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Aug 25 2016

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Our 12-Day Road Trip to Costa Rica’s Southern Zone: Uvita & Quepos

After our leaving Tinamastes, we continued our 12-day road trip of Costa Rica’s Southern Zone with a visit to Uvita. Located just 11 miles south of Dominical on the Costanera Sur, Uvita is home to pristine beaches and the Marino Ballena National Park. Our home-away-from-home in Uvita was the Big Bamboo. For $40 per night, this hotel was a great value. We wanted a clean, inexpensive room with air conditioning for two nights during the rainy season and this fit the bill. We would stay there again! Food in the restaurant was also very good.

Playa Las Ventanas, Ballena, Costa Rica

Playa Las Ventanas, Ballena, Costa Rica

While in Uvita, we went to Marino Ballena National Park and then to Playa Las Ventanas, located just south in Ballena, for some beach time. It was a beautiful sunny day, even though it was the rainy season. The rain didn’t start until 6 pm when we were back in our room. Las ventanas” literally means “the windows.” The “windows” are tunnel-like caves through the rocks that are windows to the ocean beyond.

One of the "windows" at Playa Las Ventanas

One of the “windows” at Playa Las Ventanas

HouseOfGinger_dumplings

CLICK FOR THE HOUSE OF GINGER’S FACEBOOK PAGE

Another highlight of our visit to Uvita was a meal at, in my opinion, the best Chinese restaurant outside of San Jose, The House of Ginger. They have delicious dumplings, spring rolls, and lots of main dish options.

If you’ve ever tried to find good Chinese food in Costa Rica, you know it can be a challenge. The House of Ginger was a wonderful surprise. We will definitely come here again!

After two nights in Uvita, we continued on to the last stop of our road trip — the town of Quepos — to visit our weatherguy, Lance, and his wife Mary. It was our first time meeting them in-person and they graciously invited us to stay with them. Their cute rental home is located just outside a huge palm oil grove and about 15 minutes from the beach. They showed us the sights, including the Quepos beach, nearby Manual Antonio, and the upscale marina.

Parasailing on the beach at Quepos

Parasailing on the beach at Quepos

Horseback Riding on the Beach at Quepos

Horseback Riding on the Beach at Quepos

I found the palm oil groves fascinating. The workers harvest the palm oil kernel pods from the tops of the African Palm trees and and transport them to trucks for transport by water buffalo. I wish I had been able to get a photo of the water buffalo drawn cart but I do have photos of a worker harvesting pods, as well as a close-up of a palm kernel pod.

Worker harvesting palm kernel pods

Worker harvesting palm kernel pods

This is a pod of palm kernels, waiting to bee picked up and transported by water buffalo

This is a pod of palm kernels, waiting to bee picked up and transported by water buffalo

While we have no desire to live at the beach ourselves (I can’t take the heat), we could see why Lance and Mary chose to live in Quepos. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

It was good to get back home after 12 days of being on the road and sleeping in six different beds. But we had a great road trip and can’t wait to visit the southern part of Costa Rica again next year!

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