Punta Burica

This lush peninsula jutting into the Pacific is a lovely spot for absorbing the beauty of both the rainforest and the coastline.

HillĀ« Mono Feliz (% 595 0388; [email protected] .com; cabin 1st night/every night thereafter per person US$20/15, campsite per person per day US$5; ) offers visitors a chance to enjoy this untouched natural beauty. Wildlife is a key feature here, and the Mono Feliz (happy monkey) certainly has its share of its namesake.

Facilities include three stand-alone cabins -two in the garden and one on the beach. There is also a large pool (fed by cool spring water, and you may be surrounded by monkeys at times), fresh water showers and an outdoor kitchen for guest use. Those who'd rather not cook can pay US$20 per day extra for three home-cooked meals, ranging from fresh seasonal fish to conch or lobster when available (individual meals available for US$6/8/10 breakfast/lunch/dinner). Beds have mosquito nets. Camping on the beach is also available (bring your own gear), and you have access to pool and bathrooms.

The friendly American and Canadian owners (Allegra and John or 'Juancho' as he's known to locals) offer a range of activities including nature walks (an excursion to Isla Burica at low tide is a highlight), fishing, surfing, bird-watching and horseback riding. Remedial massage and yoga is available for guests in need of deeper relaxation. All activities are free, except horseback riding (US$5 an hour). English, French and Spanish are spoken.

Owing to its isolation, Mono Feliz requires a bit of work getting there. You'll first need to go to the small coastal town of Puerto Armuelles. Services from David to Puerto Armuelles leave every 15 minutes (US$2.75, 2'A hours). Be sure to arrive in Puerto Armuelles no later than noon. The bus drops you off in the mercado municipal, and from there you'll take a truck to Bella Vista. From here, it is approximately a one-hour walk down the hill to Mono Feliz. You can also get off at El Medio, the last stop before the trucks go inland to Bella Vista. From El Medio it's an hour's walk along the beach. Mono Feliz is directly in front of the island Isla Burica.

If you have a 4WD, you can drive directly to Mono Feliz in the dry season (mid-December to mid-April). From Puerto Armuelles keep heading south along the coast toward Costa Rica. Go through the Petroterminal and then veer directly onto the beach (attempt this only at low tide). About 15km along you will pass though Limones, Puerto Balsa and then, around 20 minutes later, El Medio. Keep going on the beach for another 10 minutes and you will see where the dirt road starts, marked with a 'Mono Feliz' sign. Keep to this road and 30 minutes later, when you cannot go any further, you will reach Mono Feliz.

The Birding Manual

The Birding Manual

The Birding Manual provides just that with over 700 pages of in-depth descriptions of every North American bird. The Birding Manual takes you from being the casual backyard birdwatcher to becoming an avid birdwatcher. It won't be long and you will be planning trips to bird sanctuaries and other parts of the country, so you and your family can hone your birdwatching skills and The Birding Manual will be one of the first things you will want to take with you.

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