This is part two of our vacation in Costa Rica.  Go to part 1.


Casa Barrigona

Foir our second week we moved from Villa Aquila, above Playa Carillo, to Casa Barrigona, in the hills above Samara.  The two houses couldn’t be more different.  Casa Barrigona is very newly built, in contemporary style, as a dedicated vacation rental.  Some of the construction seemed quite slap-dash, with awkward corners and crooked tiles.  But the pool area was nice and it was comfortable inside.



Once again we had our breakfasts by the pool.


Pancakes with papaya and freshly grated coconut.


Drinking coconuts in the pool – we’re not in frozen Canada anymore.




There were some wonderful birds in the forest around us.  I didn’t have my 600 mm birding lens with me, so I tried to make do with the 240 mm long end of my zoom lens.

This is a Rufous-Backed Wren.


Black-Headed Trogon


Turquoise-Browed Motmot.  Note the wiry tail feathers with the little flags at the end.


A howler monkey visited us at sunset.  It was backlit against the setting sun, and photographing a black, fast-moving monkey in that situation was tricky.  So please excuse the lousy image quality.


Lizard on a tree branch.


Playa Buenavista

Playa Buenavista is an undeveloped beach at the end of a dirt road.  It is not recommended to swim here due to rip currents.  So Diana and I went for a beach walk instead.



Playa Samara

Playa Samara backs the popular tourist village of Samara.  Samara has grown a lot since we last visited in 2008, but the beach is still just as beautiful.



I rented a beginner surfboard from one of the many surf shops along the beach.  I didn’t manage to get upright and stay balanced.  Surfing is a lot harder than it looks!  I think I’ll take a lesson next time.


We went for lunch at El Ancla restaurant.  Here we are having batidos de guanabana (soursop blender drinks) while waiting for our order.


They served up octopus “burgers”.  They were incredible – tender, smoky, cooked to perfection.  Outstanding gourmet food served in a casual beach shack with a dirt floor.  Wow.  They had a similar “burger” with a slab of ahi tuna.  We returned here again and again.

Playa Carillo

We spent most of our time at Playa Carillo.  In fact, we spent most of our time looking at this leaning palm.


I took lots of photos of this beautiful location.


Behind this spot is a lagoon that’s said to be inhabited by crocodiles.  I checked carefully each time we set up on the adjacent beach.  But I never did see any crocs.


Diana going swimming.


Pura Vida (“pure life”) – Costa Rica’s slogan.


Chilling out at Playa Carillo.


I set up my camera with a time delay and got a picture of the three of us.  Hasta la vista – we’ll be back.

Costa Rica – Sunny Week