To Quepos on the Pacific Coast
Friday, September 1, 2006
|Click on map text for any area.|
On the day after we arrived in Costa Rica, we had arranged a flight on a small plane from San Jose to Quepos to spend the weekend near Manuel Antonio park. An early taxi took us to the Aeropuerto where we arrived, but to the terminal of Sansa Regional air service.
We had been told that the Costa Rican people were nice, friendly and helpful. Our experience thus far had borne that out. But out on the streets things were totally crazy. We took an early taxi to the Aeropuerto and found vendors out in the busy lanes of the expressway! There were even small boys out there in the traffic lanes selling bags of fruit.
We waited a short time at the single-building terminal of Sansa airlines. The picture above left contains most of the operation: ticket counter, baggage area and seating. Above right, Brenda heads out to our plane, a single engine plane which held about a dozen passengers.
Our aircraft was a sturdy, apparently well-built single-engine plane, but it surely did look small taxiing beside a medium jetliner.
The airport had a single main runway, which we crossed over toward the west after climbing toward the east. There is a small plane landing below us. This takeoff gave us our first view of downtown San Jose.
We had decided against renting a car and driving to the coast because it was said to be at least a three hour drive. While attractive and rural, it would be slow going on roads like this through the mountains.
The mountains were lush and green. You can see the road winding all the way across this area, reaching small clusters of houses.
This sizable river flowed down out of the mountains toward the Pacific. On the map above you can see the Rio Pirris that reaches the Pacific coast northwest of Quepos.
We followed this beautiful green river valley for a while.
In this view you can see several of the "living fences" along the edges of the fields. Trees grow so rapidly under these rainforest conditions that they just plant trees to make fences. Barbed wire was seen between these living fence posts in lots of areas.
We got our first view of the Pacific Ocean at 12 minutes after lift-off from the San Jose Aeropuerto.
It was neat to see the river make its way to the Pacific Ocean.
Turning southward parallel to the coast, we got our first view of the offshore rocks and heads that are a part of Manuel Antonio park.
The town of Quepos is nestled in a curve of the shoreline about 7 kilometers from Manuel Antonio park.
We got our first view of the large tracts of African oil palms that we had read about. The oil palms had displaced the original banana plantations of this area.
Coming in over a vast sea of oil palm trees, we touched down at the Quepos Aeropuerto. It consists of a single asphalt runway and a single building. The total time of flight was 20 minutes. We watched another small plane take off over the rain forest and were soon on the ground to meet the van to the Si Como No resort.