Costa Rica: Monteverde, I bungy jumped!

Bungy jumping has been on my bucket list for a long time, but I haven't really had the chance to do it (and not an extreme urge either).  But Monteverde gave me the opportunity and I did it!

Monteverde in Costa Rica is most of all experiences. Following that, the small town is filled with visitors and so are all the attractions, but you should still go there. I'll get back to why. The main activities I did there was ziplining and bungy jumping + did a chocolate and coffee tour.

The coffee and chocolate tour with Don Juan was very interesting. Costa Rica is one of the main coffee providers to the world (and in Norway we drink loads of it) and on the tour we learned interesting stuff about growing and making both coffee and chocolate. A tour of taste as well as knowledge.

The town of Monteverde isn't much, but there are som nice restaurants. The Treehouse restaurant is both interesting and fun, Amys cousine had great food and Beso Espresso is great for coffee.

But most of all Monteverde is known for the cloud forrest. A beautiful mysterious forrest. I saw it mostly from above, hanging from different ziplines. Because, you can not leave Monteverde without doing the Extremo Canopy tour. I promize you, 3,5 hours and 14 ziplines (you get to be both Superman and Tarzan) is something you will never forget doing. One of the ziplines is 1 kilometer long and the nature views you get during this trail is just amazing!

After the canopy tour my adrenalin level was sky high and I was filled with pure happiness. And THEN it was time for the bungy jump. And not any bungy jump, just the highest one in Central America. 143 meters high. I was scared to death and for a while there it looked like we didn't get to do it because the sun went down, I kind of hoped we missed it...

But we made it. And it was scary, but doing the actual jump went so fast. All of a sudden I was hanging there, watching the sunset up side down. It was not as all as scary as I imagined, it didn't hurt at all. I would totally do it again! Bucket list check! Pura Vida!

Not the best picture, but it's me hanging there!

Costa Rica: Rainforest, nature, biodiversity and Manuel Antonio

Costa Rica is considered to be one of the 20 countries with greatest biodiversity in the world. The more than 500,000 species that are found in this small country represent nearly 4% of the total species estimated worldwide. 

That is pretty amazing. And we got to see a lot of it during our trip to Costa Rica along with amazing nature. We visited the rainforest and jungle in Sarapiqui, the rainforest along Pacuare river (where we also met some indigenous people living there), the cloud forest in Monteverde, the areas around La Fortuna and Manuel Antonio National park. 

It was my first time seeing real rainforest, the rainforest is like nature on steroids, everything is so big and there is so much to see all the time. Strange beautiful trees, insects, animals, butterflies and flowers. You really need someone to guide you because you will have so many questions and it's not that easy finding out on your own. And the guides also sees the insects etc. that you wouldn't find yourself. We had guided walks in many of the places both in daytime and nighttime. 

Manuel Antonio

I really recommend visiting Manuel Antonio and Manuel Antonio National park. Bring a packed lunch (no food sale) and spend time on the beautiful beach inside the park. Just watch out for the monkeys, they like to steel your stuff:) In Manuel Antonio we also did a sunset cruise with a Catamaran. We saw dolphins swimming along the boat and watched a beautiful sunset. I also did a kayak tour into the mangroves of Manuel Antonio. The scenery was great and we did see some cool stuff. But calling what we sat in a kayak is taking it a bit to far and it was a hassle kayaking in line with 40 other tourists. But I'm sure there are better options then the one we did. Manuel is definitely worth a stop on your Costa Rica tour.

Save the rainforest

Deforestation in Costa Rica has a serious impact on the environment and therefore may directly or indirectly contribute to flooding, desertification, sedimentation in rivers, loss of wildlife diversity, and the obvious sheer loss of timber. Since the end of World War II, approximately 80% of the forests of Costa Rica have disappeared. Over half of Costa Rica's existing forest cover today is under the protection of national parks, biological reserves, or wildlife refuges. However, the major problem in regards to deforestation is the privately owned plots which occupy the other half. (source Wikipedia).

I already support Regnskogfondet (Rainforest Foundation Norway) - a Norwegian organisation that works to save the rainforest. This trip just made me even more aware of what a big responsibility we have to save rainforests all over the world. 

Kayaking in the mangroves of Manuel Antonio

Kayaking in the mangroves of Manuel Antonio

Amazing tree in Saraquipi

Amazing tree in Saraquipi

The beach inside Manuel Antonio National Park

The beach inside Manuel Antonio National Park

Doing some tree hugging :)

Doing some tree hugging :)

Costa Rica: Canyoning, mountain biking, waterfall and hot springs in La Fortuna

Adventure in Costa Rica continues! And so much happened in La Fortuna. La Fortuna is a small city located in San Carlos and is home of Arenal Volcano, a volcano that erupted in 1968. The Volcano area is just perfect for outdoor activities and there was so much to do and see.

