We packed up the 1983 VW van that we have rented from friends with a cooler full of groceries and my camera equipment and down the mountain we went! We broke through the thick layer of clouds that was drenching the mountaintop, about half way down the mountain. It was kind of like descending below the clouds in an airplane. In the blink of an eye we went from pouring rain and howling wind, to sunshine and dry roads...amazing! We pulled onto the Pan American Highway and pointed the van west.
It is possible to get your feet wet in the Pacific Ocean a little less than 2 hours after leaving Tilaran, if you go to Playa Hermosa or Playa Panama, but on this trip we are going to some of the more remote beaches south of there to Parque National Marino de Baulas, 3 or so hours from Tilaran. We had reservations at Sol Y Luna Cabinas in Playa Grande, and planned to use it as our base of operations. We would do day trips to some of the other beaches along the reserve.
The area around Playa Grande is a known nesting ground for the Leather Back Turtle, so development has been limited to reduce ecological impact on the turtle's nesting area. The few hotels in this area are set back from the beach behind a screen of trees, and there is very little outside lighting, so the turtles won't be discouraged from coming ashore to lay their eggs.
|The cabina living area with a view of the hammock deck|
|Sunset at Bahia de la Piratas|