Sunday, February 7, 2016

San Jose, Costa Rica (2-6 February 2016)

We took a red-eye flight from Seattle to Houston, connecting to our flight that arrived San Jose early afternoon and then taxi to Hotel Aranjuez.  It's a nice place popular with tourists and easy walk to downtown.  We explored a bit, had a modest dinner at Vishnu and then found a local brewery/bar that only serves Costa Rican beers -- quite nice and we certainly like to support our local brewers!

Next day, we took a walking tour (with "Barrio Birds" and our guide was Carla) -- walking around downtown area and learning a bit of history.  We ended up at the central market and the group had lunch at a local restaurant there where she explained a bit about the local foods and helped us order.  Cindy and I shared orders:  Plantains grilled with cheese,  cheese tortilla (the masa is mixed with the grated cheese, flattened thicker that usual tortilla and then grilled), and a tamale (masa of a different consistency and wrapped in banana leaves).  After lunch we left the our group and visited two different museums -- the pre-columbian gold museum and the jade museum.  Both were interesting.  Dinner was at a very nice Argentinian restaurant where we also enjoyed a nice bottle of Malbec. 

Third day in San Jose, we took an all day tour, leaving early morning.  First stop was breakfast at a coffee plantation followed by a tour.  Then we drove upwards to the brink of the Poa Volcano -- unfortunately we were in a very damp cloud (with rain) and could see nothing!  Leaving the volcano, we descended and toured a reserve with a small zoo of local birds, insects, jungle cats, etc. where we had lunch and then hiked down a trail that wound past five waterfalls.  Arrived back at our hotel around sunset and walked to a nearby restaurant.

Barrio Birds Walking Tours guide - Carla
Costa Rica National Theater in San Jose

Stiefel - Brew Pub / Bar that serves Costa Rican Beers!