La Fortuna in itself is not really a big deal, you go there to explore nature, and we really did. During our two days there we did two mountain bike trips (or more biking on very bumpy roads). One was in the areas where people of La Fortuna lived. It was a great way to see the local life, from the schools and the small shops to the growing of Plantanes and Pine apple (largest export of Costa Rica). The other bike trip was part of our next leg of the trip towards Monteverde and was around the volcano with great lake views. We did never see the top of the volcano though, to foggy, very few people have that pleasure just visiting for a few days.  

La Fortuna also has La Catarata de la Fortuna, a waterfall that falls from a height of 70 meters and many resorts with natural hot springs temperate enough to bathe in. The waterfall was beautiful. And spending time in the hot springs with a swim in bar after a very wet day (tropical rain and canyoning) was really really nice. Being surrounded by other tourists in every activity you did was not so very nice, but it's just one of the things you have to deal with in a place like La Fortuna. We are all tourists after all... Even though I felt more like an adventurer on my travel around Costa Rica.

Anyways, the no doubt best thing I did in La Fortuna (and one of the best experiences of the trip) was canyoning in the Lost Canyon! Two hours of rappeling and walking in the Canyon was just amazing, wet and very exciting. A must do in La Fortuna! Just check out these pics of me rappeling there:



Costa Rica: Whitewater rafting at Pacuare River

The two weeks  in Costa Rica has left me with the most amazing memories. Rafting, rapelling, mountain biking, ziplining, hiking, swimming in hot springs and much much more. I'm not sure how to tell you all about it, but I'll just start at the very beginning and with one of my best memories from the trip: Whitewater rafting at Pacuare River!

The Pacuare River, or the Río Pacuare flows approximately 108 km and is located about 2-3 hours from San Jose. The rainforests that surrounds the river is home to exotic animal species such as jaguars, monkeys, ocelots, and a very large number of birds. And it is considered one of the 5 nicest rivers in the world to practice rafting. 

I travelled with Gadventures, but this part of the trip was organized and led by Rios Tropicales. We took part in their 3 day adventure, and what an adventure! The first day we rafted for 2-3 hours down the amazing river. The grading was 3-4 so there was some exciting moments, but not to scary. Just enough to keep you on the edge. During the raft we stopped along the way and went out of the boats to look at the nature, explore waterfalls, swim in the river and have lunch prepared by the guides. 

Arriving the river lodge, our home for the next two days was a very nice surprise. The place was just beautiful, nature surrounding the houses, the river passing by, very nice rooms and hammocks placed all around the place. And the staff was our very own guides, the ones that had led us down the river and brought all our luggage and all the food down the river (there was no roads, everything was brought via the river). The guides (excellent guides btw) prepared all the food: cocktail time, dinner, lunch, breakfast. Great food! 

The same guides also led the activities we did the next day. We did a hike in the rainforest to visit one of the indigenous families living there and we did ziplining through the forest. There was also time for swimming in the natural springs, showering in the waterfalls, hiking or just relaxing in the hammock watching the river pass by and read a book. The guides knew a lot about the area and both during the rafting and the hike they told us about the wildlife, about the different threes in the forest and other things we experienced on our way. 

On day three we packed the rafts and started the rafting again. For the next 2-3 hours we experienced an even more beautiful part of the river with som very exciting waves along the way. And beautiful nature to accompany it!

The three days at Pacuare was an amazing start to the Costa Rica adventure. So much excitement and so much to see and explore. Loved it!

These pictures from our raft on the river was taken by a photographer from Rios Tropicales. 

Hanging bridge by the lodge and view from my room:

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Costa Rica - I'm coming

Yes I did it, just booked a new trip - a 13 day tour in Costa Rica with Gadventures in December.

I have been thinking about travelling around christmas/new year, but been so slow on deciding. It is great being able to travel at that time, you can stay away for a while without taking to many days off work. Last year I spent new years in Tokyo and the year before I was on a trip in Vietnam and Cambodia at that time. But I have never traveled during Christmas before and that was a limit for me, I love spending Christmas at home...

But this trip was so tempting so I just did it. Leaving December 19th, going home January 1st. And just take a look at what I will be doing: Costa Rica Active Adventure. I've been on one of Gadventures active trips before, in Peru, best holiday ever. 

Can't wait! 

This is the route: