Adventures Abroad: Costa Rican Style

Howdy y’all,

 

Last post you read about my Costa Rica take away, now it is time for the fun stuff. This post will be based around all the places we went, and all the activities we partook in. My travel buddies were my twin brother, mom, and dad. Our itinerary, along with comments are listed below, enjoy! Pictures are at the bottom.

 

June 21, 2017:  

  • Flew into San Jose, Costa Rica airport.
  • San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica. We headed downtown where we stayed one night. Once we were settled, we took a stroll downtown to see the nightlife. We saw street vendors, dancers, various shops, museums, fountains, and food hubs. With just one night, we got an excellent taste of the city.

June 22:

  • Woke up at 5am and transported to Tortuguero, which can be translated to “Land of the Turtles”, and is a village on the northern Caribbean Coast in the Limon Province (1 of 7 provinces). The transportation was first by bus, and then a 30 minute boat ride through the jungle to our resort.
  • Drove by a Dole banana crop, and numerous pineapple crops (2 most popular commodities in Costa Rica).
  • Once we were at our resort, a boat was required transportation to get anywhere else near by.
  • Greeted with a drink and explanation of what to expect during our stay.
  • Went on a boat tour to find various jungle animals. We saw many different birds, iguanas, basilisks, caiman, white face capuchin monkeys, howler monkeys, lizards, river otters, but no sloths.
  • Arrived back at our resort for buffet style lunch, where we ate too much, and didn’t feel bad about it at all. Foods and drinks were amazing.
  • Changed and went to the pool/monkey bar. The pool was shaped as a big turtle, with a mini waterfall. The monkey bar had its name for a reason, seeing as the trees were filled with white face capuchin monkeys. The bartender said the monkeys would come and make a mess of the bar sometimes.
  • Changed for a buffet style dinner. Again, the foods and drinks were scrumptious, but hard to try everything before we were too full. A good problem to have;)

June 23:

  • Woke up to howler monkeys at 4am, which lasted for 20 min. The rain drove them away eventually. Their howl is low bass sound that crescendos (gets louder). You wouldn’t think such a booming sound would come out of such a small animal.
  • We learned that any clothes and shoes left out of our bags would get moist from the humidity. Made sure to pack everything up before crawling in bed.
  • Took a boat over to another resort for a nature walk. We saw howler monkeys, a stick bug, ground crabs, spiders, lizards, butterflies, toucans, but no sloths.
  • Got back to our resort and went on a canopy tour (zipline tour). This was our “warm-up”  for what was to come later. We flew from tree to tree, and walked across hanging bridges at about 50 feet from the ground.
  • Went over to the town of Tortuguero to see the beach and local activity. The beach was on the Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean Sea), with Panama one way, and Nicaragua the other.
  • The town was small but packed with lots of little shops to buy food and tourist items. The locals were not afraid of keeping their doors and windows open as people walked by.
  • Went back to our resort for lunch, a dip in the pool, and to sip on a tropical drink.
  • As night fell, we went back over to the town of Tortuguero to try and find green turtles nesting on the beach. Unfortunately, it was the very beginning of the season, so we did not see any turtles. We did find three turtle tracks and nests though. In the end, it was a magnificent walk along the beach, under the stars, with the waves rolling in.
  • No turtles, no sloths, but saw a grasshopper shedding its skin.

June 24:

  • When it rains, it pours. Woke up to a downpour rain, and the howlers couldn’t compete.
  • Packed up, and got ready to be transported to Lomas del Volcon hotel in Arenal, La Fortuna.
  • Saw spider monkeys on our way out.
  • Drove by a Chacitta banana crop.
  • Arrived at our hotel in Arenal. Arenal is known for a volcano that is in the top 10 most active volcanoes in the world. We were told that you can see the top of the volcano 73 days out of the year, and we got to see it twice while we were there. Very lucky!
  • Ended our day by getting some drinks at happy hour, eating dinner while looking at the volcano, and playing an intense game of Yahtzee (I won).

