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Our Adventure to Costa Rica

In June, 2018, Shelly and I traveled to Costa Rica to see some wonderous sites and have a few adventures.  We flew into the capital, San Jose, and spent the night.  The next morning we took a minibus to our first stop, the cloud forest of Monteverde.  

Monteverde is one of the most bio-diverse areas on the planet.  Over 3,000 species of plants, 400 species of birds, 60 species of bats, 1,200 species of amphibians and 700 species of butterflies call this area home. It is also one of the last remaining places in the world that is home to all six species of cats: ocelots, jaguars, jaguarundi, pumas, oncillas, and marguays. 

We visited the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve and a Naturalist guided us on a walking tour. Established in 1989, the Santa Elena Cloud Forest Reserve comprises an area of 765 acres, and is home to forest fauna such as the sloths, jaguars, ocelots, monkeys, coatis, and numerous species of birds. With almost 100% humidity throughout the year, the cloud forest experiences almost 12 feet of rain per year.   Here are some photos we took during the hike.

The highlight of the trip was taking a sky tram above the cloud forest and ziplining to the bottom.  The tour started with the sky tram aerial ride where we had spectacular views of the cloud forest that lead to the Continental Divide. We stopped at a platform high above the cloud forest where we were guided along a system of zip lines, which together had a distance of 2.5 miles of linear cable.  We flew through the forest and experienced speeds up to 40 miles per hour with distances ranging up to 2500 feet and heights of 524 feet.  When we reached the bottom platform, we descended a rope to the forest floor.  Here's some photos of our adventure!

We departed Monteverde for the town of Arenal located in the shadow of Arenal Volcano. Currently Arenal Volcano is in a resting phase but prior to 2010 the volcano was known for its consistent lava flows and gas emissions. Arenal is home to cascading waterfalls, thriving rainforests, abundant wildlife, and a plethora of outdoor activities. 

We decided to spend the day at the resort pool and enjoy the beautiful weather.  Here are some photos of the volcano and the pool.

In the evening, we went to the Tabacon Hot Springs for a dip in the curative and relaxing pools. We discovered Costa Rica´s largest network of naturally flowing thermal mineral springs in one of Arenal’s largest and most beautiful private, rainforest reserves.  There are five main springs source highly mineralized water that is heated underground by the Arenal Volcano’s magma.  We enjoyed dozens of cascading waterfalls and warm
pools along the riverbed, of varying temperatures, water flows and degree of privacy. Later, we enjoyed a buffet dinner at the hot springs.  Here are some photos of our experience.  

The next day, we drove back to San Jose and took our flight home.  It was a nice trip.  If we had it to do over again, we would make a home base at one of the west coast beaches, and done a 2 day trip to the rain forest.  But we enjoyed it.

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