Week 2 is in the books and we’re starting to have a bit more going on. We rented a car for a few days this week and have gotten out to see more of the country we are enjoying this month.
The two primary draws in Costa Rica are beaches and national parks (for amazing wildlife and natural sights) and we’ve done a little bit of both. Beach highlights include visits to Playa Conchal (made up of tiny sea shells in place of sand) and Playa Tamarindo (one of Costa Rica’s famous surfing beaches). We also hiked in two spectacular national parks built around volcanoes, Tenorio and Rincon de la Vieja.
You can see more pictures from these adventures on our instagram feed and we’ll talk more about them later in the month.
This week we also succeeded in knocking our first “Top 100 Experience” off the list. Zip-lining (#42) was invented in Costa Rica by a US Biologist studying rainforest eco-systems in 1979. It was 18 years later when a Canadian man had a vision for the money-making potential of offering this experience to tourists at Parque Nacional Monteverde in Costa Rica (our next stop) and not long after that the activity spread to many other countries.
Caleb, Kieran and Wendy all gave it a go at Congo Trail near Playa del Coco (who have been running zip lining tours for 20 years, almost since the beginning). I’ve ziplined here in Costa Rica before and elsewhere, and, like most “thrill-ride” activities I can take it or leave it. The reviews from our crew were good – though this course lacked some of the really long cables (>1km!) that we did last year in Mexico.
The experience that left the biggest impact on us this week, though, was our morning spent at the Monkey Farm. The farm started out as a rescue centre for injured howler monkeys, but has expanded their vision to focus more on the volunteers who run the farm. The volunteers are all recovering addicts from Costa Rican communities who work therapeutically with the horses on the farm, support the monkeys and manage a sustainable organic farming operation. We enjoyed meeting some of the volunteers, touring the facilities and learning about how they are all working together to build a better life.
Until next time …