Author Archive | Jerry Puda

FAQ

Despite its diminutive size, Costa Rica a study in contrasts and contradictions. The diversity of its ecosystems, crammed into a relatively small area, makes it a rewarding place to explore… Lonely Planet

Where is Costa Rica?

The Continent: located in Central America, the southern most part of the North American continent.  Central America separates the North America and South American continents.

Geo Location: 8-10 Degrees North of the Equator.

What’s Costa Rica’s Topography?

Costa Rica is the backbone of the Central American continental divide, with elevations ranging from sea level, to 12,533 ft, from island to volcano, from dry-forest to cloud-forest to rain-forest and everything in between. Costa Rica has it all. From its highest peak, Cerro Chirripo, one can see both the Caribbean and Pacific oceans at the same time because the shortest distance between the two coasts are only about 75 miles.

How about Sunshine and Daylight?

Daylight: due to its location near the equator, Costa Rica receives roughly equal amounts of daylight the year around with sunrise generally occurring around 5:30AM and sunset at about 5:30PM. Evenings can be VERY dark as there are few streetlights and virtually no cloud-reflected light from nearby cities. RIP: small, lightweight LED flashlights can be more valuable than an umbrella.
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Sunshine: beaches to mountains, each zone will differ. Try this chart for starters. Sunshine

Average Weather and Climate Zones in Costa Rica

Because Costa Rica is located between eight to ten degrees north of the Equator where the climate is tropical year round. However, the country has many micro-climates depending on elevation, rainfall, topography. Costa Rica’s seasons are defined by how much it rains during a particular period and not to the four seasons in the Northern Hemisphere. The year can be split into two periods, the dry season known to the residents as summer or (Red Season), and the rainy season, known locally as winter or (Green Season). The “summer” or dry season goes from December to April, and “winter” or rainy season goes from May to November.

Best Time to Travel Costa Rica?

Almost any time you can get away for a break; there will always be a micro-climates that’s perfect for you.  A variety of specifics ubfirnatuib about geographic and micro-climates can be found on the Resources menu tab.

Here are some quick facts on San Jose, the cooler, inland capital located at an elevation of appx. 4,000ft:

  • A lot of rain (rainy season) falls in the months: May, June, July, August, September, October and November.
  • San José has dry periods in January, February and March.
  • On average, the warmest month is March.
  • On average, the coolest month is September.
  • September is the wettest month.
  • January is the driest month.

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First Sighting

At first thought it was a patch of blue sky piercing the rainforest canopy; but its light moving, bending. Moving horizontally with erratic patterns. Eyes drawn to the brilliant blue flashes, following with absolute focus, then its gone. The unavoidable reaction to the first sighting of the blue morpho (Morpho peleides). The top of its wings are a brilliant reflective, irideMORPHOCLOSED-0050scent blue, edged in black that creates the display, while the under side are camouflaged to protect against predators, having a non-reflective dull brown with multiple eye-like spots. With all those eyes staring back, what predator would want to attack?

The vivid brilliant blue color is a result of microscopic scales on the back of the wings. When in flight the bright blue and brown colors flash giving off an illusion of appearing and disappearing. They are spectacular in flight, especially when in a group flying together. The blue morpho is difficult to photograph because while resting their wings are usually folded, seeing onlymorpho-00028 the camouflage part if you can find it. Just when you think you will capture the brilliant blue upon opening their wings, they take off in flight bobbing up and down or close their wings again.

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Costa Ballena A Top Destination

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By Steve Linder

Behind this crescent-shaped beach is the last stand of Primal Rainforest reaching from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts.

Costa Ballena, in the Southern Pacific area of Costa Rica has been getting some good press lately.  Travel & Leisure magazine recently named Bahía Ballena one of the top 13 “Hottest Travel Destinations” and TripAdvisor announced Travelers’ Choice Awards naming Uvita number 15 on a list of top destinations in Central America. Of the top 25 Central American spots, 12 were in Costa Rica.

Travel & Leisure, a US based company, is read by almost 5 million people worldwide and describes Bahía Ballena as a pristine bay previously a favorite of backpackers and migrating whales but recently discovered and accessible.  TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site garnering more than 200 million unique monthly visitors and they describe Uvita as a tiny village with miles of pure white sand and fabulous swimming.

The Marino Ballena National Park is a gem named for humpback whales who meet and mate there every year.

As seen from the air skirting above the canopy you can find a multitude of hidden beaches that you can later explore by car or on foot.  This beach is just South of the Whale’s Tail near Punta Uvita.  All beaches in Costa Rica are technically public beaches, therefore free.  Although getting to a specific beach may involve crossing private property or through a National Park.  Be sure to obtain permission or take a well marked path that is known to be free access, otherwise you will want to pay the property owner or park the access fee.  Its a small price to pay for the maintenance they provide to make the beach accessible.  Having said that, the path may still be dangerous and the road may require 4×4.  This is a case for proper adventure attire and travel tech, i.e. walking poles or stick.


Steve Linder can be found @pacificlots.com

 

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