Costa Rica: Swiss animal paradise and the awesome view from La Colina

Border crossing was crazy. It took nearly four hours at all, because it was so crowded. A drug dog inspected our van, but he didn’t find the 1.6 kg calf meet for steaks in our fridge (meat import is illegal). Haha! Stupid dog! 😉 Other overlanders recommend us a place for camping not far away from the border. After going on rough roads and our first river crossing in Costa Rica, we arrived at the Finca Canas Castilla.

A Swiss couple bought this property twenty years ago and built a little farm, a hotel with restaurant, luxury cabins and a campsite into this masterpiece of nature. We just got settled and activated the washing machine, when spider monkeys came along right next to our van. Different colorful birds are flying around and two dogs always wants to get stroked. Before it got dark a clan of howler monkeys prepared for sleeping on the tree next to our van.

When it gets dark, there is almost silence. For dinner we prepared potato wedges in the open air kitchen and grilled steaks on a fireplace. Nicaragua is famous for great (+cheap) meat and the steaks, but we couldn’t remember even in Austria to get such a good quality. More than delicious! Usually it is impossible, but we ate all the 1.6 kg meat.

The next day started early. Howler monkeys, a rooster and two dogs battled being the loudest! You get crazy when this happens at 4:30 in the morning. We had some time, because we waited for our clothes getting dry. So we did a hike to the top of their huge property. You pass jungle, fruit plantains and meadows, where cows chilled under a tree and horses were running around. From the summit you have a great view even to the with clouds covered volcano Arenal.

It was very humid and much elevation. After about two hours hike we returned to our van sweated all over. The following shower was one of the best ever. Close after midday we were ready to go. They have so many outdoor opportunities and you can stay at least three days there without getting bored. An animal paradise! A place we can highly recommend.

About 300 kilometers distance was left to the airport of San Jóse and we decided to make another overnight stop after 180 kilometers. From Juntas we took the mountain road direction Monte Verde. At late afternoon we arrived at La Colina, a familiar place where they offer a camping spot and cabins. Fernando and his family have a viewpoint, which is breathtaking. The next two hours we spent there and enjoyed the view to the Golf of Nicoya and the amazing sunset.

We loved this place and when it is possible, we want to come back. Maybe with the girls in a few days? Fernando was always in a good mood and joking. They had free coffee and gave us a big piece of handmade cheese in the morning! Yummy! Peppi slept bad and got up early, because he was so nervous that day. At night he will see his girlfriend Kathi again after so many months missing her. Let’s go to Alajuela close to the airport!

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