The BBC World Service is looking for the perfect country and unsurprisingly, Costa Rica is on its list of nominations. With its aim to ecome carbon neutral by 2021, its success in running on renewable energy sources in 2015, the abolition of the army in 1948, high life expectancy, universal healthcare and education, and 97% literacy; Costa Rica has a lot going for it!
We're rather biased but think it is the perfect country for us, and that Cahuita is the best of Costa Rica. Hear more on this link and let us know your opinion:
Cahuita's hot and humid climate is fantastic for plantlife, and many tropical flowers thrive in this environment which is without seasons, other than wet and dry -- no winter frost to damage plants here! The garden at La Casa del Mango is sheltered from the sea breezes that come off the ocean by the wooden fence, preventing salt or wind harming the plants.
Orchids are delicate flowers, but ours are tended by green-fingered Don Feliciano, who carefully raises them. He attaches the orchids by their roots to tree trunks, and encourages them to attach themselves and grow, using the host tree instead of soil.
These purple flowers are La Guardia Morada and as well as being beautiful, are the national flower of Costa Rica. You can see why!
What are your favorite Costa Rican flowers? Do you have photos to share?
Green and black poison dart frogs, or mint posion dart frrogs, are a common sight in the hotel's tropical garden. They love the damper, shady area around the steps from the house's Morroccan patio, and the outside dining area with the grill. They move fast so be ready to snap that shot quickly!
The frogs have suckered toes which allow them to climb but they aren't as agile as their tree frog cousins and spend more time on the ground. However, to protect their tiny young, they are hatched and guarded in the water collected in bromeliad plants on tree branches.
You'll see them in other parts of Cahuita too -- look out for them in shadows and wet soil. They are not a species in danger, so they are fairly commonly seen around.
Astonishingly, although it is not the most toxic of the posion arrow frogs, it still contains enough poison to stop a human heart. This toxicity is only released when the frog feels threatened, so don't touch one!
Have you seen these tiny amphimbians on your strolls through La Casa del Mango garden or in town?
After a few days of rain, the sun is such a welcome sight. Fortunately, the temperatures stays high and so it is no real hardship. Black Beach, Cahuita (see photo above) took a pounding but this was a real bonus for surfers, who've been hanging ten throughout the high waves.
We woke to pouring rain this morning and by midday, our guests were poolside on the loungechairs or in the pool. It's incredible how quickly the weather can change here. All we need now is for the big waves to pull the debris back into the ocean and take it away!
Here's 8 of our favorite rainy day in Cahuita things to do:
1. swing in the hammock with a good book
2. swim -- you're wet anyway right?
3. get out and animal spot. Once the rain eases off, the wildlife is way more active than on sunny, snoozy days and the National Park trails are empty
4. have a long and tasty breakfast of pinto or pancakes washed down by Costa Rican coffee at Bridgette's on Black Beach
5. watch the surfers at the park entrance from the National Park Hotel with a cocktail in hand and reggae music in the background
6. sleep until the rain stops
7. birdwatch from the sundecks
8. treat yourself to a relaxing massage with the raindrops adding to your calm
What are your favorite things to do on a rainy day on the Caribbean Coast?
If you eat nothing else local in your Cahuita visit, make sure to try a patty. These spicy meat turnovers are simply delicious and very filling. They're a cheap and easy way to have instant picnic food for your trip into the National Park too.
Are you vegetarian? Then try a patty filled with sweetened plantain or pineapple instead.
The patty stand is open at the weekend on the lefthand turn before the National Park Hotel on the way to the park entrance. Listen out for the distinctive bell on Tuesdays and Thursdays to buy your patty from Einer on his bicycle patty delivery service through the town center.
Why not make your own patty at home too with this great recipe from food.com?
Costa Rican Pati (Beef Turnover)By Chef Jean on May 11, 2011
IngredientsFor the doughFor the filling
Page 2 of 2Costa Rican Pati (Beef Turnover) (cont.)Directions
Servings Per Recipe: 6
© 2016 Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved. http://www.food.com/455810
Let us know what food you liked in Cahuita in our comments section below:
The last few weeks have seen the beginning of mango season and the return of the large troop of howler monkeys that love to gorge themselves on ripe mangos! The sundecks upstairs have provided several groups of guests with ideal seating to watch the daily afternoon performance as the family members cross from tree to tree with acrobatic tricks to swing from branch to branch to get to their nightly resting place.
While you don't want to be standing under the mango tree as they pass overhead and throw down the half-eaten mangos; they are a real pleasure to watch and we're thrilled whenever they visit. See them resting, stretched out along branches in the sun's heat and hear their loud howls at dawn and dusk.