We have made it back to Massachusetts after a wonderful trip that included an avoidance of Montezuma’s revenge. Our last stay was on the Pacific coast in my favorite hotel / resort of all time. The Villa Caletas, www.villacaletas.com was opened in 1992 and resembles an ancient Spanish Villa perched on a high ridge with stone work and buildings climbing up, down and along the ridge. It overlooks a rain forest that drops precipitously to the blue waters of the Pacific. Each room has a different motif with most being individual villas, some with their own Jacuzzis. Ours was one of four in the main building. Coming back from a hike we found two elephants on our bed with red flowers everywhere.
The plantings of flowers, bushes and trees wrapped the buildings in a colorful blanket. There were many steps, twists and turns on the paths that wandered around the resort. This is no place for physically challenged individuals. Our room had a spectacular view with trees nearby than housed Toucans, scarlet Macaws , hummingbirds, butterflies, bromeliads, and a slow moving iguana that hung out on a dead branch just beyond the edge of our balcony. I never figured out whether it was looking for lunch or just getting a few rays. Other wildlife observed during this section of the trip included crocodiles, Agoutis, howler and spider monkeys, two toed sloths, leaf cutter ants, really big spiders, kingfishers, herons, spoonbills and many other birds.
This part of the trip included yet another personally guided hike through the rain forest with one section containing a plant that put me in a sneezing fit on the way out and on the way back. I never figured out which vile plant caused this distress. In the afternoon I took an ATV excursion on back roads, main highways, deep streams and the beach. We actually saw some wildlife that included two Toucans in a one Toucan tree. There was quite a kerfuffle. These vehicles can go through very rough terrain with our having to put our feet on the fenders so that when crossing deep water the steam from the partially submerged engines would not burn our legs. We used only 4th and 5th gears. The road to the hotel was very narrow and winding. Although it was sad to leave the Villa Caletas, I was happy to have made it down the road again without tumbling a thousand feet down the side of the ridge.
Our drive back to San Jose was over narrow mountain roads that provided spectacular views and some white knuckle driving. Next year the interstate that avoids this should be completed. I think I would take the old route.
On the way to the Villas Caletas we stopped for lunch at a roadside restaurant and encountered the following: http://www.youtube.com/user/ericson35#p/u/0/me8L9Hs38QA
All the best
We encountered these Xylophone players at a restaurant / bar near Bahia de Caldera / Bahia de Barranca Costa Rica. Their bar included saddles to help you stay upright after too may margaritas.