A Travellerspoint blog

Monteverde

Zip-lining in the cloud forest

overcast 20 °C
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Monteverde is in the Costa Rican cloud forest. There are many things you can do here, but unfortunately they are all quite expensive. I decided to only do one thing here, what many people come there for: the zip-lining. It was a spontaneous decision the night before and I was pretty nervous before it all started. But in the end it was all great fun! We started with some instructions and then a couple of practice zip-lines to get us used to it.
Ready for the zip-lining

Ready for the zip-lining

Gradually the cables got higher and longer and it became more and more exciting. We were flying through and above the cloud forest; it was beautiful!
Zip-lining

Zip-lining


Zip-lining

Zip-lining

There were some other activities, on top of the normal zip-lining. There was one place were we abseiled down a platform. It was not high, but there was a surprising moment of free fall because we did not know what was going to happen here.
Abseiling

Abseiling


Abseiling

Abseiling

We could then do the longest cable (720m) in Superman style. This means being fixed to the cable on the back and therefore hanging in a lying position facing downwards. It was scary at first because you had to let go of everything, were only fixed by one spot and could only see what was below you. Once I got used to the feeling it was amazing though. The forest below was beautiful and it felt like flying.
Superman zip-lining

Superman zip-lining


Superman zip-lining

Superman zip-lining

The last thing we could do optionally was a Tarzan swing. This is similar to bungee jumping, only that you jump from a point at a distanca from where the rope is fixed, so that you swing back and forth while falling. This was even scarier of course, you had to jump from a 40m high platform! Some people turned back when they reached the end of the bridge. I managed to get myself to jump. And it was worth it! It was really great!
Tarzan swing

Tarzan swing

So much adventure and adrenaline in 1 day! But we were still sad when it was over. More zip-lining please!

Posted by sarahm_lux 21:49 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged monteverde zip-lining Comments (0)

Poás

The hidden volcano...

overcast 15 °C
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From Tortuguero, we travelled on to San José. We did not want to visit the city since everybody agrees that it is not nice (although I heard there are some good museums), but had to sleep over twice to visit the volcano Poás the next day and then travel on from there the day after.

So on Saturday, we got a bus to Poás. Unfortunately, when we got there and looked into the crater, we could not see anything! The volcano was completely covered in fog. We had 3 hours until the bus went back, but it did not clear up at all during this time. :(
Our view into the crater...

Our view into the crater...

There was a short hiking trail through the woods which we followed and this was quite nice.
Hike on top of Poás

Hike on top of Poás

The hike and a squirrel we saw at the crater top were then the highlights of our time on top of the volcano.
Squirrel

Squirrel

And the most exciting thing of the day actually happened on the bus ride back into San José. We saw a sloth. My first sloth, so cute!
Sloth

Sloth

Posted by sarahm_lux 16:47 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged paragliding poas Comments (0)

Tortuguero National Park

Jungle, wildlife and mosquito bites

sunny 28 °C
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After Puerto Viejo, I travelled to Tortuguero National Park together with the German girl. To get into the park, we had to take a boat which took over 3 hours to reach the village. During the ride we could see the beautiful jungle in which the park is located and we saw some animals already, different birds, green iguanas and monkeys.
Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero National Park

The village of Tortuguero is very small, but it has a nice ambiance. At night, we took a night tour into the jungle. This was very exciting at first, but when we had been walking for a while, still had seen almost no animals at all and we suddenly got attacked by loads of mosquitoes, it was not so much fun anymore. The tour ended with us being pretty disappointed and very itchy. My whole hands, forehead and shoulders were covered in bites which swelled up a lot and stayed like that for over a day :( They are still there now... All we saw was a couple of frogs/toads, a big spider and a stick insect.

The next morning, we got up very early to take a canoe tour starting at 6am. This tour was much better. We saw lizards (the Jesus Christ lizards, which can run over the surface of the water), iguanas, monkeys (howler monkeys and spider monkeys), caimans, birds and turtles. It was a sunny day and the nature surrounding us was beautifully green and blue.
Heron

Heron


Jesus Christ lizard

Jesus Christ lizard


Caiman

Caiman


Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero National Park


Iguana

Iguana


Spider monkey

Spider monkey


Turtle

Turtle


Tortuguero National Park

Tortuguero National Park

After a few more hours in the village, we took another boat to leave the park again.

Posted by sarahm_lux 16:26 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged tortuguero_national_park Comments (0)

Puerto Viejo

Hello Costa Rica

sunny 30 °C
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After travelling through Panama pretty quickly, I made my way to Costa Rica. At the border I ran into a slight problem: the Costa Rican authorities want you to show a return or onward ticket out of the country when entering. Since I have no return flight booked and bus tickets cannot be bought online here, I did not have such a ticket. Luckily, this problem could be solved by going to a small shop at the border where I could buy a ticket back into Panama for $14.70...

In the late afternoon, we reached our destination. Puerto Viejo is another Caribbean beach town. It has one big advantage over Bocas del Toro, which is the fact that the beaches can be reached more easily, walking, cycling or by bus. One day, we actually hitchhiked to a beach. The next day, 2 of us rented a bike and cycled to a beach. On the way back we stopped at another beach and also at a chocolate shop, where we ate a nice brownie and drank a cocoa pulp juice, an interesting drink which does not taste of chocolate at all, but is very good.

All the beaches we saw were very beautiful, large and quiet.
Beaches in Puerto Viejo

Beaches in Puerto Viejo


Beaches in Puerto Viejo

Beaches in Puerto Viejo


On the beach in Puerto Viejo

On the beach in Puerto Viejo

We stayed in a really nice hostel which had the best showers I have had in Latin America so far and was very clean and modern.
We had heard that Puerto Viejo was good for partying too, so we wanted to go out a bit. However, it was very quiet in town and we could not find a party. We only ended up eating a tasty Thai curry and drinking some cocktails.
Cocktail time

Cocktail time

Posted by sarahm_lux 21:41 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged puerto_viejo Comments (0)

Bocas del Toro

More Caribbean islands

overcast 30 °C
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The Bocas del Toro archipelago is part of Panama and is located in the Caribbean sea, close to the Costa Rican border. I got there on a public holiday, the Panamanian Independence Day, so the place was full with people from all over Panama visiting for this long weekend, on top of the usual crowd of backpackers. To celebrate there were parades during the day and parties at night.
Independence day parade

Independence day parade

The beaches are nice indeed, although some do not have enough space on the sand and too many palm trees for my taste. Except for lying around on the beaches, I took a tour as well which included snorkeling, during which I saw amazingly colourful coral reefs and beautiful fish! We also went lookign for dolphins, but could not find any :-(
Bocas del Toro beaches

Bocas del Toro beaches


Bocas del Toro beaches

Bocas del Toro beaches


Bocas del Toro beaches

Bocas del Toro beaches


Bocas del Toro beaches

Bocas del Toro beaches

On the first too days I was there, the mornings were cloudy and rainy, but the afternoons sunny. Unfortunately, on the third day, the sun never came out. When it looked like it would be the same on the fourth day, I decided to leave the place together with a German girl and an Argentinian guy I had met the day before. After a pretty short time there, we already left Panama for Costa Rica.

Posted by sarahm_lux 18:23 Archived in Panama Tagged bocas_del_toro Comments (0)

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