After a hiatus of about 12 years we felt that it was time to return to Costa Rica. We had spent a good deal of time traveling around in the country starting back in 1990. By 1992 we started on a project that, after 14 years, became the book “A Field Guide to the Plants of Costa Rica”. We needed to see if the magic of CR was still there for us so in September we headed down. We knew that much had changed over the years but we didn’t have any real idea how considerable that change was.
Some places seem timeless. Things change but at a pace that seems reasonable, maybe in ways that aren’t noticeable, and then… Of course 2 million tourists a year are going to transform anyplace, particularly a small country that had an economy based on agriculture. Places on the tourist circuit have changed and not always in good ways, still very nice but certainly not the “way it was”. Fortunately not every place is on that circuit.
I hesitate to mention this area in northern CR but it is so special that people need to experience it. There is a small town called Bijagua, near Volcan Tenorio and the national park of the same name. A little town with a couple of places to eat, at least one of those is very good and a couple of places to stay, some very nice (if you find yourself there, check out Sueno Celeste) but not overrun with touristy stuff nor tourists. There are a few places to stay closer to the park entrance.