67. COSTA RICA – Caňa Castilla a Swiss paradise

Costa Rica as Christopher Columbus named it The Rich Coast. In Central America Costa Rica has the most to offer as far as landscape, environment and wildlife are concerned . Volcanoes, cloud forests, rainforests, white and black sandy beaches, Caribbean tropics, Pacific surf and offshore islands. Costa Rica has over 615 species per 10.000 sq km which is extraordinary compare to the USA’s 104 species. We were looking forward to see some of these.

Approximately 20 km’s crossing the border from Nicaragua we knew of a nice sounding place. Caňa Castilla, a Swiss owned piece of paradise. It is conveniently located a few km’s off the highway on a dirt road, through a tiny village crossing two rivers till you arrive to a wonderful, lush forest-like place with lovely cabanas with hammocks on the riverbank, a little restaurant/ cafe and all facilities a camper need.

Here we bumped into the lovely French Family (as we, travellers like to call them, although Andreas, the husband, is actually Austrian and the children (3) are super multi lingual little cosmopolitans and could fit in any countries in the world) It was very nice seeing them again after 2 months meeting them briefly in Antigua, Guatemala.

We parked up on a grassy patch surrounded by enormous gorgeous trees inhabited by spider and howler monkeys who gave concerts of roaring every sunset and sunrise. There were also endless species of birds and butterflies and crocodiles in the river.

Cana Castilla, Costa Rica February 2014

Cana Castilla,
Costa Rica
February 2014

Guido and Agi the owners are also happy surrogate parents to a 10 months old orphaned two-toes sloth, Linda. Linda was found on the ground in the bush, exposed to all sorts of danger, her mummy rejected her (i.e. it is common that sloth mums, when they have twins rejects one of them) Guido and Agi took her in and now Linda is part of the family. She loves hanging (haha) out on the mango trees that happened to be right next to Burt so we had our personal little sloth amazes us every day.

Linda

Linda

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We liked it here so much that we actually stayed 6 days. Partly because we really needed to recharge our batteries (our own ones, not Burt’s!) Didn’t realised how exhausted we were till we got here, let our guards down and slept for two days and Caňa Castilla was just the place for this. Partly because we met a holidayer couple from Germany, Kerstin and Rainer. We met one evening, when we decided to have dinner at the restaurant (we heard that Agi’s cook really worth a try) We were seated next to Rainer and Kerstin. The rest is history. They were here for 3 weeks and just flew in. we stuck together for the rest of our time here and we were visiting the beaches and went for little walks together with their rental. They were wonderful companions and liked to spend and after-dinner drinks with them (note: try Guido’s passion fruit wine!)

At one point The Dutchies ran in but sadly they left the following day. Then Mire and Alex arrived and stayed two nights which added to the party-like buzz at Caňa Castilla.

Here there were several holidayers like Rainer and Kerstin who were staying at the cabanas, also there was one German/Canadian gentleman, Achim a wildlife enthusiast and amateur photographer who stays here every year for 6 months. He knew every hidden little gem places in this area. On his recommendation the four of us one day drove to a river to watch crazy wildlife of birds and crocodiles munching on unlucky fish pushed in by the tide. It was a fantastic place to just hang out and watch.

Every morning John and I, then found out Rainer and Kerstin too kept deciding to stay one more day. Until it was really time to move on and discover other beautiful places in Costa Rica, although easily could’ve stayed a few more days here. With our new friends we decided to meet up again, perhaps. We both wanted to check out the southern Caribbean side at some point so that seemed like a good place to meet up again if all goes well.

On our leaving morning we said our goodbyes to Guido, Agi (who gave me a loaf of her gorgeous home baked bread as a leaving present) and Linda and moved further in to Costa Rica.

Next, Lago Arenal and Vulcán Poás…

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