June 25:

  • Picked up from our hotel at 5:30am to go bird watching and walk the hanging bridges with our guide, Carlos, at Mistico Hanging Bridges.
  • Saw various birds and a pit viper snake.
  • Made our way back to the hotel, where we changed for Canyoning (waterfall rappelling). Picked up by Chobani, who was known as the rastafarian guy. He had dreads, loved reggae, and had a big personality.
  • We were served a tasty lunch, and then headed to the waterfalls. The guides called my brother and I gemelos (twins), and they all joked and had fun with us.
  • The biggest waterfall was 165 feet, and the smallest was 90 feet. They also had a “Monkey Drop” that took took you directly over a small body of water, and they would drop you straight down. It was quite the adrenaline rush, which was radical.
  • My dad wore a Sounders jersey, and they all recognized it because they had a Costa Rican native, Leo Gonzales, play for them a couple years ago.
  • Ended the day at happy hour, dinner, and played another game of Yahtzee (I got last).

June 26:

  • Ziplining day! We figured out pretty quickly why the zip line tour in Tortuguero was the “warm-up”. These zip lines were four times longer, and five times taller. But they were insanely awesome. We had a blast, and couldn’t stop smiling.
  • Once again the guides had fun with us gemelos. One guide had the saying “Sup Bro” on one glove, and “That’s My Boy” on the other. He was quite the character.
  • After the ziplining, we went on a hike that was underneath the ziplines. The hike involved a few little waterfalls, hanging bridges, and overlooks of Lake Arenal and the volcano.
  • Ate at a soda (local restaurant) for dinner.
  • Cooled off at the pool. Ended the night playing Yahtzee (I won again).

June 27:

  • Rafting day! We made our way to the river where we whitewater rafted.
  • On our way, we saw 2 SLOTHS! One was in a parking lot of a supermarket, and the other was on the side of the road in a tree. A shame not to see them out in the wild, but amazing at the same time.
  • Our guide was Louie, and he too had dreads, a common theme.
  • There were 6 people in our boat, and my dad and I were the only ones not to fall out. Louise would purposely try and get people out of the boat, and he did good, but not good enough.
  • We rode a mix between level 3 and level 4 rapids (5 being ranked as the highest).
  • At the end, we were provided with a beer as we drove to the home base to eat lunch. While at home base, our guides showed us how to make make coffee the traditional way, which was through their own hand made strainers. They also showed us how they pressed the juice out of the sugar cane, and explained how they made moonshine out of it. They gave us a taste of their moonshine at the end of it. Not too shabby!

June 28:

  • Travel Day!
  • Stopped to take pictures at the gigantic windmills. The three main energy sources in Costa Rica are through windmills, geothermal, and solar.
  • Made it to our final destination on the beach of the west side of Costa Rica. We stayed at Bahia Del Sol.
  • Got there in time to see the amazing sunset.

June 29:

  • Beach Day!
  • Started the day off with yoga by the beach, with the waves setting the calm mood.
  • Rented boogie boards for the day. Spent the majority of the day in the ocean waters, in the pool, and hanging out on the beach. I boogie boarded enough to get a rash on my stomach.
  • Watched another sunset while sipping on tropical drinks.

June 30:

  • Snorkel Day!
  • Woke up and did our own yoga by the water.
  • Geared up to go on the Lazy Lizard catamaran tour.
  • Found a spot to snorkel, swim, and jump off the boat. Saw dolphins, mana rays, puffer fish, and many other fish.

July 1:

  • Another Snorkel Day!
  • Woke up to yoga. Couldn’t get enough.
  • Went on a snorkel tour with Aquacenter. Again, we saw dolphins, and many fish.
  • The new sight was two green turtles mating.
  • When we got back to our resort, we walked the beach to get some souvenirs, then returned to sip on Pina Coladas as the sun set. The best sunset yet.

July 2:

  • Return Day!
  • Woke up and did Dr. Oz 7 minute workout by the beach.
  • Walked the beach one last time, and played in the water one last time.
  • Flew back home.

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