A Travellerspoint blog

November 2011

Manuel Antonio

A beautiful National Park and more lazy beach time

semi-overcast 30 °C
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After a long day of travelling by bus, ferry, taxi, bus and another last bus, I arrived in Manuel Antonio on Friday afternoon. Again I stayed in a very nice hostel with a busy balcony and an amazing view of the surrounding area including over the Pacific ocean.
Sunset seen from the hostel

Sunset seen from the hostel

The main attraction here is Manuel Antonio National Park which I visited on Saturday morning with a Swede I met at the hostel. We hiked around the park for hours, exploring every open path, and spent some time at one of the beaches (although it was raining quite a bit by then...), eating some lunch and enjoying the view. We wer happy to see some wildlife: 2 sloths :-), many monkeys, birds, lizards, hermit crabs, coatis and caterpillars hanging on strings in the middle of the air over the paths.
Howler monkey in Manuel Antonio National Park

Howler monkey in Manuel Antonio National Park


Hermit crab in Manuel Antonio National Park

Hermit crab in Manuel Antonio National Park


Lizard in Manuel Antonio National Park

Lizard in Manuel Antonio National Park


Coatis in Manuel Antonio National Park

Coatis in Manuel Antonio National Park


The walk through the jungle was great, though muddy in some parts and the beaches were really beautiful. In the hour before we left the park, it started raining a lot, so that we ended up leaving completely soaked :( But it was worth it.
View in Manuel Antonio National Park

View in Manuel Antonio National Park


Beach in Manuel Antonio National Park

Beach in Manuel Antonio National Park


Beach in Manuel Antonio National Park

Beach in Manuel Antonio National Park


Beach in Manuel Antonio National Park

Beach in Manuel Antonio National Park

Just in front of the park is a nice large beach. I went to this beach on Sunday and this morning, enjoying the lazy beach life and reading a lot. Every afternoon it was raining, so that I spent Sunday afternoon in one of the hammocks on the hostel's terrace. This afternoon I took the bus to San José. I will sleep over here tonight so that I can take a bus to Nicaragua in the morning.

Posted by sarahm_lux 20:39 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged manuel_antonio Comments (0)

Montezuma

A tiny village on the Costa Rican Pacific coast

semi-overcast 30 °C
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Montezuma was the next beach town I went to. This time on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. I had a nice few days there. The village is very small. It basically consists of 2 streets. There are some hotels and restaurants, 2 small supermarkets and 1 bar.

The beaches are nice and directly in the village, which made for a nice change after having to use some kind of transportation method to get to most beaches recently.
Montezuma

Montezuma


Beach in Montezuma

Beach in Montezuma

There are also 3 waterfalls nearby. It takes about 1/2 hour to walk to the first one. Through a river, over rocks etc, this is not such an easy walk in flip flops, but it was fun nevertheless. We only went to the first and biggest waterfall and went for a swim in the pool below it.
At the waterfall

At the waterfall

When it was raining in the afternoons (rainy season is still not over :-( ...) it was very nice to hang out at the hostel. They have a great outside common area and animals would visit the hostel regularly. The monkeys were swinging through the trees and running over the roof, the tucans and parrots were hanging out on the trees' branches, a coati (a type of racoon) and a large lizard would visit every day and the skunks were coming into the kitchen to steal the cats' food.
White faced capuchin

White faced capuchin


Tucan

Tucan


Coati

Coati


Skunk eating the cat food

Skunk eating the cat food

My last night in Montezuma I visited the only bar in town with my hostel friends. It was reggae night, which meant that about 3 reggae songs were played in the course of the night... There was a fire show, a lot of funny to watch local surfers and some interesting dancing going on.
Fire show

Fire show

Posted by sarahm_lux 17:40 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged montezuma Comments (0)

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)

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