After flying into San Jose and meeting Jaco, we headed to Turrialba, the rafting capital of Costa Rica. A few days hanging out there at the Hotel Interamericano and soaking up the sunshine and culture, and we were heading back to San Jose to meet our guests at teh airport. After meeting our guests, which included Mike, Anna, Corey, Bernadette, and Steve, we climbed aboard our tour bus with expert driver Marvin. After a quick tour of the market, and we were on our way for a week of adventure in this amazing country.
We began by heading West to the La Fortuna/Vulcan Arenal area on the first day. Vulcan Areanal is one of the few active volcanoes in the world that actually has lava that is visibly exploding from the crater at the top. It was cloudy and the volcano had not been active for a few days, so we weren’t treated to a firewords show. However, the incredible Tobacon hot springs at the base of the volcano later that evening more than made up for it. The next day, we headed to the other side of the volcano to the amazing La Fortuna Falls. After a quick dip at the base of the waterfall and a stop at a local artist’s shop, we headed for an incredible tour through the jung canopy via zip line. You have to experience this amazing trip. Wow!
Later that day, we headed back towards the North central part of the country where the Sarapiqui river flows east into the Caribbean. We stayed at a jungle camp that night, and the next day we were to finally get wet on our first river in Costa Rica. This was a great river, mellow but with beautiful scenery. Gian Blue Morpha butterflies and tucans flew around us as we floated through the jungle. It was awesome to be able to float down a river in just shorts and a shirt. I even paddled a kayak again for the bottom part of the run.
We were then off to Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean coast just North of the Panama border. This place was paradise! This town is at the end of a five mile gravel road, so the Caribbean/Jamaican/Rasta culture still remains intact. This place is great to hang out for a few days and soak up the rays and get pounded in the ocean surf. Aaaahhhh. It was hard to leave.
It was time to go and we were off to one of the top ten rated rivers in the world, the Rio Pacuare. This is an incredible journey through the jungle with awesome scenery, rapids, and wildlife. We did an overnighter on this trip staying at a local company’s jungle camp part way into the trip. From whitewater to side hikes, this river had it all. A dam has been planned for over a decade on this river, but protests have held it at bay for the time being.
We then headed back to Turrialb the next day and, after a trip to the serpentarium (glad we did this after our few nights in the jungle) and a quick trip down the big water Reventazon, it was time for our last dinner of the trip. Incredible Turrialtico restaurant up in the hills overlooking Turrialba.
The next day it was back to San Jose to catch an aeroplane back to the good old states. This is an incredible trip that everyone should experience at least once in their lives. From the volcanoes to the rivers to the coast, Costa Rica has it all. And with its proximity to the equator, temps hover between 85 and 65 all year long, making it quite an enjoyable experience.
Well, hope to see you all out on the rivers soon. We have already started to have some great trips on the Wind, White Salmon, and Klickitat Rivers. It looks like it is going to be another great Summer in the Gorge. Don’t forget about Costa Rica. I’m already looking forward to the next amazing adventure to Costa Rica next Winter!
Pura Vida (pure life)!
– Wet Planet @ 05:22 PM