Mom and Dad Visit Costa Rica!

After almost a year since last seeing my parents, I was SOO excited that they would be visiting George and I in Costa Rica for 10 days. I had never gone that long without seeing them, and my mom and I were used to chatting on the phone at least once a week when I was living in SF. The calls were growing more distant and I was growing quite anxious for a visit.

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My parents visit us in Costa Rica all the way from Oregon! Here they are bouncing around in the back of Titus

We picked up my mom and dad (Pam and Joe) from the San Jose airport and hurried up to the mountains/cloud forest of Monteverde. We had booked a lodge ahead of time that turned out to be great for camping, but we didn’t realize they didn’t have such great rooms (sorry mom and dad!). But my parents were troopers and really got to see how we “live” on a day to day basis. We cooked together on our stove top, played cards under the awning as it rained, and soaked up the mountain air.

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We had lunch every day at our camp site in Monte Verde

After spending three weeks in the rain forest/jungle on the east coast of Costa Rica, I have to admit I wasn’t too impressed with the cloud forest of Monteverde, although the region had beautiful rolling hills and there were an abundance of activities for adventure seekers which we definitely took advantage of!

First on our list of adventure was ziplining through the cloudforest. My parents, George and I had done ziplining before. Piece of cake, right? A little side note about my mom and I – we worry about everything that COULD go wrong when we have time to think about it, and in a mile long zipline, flying superman style, hovering HIGH above the cloudforest, there is plenty of time to contemplate all those not so pleasant situations that could occur. But fortunately the cable held, and we had the ride of our lives! 100% Adventura seriously has the most thrilling ziplining ever.

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Jenine's mom Pam zipping through the forest

Then came the Tarzan swing. A free fall of about 140 feet before swinging out on a rope. Let me stress the free fall part because I literally felt like we were pushed off a cliff. But it was exhilarating and I am so proud of all of us for doing it! We didn’t get a video of this (thanks new GoPro for failing on us) but I swiped this video from the internet (click here!).

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Jenine about to launch down the Tarzan Swing

Next up was a coffee plantation tour which was SO interesting. I would highly suggest the tour we did at Cafe San Louis, which was a small family run coffee plantation. Some of the more interesting things we learned were that a majority of the small coffee plantations in Costa Rica are organic, and that really means that the coffee plants are grown in the midst of fruit trees and other plants which provide the organic material necessary to avoid using pesticides or mineral enhancements for the soil. It was so cool to see so many types of fruit, then a few coffee plants, then some more fruit trees, etc. We also learned about the different types of drying and roasting techniques, along with the ancient way of making coffee (AKA a lot of work for one cup of coffee!).

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The old school roasting method

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Jenine's parents enjoying a cup in the Casa Antigua coffee house

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Coffee beans on the vine

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The grounds of the coffee farm. They have an immense variation of plants and trees to keep the farm naturally sustaining. No chemicals

The next day we went to the Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve. It was spendy to enter and hire a guide – in retrospect we would have skipped the guide (George spotted the sole monkey we saw for the day, but my mom did get to check seeing a monkey in the wild off her bucket list!).

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The old growth trees were pretty spectacular

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Jenine's parents in the cloud forest

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Monkeys in Monte Verde

After spending time in the cloudforest, we were all itching to get to the beaches of the Nicoya peninsula. But first, a pit stop to fix our broken pop-top on Titus! My parents were kind enough to agree to the detour, and the owner of the shop, Luis actually dropped us all off at a local hot springs, Puebla Antigua, for the day while we waited. Turned out to be a lovely day! AND Luis and his crew did a fantastic job with the pop-top. Highly recommend Luis MotorshopCR for any 4×4 work.

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We had a surprise visit to a hot spring called Puebla Antigua. We had to get work done on our van, and our awesome mechanic dropped us off here for the day

After picking Titus up, as good as new, we headed for the Puntarenas Ferry to take us to Nicoya Peninsula. We caught the ferry just in time for sunset and the lighting was beautiful.

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Enjoying the sunset ferry to Santa Teresa on the bottom of the Nicoya peninsula

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And this is how my parents enjoyed the ferry... such clowns 🙂

We decided on Santa Teresa for our base in the Nicoya Peninsula (mom and dad wanted off the beaten path!). It was definitely rustic and the beaches were some of the most beautiful we had seen in Costa Rica. We spent the days lounging on the beach, watching George surf, playing frisbee, and playing in the waves. The evenings we watched the amazing sunsets and navigated the dirt roads in search of food (I recommend renting ATVs to get around to avoid walking on the busy, muddy roads).

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On the beautiful beach at Santa Teresa where the trees provide the shade

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Santa Teresa has some of the best surf in Costa Rica, but a powerful currents.

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Jenine almost had her dad beat on their run on the beach, but he passed her at the end

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Sunset in Santa Teresa

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Santa Teresa has a several amazing beach bars that have sunset happy hours

We took a few day trips from Santa Teresa. One to the hippy village of Montezuma and the waterfall there. We wanted to do a hike, and didn’t realize that the Montezuma waterfall “hike” was actually wading through water and jumping from rock to rock while hanging on for dear life to ropes and vines. Not exactly what my mom signed up for, so on my parents urging, George and I hurried ahead to see the waterfall. In heading back we expected to find my parents lounging on a rock along the path, but instead they were nowhere to be found…we lost my parents! I proceeded to do the entire hike 2 times looking for them before they turned up at the car. Turns out they decided to turn around on the hike and find some nice beachfront drinks instead of hike on. It was a classic parent/child role reversal of “mom/dad, where have you been?!? I’ve been so worried!” while my parents had a huge smile saying how they found a lovely BnB to have drinks at…they can always make lemonade out of lemons.

