Costa Rica

Costa Rica


Ziplining in Monteverde

The next day we headed for Monteverde, which is a nature paradise due to its beautiful flora and fauna. It is also called the "Green Mountain" (see pictures below). Monteverde is surrounded by cloud forest, like a rainforest but much of the moisture comes from the condensation left by the nearly constant cloud cover that blankets the tops of mountains. Monteverde Reserve covers 1600 hectares of forest and is home to a great variety of wildlife. More than 2,000 species of plants, 320 bird species and 100 different species of mammals inhabit this small area. For exploring the cloud forest we walked over suspension bridges, small trails and even experience the rain season which mostly offers sh*t loads of rain in the afternoon around 3 pm.

But Monteverde also offers some adrenalin activities and we decided to go for the thrilling canopy zip line where you have a bird’s-eye view of the rainforest as you soar through the trees on 13 different ziplines. Some of them are 150 m high and the longest is 1 km. Getting from one zipline to the other you also have to challenge yourself going straight down on a line for appr. 40 m. Out of all activities I have ever done this was the most adrenaline intense. Especially, the last one where you pretend to be superman: attached to the zipline with a back belt, feet tightened up and facing down the vally. But that’s not enough for some people, therefore, Rob, Hernand and Raf did go for bungee jumping.

In the afternoon we did what we do best: having lunch and drinking coffee. In the evening the group took salsa lessons and some other latin american dances (which I already forgot about ;).

First sight of Monteverde from the boatIMG_0937 Monteverde alias "Green Mountain"IMG_1403 While exploring the cloud forest we made friends with some "creatures"IMG_0944 IMG_0945 The walk included 8 suspension bridgesIMG_0946 IMG_0959 To get to the last one we had to climb up in a treeIMG_0965 IMG_0968 Lets get some adrenaline in our bloodlinesIMG_0971 Someone seems to be excitedIMG_0974 Outlook while the zipliningIMG_1010 Yes hanging on the zipline is uncomfortable 😉 IMG_1011 IMG_1062 IMG_1014 IMG_1074 Eva is doing the Tarzan Swing (jumping down a platform and after that enjoying the swing in the cloud forest IMG_1174 Going down 40 m...IMG_1097 Superman NielsIMG_1200 IMG_1203 IMG_1253 The guys pretend to be relaxed before their big jump ("Do i smell fear or pee?")IMG_1266 IMG_1369

Canyoneering in La Fortuna

This morning the pick-up for canyoneering arrived early. You're asking what canyoneering is? Basically, the same activity than climbing a mountain but in opposite direction. It is about going down a canyon on a rope. In the lush rainforests around Costa Rica’s Arenal Volcano, three waterfall awaited us. The first one was just 8 m and a good preparation for what’s to come. The next waterfalls were both round about 70 m (!) of heights. It seems to be an stupid idea to go down a waterfall that high, but thanks to the concept of "group pressure" everyone did so. As soon as you are going over the edge and amazing experience awaits you: bouncing down a waterfall. In between the waterfalls we had to hike through the beautiful rainforest.

As a reward to ourselves for being brave we went into town and had the best Costarican coffee and cakes ever.

Lets get started!IMG_2662

Niels going down the waterfallIMG_2681 IMG_2852 IMG_2862

View from the top: the third waterfallIMG_2880

Canyoneering is fun IMG_2925 IMG_2935

Eva was nearly washed away by the waterfall while climbingIMG_2961

Our reward after the canyoneeringIMG_20140605_172412IMG_20140605_162121IMG_20140605_162336

Impressions of San Jose and La Fortuna

After a 3 week internet-abstinence  in Cuba, half starving for internet we arrived in San Jose. We used the first day to get up-to-date with the news, our blog and getting in contact with friends and family. The afternoon and the next day was dedicated to explore San Jose which is surprisingly westernized, clean and nice. The city's street system is amazingly easy: it is a perfect grid, with avenues (avenidas) running east-west, and streets (calles) traveling north-south. Calle Central (Central Street) and Avenida Central (Central Avenue) are the center of San Jose's grid system. To the west of Calle Central, all calles ascend in even numbers (Calle 2, Calle 4, etc.), and to the east, in odd numbers. Similarly, to the north of Avenida Central, avenidas ascend in odd numbers, and travel south in even numbers. The Avenida Central is the heart of San Jose, with a pedestrian mall that extends from Calle 6 to Calle 9 (8 blocks).

In the evening we met our travel mates for the next 32 days (see section "people"). The tour started the next morning by leaving San Jose towards La Fortuna, which is set on the northern plains of Costa Rica. It is just a small town but an excellent base for adventures activities. On our way to La Fortuna we all decided to go for a wild water rafting tour on the “TORO” Rivers which holds class III & IV rapids. We ended up in two rafts. After a long day of driving and rafting, the Los Lagos hot springs (natural thermal baths) were the answer to our tired muscles. The nearby volcano heats up water which is transferred to a nicely set area of different hot pools with waterslides and a wet bar where you can enjoy all kind of drinks (at a temperature of 98°F/ 37 Celsius).

Some impressions of San JoséIMG_0849 IMG_0850  IMG_3941 IMG_3947 IMG_3984

Little elephants waiting for us in our hotel room IMG_20140602_133608

On our way to La Fortuna we had a quick stop at a place where alot of huge Igunas live in the trees next to the streetIMG_0879

Lets go for raftingIMG_7975


Plastic bag attack - happy survivors!IMG_20140604_123737

Vampir night shot at the hot springsIMG_2680

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