Costa Rica – Puerto Jiménez and Matapalo
Immediately after leaving the port, we are welcomed by a loud roar of red aracanga red parrots. Dirt roads continue along the often dilapidated houses, where there are plenty of cafes and restaurants. A little further away we pass a football field, behind which is a botanical garden. Puerto Jiménez is lined with beautiful beaches full of hermit crabs and crabs. Sea water has a pleasant temperature to relax and again there is a very noticeable difference between high tide and low tide. However, the city itself has a different role than purely holiday. It is a transfer point for travelers and tourists to the famous Parque National Corcovado National Park, where up to several days of expeditions are organized from Puerto Jiménez. These can begin here at the southern tip of the peninsula and end up in the northern bay, where whales can be observed at some time of year. There are many interesting animals in the park, such as cougars, tapirs, ocelots, crocodiles and much more. Night can be spent in the ranch station right in the park. The downside is that trips are relatively expensive and time consuming.
As a simpler option, a trip to Matapalo is offered. Directly from Puerto Jiménez every morning a collective taxi goes for a few dollars to the national park, but it also stops in Matapal. The evening returns to the same path. Be sure to confirm your departure times at the accommodation and then in the taxi, because it would be very difficult to get back on your own. The stony, unprepared road from Puerto Jiménez to Matapala takes about an hour, even if it is only about 17 kilometers away. Although comfort cannot be said, the journey with Costa Rica is very cheerful and leads through a beautiful landscape, where plains and jungles alternate.
The exit stop in Matapal itself is also located in the middle of the jungle, where, apart from the road, there is only one road towards the coast and then along it, so we set out on it. We observe huge butterflies, many lizards and sometimes agouti or big blue-red crabs. Among the vast trees are also dwellings, hotels and apartments. There is only one possibility of refreshment in Matapal if you are not staying here, but it is a very beautiful place with swimming pool and very helpful staff - Encanta la Vida. Right on the access road, a few meters above our heads, monkeys welcome us.
Mostly surfers come to Matapala because they have ideal conditions here and the beautiful beaches here are almost empty. But there is a great opportunity to relax without a surfboard, as the beaches of paradise are waiting for everyone. Practically your only, but very numerous, companions will be hermit crabs, sometimes iguanas will peek out from behind the tree, from the morning and in the evening there will be a frightening scream of shrieks from the jungle and a lot of pelicans and herons fishing at sea. Whom the beach would get tired of, can go to the nearby waterfalls - the locals like to advise the way, but beware of the dry season. On certain days, the sea turtles are also released at the station, but ask in advance, for example, in Encanta la Vida, before you plan a trip to miss this attraction.
Text a foto: Veronika Schubertová
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