Monday, August 16, 2010

Travel: Adventures in Costa Rica and Dog Relaxation

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.


Unknown said...

Sounds like an awesome vacation!

Anonymous said...

Gosh! Everybuddy had such a good time on their vacations! My mom said she really wants to go to Costa Rica sometime. And I would pawsonally likes to meet a sloth.

My mom and dad went rafting one time and my mom fell outta the boat! The guide told her later that they were coming up to a real dangerous spot and if they hadn't pulled her out when they did, she might not have made it! She wasn't skeered in the least til he told her that. She thinks maybe he shoulda just kept that to himself.

We're all Most Glad you're back!

Wiggles & Wags,

Backcountry Brodie said...

Hi there! I found you on the blog hop. Wot a great vakashun for the hoomans! Looks like the dogs had a nice vakashun too. Seeing as I is a sekurity-minded dog, I approve of you leaving your bloggie on while you is away. I do that too and only tell about where I has been, not where I is going or when I is leaving. You just never knows if noggty peeples be lurking on the innerwebs.

Two French Bulldogs said...

Now that's a wonderful vacation. Mommas friends just got back from that beautiful place too. We are jealous. Those sloth things are nutty looking. Hope you had lots of fun
Benny & Lily

HoundDogMom said...

That sounds like so much fun. I have always wanted to do both of those things (zipline and white water rafting). I also wonder what everyone else does with their fur-babies when they go one vacation. My son has always lived at home till recently, so we are trying work through who will care for the fur-babies while we are gone. I don't like to board but worry about them being home alone and only being checked on 3 times a day. Thanks for the comments on how your fur-babies eat. As you can see mine are spoiled rotten.

Princess said...

Hi there, long time since I've stopped by, but what a great post for my stop! We went to CR for our honeymoon and we loved it so much! We did the zipline and the whitewater rafting as well. You had a much better view of the volcano though, it was clouded in for our stay there. Glad you enjoyed it, I'm keeping the Toucan Rescue on my list for if we ever go back!
~P's Mom

Shauna (Fido and Wino) said...

Very smart of you to keep your blog on :)

Looks like you guys had a wonderful time!

brooke said...

Costa Rica sounds AMAZING! Ive done ziplining once and I so want to do it again!

That place you stayed at where they rehabilitate injured animals sounds like a cool place to stay!

The Daily Pip said...

Looks amazing!

Daisy Dog said...

Wow, went to the website of the rescue ranch. How very cool. I'll bet that was a wonderful experience. did you spend much time with the animals at the rescue?

Nubbin' Tails said...

What a great time! It looks bea-woo-tiful there. My mom is very much jealous of your pawrents dining with the sloths! That would be too cool!


Mr. Nubbin'

Wyatt said...

Sounds like everyone had a great vacation, Peeps and Dogs.
We were fortunate enough to visit Costa Rica in the mid 90's. A wonderful trip, we will never forget! Welcome Back!

Wyatt's family

houndstooth said...

It sounds like a good time was had be all, including the pooches!

My sister went to Costa Rica last summer and she loved it!

Lola and also Franklin, too said...

It sounds like a fantastic vaction. You got to meet sloths! The white water rafting would not be for me. Being a Shar Pei, I don't even like it when the sprinkler's on in the yard. The rest sounds great, though. Glad you're back.

lotsa licks, Lola

Kari in Alaska said...

We love Costa Rica, We did our belated honeymoon in Jaco :)

Don't forget, we moved to

Laura and Hans said...

Oh you wascally wabbits! What I want to know is this; how did Miss M and Mr B react when they were reunited!!!

Meeka said...

That is one fun vacation!

Mary said...

I believe that raccoon is a coati, or coatimundi. Hey, got to bust out the biology trivia when I can right?

I was casually researching Costa Rica as vacation destination, but I don't think we'll get away anytime soon. I should write about my sloth experience in Brazil, but let's just say that sloth didn't have quite the happy fate as the ones you met. I'm slowing catching up on your posts, so onto the next about the wildlife!

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