My top 5 things I did in Costa Rica
1. Manuel Antonio National Park
We had such a great experience in this park, it is a much busier national park and very commercialised but you can understand why once you see it. I would HIGHLY recommend hiring a wildlife tour guide, without ours we wouldn't have seen over half the amount of wildlife we saw. The tour guides are expensive (you pay $25 each), but they know exactly what they are looking for, give you lots of information about each species and the surrounding vegetation, they also bring a scope for you to look through. I noticed people without guides were walking past sloths and monkeys without realising they were even there.
This day was one of the best wildlife experiences I have ever had, we saw about 6 sloths (two and three toed) including babies, families of white faced monkeys, howler monkeys and spider monkeys. A selection of bat species, coati's, insects, crabs, a snake, frogs, interesting rainforest plants and learnt about their uses. So if you love wildlife this is the pace for you.The route ends at a beautiful beach, so take your swimming costumes and jump in to the warm calm waters surrounded by the howl of monkeys and slow pace of sloths.
2. Canoeing in Tortuguero
Tortugero is a very beautiful remote place on the Caribbean coast, only accessible by boat or plane. We took a private canoeing trip with a guide through the rainforest rivers, we were completely alone in the rainforest for most of this trip and that feeling is so overwhelming because even though you are away from human civilization the sounds of the rainforest were so loud and vibrant and being in the middle of it really opens your eyes to how beautiful the natural world is and why we need to protect environments like this.
If you are a keen bird watcher this is the trip for you, we saw many different species of bird from Kingfisher, Tiger Heron, Boat Billed Heron, Cormorant, Macaws and many more. We also saw river turtles, Camen crocodiles and monkeys.
3.White Water rafting
White water raft in the wet season is a must!!! because the rivers are fast flowing and we were so glad we did this. It was the most expensive thing we did overall but well worth it for the adrenaline and fun. There are companies that do this all over the country but we decided to do it whilst we stayed in Manuel Antonio with H2O Adventures (www.h2ocr.com).
You take a mini van to the location (about a hour away from their base) and then you are briefed on safety, the rafting lasts a couple of hours but on the way you stop at a beautiful waterfall and can swim around, here you also get given a snack and a drink. We all had fun feeding the hungry fish the left over pineapple.
There is also a choice of half day or full day packages as well as river rapid grades.
4. Rio Celeste
Rio Celeste is a bright blue river located at Parque Nacional Volcan Tenorio. It is defiantly worth a visit, there is the most breath taking waterfall and the water is a crazy turquoise colour. The hike is about a hour long which ventures through the cloud forest. Look out for snakes, my boyfriend nearly stood on one :O!!!
Monteverde is surrounded by cloud forest, great for bird watching and hiking. We enjoyed driving around the crazy bumpy dirt track roads admiring the scenery, Hiking the national Parks, experiencing what rural Costa Rica looks like, taking in all the culture and wishing we could collect all the stray dogs and bring them home.
For more photos of Costa Rica check out my Instagram @beckloosemore
also check out my YouTube channel for my Travel diary!!!