Probably the best known of all central American destinations… and the most expensive – and we get here for Christmas – even more expensive! Well done us!
So there are various ways we have learnt of keeping costs down… most obviously cooking for yourself (and stocking up big time in Nicaragua) and limiting the amount of time on the road/destinations – fuel still being a huge chunk of our budget. Hence we made Costa Rica a 2 destination trip, mountains and beach. Only having a little more than a week it meant we got to see places properly, relax a little after moving every day in Nica and enjoy what this stunning country has to offer.
Monteverde was our first stop, a collection of small villages at around 2400m, meaning perfect temperatures, cloud forest and adventure activities. As we climbed (in the car) we realised it was windy, ridiculously windy and soon learnt that we had arrived in the windy season. At one point I really thought the tent was going to leave the top of the car with us in it, or worse, rip wide open but we made it through the first night and fond a slightly more sheltered spot for the next few!
We went on a night walk and spotted a sloth, a green viper and 3 legs of a tarantula that wasn’t feeling social.
We climbed Cerro Amigos – for anyone that uses the lonely planet as a resource it is not around 300m elevation over 3km; it’s stupidly steep and stupidly muddy, but with stunning views from the top if you’re lucky and the cloud lifts. And we went ziplining… heaps of fun, 16 lines through the forest and a tarzan swing that required me to be pushed off – what sane adult chooses to step off a perfectly secure platform? We also fitted in a great beery afternoon post hike, in the highly recommended Taco Taco and a good car sort out away from the heat of the coast.
For Christmas itself we headed to the Guanacaste coast. Due to a slight breakdown in communication we didn’t end up, as originally planned, with our freight friends @wanderdon’twonder (who would have thought there would be 2 places owned by Dutch couples about 10 mins from the beach but 3 hours apart?!). We camped at the just lovely Alouatta, hung out at the beach and cooked up a feast for Christmas with our hosts, finishing the evening with a fair amount of rum and a game of Risk. Anyone who thought the Dutch were peace loving and relaxed would have learnt a thing or 2 that night!