Hang out in Liberia, Costa Rica for work?  Ok, sure.

Sounds great, doesn’t it?  Holy moly, this trip..

Once I got there it was great.  But the trick was finding another pilot to be able to go down with me.  I’ve been flying a two man crew airplane without another full time pilot with me for the last year.  I’ve been lucky because the airplane does not fly a tremendous amount and generally I can find contractors to help me out.  This time, though, was a real trick.  Everyone I knew was unable to help me out.

Originally I though the pilots would drop the airplane off and then we’d airline back home.  Nope, denied.  Just a few days before the trip I had to try to find someone to be able to leave their full time job for 8 days to help me out.  Uhh…

Thankfully, I have wonderful friends who were able to come through for me in the end.  It all worked out really well and my buddy Jim and I got to enjoy a week in Costa Rica.

Playa Hermosa

After a little accounting error that led to not being able to pick up the rental car on day one, on day two I was able to pick up a car and explore.

The Hertz guys suggested we take a look at Playa Hermosa.  It was about 15 minutes from the hotel we were staying at and I’d say it was worth the drive.  I ended up going solo, because Jim was just excited to relax in the hotel.

Playa Hermosa was full of locals, which is always great.  There were restaurants and hotels / hostels along the beach, but all I wanted to do was go for a walk.

The real fun was up the Tenorio Volcano along the Rio Celeste

The stairs pictured above?  They led down to the waterfall along the Rio Celeste.  The Rio Celeste (so named for its sky blue waters) is colored from volcanic minerals.  The view was amazing.

The drive up there

Let’s just say I’m glad we had 4 wheel drive.  I think a sedan could make it, but it would have been pretty challenging.  I forget exactly how many kilometers (about 15-20?) on unimproved roads we drove on to get to the entrance, but it was definitely slow going.  The road was “paved” with what looked like river rock.  Most were fairly small (golf ball) but many were football or volleyball sized.  Lots of one way bridges along the way.  Many local homes along the way (farmers, mostly) with large fields of coffee and cenepol.

The falls

Rio Celeste Falls

After we hiked about 20 minutes we came to a neat stairway.  I felt like I was standing in Riven!  At the bottom of the stairway was this stunning waterfall.  Honestly, I could have stayed there all day, but the allure of the blue waters along the river was much to strong to stay here forever.

 

Rio Celeste

The remainder of the hike was gorgeous.  So fun.  Be prepared to get muddy shoes!  I had applied bug spray, but I’m not sure we would have needed it.  There were insects, but nothing that would really pose a nuisance.  There were insects along the ground and many very large emperor butterflies (I think that’s what they were).  I never did get a photo of the butterflies because they were so active!

Recommended?  You bet.

Honestly, this was the best part of the trip for me.  Returning to the hotel near the airport was a bit of a letdown, though I was very happy to clean up and rest afterwards.  If you ever pay a visit to Costa Rica near Liberia, please make sure you stop by Tenorio Volcano National Park and see the lovely Rio Celeste.