Traveling Nancy

Traveling around the world as far as I can go.

Guayacán – Feb 5


This morning I took a photo of the outside sitting area/garden in the back of the house.  It was a lovely place to sit.

Vilma took another selfie of us.

After breakfast Sergio again drove Vilma and I to the church to meet our group.  Today’s activity was to go to the Recreational and Ecological Center El Guayacán.  We passed wind farms on the way.  Guayacán center was born in the entrepreneurial mind Don Marcos when he had the vision of requesting a concession from the Government to take advantage of the sources of hot and cold waters that are born in his farm.  He obtained the permission and 6 hectares were dedicated to the development of tourism and the remaining 106 hectares are kept for cattle. Its thermal waters are rich in minerals transported underground from the Miravalles Volcano.

The Government of Costa Rica expects the country will generate more than 99% of its energy from renewable resources in 2019. raising and fattening.

Ecological Center El Guayacán  is certainly a beautiful place.

There are many thermal pools available for soaking.  The sign above all of the pools said, “No Sumergirise.”

That means, “Do not submerge.”  We learned about the problem of submerging your head from Lee (the group leader)yesterday and  I did some research  about the issues last night.

There is an amoeba called Naegleria fowleri which is “commonly found in warm freshwater (e.g. lakes, rivers, and hot springs) and soil, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and “usually infects people when contaminated water enters the body through the nose. Once the ameba enters the nose, it travels to the brain where it causes primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which is usually fatal,. the CDC says.

A 15-year-old  died in Costa Rica of amebic meningitis after contracting the rare infection at a hot spring.  The infection is exceedingly rare. In the United States, “hundreds of millions of visits to swimming venues occur each year … result in 0-8 infections per year,” according to the CDC.

The case of the 15 year old marked the second such case ever recorded in Costa Rica, according to the Health Ministry. The first instance, in 2014,  resulted in the death of an 11-year-old U.S. citizen.

You cannot get infected from swallowing water containing Naegleria, nor by person-to-person contact. The CDC says the risk of infection is “very low” even when swimming in water containing Naegleria fowleri. 

We followed the rules and did not submerge our heads under the water.  We actually didn’t get the water anywhere near our faces.

Soaking in the pools and walking around this area was wonderful  I took several photos of us in and around the pools.


We tried several different pools.  Then we decided to walk up to a platform which was surrounding a tree.  We crossed a suspension bridge to get there.

The tree that the platform surrounds has the same name as the area (Guayacán) and if you hug the tree, you will get energy.

There was a snake on the tree.  I had to get a photo of it so I went closer.  That seemed to make the Ticos very nervous.

It was sure a skinny, long snake.

Vilma told Daniel, Gabriel (Daniel’s older brother) and Sergio about the snake.  They were pretty sure it was poisonous but then they decided that it was a parrot snake (Lora snake) which is not poisonous so I  guess I was safe.  I wasn’t bitten so it doesn’t matter what kind of snake it was.

Then we decided to walk up higher to get better views of the volcanoes.

Rincón de la Vieja, Miravalles and Tenorio are only a few of the volcanoes that dot the Guanacaste landscape and provide the province with unique attractions.

This is Barbara with what I think is Miravalles…

… and me

We ate lunch in the restaurant and then relaxed for a couple of hours. There are many beautiful plants.

When I was walking around I spotted an insect that looked like a leaf.  Then I realized that it was actually an ant that was carrying the leaf.  This afternoon Daniel told me that they are very strong and can carry 20 times their weight and can even take down trees.

It was relaxing to just sit around by the pools this afternoon (which is usually not my style at all).

We came across this cow.  A few people wanted their photos taken with the cow.

I slept in the van almost all the way back to Liberia.  Vilma and I took a taxi to get home because Sergio had gone to the school where he worked to clean-up to get ready for next week and to bake with the children.  He called Vilma from the school on Facetime so I was able to watch them making a kind of bread and meet some children.  I think they were a couple of the younger siblings of the students and one of the Moms..  Daniel told me that the school where he teaches is in a very low income area about 45 minutes from home.  He often volunteers extra time.  Most of the supplies for the school have to be donated.

Gabriel brought home vegetable and meat soup that he made for the family for whom he cooks as his job. He told me the names of the vegetables that were in the soup.  Vilma and I ate it  for dinner.  Sergio and Gabriel went to a meeting so they did not eat with us and Daniel ate later.  I took Gabriel’s photo but I was not able to import it.  We also had a cheese that is similar to ricotta with dinner.  

These are the bread rings that Sergio brought home.

I feel very lucky to be staying with the Sotela Castro family.  They make me feel very, very welcome and I am enjoying their company.

Author: Nancy Panitch

Traveling has been a passion of Nancy Panitch's life and she loves seeing how people in other cultures live. Her travels have taken her to many places within the United States, Asia, Europe, South America, and Africa. Being around people inspires her and she has much gratitude for the kindred Souls that are joining together with her in body, mind, and heart. She moved from Chicago to Portland, Oregon in 1982. It was one of the best decisions of her life. While in Portland she stays very, VERY busy. She volunteers (Inter-Religious Action Network, Human Rights Council, & ushering for various theaters); attends a Unitarian Universalist church; goes hiking with groups (Cascade Prime Timers & Trails Club of Oregon) and also with individual friends. Book groups, movie group, and bridge groups occupy her time as well. Her quiet activities include yoga, knitting, Sudoku, and reading. She enjoys all of these activities, but making time to see her wonderful 4 grandchildren takes priority over it all. She is happy to share this blog and hopes to encourage others to travel.

2 thoughts on “Guayacán – Feb 5

  1. Glad you are having such a wonderful time.


  2. Thanks for sharing. Looks like you are having a fun time. Bev

    Sent from my iPhone



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