Costa Rica: with lots of “swissness” (part I)

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We parked our G Wagon in Costa Rica and we’re back in Canada. Part 1 of the PanAm Route completed: 15’700 km; 153 days; from Canada to Costa Rica. We’ve been enjoying the RIDE; to every place it has taken us; extremely grateful for this fantastic journey, and we are thrilled to be back on the Panamericana in November 2014 for Part 2 to South America.

Last week it was -10 Celsius, it snowed and it’s really dry here in Alberta, Canada. Quite a change to the warm and humid climate we had in Central America. It takes some time to adapt. Anyway, my thoughts are going back to beginning of April 2014 and would like to share with you what happened in Costa Rica:

Another successful border crossing – and we are in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is also called the Switzerland of Central America. “Pura Vida” is the most commonly used phrase here and it means “Pure life”. It’s a synonym of “hakuna matata” and reflects the relaxed lifestyle of Costa Ricans. “Pura Vida” is used as greeting or farewell, to express thanks, and as a response to “how are you?”

Cabañas y Finca Cañas Castilla

From the Penas Blancas Border is just a 20 km drive to swiss owned Cabañas y Finca Cañas Castilla. Agi and Guido Sutter built their little paradise 18 years ago. Lots of hiking trails, lots of animals, unique and colorful variety of tropical vegetation, lots of great people, fantastic hosts and mouthwatering food. We stayed longer than planned because we had such a great time and it was not easy to leave this wonderful place….

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@Cabañas y Finca Cañas Castilla

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Rancho with Sapoa River

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Linda, the rescued baby sloth, eating moringa leaves

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so cute…

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Linda eating mango blossoms

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off she goes….

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Guido baking pizza

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Dinner family-style

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the fantastic hosts Agi & Guido Sutter – thanks for everything!

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Nelly & Toni from Switzerland

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Michèle & Kurt from Switzerland

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“Frühschoppen” mit Guido, Ramon, Ivan und Tobias

Tenorio Volcano National Park – Rio Celeste

Awesome nature trail called “Mysteries of the Tenorio”

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Laguna Azul – a beautiful lagoon known for its calm waters and vibrant blue hue

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“Borbollones” a Spanish word meaning “gushing”, which earns its name thanks to its bubbling thermal waters and its strong sulfur smell

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The Río Celeste, a river whose blue-tinted waters are the result of a chemical mixture (sulphur and calcium carbonate mixing)

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miraculous waterfall

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Laguna de Arenal

Our first impression of the Lake Arenal area was: wow – it looks like Switzerland.

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La Pequeña Helvecia on Lake Arenal

Franz Ulrich from Switzerland built La Pequeña Helvecia (=means Little Switzerland) on Lake Arenal. He built a Hotel/Restaurant symbolizing a real Swiss Chalet, a swiss Cow Stable, a little Swiss Chapel, an Apartment Housing , a train station with railroad, bridges and tunnels . At the end of the track he constructed the Rondorama, a revolving restaurant. Unfortunately the weather was so bad that it was not worth it going up.

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Posing with Nelly & Toni and the owner Franz (middle) of the “Pequena Helvecia” (Little Switzerland)

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CostaRica1-45 Read more about Costa Rica in our next post.

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