Cuba & Costa Rica Blog
About this blog
Written by Cuba and Costa Rica expert Christopher P. Baker, this blog will update readers on life in these two diverse and exciting countries.
- Last blog post on Costa Rica and Cuba
- First-ever group motorcycle tours of Cuba successful
- Cuba’s Mariel port readying for Panama Canal expansion
- Musings on wildlife encounters on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula
- Cuba’s Steam Trains puffing their last gasp
- My top five thrilling activities in Costa Rica
- Cuba’s fun February festivals include Harleys, Books, Cigars
- Five top volcano viewing experiences in Costa Rica
- New road along Costa Rica / Nicaraguan border mired
- Cuba’s Hotel Campoamor at Cojímar to be restored?
- Cuban revolutionary Celia Sánchez honored in new book
- Christmas challenge for Costa Rica’s sexually abused girls
- Costa Rica opens Chinatown in downtown San José
- David Soul films Hemingway’s car restoration in Cuba
- National Geographic Expeditions receives license for Cuba tours
Costa Rica has new ecotours: Segways in the Park
As urban parks go, San José's Parque La Sabana is unsung. This huge woodsy retreat replete with lake offers a bucolic escape from the hubbub of Costa Rica's capital city.
Intriguing statues, monuments, and works of art are sprinkled throughout the 72-hectare park, which is also venue for an Olympic swimming pool, tennis courts, and various sports arenas. You can fish in the lake or fly a kite from a hill. And an urban canopy tour lets you whiz through the treetops of Japanese maples, eucalyptus, bamboos, cypress, pines, and blazing red African tulip. Meanwhile INBIO, the nation's biodiversity institute, has been reintroducing native wildlife species.
Locals come to stroll the paths, feed the ducks, and picnic by the lake, while joggers and skaters stream past. But foreign tourists have, for the most part, been unawares of this mini Central Park in the tropics. Like New York's Central Park, caution was always required in certain parts due to the presence of unsavory characters.
Now the good news... Segways in the Park!
What a great idea! These two-wheel, eco-friendly upright vehicles are the perfect way for exploring San José's largest urban park, which originally functioned as the city's international airport (1940-55).
Segway Costa Rica, which was established in September 2008, has introduced two-hour guided tours ($69 low season, $99 high season) of Sabana.
The tour includes time to explore the former airport terminal–a gracious Spanish-Revival building that today houses the Museum of Costa Rican Art, displaying more than 3,000 works spanning precolumbian treasures to the nation's leading contemporary artists. You'll want to also explore the sculpture garden, studded with superb creations by such maestros as Francisco Zuñega and Jorge Jiménez.
You'll zip silently around the lake... and view the Monumento León Cortes... the Plaza V Centenario, with a statue of Christopher Columbus... and the massive new soccer stadium currently being built by the Chinese government.
Even the local La Sabana Metropolitan Police use Segways!
Expect more city tours to be added.