Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pura Vida!

After the issues at the Nicaraguan border, and especially the huge amount of time we spent in cars, busses, ferries and planes, we arrived in Costa Rica hoping to have a good time.

Well, the first days have been fantastic - or Pura Vida, as they say in Costa Rica!

We arrived in the capital San Jose on Thursday and decided to spend 2 nights there. Which was 1 too many, there is absolutely nothing to do there! On Saturday we took a bus for 4 hours to La Fortuna, a small town next to a volcano, where lots of awesome activities were waiting for us.
La Fortuna

On the first day we hiked down to a gorgeous waterfall. Daniel did a bit of swimming, but the current from the falling water is extremely strong! Kendy decided that the water was a bit too cold for her :) 

On the way home, we saw something amazing - this toucan was just flying around us and eating the papaya from the tree!!

In the evening, we went for a hiking tour on the volcano itself, walked through a lava path (created by a recent eruption) and ended the day in a nearby in a hotspring, which is a natural hot bath: the water is warmed up by heat from the earth (in this case, volcano)!
Hiking the lava path

 Nice rum-soda in a hot spring!

The next day we went on a 2 hour rafting trip on a crazy river!! by far the toughest rafting we've ever done (class IV). After rafting we were taken to an ecological farm, where we had a delicious lunch, fruit and coffee, after which we learned how they grow it themselves. 

Kendy getting the sugar out of the cane! We drank it later.. SWEET 

On day 3, we rented a Jeep to drive to Rio Celeste waterfall park. The Jeep ride was already fun (according to Daniel), as the final 20km were hardcore off-road, and took us to a beautiful national park. After hiking for about 2 hours, you enter an area with amazingly colored water. There are 2 rivers with different chemicals which come together (brown + white turns blue!) or see water boiling from the volcano's heat. We also saw a coati, snake and an agouti (small guinea pig)!

The 2 rivers coming together

 The water will change with the color of your eyes! So special!
OK not really, it's a chemical reaction between sulfur and calcium carbonate that causes this.

The water boiling

On the way home we stopped by lake Arenal for a great dinner (we deserved it after hiking for 4+ hours!) and sunset view over the lake.

Can you see all the windmills? More then 90% of Costa Rica runs on green energy! 

 Little parakeet was chilling in a tree, they are not shy of humans apparently. Parakeet vs Eagles is on

On our final day, Daniel decided to rent a Mountain bike after hearing some good stories about the mountain biking trails near the volcano. He didn't know how hard it would get!!!! Uphill, more uphill, and even more uphill. On the way there was a huge group of coatis near the road! So quiet and friendly!  Kendy took it a bit easier and went on a chocolate-making workshop. We are moving to Monte Verde tomorrow, a nearby mountainous area.

Cute little Coati