Who says bucket lists have to stop at 30!
For my 30th celebration, Paul and I decided to check out Costa Rica. Since we both like to be active, this was a great opportunity for us to do things that we have never done before.
For this post I will talk about our experience in the Arenal rainforest.
The above picture is of me and our guide (Walter) who took us on a rain forest hike. As you can see this was no ordinary hike. This was the part where we were hiking up from crater lake in Arenal. The experience became more of a hike/tough mudder/ American ninja warrior combo when we had to parlay ourselves using branches and ropes and then pull ourselves up with the roots from the trees.
After this 3 1/2 hour hike, Walter took us to a gorgeous waterfall. This would have been more of a hike, but in the last few years this hot spot had become so popular that they decided to build a massive set of steps to it. It still took about ten minutes to climb down to and about twenty minutes to climb up (keep in mind our legs were a bit tight from the previous hike we finished less than an hour before).
After checking out this awesome waterfall (too cold for me to swim but Paul loved it), we headed out to the Arenal Volcano where we hiked the 1968 trail. Since the the volcano is still active you can’t exactly hike your way to the top, but we did hike through the lower part of the volcano where the eruption of 1968 left it’s imprint. It was pretty amazing to see the various forms of vegetation that sprung from it.
Needless to say by the time we got back to our hotel, a much needed shower was in order. Thankfully it was followed up the next morning with a yoga class and a full body massage.
After enjoying a rest day, we ended our trip at Arenal with some zip lining, another item Paul and I had never done before.
Although I will admit the first run was awesome, I fear that it was a bit too much of a tourist attraction.
Instead of being able to go from platform to platform with people running each line, you only had two people. One to send you and one to catch you basically. So once you finished your thirty seconds of thrill, you had to stand on the platform and wait for everyone else to go. What started as a group of seven, turned into twenty-five by the time we finished all seven lines and took three hours!
It was worth trying once. It was a gorgeous view and like I said that first run is the most thrilling, but unfortunately there was too much time waiting around for people.
Overall, what I loved about Arenal, was the scenery and culture. You find that the people here are very friendly and very eager to help you without having an ulterior motive like you might find in some other places.
What was great about having a guide as well, was he was able to point us towards the bests spots to check out. My favorite was when he pointed to a pizza place and told us not to go there. “The owner thinks he’s Italian. Calls himself Luigi but his real name is Luis.”
The biggest thing that Paul and I love to do when we travel is to see everything. So rather than stay at a resort for the week, we stayed a few nights in Arenal and then with our rented car headed three hours over to Tamarindo where we then got to discover the beach town of Costa Rica and the cool towns in between.