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Costa Rica: The Land Of Adventure

As part of my travels across Central America, I had the opportunity to visit three very different places in the land of adventure: Costa Rica.

Costa Rica

As part of my travels across Central America, I had the opportunity to visit three very different places in the land of adventure: Costa Rica.

My first stop was in Monteverde, which has been named one of the seven wonders of Costa Rica owing to its beautiful cloud forest (not a rain forest; a cloud forest is different as it has higher land elevation and receives its moisture from the cloud surrounding it, rather than rain). The area has also been named one of the top places in the world to visit before its disappears, and after discovering this information I ensured that I spent my money on local businesses which worked towards preserving the forest.

We certainly weren’t eased in to adventure on our very first day in Costa Rica. They threw us straight into the deep end and took us in a small van to the Monteverde Extreme Park, which I was very excited about. The people at the reception were very enthusiastic and convincing that whilst you have the chance, you should just do everything – and before I knew it, I was handing over $145 for the experience of superman zip lining, an extreme Tarzan swing, and, wait for it… Yes, a bungee jump. I must have been crazy, but the price was so reasonable I would have regretted it had I not tried it.

The first activity, zip lining, was incredible as it was nothing like the zip lining I had previously tried – it was a canopy tour 4km long, with a number of lines. Some of them you went on in pairs, others alone and the longest cable was 1km, where they pinned your ankles up too so you could fly like superman. It was awesome: you went so fast and the views across the forest canopies were amazing. Soon after though, those of us doing a bungee jump had to stir up some courage. You sat on an electronic platform which moved to the centre of a ridiculously high drop (143m) and basically, you had to dive off the platform. Yourself. Alone. I still to this day have no idea how I was brave enough to do it, but after their quick countdown, I managed to do the highest bungee jump in the whole of Latin America. The rush of adrenaline was incredible, and although the whole thing was quite terrifying too, I am so glad that I did it. The Tarzan swing followed, and wasn’t quite so difficult because the instructors pushed you off instead of you having to jump. As I wasn’t upside-down that time, I also had a chance to appreciate the awesome views from even higher up.

We finished off our visit to Monteverde with a relaxing chocolate and coffee tour in the afternoon, which was much-needed. Seeing the stages a coffee bean has to go through to be stripped of its seven layers and roasted makes you understand why it is so expensive. Watching chocolate be created was also very interesting – especially because we got to sample it along the way! We then left Monteverde, and travelled for two hours to reach La Fortuna. The one thing I did notice about Costa Rica is the huge amount of foliage and greenery in contrast to the rest of Central America I’ve visited. It really reminded me just how close I was coming to South America.

The Costa Rican adventures continued in La Fortuna, where I had the opportunity to kayak on Lake Arenal which surrounds Volcano Arenal. It was actually rather relaxing to just drift at times, however, kayaking can be pretty hard work! The views of the volcano were stunning. In the afternoon we then progressed to canyoneering, which is basically abseiling down waterfalls and climbing over rocks. Exploring the waterfalls and rivers of the deep jungle was beautiful, however the canyoneering itself was incredibly difficult! I wish that I had enough time to keep practising it, but even the notion that I actually managed to scale a 250ft waterfall made me happy.

A quick stop-off on our way to the vibrant city of San Jose to have a go at white-water rafting: something I had been looking forward to for the whole trip. I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Our instructor was fantastic, gearing up team spirit and giving us extra tasks such as “riding the bull” (sitting on the front of the raft) and spinning the raft round. The rapids were rough at times, but manageable, and we wished we could have been on the raft for longer. After another journey of an hour or so, we reached San Jose. It is a very built-up and busy city, with vibrant nightlife and plenty of shops and restaurants to keep you busy. After the tranquility of the locations of the rest of our trip, it was the perfect place to end in.

If you want an action-packed adventure holiday, make sure you go to Costa Rica. It certainly proved itself as the adventure capital of the world to me. It will leave you dizzy, breathless, confused and amazed all at the same time – but you’ll have the time of your life.

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