Take the opportunities where you can
A road trip around Costa Rica for us was a no brainer, Gary was in San Jose on business, so there was our opportunity to add 2 weeks on the end of his trip and go exploring.
Costa Rica has so much to offer from its lush rain and cloud forests to its sunkissed beaches.
As we love driving the open road, there was no other option for us than a self-drive road trip. We organised it within 2 weeks prior to us going, with the help of a local Costa Rican travel company Latitudes.
The destinations we chose to sandwich between San Jose, were Manuel Antonio, Monteverde, Arenal and Tortuguero.
To give you a taster of this lovely country Gary and I have chosen our outstanding memories and highlights of this unforgettable trip.
Tortuguero National Park was amazing, you are only able to access the park by boat & once you are there, you are immediately immersed in the lush vegetation and meandering waterways.
We lodged within the park and took up every opportunity to hop in a boat with a guide and explore the incredible scenery and weaving canals.
The wildlife in Costa Rica is remarkable, we were so lucky to witness so many species of reptiles, monkey, birds, bats to name just a few.
My favourite animal from Costa Rica has to be the sloth and I don’t even mind if it has two or three toes. This loveable looking creature was on my must see list, so I couldn’t believe it when we wondered through the grounds of our hotel in Manuel Antonio & spotted one high amongst the trees. I had only been in the country 2 days.
Another abiding memory was the secluded bay named Playa Biesanz at Manuel Antonio. The bay was just a short stroll from the hotel down through some woodland. It was a tranquil paradise. Most of all it was free from crowds. We saw a handful of others enjoying the bay but we were all rather outnumbered by the wildlife.
The rainforests and cloud forests in Costa Rica are a must to visit. They are alive everywhere you look, not only up above amongst the bows of the trees, but around your feet below. We witnessed an army of ants marching along carrying pieces of leaf that were easy three times their size. It was just like something you would see in a David Attenborough documentary.
Watching hummingbirds flocking to nourish themselves at a feeding station was a wonderful sight. These amazingly agile little creatures appear to disobey the laws of physics.
Whilst in Monteverde we took the opportunity to visit one of Costa Rica’s Arabica coffee plantations. We headed off with Don Juan coffee tours to visit their family run coffee farm. It was really enjoyable and surprising how much time and effort it takes to turn the fruit from the coffee trees into the roasted beans we grind for our daily coffee.
Although I keep mentioning the wildlife, the scenery in Costa Rica is equally stunning. Not only is it home to such rich vegetation, it has a stunning coastline on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
If you are in Tortuguero National Park try and take the opportunity to have a wander through Tortuguero town. The town is made up of some colourful single storey buildings and huts. Once again it is only accessible by boat and the mode of transport in the town is either on foot or by push bike.
Now the ‘zip line’, who mentioned there was going to be a zip line. We intended to just take a trip on the Sky Tram through the rainforest, but it wasn’t completing the full tour. So, with a bit of gentle persuasion we pushed ourselves off of the platform and journeyed along 7 zip lines. We were even lucky enough to witness a flock of toucans fly in front of us.
The view of Arenal volcano from the balcony of our room at The Lost Iguana Resort will always stay with me.