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January 2014 posts from Javi the Frog's Travel Blog


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Topping the list of my favorite holidays, Semana Santa is a celebration during the last week of Lent leading up to Easter. Parades, processions, the best food and mini-festivals fill the streets, and for Costa Ricans, Catholic traditions run deep. Without a doubt, Semana Santa, literally meaning "Holy Week," is one of the most important holidays of the year. Ticos embrace a week off of work, spending downtime with family and friends...[More]
With its unmistakable tune and people-friendly character, the clay-colored thrush is the national bird of Costa Rica. If only we had national amphibian! The melodious thrush, known locally as the Yigüirro, is one of the country's most common birds. While the species ranges from South Texas to northern Colombia, it holds a special place in the heart of Ticos...[More]
Once I get tired of sleeping in the tree branches around the nation's capital of San Jose, I hop my way toward the comforts of Garden Court Express Hotel. Convenience is this modern hotel's forte! Located in the heart of the city, Hotel Garden Court Express lies within walking distance to several hot spots including theaters, local museums, restaurants and National Parks. To sweeten the deal, San Jose Tobias Bolaños International Airport in Pavas sits 6.5 kilometers away.

At check in, you'll be greeted with a complimentary cocktail to start off your stay in style. I'm not much of a drinker, so I gave mine to friend named Paco who opened the door for me when I leapt in the hotel...[More]

If I had to pick my favorite two-winged wonder in Costa Rica, it would have to be the resplendent quetzal bird. Famous for its majestic coloring and long feathered tails, quetzals are considered the most beautiful bird in the world. They can be found in the mountain forests of this Costa Rica, where they call home. They are currently a "near threatened" species, making them fairly challenging to spot. But rest assured, with my frog instincts, we'll be sure to cast our eyes on this resplendent sky-bound creature...[More]
Situated less than 5 kilometers from the heart of San Jose, Best Western Irazu Hotel & Casino merges the bustle of the city life with the laid-back feel of the countryside. What I love about it is that it's just far enough from the noise where it doesn't keep you up at night, yet still close to all of the action. Last time I stayed at the Best Western Irazu Hotel, I soaked in the local attractions such as Braulio Carrillo National Park and Costa Rican Art Museum. It may not tout the exotic appeal of jungle hotels, but the Best Western Irazu offers convenience, comfort and great customer service! Over the last several months, I've noticed that the hotel has been undergoing renovations, which are expected to be finished by around January 2014. I can't wait to see the new improvements for the new year...[More]
In a splendid tradition, Costa Rica celebrates bull fighting as "Toros a la Tica". To be honest, I'm scared of bulls. I can match up against bull frogs, but the giant beasts with horns could crush me like a bug - or an amphibian! However, humans find great fascination in everything in and around the arena. Lucky for them, Costa Rica packs a awe-inspiring bullfighting - a tradition that few visitors realize this country has...[More]
I can get pretty high simply by hopping from branch to leaf to branch in the rainforest, but I know it isn't as easy to get great views for many humans! Luckily, Costa Rica is filled with great places to hike, many of which pay off with beautiful vistas. Although there are countless seascapes, lush green valleys and volcanic craters to choose from, here are my top three:...[More]