5. Where Are We and Where Are We Going?


Before we get too far in, I would like to help you all orient yourself with the geography here (I’m no expert on this either, but we’ll use Google to help us all along).  If your heart strongly desired to, you could drive from Minnesota to Costa Rica (because Costa Rica isn’t an island, if you thought it was, you aren’t alone! You may be thinking of Puerto Rico, which is an island in the Caribbean that is also a US territory.  Also, we’ll use MN because that’s where we are from).  We would not encourage, or even recommend it based on things we have read, but geographically it is possible.  There are people that do make this drive and usually do it in groups for safety reasons, it’s just not something we would advise, but if you’re feeling adventurous and want some scenery this may be for you.


In order to drive here you would leave the southern US and go through a series of Central-American countries including Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador, and Nicaragua before getting to the Costa Rican border.  Some of these countries are not very safe to drive through, and that’s why it isn’t recommended to drive, but there are people who have done this adventure before and lived to tell about it, or so we’ve heard.  If you were driving this route, you’d come into the North end of Costa Rica.

There is an international Airport in Liberia (a city in Costa Rica, not the country in Africa) in the northwest side of the country and about 1 hour from the Nicaragua border.  We have flown into Liberia once.  The other International Airport is in the capital city of San Jose (Costa Rica, not California) which is located in the center of the country.  This is the one we typically fly in to, including this time. 

According to Google, Costa Rica is divided into 7 provinces, 82 cantons and 473 districts.  These districts are then broken down into cities, towns, or villages.  


 We will be living in the southwest portion of the country in the town of Uvita (where the little heart is), about 5.5 hours drive from Liberia or 3.5 hours from San Jose (assuming there are no traffic or weather issues to contend with).




Uvita is situated on the Pacific Coast and is known for Marino Ballena National Park, better known as “Whale’s Tail”.  (Google it for some amazing pictures, it’s actually pretty neat!  Someday I will probably write a detailed post about it).  It is a popular tourist beach town, but that isn’t why we love it.  Uvita is where the mountains meet the beach.  There is about a mile to mile and a half of flat land from the coast to the main coastal highway that runs along the Pacific side of Costa Rica.  



 Just on the other side of the highway begins the foothills of the mountains.  These mountains are not huge and snow-capped like you’d think of the Rockies or anything like that, but they are significant (you’ll see me call them both mountains and hills in my future posts.  I don’t know which is the correct term, but I use them interchangeably).  


 Depending on which mountain you are on in Uvita, they rise from sea level to around 800 meters or almost 2,625 feet.  Just for reference St. Cloud, MN is at 314 meters or 1030 feet.  All this rise in the mountain range is not a nice, leisurely, gradual rise and usually happens quickly within a quarter to half mile.  These mountains are very steep, and so are the roads that go up them!   These roads may lead to houses, villages, other bigger towns, or even dead ends.  In our past adventures we have found a few roads that provide spectacular views, and we have many more roads to explore.  With the right camera, you could actually capture the curvature of the Earth from some of these views.  Let me tell you, though, that these roads up these mountains are sometimes not for the faint of heart.  Some of them even have signs telling you to put your 4WD vehicle into 4 low and 1st gear and any vehicle traveling up hill has the right of way.  (Ramie really enjoys driving these roads, and although some of them have really made me nervous, we have found some amazing places for pictures.) There can also be 10 degree difference in temperature from the top of the mountain to the coast, as well as a very nice cool breeze coming off of the ocean. When you are up on one of these mountains, you can watch the rain as it comes in from the other side, or be sitting in a dry sunny spot watching it rain over the ocean below, or sometimes just be sitting in the clouds not seeing anything at all! In my opinion, this is a unique geographical spot, and that is just one of the many reasons we love it here and choose this location.


If your enjoying our blog feel free to leave comments on the posts. You can do that at the bottom of each blog post. Currently this is only our 5th post, but we have many more to come. The adventure has just begun. 


  1. Had some "tummy flips" just reading about driving up the mountains!! I may be the faint of heart you mentioned. �� Love reading about where you are and the adventures you are having! ��

    1. Thanks Debbie! Just wait until the next post for more fun driving adventures! Might want to get a seat belt for your chair when your reading it. HAHAHA

    2. It's a good thing that I trust Ramie's driving skills (and that our vehicle has a "Oh S#*t handle on my side)!

  2. Its Morgan... THIS IS SO COOL!!! I hope we can come visit you guy sometime!

    1. That would be awesome! You would have so much fun here!


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