A Travellerspoint blog

Costa Rica

Ziplining, tarzan swing and hummingbirds

Monteverde

sunny 24 °C

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We arrived in Monteverde and after a quick haggle at the bus stop to get some very cheap accomodation in the centre of town heard about all the cool things we could do. Ziplining, bunjee jumping, night tours, hiking in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. After some back and forth, we headed out ziplining that very afternoon and had our tickets to get the local bus out to Monteverde the next morning.
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The ziplining was a blast. We were put into our harnesses and after a quick 10 minute safety briefing we were off! We were shooting throught he canopy from one line to the next with barely time to think about it. You landed on a platform, the guy would unclip you, clip you to the next one and off you went. Then, allowing some time for everyone to regroup, we were headed for the lonnng ones. The first was the usual seated position, and was about 500m across a gully over the canopy. It got the heart pumping a bit. We arrived on the other side and were directed to a trail to hike up the hill so we could get to the BIG one. A one mile ¨superman¨zipline, where you face down. I filmed it on my newly resotred GoPro (we picked up a new one in Panama), there was a lot of high pitched ¨oh wow this is high¨, and a definite moment about halfway across when I was convinced the harness was going to give way. We both made it safely across however, and got ready for our second superman crossing. This one wasn't quite so long and you got to put your arms out like you were flying. It was fantasitc! You really felt like you were flying. I got to flim Matt coming in on that one, so fast. Very cool.
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The last adrenaline hit of the day was the Tarzan Swing. A forty metre rope swing, which starts with a 5m drop before the line catches and you swing out over the trees. After walking out to the platform and seeing just how high you are, I definitely had second thoughts. It doesn't help that the guy doesn't tell you what to expect or how it will work, just starts clipping you to stuff then pushes you against the gate, so that you are convinced you're about to fall. Then he opens the gate and basically pushes you out (ok not exactly, but there was definite nudging). I screamed like the big girl I am, but once the line caught and you swing up and over the tops of the trees it's just magic. A definite highlight.
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We got out to Monteverde early in the hopes of spotting the elusive Quetzal (called by some the world's most beautiful bird). We stopped at first by the hummingbird feeders and watched about 10 different types zoom in, hover, sip, and zoom back to a nearby branch. They were gorgeous, metallic greens and blues, yellow, red, you name it. Then we started hiking, we did basically all the paths in the park over the course of the day. It was truly beutiful rainfoest. After most of the day without seeing anything we got overwhelmed when I spotted the flash of red and green of a Quetzal and Matt spotted a couple of Coatis (think cross between a possum, a badger and a racoon) just off the path. The Coati really wasn't bothered by us and one of them even walked right by us to cross the path and find another tree to climb up. So cute. Matt caught another glimpse of the Quetzals as they flew away, but neither of us got a very good view of them. Oh well, you can't win them all.
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Posted by Addy21 03:48 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged verde monte ziplining Comments (0)

Turtle nesting, boat rides and monkeys

Welcome to Tortuguero

overcast 30 °C

large_GOPR0006.jpg Touristy hats as promised from last post. : )
After much back and forth and hearing about a million different things about where was best to see turtles nesting in April, we decided to head straight from Panama City to Tortuguero in Costa Rica. We spent a night in San Jose, which wasn't very flash but had some great street food, then hopped two chicken buses and a boat to get to Tortuguero.

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The boat ride was brilliant, we jumped off the bus at what is a private farm on the river with a restaurant for all those passing through, then (being dry season and the river being low) you walk about 500m down to a certain section of bank and wait. It was all made very easy by the fact that the Tortuguero tourist office sends a guy to meet the second bus and make sure the tourists don't have too much trouble getting there. We crammed 14 people into a boat designed to fit about 9, but you couldn't very well leave anyone on the bank in the middle of nowhere and this was the only boat of the day. Then with a combination of a small outboard motor and the guys getting out and pushing the boat every now and then, made our way down the river for about 2 hours to get to the village. We saw Esmerelda lizards, caiman, birds and even Spider Monkeys (on the return trip). It was great fun and felt like a tour in itself, except that I spent the entire on Matt's lap or sitting on my pack on the ground.
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Tortuguero itself was a great little town, one long road with a few side streets, nestled between the river and the beach. We had some great food from locals firing up a grill in front of the local supermarket, and generally felt very relaxed.
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The next day we decided to hike in the national park, not realising until we got to the office that they only have 1 trail to hike and most of the park is only accessible by canoe. We decide to go in anyway and enjoy the walk and the beach if nothing else. We got incredibly lucky though and after sheltering from the rain under a palm tree at the end of the path made our way slowly back to see Capachino Monkeys, a Spider Monkey and a (apparently) very rare deer. The Capachino Monkey's were very curious and got very close, very cute. The Spider Monkey just went about his business, swinging through the trees without a care in the world and lazily hanging from one arm, or his tail, to eat. The deer wasn't really sure what to make of us, we startled it on the path and it froze, then made it's way carefully back into the jungle just next to the beach, which meant it really couldn't go very deep. It kept an eye on us, but we managed to walk next to it and watch it for about 15 minutes. It was really beautiful.
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We jumped a boat out the next morning and made our way back to San Jose to spend another night before heading to Monteverde Cloud Forest.

Posted by Addy21 03:32 Archived in Costa Rica Comments (1)

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