The Gift of Education

January 21st, 2010

We decided to do something truly meaningful this Christmas and have donated the proper funds to send a child to school for the year. Talamanca is one of the poorest regions in Costa Rica and a mere 78 dollars prevents far too many children from going to public school. $78 is enough to buy all the books, notebooks, pencils, uniform and shoes that each child needs to have in order to attend primary school for one year.  Supporting a child is made very simple by ATEC (Association of Ecotourism and Conservation) who is behind the project. This wonderful organization in Puerto Viejo continues to impress us with their dedication to community development and focus on education. Right now kids are on their equivalent to summer break and the new school year begins in February. There is still time to help another child get registered for the up-coming school year. We encourage any and all to participate. Just go to www.greencoast.com for more information!

Costa Rica- The World’s Happiest People

January 8th, 2010

According to this article Costa Rica is home to the world’s happiest people.  We were not entirely surprised to read that.  Throughout our travels in Central and South America and within US cities one thing is always apparent- lots of Latin Americans want to move to North America to work.  So, when we arrived to Puerto Viejo we noticed immediately that people are not interested in what’s happening north of the border.  The gardners and cleaning ladies don’t care how much you earn working where we come from.  They don’t even know who George Bush is.  Come to think of it, we have never met a Tico when working in American kitchens.  But then again the author of that article clearly just got back from a tropical vacation and is enjoying a heavy dose of jungle fever.

Colibri is ready!

December 6th, 2009

The long awaited moment has come. We now announce bungalow #7……Casa Colibri!

Casa Colibri, Playa Chiquita’s newest bungalowCasa Colibri, Playa Chiquita's newest bungalow

It will take some time to get this gorgeous casita up on the website but we want a way for future guests to be able to view photos.  Our first experience managing a building site went pretty darn well.  With only a few bumps along the way, Colibri was completed in three months, more or less, and ended up being a super cool and funky little bungalow. The pink exterior gives a little taste of the Caribbean and the wood accents and details give the house it’s Tierra de Sueño’s uniqueness. Much of the wood used in building was in fact recycled wood or drift wood we found on the beach.

The comfy and beautiful first floor of Casa Colibri

The comfy and beautiful first floor of Casa Colibri

After a year of receiving family and group requests we decided to build a bungalow that could nicely accommodate a group.  So we put in an airy upstairs that has a second queen bed as well as a twin bed. The bathroom, which is different from the other bungalows in order to accommodate

Streach out in the spacious bathoom

Streach out in the spacious bathoom

more people, is very spacious with the shower and toilet each behind their own vanity wall. I had my go at acid staining cement and although the process may have driven me crazy, the final product looks great.

Up in the canopy in Colibri's upstairs bedroom for 3

Up in the canopy in Colibri's upstairs bedroom for 3

Casa Colibri is a special little house and ready to be rented. We think people will really love our newest addition.

A view of the steps and front door downstairs

A view of the steps and front door downstairs

Puerto Viejo Top Ten- Tours

November 21st, 2009

Top Ten Puerto Viejo Tours:

1.  Rafting the Pacuare-  Let Exporadores Outdoors take you for a thrill ride down the gorgeous Pacuare river. The fun rapids, deep tropical canyons and mystical waterfalls make this Costa Rica adventure a truly amazing experience. (This tour will also provide transportation between Puerto Viejo, San Jose and Arenal. Great bonus, great deal!)

2.  Guided tour of Manzanillo Gandoca wildlife refuge-  Hike through the impressive Manzanillo Gandoca wildlife refuge with one of the areas experienced local guides. In this vast track of protected forest you will discover many various jungle plants and animals and learn about the history of the unique old village of Manzanillo.

3. Chocorart-  Learn how the divine coco seed is grown, harvested and processed into chocolate. 100% natural, the chocolate you will sample during this tour is out of this world.  The old renovated cacao plantation is a 15 minute walk from Tierra de Sueños in Playa Chiquita and a favorite of many of our guests. For those who love chocolate this is a must do!

4.  Jaguar Animal Rescue Center-  At this rehabilitation center for animals located in Playa Cocles baby monkeys climb on you, sloths hug you and wild cats purr at you while snakes and spiders stay in their terrariums.  For animal lovers, this opportunity to interact with our rescued jungle friends of Talamanca is a very special experience.

5.  Canopy tour-  One of Costa Rica’s most popular tours, the zip-line of Puerto Viejo will have you screaming in excitement between 15 platforms high above the canopy.  It should be noted that this is pure adrenaline and not a wildlife tour.

6.  Cahuita National Park-  Walk the 7 kilometer stretch of the Cahuita National Park and explore the incredible variety of terrain the caribbean coast of Costa Rica has to offer. Around each bend is a different sight to behold.  Donations are accepted at the Cahuita entrance.

7.  Full day Bri-Bri waterfall tour- The great Terra Venturas tour company has created a day long trip to take a dip in the impressive 100ft waterfall, see the indigenous villages around Bri Bri (a town up in the mountains surrounding Puerto Viejo) and go to an iguana conservation center or see an indiginous woman chocolate by hand.  This tour is a perfect way to experience a bit of the indiginous Bri Bri culture and see more of the beautiful natural surroundings of Talamanca.

8.  Bird watching with Ricky- One of our personal favorites here at Tierra de Suenos, for the early risers this experience is wonderful. Ricky is a local man who has been watching and tracking birds for many years. He is a wealth of knowledge about the   incredible variety of tropical birds and has the eyes to find them. Bring your binoculars and you will be amazed at what you see!

9.  Kayaking-  Explore Costa Rican’s Caribbean coast by kayak. Either at Puna Uva or Manzanillo you can take to the sea by yourself or with a guide and see the coastline from afar.

10.  Snorkeling-  There are many beaches that offer impressive snorkeling from Cahuita all the way to Manzanillo. Rent gear and go out on your own or hire a guide to take you to the best spots. Rememer, depending on the time of year snorkeling is not always an option. September and October are the calmest, clearest months, November through February are the roughest.

World Famous Regatta Lands in Limon

November 14th, 2009

This year’s Transat regatta, one of the most popular in Europe and third largest in the world, is ending in nearby Puerto Limon, Costa Rica this year.  Four different classes of sail boats left Le Havre, France on the 8th of November and expect to arrive on the caribbean coast of Costa Rica 11-13 days later.  This year they will have to battle “El Niño” as they make the transatlantic journey.  Fifty ships begin the journey, but already some have had to turn back due to difficult weather.

Costa Rica’s government poured money into Limon to make improvements for the regatta and as a result $25,000.00 worth of business is expected to flood the area when the racers and followers arrive.  We wish the racers well!

For more information check out the official regatta site where you can listen to the skippers as they battle the elements-

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