After a hop, a skip and jump over the Atlantic myself and my fellow travellers touched down over the sunnier waters of Costa Rica excited to explore the country afoot. We were greeted at the airport by our charming guide, who’s knowledge and expertise throughout were invaluable.
The next morning, we were whisked off on our journey. Travelling through fields of local produce and stunning scenery, we stopped for a traditional Costa Rican breakfast of Gallo Pinto (beans and rice). This was a delicious start and something we would become quite accustomed with during our time. Once fed and watered we continued our journey to the mystery of Tortuguero National Park.
As we neared our destination, we boarded a motorized canoe. Blasting through the waters of the Tortuguero River we could see the jungle whizzing by. Pachira Lodge was the perfect base, the isolation alone allowing us to really immerse into the natural surroundings. Wandering around the grounds we stumbled across sloths, snakes and monkeys galore.
Once upon the intricate and winding canal systems of the national park we appreciated the shear array of our tropical surroundings. The expert guides were incredibly talented at highlighting the camouflaged locals, without the untrained eye they would certainly go amiss. There was something mystical about floating through these small stretches of water. At one point our guide told us to stop for a moment, close our eyes and listen closely. We experienced an immersion of nature and an understanding of the primitivity of the region. All tuckered out, we returned to the lodge for a leisurely swim and a few well earnt reflective beers.
Our next destination, Arenal, was easy to spot from a distance. The volcano popped in and out of view between the clouds. Heated volcanic pools were a lovely perk of many of the properties available around the town itself. We left feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Whilst here we had a day out to experience the surrounding national park via the hanging bridges. These incredible canopies and trails stretch literally over and through the rain forest allowing the experience of wildlife up close and personal.
Next up as we journeyed away from Arenal we could feel ourselves climbing higher and higher into yet another microclimate of Costa Rica, the cloud forest of Monteverde. The views were nothing short of spectacular. The cooler climate was so contrasting to our previous destinations, and a refreshing break from the humidity. During our time in the clouds we jumped right into the action, literally. Monteverde is home to a few of Costa Rica’s many zipwire playgrounds. Our morning excursion had us hurtling through the clouds across huge ravines of gorgeous forestation. Strapped in safely we took flight, joining the exotic birds of these skies. Although our time in Monteverde was short but sweet, we left brimming with fun memories and excited for what was ahead. Next stop Tamarindo.
Despite travelling during Costa Rica’s rainiest season, our whole trip was interspersed with pockets of glorious sunshine. Upon arrival at the Pacific Coast we were thrilled to see a long stretch of golden sand beach, it was finally time to unwind. The group split off, each member finding something that suited their style of vacation. Surfing, eating, drinking, reading and laughing, we ended the days on the balcony, a stunning sunset vista before us.
Before our trip came to a close, we took a scenic drive down the coast to Manuel Antonio. Whilst the beaches of Tamarindo had been golden, this was an area of shiny white sand and sparkly turquoise waters. Such a paradise was the reward at the end of a long mangrove trail. Our wonderful guide led us through the winding gangways, pointing out each new species and spotting every hiding sloth. We soaked up the sun and sought out choppier waters for an ocean kayak adventure.
Our 12-day holiday had taken us from coast to coast, with everything in between. Before leaving we looked back at the wide array of landscapes, wildlife and experiences we now could treasure as memories. We were sad to leave but felt grateful for the fantastic adventure this beautiful country had offered us.
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