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 boat Monteverde alias "Green Mountain" While exploring the cloud forest we made friends with some "creatures" The walk included 8 suspension bridges To get to the last one we had to climb up in a tree Lets get some adrenaline in our bloodlines Someone seems to be excited Outlook while the ziplining Yes hanging on the zipline is uncomfortable 😉 Eva is doing the Tarzan Swing (jumping down a platform and after that enjoying the swing in the cloud forest Going down 40 m... Superman Niels The guys pretend to be relaxed before their big jump ("Do i smell fear or pee?")
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.
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).
Lets go for rafting
Plastic bag attack - happy survivors!
Vampir night shot at the hot springs