I just returned from an amazing week in Costa Rica with friends, it was one of my best vacations in recent years. Costa Rica has so much to offer, whether you are looking to relax or take on a new adventure
Keel billed Toucans - sited on the road to Monteverde
We started our week with two nights in Monteverde. The drive from Liberia takes you through beautiful, green meadows with grazing cattle and higher into the mountains you pass coffee plants hugging the hillsides. If you are lucky, as we were, you will view several varieties of birds, including colorful toucans. The small town of Monteverde is casual with a variety of restaurants and accommodations. Tip – be sure to sample the local ice cream, the cows are known to have sweeter milk that makes it delicious.
The Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve provided us with a full morning of hiking in the most peaceful setting imaginable. We saw a variety of plants and birds and an amazing view at the Continental Divide. The overall beauty is just hard to put into words. Our afternoon was spent walking the hanging bridges in Monteverde. This experience gives you a chance to see the forest from the top looking down. Tip – be sure to pack your binoculars, it’s the best way to see the birds and monkeys.
Trail in the Monteverde Cloud Forest
For the next four nights, our journey continued with a drive around Lake Arenal to the town of La Fortuna. This is the center of activity for visitors to the Arenal Volcano. Tip – Don RuFino in downtown La Fortuna is an excellent place for lunch or dinner – atmosphere is casual but the food is elegant.
In the Arenal area, we enjoyed a variety of activities including:
Bird watching – we did a special hike in El Silencio Reserve. Tip – get up early to see the birds when they are active, we started our hike at 6:00am. Over the course of 7 days, we saw 45 different types of birds, including hummingbirds, toucans, Montezuma Oropendola, woodpeckers, Collard Aracari, Emerald Toucanet, Swallowtail Kite, Rufous Motmot, just to name a few.
Zip lining – you can’t go to Costa Rica without doing at least one zip line adventure. Not only did we have the thrill of zipping over the rain forest but we saw Spider monkeys and a variety of birds.
Rappelling through waterfalls in the Arenal area - yes this is me
Rappelling through waterfalls –as if jumping backwards off a ledge isn’t enough, imagine doing it through 5 waterfalls in the mountains of Costa Rica surrounded by the beautiful rain forest. This was my first experience at rappelling and that first 165 foot drop was a blast!
Arenal Hanging Bridges – this reserve has 17 bridges with great bird and monkey viewing opportunities, waterfalls and the lush rain forest.
La Fortuna waterfall – this spectacular 210 foot waterfall is worth the hike down to – Tip – be sure to wear your swimsuit, the water is cold but swimming at the base of the waterfall is memorable.
Thanks for reading the first part about my fabulous trip to Costa Rica and I hope you’ve enjoyed all the little tips throughout my journey. Stay tuned for more Costa Rica Travel Tips!