Monday, June 23, 2008

Canopy Tour and the Beach

Monteverde & Manuel Antonio
This is the last installment of my Costa Rica trip.

After the Arenal Volcano, we were supposed to meet up with a friend in Monteverde's cloud forest for a canopy tour. This meant that we had to leave our lodge before 6am to make it to the 11am tour. The roads leading to Monteverde are hardly roads. Instead, we spent over three hours off-roading through the mountains. This is the only way to get there, unless you have a boat. We bounced, laughed, and stayed in a general mood of disbelief as we winded our way to the city. We were later told that the people of the area do not want the roads paved, since it will mean more tourist would be coming. I am not sure how true this is...we saw several tour buses navigating the same roads as us which was a reassurance that we actually could make it through these roads and that we were going the right direction, since signs were lacking.

Nevertheless, we made it to town and met up with our friend whom had arrived the night before. He is working for the Original Canopy Tour and provided us with a private tour for the three of us. The next two hours made all the driving worth it. We flew through the tree tops with big smiles as we glided across more than a dozen lines, rappelled down two platforms, and climbed inside a ficus tree.

After the tour, we grabbed some lunch and said good-bye to our friend. We had spent enough time in the jungle and were ready for some sand and waves. From the southern end of town, we only had a couple of hours of off-roading to do before we reached pavement. Boy did it feel good! The rest of the drive was filled with an hour delay for construction, a crocodile bridge, rain that often slowed us to a crawl, and finally darkness that made it difficult to see where the road was.

Luckily, we made it to Manuel Antonio. It was still drizzling, but people were out everywhere. This town was not filled with locals, but was filled with foreigners acting like they were on spring break. After checking out a few hotels, we checked into a spot and collapsed. The driving for the day had wiped us out.

We spent the last two days laying on the beach, playing in the water, seeing lots of wildlife, and relaxing at the hotel with a few people we met. This was a great way to end our Costa Rica vacation. Make sure you check out the album of pictures at the top of the post.

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