After a hop, skip and jump over the Atlantic, we touched down on the ‘Rich Coast’, excited to explore this wondrous country we’d heard so much about. We were greeted at the airport by our charming guide, who’s knowledge and expertise throughout the trip to Costa Rica, were invaluable.
To get closer to our destination, we boarded a motorized canoe. Blasting through the waters of the Tortuguero River, the jungle whizzing past. Pachira Lodge was our base for the trip, although there are many great lodges in Costa Rica. The remoteness of the lodge allowed us to immerse ourselves in the natural surroundings. As we wandered 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 sheer array of this tropical haven. The expert guides were incredibly talented at highlighting the camouflaged wildlife, 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. At that moment, we felt truly immersed in nature and had a deeper understanding of the primitivity of the region. We then returned to our 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 addition to many of the properties available around the town itself. We headed out feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. We enjoyed a trek through the surrounding national park via the hanging bridges. These incredible canopies and trails stretch over and through the rain forest allowing the experience of wildlife up close.
Next up as we journeyed away from Arenal we could feel ourselves climbing higher and higher into yet another microclimate of Costa Rica, as we entered the cloud forest of Monteverde. The views were nothing short of spectacular. The cooler climate was a dramatic contrast to our previous destinations and a refreshing break from the humidity. During our time in the clouds, we jumped right into the action. Monteverde is home to a few of Costa Rica’s many zip wire playgrounds. Our morning excursion had us hurtling through the clouds across huge ravines of gorgeous forest. Strapped in safely we took flight, joining the exotic birds that are used to these heights. Although our time in Monteverde was short, it was sweet, and we left with fun memories, 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 sandy beach, it was finally time to unwind. There are activities to suit everyone on the beaches in Costa Rica – surfing, eating, drinking, reading, or just laughing and enjoying the time to relax. We ended the day, soaking in the sunset back at our lodge.
Before our trip came to a close, we took a scenic drive down the coast to Manuel Antonio. Whilst the beaches of Tamarindo are golden, this was an area of shiny white sand and sparkly turquoise waters. This paradise was the perfect reward at the end of a long trek through the mangroves. 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 then enjoyed an ocean kayak adventure.
Our 12-day trip 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.