Despite a couple of deadly Nature Air crashes in the past few months, we were about to fly with this ill-fated company out of Bocas: it was the only direct flight to San Jose, Costa Rica. That’s until we learned by chance, just a few days before departure, that their flights were suspended indefinitely by the Costa Rican government. We scrambled to find an alternative way out. It was longer but a sure thing: land transportation.
A couple of boats, three buses, nine hours and voila – we were in San Jose. Three more hours in a rental car on a foggy road and we finally arrived at our destination, La Fortuna.
Trying to squeeze as much as possible out of the five days we had, our first day was packed with activities: a hike to the Arenal volcano, zip lining through the rainforest, and soaking in hot springs. It turned out to be a great day: mostly blue skies; the hike was a breeze and the Arenal volcano was clearly visible; zipping through the forest was fast and exhilarating; sipping cocktails in hot springs was relaxing.
The next day, after zig-zagging around Lake Arenal for a few hours we arrived in Monteverde, where we took a long walk through the cloud forest over multiple hanging bridges with bird watching as a sideshow. When the sun came down we went on a night tour in the forest. Our guide weaved through it with ease, spotting and showing us different animals: coati, opossum, various sleeping birds, a deadly snake, sloth, tarantula. Another lovely day!
Then we drove down to the Pacific coast to visit Manuel Antonio National Park. We had a slight apprehension regarding this park as we’d heard it was overcrowded. But it wasn’t too bad, maybe because it was a workday. Raccoons nonchalantly walked amongst visitors; white-faced monkeys were trying to pry food out of tourists’ hands; sloths were moving from tree to tree; howler monkeys were making eerie sounds in the distance; iguanas were warming up on the rocks; a family of deer was pasturing in the woods. After several hours observing nature, we stumbled upon a small beach and enjoyed the sun and the ocean for a while.
This was our fast and furious tour of Costa Rican highlights. Now, back to work in San Jose, where I will be reuniting with Greengo, my Brompton.
This week in numbers:
5 – days to “see” Costa Rica
7 – the number of cables zipped
760 m – the longest zip-line
200 m – the highest zip-line
578 km – the distance we drove
25% – of the Costa Rican territory belong to national parks