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The start of our waterfall hike, it was a lot more strenuous than we were planning on

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Montezuma Costa Rica, a cool relaxed beach town with calm waters for swimming

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A fat iguana talking with Joe

One of the highlights of our time together was a snorkeling trip we took out to Tortuga island. Some of the best snorkeling any of us had done with so many colorful fish, and the island was just beautiful! A relaxing and awesome way to sum up our time on the Nicoya Peninsula.

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Tortuga Island is a spectacular nature preserve with no developments. Was really beautiful to spend the day here

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One of the highlights was Snorkeling off Tortuga Island. Here Joe swims by a puffer fish

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Finding a little cove off of Tortuga Island Costa Rica

Mom and dad, thank you thank you for being so wonderful and supportive, for being up for an adventure, and being open minded. I credit my adventurous spirit and confidence in approaching the unknown to you guys and I love you guys more than you know. xo

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Love you guys!

Our journey:

See some more pics from our time with my parents:

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Jenine's parents brought her down a new DSLR camera, Jenine immediately started taking pictures of animals at the campsite

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View of the valley of Monte Verde Costa Rica. Good coffee farms below

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Our wonderful coffee tour in the rain, the rain soon stopped and the tours was fantastic

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Our guide explaining how they removed the skin from the beans in the old days

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The old school roasting method

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Finally getting to sample the goods

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Jenine's parents enjoying a cup in the Casa Antigua coffee house

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Coffee beans on the vine

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The grounds of the coffee farm. They have an immense variation of plants and trees to keep the farm naturally sustaining. No chemicals

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Pineapples growing wild on the farm

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Here is where they dried the coffee beans

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Here is the new "modern" roaster that the owner built and that is used today to roast all of the beans

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Monkeys in Monte Verde

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Our first activity together in Costa Rica was zip lining in the could forest. Although, probably the most touristy thing you can do it was so fun and beautiful. *A must do*

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Jenine's mom Pam zipping through the forest

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Jenine about to launch down the Tarzan Swing

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Foxes were prowling around the zip line tour

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Our campsite in Monte verde. It rained most nights and we stayed out talking under that awning.

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Our rustic "hotel" in Monte Verde - The Colina Lodge. We camped behind the property and Jenine's parents stayed in a room. This set up was great and location was great, though the hotel was so/so.

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We did the cloud forest reserve tour in Monte Verde. The forest was very beautiful

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The old growth trees were pretty spectacular

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The end of our could forest tour was at a beautiful waterfall

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Jenine's parents in the cloud forest

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The highlight of visiting the reserve was the free hummingbird sanctuary. Imagine hundreds of hummingbirds zipping around you

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We had lunch every day at our camp site in Monte Verde

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We had a surprise visit to a hot spring called Puebla Antigua. We had to get work done on our van, and our awesome mechanic dropped us off here for the day

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Titus had his Pop-Top repaired at Motorshopcr. The owner Luis is amazing

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Joe and Pam, bouncing around in the back of titus on the rough costa rican roads

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Clowing around on the ferry to Santa Teresa.

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Enjoying the sunset ferry to Santa Teresa on the bottom of the Nicoya peninsula

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With our friend Luis owner of MotorShopCr. He fixed up Titus for us - repaired the pop-top, new tires, new leaf spring and other interior fixes.

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On the beautiful beach at Santa Teresa where the trees provide the shade

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Surfing in Santa Teresa

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Santa Teresa has some of the best surf in Costa Rica, but a powerful currents.

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Sunset strolls in Santa Teresa

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Sunset in Santa Teresa

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Santa Teresa has a several amazing beach bars that have sunset happy hours

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Jenine taking a picture of her mom taking a picture

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Jenine almost had her dad beat on their run on the beach, but he passed her

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relaxing, santa teresa beach

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The start of our waterfall hike, it was a lot more strenuous than we were planning on

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The waterfall at the end of our hike in Montezuma Costa Rica

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Swimming in Montezuma Costa Rica, the water here was much calmer than Santa Teresa

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Hanging on in Montezuma

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We did several dinner at our rented casa in Santa Teresa. Here we are packing our little travel grill to the brink

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Hiking around Montezuma Costa Rica

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beautiful seaside lunch in Montezuma

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Montezuma Costa Rica, a cool relaxed beach town with calm waters for swimming

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A fat iguana talking with Joe

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One of the highlights was Snorkeling off Tortuga Island. Here Joe swims by a puffer fish

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Joe and Pam snorkeling

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Our boat ride out to Tortuga Island

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Finding a little cove off of Tortuga Island Costa Rica

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Tortuga Island is a spectacular nature preserve with no developments. Was really beautiful to spend the day here

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Splashing in the waters off of Tortuga Island Costa Rica

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Swimming in Tortuga

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Last nigh in Santa Teresa enjoying the gorgeous sunsets

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Wine on the beach at the end of a great trip

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Last night in Santa Teresa, a very special place

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Jenine's parents flew back home from this tiny air strip

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Diving down to spot a moray eel

Posted in Costa Rica Tagged with: , , , , ,
3 comments on “Mom and Dad Visit Costa Rica!
  1. Karie says:

    So sweet. I can feel the joy of their visit through your post.’

  2. Jane Meredith says:

    So great!

  3. Patty says:

    I am crying happy tears! What a touching post!