Heart Raced to Its Limits in the Calm Rainforest
A paradise for nature lovers, adventurers, photographers, surfers, divers, wild-life explorers, historians and archaeologists – Costa Rica has something for everyone. One of the few countries in the world with no army, Costa Rica has been a safe get-away for family vacationers as well as backpackers. This serene soul of Central America not always calms down your heart with its mesmerizing beauty, but it can also surge adrenaline in your blood when you meet its wild side. I wanted to feel Costa Rica, not just see it.
I arrived in San José tired and sleep deprived after eventful days in Panama. There was so much to do in the capital city, but I decided to relax and recharge. One has to ignore noise and traffic on the streets to explore history and culture of the city. Lost in the concrete jungle are the monuments, buildings, parks and markets that are worth visiting. Clubs and bars offer a lively environment to socialize with locals as well as tourists. Take a walking tour of the city and sip home grown coffee in one of the cafes on the busy streets.
Monteverde, known for its cloud forests and green valleys, was my next stop and the right spot to be with nature and find peace. Five hour bus ride through the curvy mountains was a trailer of the adventurous and rough side of the northwestern Costa Rica. Next two days were tough for the heart. The first in the list was zip lining in the middle of the famous Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve. Some of the longest and toughest zip lines are here. The thing that makes them thrilling yet soothing is the breathtaking view of deep valleys with thick forests below them. There was a moment during the Spiderman zip line when I felt that everything almost stopped. My mind froze and heart slowed down for a few seconds in the middle of a kilometer long zip line as if it wanted to capture the view and everything around in slow motion. I felt my breath and heart beat in a way I never did before. It felt like an union with Mother Nature. The Tarzan Swing took the heart rate to a new level. I could not hold my shout at the end of the first swing. Then came Extreme Bungee Jump. It was as insane as any human adventure possibly can. It was felt by every cell of my body. It was to much for the heart to take in a day. The venturous day ended with a locally grown and prepared coffee on a peak watching the stretches of cloud forests.
ATV or Quad tour and Forest Night Walk tour were the two items in the list for the next day. There is a part of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve where one can race a quad bike as well as his heart. I burned gasoline for almost an hour dragging a quad bike on dirt roads and slippery trails. It was difficult to maneuver the quad bike on hair-raising steep, muddy trails. In the end the bike survived, and I was totally covered with mud slush. It was an opportunity to enter some of the deepest parts of the cloud forests in day time. The night walk through the thick forest, especially on a rainy night, was no less than daring act. However, it was done under the supervision of a guide. The goal was to spot creatures in their natural habitat. Our group was partly successful as rain hampered the mission. Nonetheless, it was rejuvenating to walk in the oxygen-rich canopies. This is an easy activity and should not be missed.
It was time to give the heart some rest before head back to San Jose. La Fortuna was the perfect town for this. A laid-back agricultural town, La Fortuna is the most visited destinations in Costa Rica because of the Arenal Volcano National Park, Arenal Lake and splendid surrounding scenery. No adventure, no activity, no rush in La Fortuna; a total downtime to observe the beauty of majestic Costa Rica. I left Costa Rica after my trip, but Costa Rica did not leave my mind yet. Its beauty has created a vivid memory.