No wonder Costa Rica is known as “the most user-friendly country in South America.” Transportation is well connected everywhere. Restaurants and stores are on every corner, US dollars are taken in many places, and many people could speak English! The country is very easy to travel if you follow the directions of your travel book.
These are photos that I took during my trip to Costa Rica. I met some interesting people there.

“ooh heavy heavy!”

We did a day tour by boat of the Caño Negro wildlife refuge. Along the river toward lake Caño Negro, we saw so many kinds of birds, reptiles, and plants. Some locals were showing off the fish that they caught. The name of fish is “gar fish.” My tour guide said that the fish has no gills and its bladders take a role as lungs. The fish looked like half fish, half something like crocodile. Scary looking! I don’t think I can cook it because I don’t want to touch it. eww!

This boy, the son of the hotel owner where I stayed, is playing with his pet bird. The poor bird’s wings were cut, so he could not fly away. He posed for me to show his profile: rooster comb hair style! : )

This man  seemed to hang around there all the time at the central park in San Jose. When he noticed my watching, he gestured me to join the game.

Danillo, he is a shuttle bus driver. He carries a basic English text book to learn English. “If my English is good, my salary will go up. I want to be a tour guide someday.” He tried to teach me Spanish words. I think he could become a good Spanish teacher. When I remember some words that he taught, he was so happy that he almost jumped out of his seat. : )

At the entrance of hot springs. I don’t know why I felt good sitting next to the plump woman sculpture. : )

Costa Rican payphones. The height of pay phones are different. I think the shorter one is for little children. Considerate!

My tour guide picked a stick from a tree and cut the tip with his knife. Once he cut and pulled it up, a beautiful flower came out!  The name of the flower is “pachira” and the flower smelled really good. “Anybody wants this flower?” he asked, I took it quietly but very excitedly. I brought home to make a frame but the color of the flower changed to darkish brown and shrunk! My treasure is gone! : )

I took this bus to go to Manuel Antonio National Park from Quepos where I stayed. The bus fare was only a quarter!

This shuttle bus is taking you from hotel to hotel. It was very convenient and comfortable.

This girl from Switzerland,  was traveling with her 2 other friends. Take a look at her tattoo! It says “love, happiness, friendship” in Chinese!  hmm, these 3 elements are the most important in her life? I have too many things important, so if I put on tattoo, my body will be full of tattoo! : )  I sometimes see some people’s tattoos with wrong spelling.

oh, I forgot his name. He was our  tour guide when we went snorkeling and sunset watching. He is teaching surfing at an institute in Quepos, Costa Rica. He represents Costa Rica in surfing competition! When I asked him if he has ever been to USA, he said yes. He entered the competition in California a couple of years ago. He said, “oh, the California water was so cold for me that I lost!”  haha, the temperature of Californian ocean is cold? What can I say? He is living in warm country. : )

One day before we left Quepos to San Jose to come home, we were browsing the small town to find a good place to eat. We found people lining up at a bar. I asked them, “what’s going on here?” they said, “oh, the owner of this bar is giving us free food tonight to celebrate Mardi Gras!” Free food! holy molly!

I saw lots of food on the table: jambalaya with sausage, pork, rice, beans…! Later I heard that the owner of the bar provides free food to their customers on American special occasions such as Thanksgiving Day, New Year’s Day, Mardi Gras, St. Patrick Day.
Who is the owner? Wanda in the middle of the photo! She is running the bar with her husband.
If you visit Quepos, be sure to find “Wacky Wanda!” It’s the name of the bar.  She will welcome you with huge smile!

I met this lady Tracey at a coffeshop. Her hometown is Calgary Alberta, Canada! She and her husband came to Costa Rica to travel 4 years ago for the first time and they fell in love with the country! They moved to Costa Rica 2 years ago and bought a fishing boat. They run their business with the fishing boat and help their customers catch fish!  She said, “We are going back home during low season in May and will come back  in November again.”

We took this kind of boat for the Cano Negro day tour

2 toed sloth. Hey, lazy sloth! wake up!

I had never seen banana flower before! Beautiful!

aningha (snake bird)

sleeping bats


floating dead caiman


I forgot the name of the bird.

black vultures

howler monkey. They really howled loudly. It is known that their howling sound travels for three miles through dense forest.

Hey, turtle!, Where are you going alone!

cute spider monkeys!

I was the only person who was interested in these fruits. The guide cut it in half and took some seeds inside and said they are used as food coloring. I forgot the name and I brought these 2 fruits home secretly. : )

My hostel garden in Quepos


ooh baby! Killer bees! Please hide your stingers in front of me!

red land crab : this edible gourmet delicacy crab is living in the mountain. I wish I could catch some and cook. : )

Central Park in Fortuna

beach in Manuel Antonio National Park

This small island attracts so many birds for some reason, so the island is full of bird poop. They call this island “poop island.”

Pineapples are ground dwelling fruit and they don’t grow on trees! I learned a new thing.

The town of Quepos where I stayed


  1. villastranquilas Quepos Costa Rica joined 10/10 & has 1 comment

    I just found your blog and love the photos from Manuel Antonio/Quepos. We have great cuisine and local food here although it is little known. Thank you for highlighting our area. If you would like to see more information on food here visit our site:

  2. SKO Costa Rica joined 3/10 & has 1 comment

    Hello. I’m from Costa Rica. I just wanted to say that the public phones that are placed lower are not for children, but for people on wheelchairs. It’s the way the law is here.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      wow, you are the first Costa Rican commenter! Welcome! I miss Costa Rica. “public phones that are placed lower are not for children, but for people on wheelchairs” thank you for letting me know! Actually I was wondering the same thing!

  3. Brigitte Montreal,Canada joined 1/10 & has 29 comments

    Poor caiman!I love animals so Costa Rica would be a good place to visit!Im glad you had fun!

  4. Pure_Hapa Redondo Beach, California joined 8/09 & has 20 comments

    What a nice trip you had! I hope you got to eat fresh sweet pineapple – it’s my favorite. Yes, the water off California’s coast is very cold (and rough waves) most of the time. People don’t know that.

  5. Tuty joined 5/09 & has 14 comments


    The fruit you were “sneaking in” is probably young annato/achiote fruit. The seeds are used for food coloring in Mexico, Central American, South American & some Caribbean countries. It’s also used in the Philippines to make Pancit Palabok.

    BTW, I would feel good sitting next to the lady statue as well :)

    Thanks for sharing the memories.


  6. hanamik joined 3/10 & has 4 comments

    It looks like so much fun and it seems like you get to meet so many people every time you visit somewhere. I am envious of your social skills lol.

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