Saturday, 16 February 2013

Pura Vida Costa Rica

Costa Rica is the 'must go to' country in Central America. While the country gets around 1.5 million tourists every year, that's loads of people for a very small country, I was unsure of what I would make of the place.

The first stop was Monteverde. This Quaker settlement is in the cloud forset, around 1200 to 1600metres ..... what the hell. Now while it may be said to be the best place to view the famous quetzal bird, I wasn't sure how much trekking I wanted to do. But then again, it would be very cool to see a sloth. But it had to be cold, right?

And my mum was right when she messaged me to see if I was ok, being in the jungle and all. It is a long way from the beach!

But I was in the jungle so decided in my wisdom to try zip lining. The canopy tours, as they are known, are said to be some of the longest and fastest going around. I know, what was I thinking.

I joined a bunch of the group and we got harnessed and hooked and kinda tied up around ourselves. Stops you losing body parts I guess.


All this carry on was a bit of a waste of time for me .... I retired from the zip line after only a few goes. Not an adrenalin junkie .... who knew!

But I did walk up and down the paths and played team photographer for the guys  .... who all completed the 16 zip lines and jumped off the crazy Tarzan swing. Impressive.

It was cold in the jungle at night. I holed up in my room from sun down and put on as many layers of clothes as I could manage. What was I doing this far from the coast?

But the trip through the countryside from Monteverde to Laguna de Arenal was very picturesque.

We boarded a small ferry and headed across the lake to La Fortuna. The views of Volcān Arenal from the lake were quite cool.

Now this volcano, just outside of our base in La Fortuna, is said to be Costa Rica's most active volcano. You're not allowed to climb it as some poor hikers were killed by explosions, but that must have been a while back. Locals told me that there has been no activity from the volcano in over two years .... not a puff! I was a bit disappointed in this, I was looking forward to a bit of a natural fire works display. Oh well.

I did check out the thermal springs while was I was in town. Baldi Hot Springs is not exactly in the wild. A resort with dozens of pools has been built to capture the hot bubbling water. A visit comes complete with a buffet lunch, swim up hot spring bars and sun lounges.

Oh, and I did see a sloth. I didn't have to trek through the wilds to discover it, this sloth was hanging out on the side of the road. Quite handy really.

It's true, sloths don't move much at all. I watched this dude for ages and he didn't move a muscle .... bit like a few people I know really.

More pics ...

Costa Rica - Monteverde

Costa Rica - La Fortuna & Arenal Volcano


  1. Are you sure that's a sloth? It looks like a monkey. Maybe a dead monkey and that's why it didn't move.

    1. Def a sloth. They look a lot like a monkey though. There was a sloth that hung out in a bar in Puerto Viejo, was very cool .... gotta love a bar sloth