Monday, April 14, 2014

Costa Rica is for Adventurers

Annnnd we're back! Dr. H and I have returned from our whirlwind trip to Costa Rica which included hiking in the rainforest, zip-lining through the canopy, spotting toucanettes, snakes and tarantulas, experiencing our first noteworthy earthquake, strolling on a beautiful Pacific ocean beach and most importantly, spending some quality time with a most favorite friend, Q. Costa Rica my friends, is divine. Though I haven't uploaded my camera pics yet, it was such a great trip that I thought I'd share a bit about our adventures and iPhone images today, with more to come whenever I get my act together and edit all my "real" photos.

For the first 3 nights of our trip, we stayed at the Hotel Belmar located in Monteverde, which is a small town in the north-west-middle-ish part of Costa Rica, home to several "cloud forest reserves". These cloud forests are incredible rainforests in the mountains, overflowing with plant life and animals, many of which are found more densely in Monteverde than most other places in the world. The weather changes literally every minute in Monteverde, varying from bright sunshine, to mist, to pouring rain depending on what cloud is briefly floating overhead. It's incredible.

Hiking, day and night is what you go to Monteverde for, but they also have lots of "eco-tourism" activities for adventurers like zip-lining, hanging bridges and horseback riding. Also lots of places to see butterflies, reptiles, amphibians and hummingbirds up close.

If you're visiting Monteverde, I cannot recommend Hotel Belmar, where my buddy Q is working, highly enough. The rooms and facilities are beautiful, the food in their restaurant is knock-your-socks off delicious and the staff is incredibly friendly and accommodating. Like everyone in Monteverde, they are proud of where they live and eager to make sure you love it as much as they do. 

We spent the last 18 hours(ish) of our trip in Playa Hermosa, a small beach town located about 20 minutes from Liberia International airport. If black sand beaches, gorgeous sunsets and insanely cheap fresh ceviche/massages/shaved ice on the beach are your thing... go here.

I had to beg Dr. H to stand up & take this photo...
I'm really glad I did.
As usual, I spent the last few hours of my vacation wondering why on earth I live in a crowded city, spend the majority of my days sitting at a desk and relegate activities like hiking, exploring and strolling on the beach to just a fraction of my time... but I guess that's what makes travelling and vacations so magical. And sure, I could pack up and move to the jungle or settle into a life somewhere exotic by the sea (I've certainly considered it!), but I know eventually I would miss my "real life" - my amazing family and friends, my meaningful work and even the sparkling skyscrapers and bustling pace of New York City. So I guess I'll just make sure I keep getting away, as often as possible, to amazing pockets of the earth like Costa Rica. I hope you do too:)

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