We woke up at a decent time this morning and had a wonderful breakfast at our hotel. I ordered a bowl of fruit (not all of which I could identify), Sarah went for some corn flakes with strawberries, and we shared a plate of thick toast triangles. Our ride back to the airport soon prompted us to check out of the hotel. We did so and dashed through traffic across town and onto the Pan-American Highway to the airport.
Our flight to Puerto Jimenez was on Sansa air and, although the "terminal" (if you could call it that) was small, somewhat cramped and largely informal, we had no trouble getting situated. We watched out a door as large carriers' 757s sped down the runway along side the Sansa prop planes. The on-board environment felt cramped before we sat down but once we were strapped in everything felt fine. The plane had two columns to the right and one to the left for a total of no more than 12 or 15 to a flight. The air was a bit bumpy right after we left the ground but the rest of our time in the air was wonderful with views of lush hill sides, bright beaches, clouds reflecting off the Pacific, and meandering rivers through the mangrove swamps.
Our decent and landing in Puerto Jimenez was impressively smooth and, once we stepped off the plane were warmly greeted by Lapa Rios staff. They offered us a ba�o and drink at their office just off the airport to recover from the flight (not necessary in our case) before the drive up the hill. Oh, and did I mention the cemetery just at the edge of the landing strip? Neither did the woman sitting next to us until we landed.
We had a great ride out of town to Lapa Rios. The back of the truck we rode in had a tarp-covered roll cage and padded seats so we could enjoy the terrain in the fresh air. An employee of Lapa Rios hung out in the back with us. He clued us into some of the many luxuries offered once at Lapa Rios and we also got to learn a bit about where he was from and what kinds of things makes life go around on the Osa Peninsula.
After passing under a "Welcome to Jurassic Park"-like Lapa Rios arch/sign we were greeted by the resorts current general manager who was holding a tray with two steaming cold drinks and small clothes in case we needed to wipe our faces of sweat or dirt from the ride. More info about Lapa Rios came our way from him but the redundancy only made us feel welcome as well as exuded a real sense of pride in the place. We learned that, as a part of Lap Rios' commitment to the people of this area, his position as general manger was temporary while they look for someone from this immediate area to take over. Seems convenient that he just found a house nearby into which his wife a baby will soon move from San Jose.
Oy. This place is simply amazing. Our room is something from a wish made of a genie in a bottle. A sweeping view of the forest, beach, and bay below is matched on the inside by comfortable furniture and lavish construction. Man, and we hadn't even eaten lunch yet!
Lunch was in the main building under massive thatched roof. A stunning spiral staircase leads up to an observation deck with an equally stunning view. The food was magnificent. I started with a lemon grass iced tea and Sarah had a passion fruit margarita. Next came the soup of the day which was gazpacho then the main course for me was a tico salad with grilled chicken and Sarah played it safe with a tasty cheeseburger. After lunch we signed up for the next couple days' events and relaxed in our room before heading out to see a small waterfall.
Just around the corner from the main building down the road we came in on a small, slippery trail led down a ravine to a stream. We hopped and skipped across a couple rocks to make it to the other side where we soon found ourselves staring right at a 20-30' waterfall shotting into a large pool. Sarah dipped her feet while I snapped photos. We didn't dive in because it was getting late and we'll be taking a more involved waterfall hike tomorrow.
Back up the stairs we went and just as we emerged from the forest a light rain began to fall. Instead of dashing inside we made for our cabin, dawned our bathing suits, and reclined in the rain on our private deck. Once the precipitation passed a rainbow arched out across the bay.
Now I sit listening to the night time noises of the jungle start up while Sarah naps inside. We'll soon have our first dinner then share our first night together in this true paradise.