Posted by: davepidgeon | April 16, 2009

Still on Costa Rican time



Paddling downstream on the Rio Pacuare in Costa Rica (Adventuras Naturales).

Paddling downstream on the Rio Pacuare in Costa Rica (Adventuras Naturales).

A phenomenon occurs whenever you travel to Costa Rica. No matter what your daily time schedule back home, you slip into Costa Rican time on your first full day.

Costa Rica is located in our central time zone, but they do not recognize daylight savings, which puts them two hours behind the east coast this time of year. And with hardly any effort at all to adjust, you find yourself in San Jose waking up at 5 a.m. and going to bed somewhere between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Seems a strange thing to a guy like me to see the watch say “5:00” in the morning, and I come bounding out of bed before the sun rises. But it was no problem. I wanted to see birds, monkeys, the ocean or river, and drink some of the country’s full-bodied, full-flavored coffee.

You simply cannot sleep in while traveling through Costa Rica. If the time adjustment doesn’t get you, the howler monkeys with their grunts or the birds with their chirping will.

I’m back home in Pennsylvania now, and waking up to the sound of traffic moving down the streets of Lancaster city seems more odd to me than the call of the yellow-tailed Montezuma Oropendola rousing us from our jungle bungalow slumber. And instead of zipping along a cable through the top of the rainforest trees or hiking to the crater lake of a dormant volcano, my wife and I have a day of laundry to look forward to. Home sweet home, I guess.

Plenty of stories, photos and video about Costa Rica to follow in the coming weeks here at Compass Points.



  1. I can’t wait to see all of your pics. Welcome home!

  2. Welcome home! Can’t wait to read about the rest of your trip.

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