Sunday, February 9, 2014

From the cloud forest to the tropical forest - and kiteboarding!

After enjoying the Volcano Arenal area we spent a few days in Monteverde, which is a cloud forest park in Costa Rica. This mountainous area is split between a humid side with air from the Atlantic coast, and a dry part where the air comes from the Pacific. It was amazing to see the wildlife and different climates coming together! 

red-eyed tree frog

The Quetzal, a long tailed bird, also the national bird of Guatemala - where it is unfortunately very difficult to find. In Costa Rica it was easier :)


mini red dart frog

Today we visited a tropical forest park called Manuel Antonio, which is more south in Costa Rica. The dry season here is only 3 months per year: January till March so our timing was perfect :) In the wet season, this park receives more than 2.000mm rainfall per year. This forest is next to the ocean and some spectacular beaches. Great for a day visit! Although it's a small park, during 30 minutes on the beach we were visited by a raccoon, an iguana and a monkey! Even more spectacular is one of the slowest animals in the world which is moving around in the trees here: the sloth!!

Sloth chilling in his natural upside-down position

Sloth moving full speed

Visitor #1

Visitor #2

Visitor #3

Between visiting these parks we visited one of the world's best kiteboarding spots, near La Cruz in north-west Costa Rica. This place has a bay with an almost constant strong wind, making it a top destination for kiteboarding. We had a fantastic week, met many other kiteboarders (from beginners to very experienced). Our average day looked like this:
  • Get up around 7:30, have breakfast
  • Around 9.30, leave with to the beach standing on the back of a pickup truck with about 10 other kiteboarders (the truck was full of kites and boards)
  • 10-17 chill on the beach, lunch would be delivered, take a few hours of kiteboarding lessons whenever the wind and current were OK
  • 17-22 shower, relax at the hotel or a restaurant, have dinner with other kiteboarders

The wind was strong but very gusty which isn't easy for starters, but after a few days we were able to get up on a board with the kite pulling us! We both loved it and hope to improve our skills back in the Netherlands!

Apparently this is kite-surfing heaven :)

Kendy's first kiting experience!

Preparing a 6m kite

This is Daniel trying to kiteboard

And great sunsets too :)