Zarcero - off the tourist track in Costa Rica

Trip Start Feb 07, 2012
Trip End Apr 24, 2012

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Where I stayed
Hotel Don Beto

Flag of Costa Rica  , Alajuela,
Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A weary crew was all smiles when we discovered beautiful and tranquilo Zarcero far up in the mountains of Costa Rica.  We traveled 5 hours from hot Mal Pais and found ourselves donning long sleeve shirts and pants at an elevation of 5,800 feet in a quaint mountain town surrounded by gorgeous farmland. 

Like most Central American cities, we found the Parque Central to be the heart of the town where kids and grownups enjoyed laughter and picnics on the numerous park tables.   Teenagers sat for hours talking, and kissing.  We found a fabulous hotel, also the only hotel in town, right on the park....we got two rooms, each was $24 a night.  Ours opened up to a huge balcony overlooking the park.

There was no English on the menus here, which always makes me very fact, there were no menus at all in one of the restaurants.  You just went in and asked what was available.  And, everything was delicious...all though we ate our fair share of shredded chicken empanadas.  YUM!   

Paul took the boys to get new buzzcuts.  they had a blast at the barber's!  I was a little concerned at how they'd come back, as none of us had the word for buzz cut, or anything to do with haircuts.  As fate would have it, one of the gals in the shop had lived in New Jersey for a shortwhile.  The world has gotten very small indeed.....

We explored this very off the beaten path rainforest from here.  Hunter spotted a bunch of howler monkeys up in the trees, we saw a huge morpho butterfly, lots of birds, especially hummingbirds and parrots.  Sawyer and Paul climbed way down the canyon to the bottom of the waterfall, which poured into an extinct volcano.  Sawyer claims there were a thousand concrete stairs.  I'm not sure if that's an accurate number, but it does explain why I didn't go down. :)

We saw one car during an hour ride.  Farms (fincas) lined the hillsides for as far as we could see.  I couldn't help but dig my fingernails into the steering wheel around the hairpin corners on the road with a 30 degree angle and wide enough for one car, but made for two way traffic. 

We all loved Zarcero and look forward to returning to this sleepy, safe town some day again
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