletree Hilton in Puntarenas at about 5:30pm and were greeted with a warm chocolate chip cookie. Our rooms are nice, if a bit old. The air conditioning is stuggling to keep up
Dinner was another buffet, but the Hilton does it in style. There was steak, ribs and roast beef, along with an amazing salad bar and various fish options. The dessert bar was a fountain of temptation. Our all inclusive includes all activities while at the hotel, as well as alcohol and meals without limit. The grounds of the hotel resort are beautiful, with numerous pools, a swim up bar, hammocks outside our room and the ocean about 100 feet from our door. We have now seen both the Caribbean sea and Pacific ocean, not to mention two countries (Nicaragua yesterday).
It has been a steady active pace on this trip, so it was a bit disappointing, but also a bit of a relief to find out that we won't be going to the Manuel Antonio park tomorrow. It is one of the most special places in Costa Rica for the beaches, birds and monkeys. We have seen enough birds and monkeys at this point. We have the beach at our feet here. Karen has arranged for us to visit a Mccaw garden tour for tomorrow as an alternate option which will give us a bit of r'n'r time in the afternoon. Due to Easter Sunday, the MA park is limiting entrance to 200 people for the day and it would take about 4 hours to drive from here with the traffic, along with no guarantee of admittance. We are happy to have a quick morning side trip instead, then relax here at the Hilton.
Enjoy the photos.