Like a lot of people in their early twenties I spent a lot of those years travelling. I’ve been to about 35 countries over the last 5 years and the inevitable question gets asked… “What’s the best place you have been to?” I always answer this question with Costa Rica.
In 2012 I spent 10 days travelling through Costa Rica on a G Adventures tour. I didn’t really know much about it or what to expect. What I was most taken with in Costa Rica was the variety of adventures we got to experience. We started off in the capital San Jose and caught a bus to La Fortuna where we stopped and ate local fruits that I’d never seen or heard of before. Later we went canyoning, which involved abseiling down 30-40m waterfalls and walking/swimming down a river. The scenery was absolutely stunning, like something you thought could only exits in the movies.
Later on in the tour we went mountain biking through lush forest where you could here and spot birds, which were so colourful, that looked liked they had jumped of the screen of some David Attenborough documentary. When we got to our destination we were confronted with these majestic waterfalls. The water was freezing but there was no way you could come here and not go in for a swim. There were massive rocks, which you could climb up to jump off.
We then headed toward Montezuma, which has its famed hot springs. For the three nights we were there we bought beers, candles and went to the hot springs and spent a few hours relaxing in them while the sun went down. To go back we had to walk through a canal in pitch black. On one of the trips back of the girls fell over and almost got carried away by the rushing water. Luckily one of our fellow travellers grabbed her before she disappeared!
Perhaps the most rewarding activity was when we went on one of the world’s highest flying foxes. It varies from about 100 to 150m above the ground. I was hooked onto the zip line hanging with a glove with a bit of metal to grab onto the wire to slow me down. The area in which we zip lined through was very narrow, so narrow that if I spun 90 degrees, which I did on multiple occasions, my feet would hit the trees around me. At one point I lost all of my momentum and had to pull myself along the line like a monkey to get to the platform. There were about 10 different zip lines, which were about 100m long each. As we were flying along you could see all sorts of birds in the trees.
Our tour ended in San Jose where our group did a flash mob Macarena dance at the McDonald’s in the main square. The look on the Costa Rican’s faces was memorable to say the least!
Costa Ricans have a saying, ‘PURA VIDA’ which means pure life. To me this means to make the most of life and enjoy everything you can. I went into Costa Rica not expecting much but by the time I had left it had left its mark on me.