This past week we were lucky enough to whisk ourselves away for a trip to Costa Rica. Much like people leave their lights on when they're away, we decided to leave our "blog on" so nobody would know we were out-of-town--thieves are quite tricky these days.
We had an amazing week filled with volcanoes, monkeys,hot springs, jungles, beaches, and sloths.
Here is the volcano view from our cabana:
Some of our highlights were:
1) The animals and beaches in the National Parks.We were able to stay by the beach and right near Manuel Antonio National Park. Getting up right when the park opened we were able to hike through the rain forest and encounter white-tailed dear, white-faced monkeys, sloths, a raccoon family with 3 little babies, and an entire colony of howler monkeys before any of the guide groups had gotten there. Some of the people actually feed the animals, which is bad because it harms their digestive systems and can introduce foreign bacteria, and it makes the animals come closer to the people. This tropical raccoon came right up to us looking for food:2) Whitewater Rafting and 45/mph Ziplining through the Jungle
Although Costa Rica has amazing nature, it has also become quite commercialized and expensive. At first we were a bit surprised how expensive everything was, but then we decided to embrace it and go on a couple of adventure tours where we had an incredible time. One of the tours was ziplining above the rain forest with skytrek tours. A tram brings you up to the top and you zipline across the rain forest at speeds up to 45 mph. It wasn't too scary starting out, it was only in the middle that I started to have regret seeing how far up I was and thinking I was going to go right through the volcano. But somehow that all absolved by the time I landed.
Our favorite tour was the Whitewater Rafting with Desafio Adventure Company. The trip was definitely authentic with level 3&4 continuous rapids throughout most of the river. Though we had never really rafted before, the guides were really good explaining everything and making sure we had a really good time; it was like a comedy show. Afterwards, we were treated to a home-cooked meal by their in-house chef.
3) Staying at the Toucan Rescue Ranch
The Toucan Rescue Ranch was started by a couple, Leslie and Jorge, to rescue and rehabilitate injured Costa Rican wildlife. While they started with toucans, they have evolved into helping a variety of needy wildlife including an assortment of birds and owls, sloths, a jungle porcupine and spider-monkey. We stayed in their guesthouse which was definitely the highlight of our trip, and we were able to see all the animals upclose, and even "have dinner" with the sloths. They are an amazing couple who help the animals primarily through their own funding. It was so amazing we are going to do a separate post on it tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Miss M was able to spend the week with her BFF Dainty Miss MThey spent the week going for walks as a pack, chewing bones together, and our Miss M. loved to stare at Dainty Miss M's owner who she regards as a movie star.
And Mr. B was able to return to the Chicago Countryside where he was able to relax laying on the couch, rolling in the grass, and eating Asian pear apples.