Time for even more green photos! In this second Costa Rica honeymoon blogpost I will tell you a little about the wildlife and hiking the rainforest. And I will let you decide wether or not you like to zip line through the top of the trees. (can you guess if I was into this?)
But first, the animals! If there is one thing I was very surprised about it was how easy we spotted some of the Costa Rica wildlife. After the first week we already saw toucans, sloths, a ton of birds, the famous Jesus lizard, an ant eater, squirrels, peccaries, monkeys and butterflies (yes, I cried a little when I saw my first wild blue morpho). We quickly became trained birdwatchers and even spotted the famous Quetzal bird!! 5 minutes after we started walking our trail, just saying. Overwhelmed by it all I forgot to take a picture, but oh well!
The most important thing I want to say about National Parks in Costa Rica is to respect nature. Obviously. So don't run around screaming like some crazy tourists we came across. You won't see a single bird that way. And second: you don't have to go into the well known parks to spot wildlife. We skipped Manuel Antonio, because we heard it was more like a zoo than a forest. Go hiking early morning to avoid crowds. We never felt like it was super crowded, but we didn't travel in European high season and walked the longer trails.
My husband :) We had a relaxing dinner after the long drive to our room in Rainbow Valley, Monte Verde. It was quite hard to eat vegetarian in this country. We did eat meat, mainly because we knew the chickens came from a farm nearby. No crazy exploded chicks here! Just chicken with a super yummy fresh mango-pineapple-coconut sauce. More about the food in another post!
A little GoPro photo to get a feel of what it's like to hike the rainforest. Uh-may-zing!!
This was my favorite rainforest, we felt alone again and passed the most spectacular views. There was a lot of height difference so it was a proper full-day hike, but you can pick a shorter trail. There were trees covered with moss. Ferns and plants everywhere. Vines tumbling down the treetops. And there was a continuous dripping even though it wasn't raining 'outside'. They don't call it rainforest for nothing! It felt like a dream came true. We once helped planting new rainforest in Borneo, just little twigs in a empty field. To see a full grown rainforest really completed that story for me. (I will share our Borneo story some day too!)
Stefan really was floating through the clouds ;) The hanging bridges trail was beautiful. The views, however limited by the clouds, were unforgettable! Oh and I promise I will never wear multi-length pants ever again. I'm sorry. Bad stylist! (it was quick-dry)
This cloud forest is the same forest as where we did a zip line canopy tour. My love really likes outdoor sports and well.. doing fast/crazy/high things. Basically, anything with "extreme" in it. I like to watch other people do it, like in movies during EOFT.
Anyway, it was our honeymoon so I agreed to doing this zip line thing together. If you like to stand on tiny platforms in high wobbly trees and zip down a steel cable to another platform, this is for you! It wasn't for me. Too high, too fast. But it is really spectacular to do and the views are clouded but amazing. Kids can do it too (I asked).
I did most of the lines with one of the instructors. My first time down a line I started twisting & turning and going backwards, so going with someone else was well.. safer. The final part was a line of 1000 meters(!), we had to do this one together because of the weight. Otherwise you could get stuck in the middle. Can you imagine hanging there, between the tree tops in the clouds? I was so happy to have my feet back on the earth again after that. At the end there were an optional Tarzan Swing and a Superman zip line. That last one was beyond crazy. You 'fly' the 1000 meters line face down, while you are all tied up like a sausage. Not for my either. Stefan passed that one too!
I can't say I liked it a lot, but I am happy I did it. Stefan was, of course, over the moon happy! There are some GoPro movies of me zipping through the tree tops, but I can't seem to open them. Maybe later. Although, maybe they are better off unopened.. since I am screaming like a little kid in those clips. Let's just say I can sort of recommend it ;)
Larger than life ferns that made us feel like tiny insects walking underneath. The Costa Rica rainforest is the only place that has ever made me feel small! I love ferns, do you know they have been around since the dinosaurs? Apparently they never changed a single leaf, in terms of 'design'. I love that. Never change a winning team!
You can probably guess this hummingbird garden was my highlight of the day! We stopped by on our way in the National Park ánd on our way out. I was like a kid in a candy store! The hummingbirds are wild/free, but know they can get their sugar rush here. No cages or anything. They were everywhere. Buzzing around like little helicopters. In terms of wild life spotting, this is totally cheating!
This little guy posed for my iPhone, as if he knew I would send this photo to pretty much everyone I know. The green cutie was smaller than my thumb! I wanted to put him in my pocket and walk away. In stead, we found a giant creepy walking stick on our car. Jikes. Much easier to say goodbye to though!
Brrr, creepy dude!
And my dude.. not creepy at all ;) After all the clouds, rain and treetops it was time for us to warm up a little. Time to drive towards the Pacific Coast! *next time*
Read all my Costa Rica blogposts:
1. Costa Rica honeymoon: driving in a green world 2. Costa Rica honeymoon: rainforest wildlife (that's this one!)3. Costa Rica honeymoon: pacific paradise 4. Costa Rica honeymoon: foggy volcanos5. Costa Rica honeymoon: reggae bar cocktails