November 2-9, 2018
So, I decided to leave the country again. I just can’t stay still! There are so many corners of the world that are waiting, begging, SHOUTING for me to explore them. And Central America is one of them.
My first stop in this month long Central America exploration was Costa Rica.
I arrived in San Jose, spent a sleepless, excited night at an awful “airport hostel”, then rented a care. From what I could understand online, the only way to efficiently explore Costa Rica was by renting a car. I have limited time and want to see some specific places, making the bus a no go. Car rental it is! I’ve driven in foreign countries, tackled the left side of the road, how hard could it be.
It was hard.
After a rocky start (which seems to be my norm when driving in other places), I got the hang of it. Despite the stress of navigating, paying attention to the road, and battling the sometimes crazy drivers, I would highly recommend renting a car here. It saved me so much time, the scenery was breathtaking and I was able to go to all the places I hoped to see!
Uvita is my first stop. This area is home to the iconic “whale tail” beach. The pictures online are all taken from above and it looks absolutely gorgeous. Little did I know that those photos are all taken from a helicopter or something of the sort because there is no way to view the whale tail from above like in the pics. None. Don’t get me wrong, the beach is amazing, but I was disappointed by the whale tail.
I stayed in an amazing eco-hostel that had tree houses as the bunks!
The gorgeous beach that has the “Whale Tail”; Fun fact for you yogis out there – I’m preeettty sure Steph Gongora AKA casa_colibri lives around Uvita area, she often posts videos on this beach
Manuel Antonio National Park called my name next. This is a nature park that is home to a vastly diverse animal, bird, and vegetative population. I met some lovely gentlemen at my hostel and we decided to go to the park together to split the cost of a tour guide. We seriously lucked out and got the best tour guide I have ever had any where in the world. He was knowledgable, enthusiastic, and genuinely loved the animals, plants, park, and his country. He carried around a scope thing that allowed us to see animals from far away. We walked through the park for hours chatting about the vegetation and seeing amazing animals. This amazing tour guide would be chatting and laughing and he’d start running up ahead and set up his binocular scope thing and say “come, come, look!” and there would be a freakin macaw or monkey or some other cool animal way up in the trees in the distance. He was amazing at his job and he made the experience at the park very much worth it. Check out the animals we saw:
The views from my hostel in Manuel Antonio, not bad.
A giant grass hopper – to put this to scale, it was about as long as my hand
Some different species of bats – how the awesome tour guide spotted these creatures, I will never know
One of many families of squirrel monkey’s we saw
A sloth, baby!!
A fun little (huge) iguana
The vegetation was so beautiful it looked damn near artificial
La Fortuna was my final destination in Costa Rica. It is home to Arenal Volcano. I did a gorg day trip out to the volcano and a neighbouring lagoon and river. The lagoon was weirdly warm, as if someone had just peed beside you, always. And the river was a full on hot spring with a hidden cave! The tour guides for this tour as well were phenomenal and really loved their job. A group of young dudes that were genuinely happy to show us their home town and hang out with us for the day.
Arenal Volcano – you can very rarely see the summit
The pee-warm lagoon, thanks geothermal activity
Bridges in the cloud forest – it wasn’t very cloudy
I love me a good look out
Biggest take aways from Costa Rica are as follows:
- I want to live here
- Costa Ricans are the best people in the world, just happy to be here
- Nature heals the soul
- I want to live here
Did I mention I want to live in Costa Rica?
Who wouldn’t want to live in a country with a surplus of gorgeous waterfalls?
Next I’m headed to El Salvador to meet my gurl, Natalie!
See ya there.
XO – Kristiane