I could have spent 9 weeks, but since 9 days was all I could allot for this time around, I packed as much as I could into my Costa Rican getaway.
Surrounded by jungle foliage made my heart sing.
(for more monkey pictures check out this post: THE MONKEY THIEVES OF COSTA RICA)
Resting languidly way high up in the trees- sloths! You’d have walked right beneath them never knowing they were there if not for the trained eyes of a local guide.
LA FORTUNA (ARENAL)
The evening we got in, the top of the giant volcano was shrouded in ominous dark clouds.
Downtown at dusk.
A peek outside our hotel window.
the famous La Fortuna waterfall
I looove air plants : )
Spent hours soaking in natural hot springs in the jungle. (note to self: next time pack beer : )
patacones con guacamole (fried plantains with guacamole, mmm!)
From La Fortuna we took a boat across Lake Arenal, then a bus on to Monteverde.
Saw this lovely green guy at a little shop along the way.
We only spent a quick afternoon and evening in Monteverde. Just long enough to get a taste of the misty tourist mecca- and see a little wildlife too!
Casado – what I basically lived off of during my visit!
I always ordered the “casado vegetariano” and made sure to state “no mantequilla (butter) or queso (cheese).” (For those of you that don’t know, I follow a vegan diet.)
The meal always included some variation of rice and beans, fried plantains, some vegetables, and a small salad.
a hike though the cloud forest (which ironically wasn’t cloudy at all the afternoon we spent there!
Seeing the wildlife was by far my favorite thing about my trip to Costa Rica.
(If you haven’t seen my post about one of the highlights of the entire trip- the monkeys of Manuel Antonio- check it out here.)
LOVE these wild creatures! a Coati (left) and Agouti
Agouti having a snack!
Hummingbirds are hard to capture! this guy finally held still JUST long enough for me to get a shot that wasn’t blurry!
We ended our quick visit with a nightlife jungle walk.
A baby viper on the trail!
Although highly venomous, our guide had no hesitations handling the little snake to move him off the trail, where he would have been a potential danger to other nighttime hikers who were to also pass this way.
a sleeping Toucan – isn’t he an adorable little fluff ball?!
Our journey from Monteverde to Montezuma included a pretty ferry ride.
We drank a staple Costa Rican beer on the ride. Not my favorite, but much better than the other uber popular mass-produced national beers we tried!
The steep downhill walk from our B&B to the beach.
beautiful Montezuma Beach
Of course, my favorite thing to do in Montezuma, besides watch the monkeys play in the trees from the balcony of our B&B…
was spend time on the beach.
We hiked along the beach to reach this rock sculpture garden.
And climbed over the huge rocks that were exposed during low tide, mesmerized by all the sea creatures we found living there hidden in the crevices.
time for a treat — fresh coconut
This cute little lizard was living behind a picture frame in the stairwell of the B&B we stayed in. Every morning on our way down to breakfast I peered to see if he was there.
The B&B had their own brewery on the premises, as well as a butterfly garden.
On our last morning we hiked to the Montezuma waterfalls.
These are the lower falls (and biggest). Swimming in the water was SO fun and refreshing.
To get to the top falls we decided to go off the beaten path by taking an alternate hiking route instead of the main highly traversed stairs and platforms that had been built for the tourists and were crowded with families with kids.
The hike proved to be nearly impossible for me, but once I had gotten going, there wasn’t really a way to turn around.
It was SO steep and narrow that nearly the whole hike had ropes that you had to cling to and hoist yourself up and down with. The ground was dry loose dirt and the sheer drop off so many feet to the ground below was so daunting that I VERY nearly threw up and had a panic attack. Thank goodness for my boyfriend whose support kept me going!
I was so shaken up by the time we reached the upper falls I had to just sit on the rocks and collect myself for some time before I could enjoy another swim.
On the way back down, we tried to exit through the main tourist way but found out it cost 1000 colones (about $1.75) each and we didn’t have any money with us.
Since I was still so shaken up by our hike I pleaded with the man to let us through, but with the language barrier he didn’t understand.
Luckily a Costan Rican man who knew both Spanish and English came by and translated for me and he let us pass.
Thank goodness! There was NO WAY I would have attempted the hike back down! I would have sooner asked for someone to pay our way than even THINK about going back the way we had come!
After our unsettling hike it was time to head into town and enjoy some local craft beers and relax by the beach. (Hours later, my nerves were STILL wracked!)
Then, our long trek back to the airport to a catch our flight home, that included another pretty ferry ride.
TELL ME, have you ever been to Costa Rica? If so, where’d you go? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!