We donned our safari hats and plunged back into the jungle. This time it was Costa Rica’s version that consists of Rain, Cloud, and Tropical. Our trip of two weeks began May 5th, 2016 with Gate 1 Tours and took us from the Caribbean to the Pacific oceans, from jungles to beaches, from plantations to volcanoes, from tranquil countryside to urban stress. And after all that we had only scratched the surface of what this country has to offer.
During our three days in the rain forest we experienced no rain (yea!) but also few animals (boo!). But the rain forest is more then that; it is a transcending, otherworldly experience. And this without having to smoke anything.
Waterway into the jungle
Caiman (like an alligator)
Yep. Its a bird.
The main river into the National Park
A waterway into the jungle
It would be incongruous to visit a rain forest and stay in a modern facility, which made the Evergreen Lodge an ideal setting with its rustic cabins and blending into the local ecosystem. Only accessible by boat it is just a short distance from Tortuguero National Park and the local town perched on the shores of the Caribbean.
The Monteverde region straddles the continental divide, about 4,600 feet above sea level; literally in or above the clouds. Its two man-made attractions are the zip lines and the hanging bridges. At this time I, Marvin, was affected with a mysterious malady that I attribute to overindulging in the sumptuous fruits/juices that were available at every meal. I will spare you the symptoms. Because of this we opted for just doing the bridges. A wonderful experience.
The Manuel Antonio National Park incorporates tropical forest with Pacific Ocean beaches making it the favorite park for Costa Ricans to visit. Especially since it is only about a two hour drive from San Jose. One of the consequences of popularity is that the protected wild life are overly familiar with humans. This does provide up close opportunities especially with monkeys and raccoons that are looking to pilfer your belongings looking for food.
Arenal is one of seven active volcanoes in Costa Rica. It last exploded in December, 2010. That was a mere six years ago. It is noted for its classic volcano cone shape. I don’t believe in evil but there is something sinister in an active volcano.
The largest city and the capital of Costa Rica it is the antithesis of the unblemished natural beauty found in the national parks and undeveloped countryside. A bustling city with over a million commuters represents over a third of the country’s total population.