First stop was to a botanical garden and exotic birds. Most of the flowers were gone
had some macaws, parakeet and others in small enclosures with all these fellow tourists running shooting pictures of anything. Next stop, lunch and a quick self guided tour of the butterfly enclosure. Then off to the coffee plantation. no coffee beans left in the fields. a very crowded tour of the Doka estates and still operating 96 yr old water driven coffee processing mill. Quick stop in a town built in the crater of a ancient volcano then off to some rip off shopping store for some quick shopping then back to the ship.
This is a more sedate excursion. It was nice to see some of this beautiful country and learn a little about its history and people. In addition to the coffee plantation and lunch, we stopped at a church, an unexpectedly nice souvenir shop with some gorgeous gardens and a botanical garden. The botanical garden was a disappointment, but the other stops were very nice.
The information was good. It is an hour and a half bus ride and it did seem like a long day. It was much cooler on the mountain than in town so it was enjoyable. We got some good coffee and great chocolate covered coffee beans.
Interesting drive into the mountains and an informative tour of the plantation. Guide was very good. Would have preferred to have stopped at a couple of small villages along the way rather than spending time in the plantation gift shop.
Wonderful excursion into the mountains of Costa Rica, where we visited a working coffee cooperative. The Tour Guide was friendly and informative as she led us through the fields, visiting the various areas pertinent to the production of their coffee exports. A short rest was taken while she explained the Costa Rican method of brewing coffee, and we were able to sample some of their (delicious!) coffee. A nice souvenir shop completed the tour.
The port of Puntarenas is a bit grungy with some limited shops for tourists at the end of the pier, with spotty wi-fi available. Took a tour to a coffee plantation collective Espritu Santo in Naranjo. It was probably one of the closest destinations at 1 1/2 hours over Costa Rica's spotty main highway. One of the drawbacks of this port is that the lousy roads make bus trips to any of the other more scenic destinations extremely long. You might need the dramamine you didn't use on the cruise. The add-on of this and many tours to Sarchi where you are paraded past an early 1900s machine shop, see some folks painting colorful oxcarts, is interesting for about 10 minutes. Then you are kept in a ridiculously overpriced souvenir shop for about another half hour.
Very long day - didn't like the ecopark at all - we were taken through a building with terantulas (I looked away and was glad to get to the other side), only to find out we were doing a u-turn and I had to come back the same way! Ugh! The Britt Coffee tour was humourous and entertaining.
Coffee plantation excursion was great. Very friendly and informative guides at plantation and on bus. Learned a lot about coffee and Costa Rica. Also went to craft area and saw water wheel powering workshop. Good local food included with tour. Comfortable bus and good roads.
The town of Puntarenas enjoyable for walking around. Nice beach area. Would like to go back to Costa Rica on another vacation. Great country and friendly people. Felt very safe and comfortable in Costa Rica
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