Tuesday, November 23, 2010


We had a truly incredible trip to Costa Rica! It was the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation. Here's how it went. . .
Day One: Fly all day to San Jose. SJ is not a very pretty city. We stayed at a hotel right in downtown so we could experience the city but that was a poor choice. There was a strip club across the street and it was more like a hostel than a hotel.
Day Two: 3 and a half hour drive North to La Fortuna. We oohed and ahhed the entire way, gorgeous scenery everywhere. We stayed at the Tabacon Resort and Spa. It has this huge hot springs area with waterfalls and pools and pathways. The best part was that it is heated from the volcano and didn't stink like sulfur.

Day Three: Combination tour began at the Hanging Bridges. It is a series of 6 large and 10 small bridges through the jungle. This is the view of the Arenal Volcano from the reception area.

I tried to be Jane on this real life Tarzan vine. I was surprised how strong it was. We were like horticulture students learning about the plants and wildlife in the Rain Forest. I learned so much!The thing you can't tell from the pictures is how high these bridges are. You are literally walking through the treetops. On this bridge, we got to stop and watch some Spider monkeys playing in the trees. The next part of the combination tour was the La Fortuna Waterfall. You walk down a ton of stairs to get to this point.
Then you can swim underneath the waterfall. I was swimming hard and could barely move forward!
The last stop on the combination tour was a hike around the Arenal Volcano. They have closed down a portion of the trail because the volcano is still very active.
This was as high as we got. It was beautiful with a view of the Arenal Lake and a little town called El Castillo (Garth and I were trying to figure out how we could get our boat there. It would be a great place to live.)
Day Four: We drove North again and white water rafted on the Sarapiqui River. It was just us and the guide. They were only class 2 and 3 rapids but there was constant "foam" not any floating time which made it interesting. This day ended with an evening at the Spa. We did a Mayan Temazcal (sweat lodge cleansing) that was as crazy as it sounds and a couples massage in an open air bungalow in the jungle. . .AMAZING!
Day Five: We drove South to the Pacific Coast to a little beach town called Quepos. Our hotel was called "Si Como No" and this was the view from our first room (that is the ocean behind me, it was just so overcast and we have a very poor camera that it just turned out white).
My kids' favorite story from the trip was about this guy (or one like him.) We checked into our room then went out to dinner. When we returned, we noticed something on Garth's pillow. We thought it was a bug. Then I saw the same thing on my pillow. Upon further inspection, we realized it was gecko poop and the culprit was hanging out on the ceiling above us. Someone came to try to brush him off the ceiling and out the door. As soon as he touched him, he ran into a crevasse in the ceiling. The guy shrugged his shoulders and with a thick accent said "He have a home." Thinking that was a good enough solution, he went to leave. We had to stop him and say that we'd like a new room without geckos pooping on the pillows. Day Six: Canopy Tour. There were 10 zip lines, two rappels, and a Tarzan swing. This was not something we had planned on doing but due to the rain, our other tour was cancelled so we did this one. I am so glad we did, it was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

Day Seven: Manuel Antonio National Park. Again, a lesson in wildlife and horticulture. We got to see sloths, monkeys, snakes, iguanas, beautiful plants etc.

After the tour we hung out here for the afternoon until the evening rain started.
That is Garth body surfing in case you can't tell.

Day Eight: We hung out at our hotel pool all morning then headed back to San Jose.
Day Nine: All day flight home.


Natalie said...

Que fantastico! What an amazing vacation. I'm so glad you got to do something so fabulous with Garth and NO KIDS. I want to go with you next year. :) I love that you have your toes pointed in your upside-down-zip-line straddle. That is talent.

Jen and Ky said...

oh, i'm so jealous that you guys were able to see arenal! we were in la fortuna for 3 days and the clouds never cleared off the volcano. =( it looks like you guys had an amazing trip together and that you were much braver on the zip lines than i was! we'll try to post some pictures from our trip in the next couple of days, then we can talk and compare our experiences there!