Non-Wine Vacation In Costa Rica

I went on a 10 day trip to Costa Rica this Summer with all kinds of ideas of what I would find there. Some turned out to be true, others not so much. One thing I didn’t find was any locally grown grapes that are made into wine. Sure there are grapes that are trucked in from elsewhere and made into wine that is labelled as “locally bottled” but in my book that doesn’t count. Before I moved back to the US from Italy, even winemakers who didn’t own their own vineyards didn’t count for me. I guess it’s all what you become used to at the end of the day. What I did find in Costa Rica were lovely people everywhere, fabulous fruit and vegetables that I had never seen, tropical rain forests, volcanos, thermal baths, lakes and coffee plantations.

Did I mention Coffee plantations. Costa Rica is covered in Coffee. Delicious, rich, delicate coffee. I am going to write a separate piece about that as Coffee is one of the themes of this blog together with wine, olive oil, Italian food and other random issues that I feel like writing about.

For now though, I wanted to post some lovely pictures of Costa Rica. It has amazing flora and fauna and as I love taking pictures of both, I have about 400 shots but promise will only post a few. Mangroves are some of the most interesting trees to me with their gnarled roots and wierd shapes. In my travels around the world I have often happened upon them but they never cease to amaze me. Check this one out.

One of the best things I did in Costa Rica was to go to a wholesale fruit market at 400am with my Tica mother to buy fruits and vegetables. Yes I stayed for a few days with a Costa Rican family in order to improve my Spanish. This fruit is called Pejiballe and they eat it for breakfast with salt. It tastes somewhat like a potato but hangs in bunches like bananas.

Of course I had pineapple and papaya everyday, mangos and plantains and naturally rice and beans. Here we are learning to make Gallo Pinto, a traditional rice and beans dish that farm workers used to eat in the morning. You can imagine that it was quite filling and without doing farm work, hard to digest and work off.

I always find that you can bond with people over wine discusses, recipes or food tips. At least it has always worked for me. When I moved home from Italy, I decided I wanted to become fluent in Spanish and for the last few years have taken at least one trip a year to a Spanish speaking country in the hopes that I will improve over time and I’m pleased to say it has. People think that if you speak one Romance language you automatically speak the others. That isn’t always the case in my opinion.

I went on a trip while in Costa Rica to see Monteverde, Volcan Arenal and the hummingbird gardens. Most people canopy ride but that didn’t appeal to me. I did love the volcan and the hummingbirds.

The Hummingbirds was also fascinating, twirling around my head like mini helicopters.

Here are some more shots of the birds, I found them fascinating.

Costa Rica also has a huge surfer culture. I stayed mostly on the other side of in town but what I did see was beautiful I just don’t agree with a few things but that’s normal. I’m signing off now but shall be back.


  1. […] Rum as we know is made from sugar cane. Costa Rica’s climate with its volcanic soil are perfect conditions for growing cane. This rum is aged in American white oak and has some sweet  spice and a medicinal flavor which I didn’t expect. It was not what I thought it would be but it did help me through the Sunday night  drag. For a much better description, I find a great rum website called, The Lone caner.  He is a much more experienced rum taster than I am so check out his post as well on this rum.  Ron Centenario is a mid-priced one, at around $32 average price. Here are some stores that sell it in the US listed on wine-searcher. As I was drinking it, I remembered the beauty of Costa Rica and want to post some pictures from that visit. Here is a post I wrote about that non-wine vacation. […]

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