Playa Dominical, Costa Rica

Playa Dominical, Costa Rica

Our last stop in Costa Rica.

Beach Score: 6 out of 10

Not the most scenic beach. Though it’s probably because it looks like many of the other surf beaches we visited — namely Playa Grande, Playa Guiones, and Playa Santa Teresa — and thus its score suffers from redundancy. The sand isn’t whiter. The views aren’t prettier. It did, however, seem to have some good waves. If that’s your thing (as it was with my father-in-law, who caught several).

Craft Brew Score: 7 out of 10

We ate comida and imbibed cervezas one night at El Fuego Brew Co. The design of this place is awesome. Completely open floor plan overlooking the jungle and with filtered views of the sea. Modern yet tropically rustic. A rainstorm plummeted the brewery while we ate, drank, and were merry, firing smells and slights and sounds down from El Fuego’s metal roof and making the merry that much merrier.

The beer was tasty albeit flat. As has most of the craft beer we’ve tried thus far in Central and South America. Perhaps it’s just a Northern hemisphere thing. Northern hemisphere temperament. US and European beers have a more carbonated kick. And proper carbonation — and temperature, on the frontier of freezing — seems necessary in tropical climates. Drinking flat, warm beer near the equator is the equivalent of drinking a slushy near the Poles.

Whale Tour Score: 8 out of 10

Spent one day spotting humpbacks in the waters outside of the Parque Nacional Marino Ballena. While we didn’t see as many whales as when we visited Bahia De Magdalena in Mexico, it was a fun and scenic (where the picture above was taken) tour nonetheless. See video of a mom and her calf below.

Cafe Score: 9 out of 10

Unfortunately we discovered this place after we dropped Andrea’s dad and sister off at the airport. Cafe Mono Congo. Perched just up the mouth — would that make it down the throat? — of the Rio Baru and Pacific Ocean. The coffee and tea, brewed through a traditional chorreador, a wood stand holding a cloth bag, was exceptional. The breakfast burritos were the best we had in Central America. The service impecable. The vistas incredible. We saw Fiery-billed Aracaris, Cherrie’s Tanagers, Bluegray Tanagers, and Yellow-Throated Toucans in our short visit.

Bird Score: 10 out of 10

These Yellow-Throated Toucans were having a good time in this mango tree. Managed to catch one catching a piece of mango.

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