But let's move on to arguably the best part of the trip- what we did! Get your minds out of the gutter... we spent most of our time exploring the Caribbean Coast ;)
Even though some of our time was spent lounging around...
We really tried to spend every minute exploring Puerto Viejo and cramming in as many adventures as possible. Our first big adventure was an all day jungle tour, where we rode ATVs up into the mountains, then spent the rest of the day flying down the mountain on zip lines, hiking, and scaring ourselves half to death on the Tarzan swing.
Being the giant animal freak I am, I also insisted we visit the rescue center right down the road from our lodge. There were so many amazing animals there, but my favorite had to be the baby howler monkeys- it took everything I had in me to not try and smuggle one out! Just kidding, of course. The Jaguar Rescue Center is the dream home for any rescue animal- they do a phenomenal job of caring for and rehabilitating these animals!
Also a huge water lover, we decided to try out snorkeling. We almost missed out on this excursion- we had to reschedule twice because water conditions were not ideal. Fortunately, we got to go out on our last full day on the coast!
We also went on another jungle hike that day, and ran into yet another eyelash viper- good thing they mind their own business!
Our final big adventure doubled as our transport back to San Jose from the Caribbean Coast- whitewater rafting! Instead of sitting in a shuttle for five hours, we were picked up at our lodge and drove for about two hours before stopping for breakfast. Then we whitewater rafted down the amazing Pacuare River for two hours. After stopping for lunch, we rafted for two more hours, then drove the final three-ish to San Jose. Definitely more fun that sitting the entire time, although we did find out it is nearly impossible to look attractive in rafting gear!
At the end of this excursion, we were back at our starting point in San Jose for a night before flying back to Chicago (through Miami) thus ending our incredible time on the coast of Costa Rica. We both still miss it tremendously and can't wait until we can manage to get back to see, do, and eat more! Even almost three months later, we'll randomly mutter "I miss Costa Rica" and get that happy/sad smile that comes with remembering any incredible trip.
I'll have one more post in this series- a quick write up of our nights in San Jose and Miami. But nothing can compare to the beauty and culture of Costa Rica- it truly is Pura Vida!