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World Cup and Cacao Trails

Destination: Puerto Viejo

So today was the big game. The kickoff to the World Cup was the Costa Rica vs. Germany game and, of course, it was on the tip of everyone's tongue. So that we could properly cheer on Costa Rica, Rayna and I headed to Lydia's for breakfast, a small cafe serving traditional dishes. For example, I got rice and beans with scrambled eggs. With a solid meal in us, we went to look for the best place to watch the game.

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We decided on Stanford's which is a restaurant/bar that is popular with the locals. It was the place to be. Showing the game on a full screen via projector, the pride was palpable as the national anthem played and the camera scanned the Costa Rican team. Honestly, I think we had the best seats in the house. We were directly behind the most excited female spectator I've ever encountered, you know the type. Well, this lady was nothing short of hilarious. We never, not once, caught any of Costa Rica's offensive moves (not that there were that many), much less the two goals they scored. Our obstacle was the woman in front of us. She would jump up and down, screaming, plastic patio chair gripped in both hands every time any slightly encouraging move was made on the field. (Yes, that means we were looking at the chair bounce up and down in front of us as she got the perfect view of the action time and again!) Needless to say, we were dependent on instant replay.

After the game, which by the way did not make her chair bounce, Rayna and I headed to the recently opened Cacao Trails, a self-described botanical park and Caribbean museum. Our personal guide Amy was one of the happiest people you could hope to meet. She led us through a maze of fascinating flora and fauna housed at the Park, accenting the tour with all the history of the area she knows. We walked through an orchid garden, a botanic garden (much of which had medicinal uses), a banana plantation, pineapple plantation, cacao plantation (yeah, what they make chocolate from), as well as a cacao museum and an indigenous museum. That is not all, we also had the chance to view their serpentarium and later we watched Amy and another guide squeeze the juice out of a stick of sugar cane and even got to sample it! As if all that were not enough, the Park also has a beautiful pool and restaurant which boasts great Costa Rican as well as traditional Caribbean dishes. Cacao Trails is an experience rich in information as well as visual and sensual stimulation; it is a place you do not want to miss!

After our tour at Cacao Trails, it was time for a shower and nap, so Rayna and I went to check into Playa Chiquita Lodge which is a bit south of Puerto Viejo. With a number of restaurants within walking distance of the lodge, Rayna and I went to Jungle Love Cafe for a light dinner; then it was time for bed. I have to say, I am so excited for the canopy tour we have scheduled for the morning. It sounds like a lot of fun!

World Cup and Cacao Trails in Pictures

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