I mentioned in my previous post that we had a very early start leaving Vancouver yesterday morning. We arrived at our hotel late last night, around 10 PM so it was a pretty full day of travel and we were pretty tired, but obviously not tired enough to not stop at the hotel bar for a drink and a small snack before turning in. We were there for only about an hour and while there, more and more hotel guests started showing up and very soon there were about 15 of us, all having a similar idea to have a nightcap.
We’re only spending one night here in San Jose and this morning we’re getting picked up to head to our first real destination near the town of La Fortuna. We’re neither staying in this capital city of Costa Rica either at the beginning or end of our trip which is very unusual for most of our travels and we’re only going to be in San Jose for less than a day both times. This may possibly end up being one of my regrets as it’s no secret that I love the big cities wherever we have travelled. During the short ride from the airport last night, we saw a number of interesting places I would want to have visited here in the city. But we knew all of this before we left home and our itinerary for this trip to Costa Rica has a very different focus than seeing the sights in San Jose. More on that later.
The Long and Winding Road
Long before we arrived in Costa Rica, we knew that there would be a few long drives as we got from place to place. But it’s one thing to know that we’re going to have a 3-hour drive and another to experience half of that drive along the windiest, narrowest mountain roads imaginable.
Our driver picked us up at our hotel and we proceeded to spend the next 30 minutes driving through the maze of residential streets of San Jose. We were both positive that there was a faster route to the highway, but we figured that the driver knew what he was doing. Most of the roads here in Costa Rica, outside of the main highways, are relatively narrow and with the abundance of mountains, you’re constantly driving up and down steep, winding roads. We eventually got to our destination but we both weren’t looking forward to spending another 3 hours on the road.
The Resort and the River
At the end of the long drive, we finally arrived at the Lost Iguana Resort, where we’ll be for the next few days.
The resort is in the middle of a rainforest jungle. When we got to our room, we were treated to a spectacular view from our balcony of the Arenal Volcano (bottom photo) but it was the combination of the sight of the volcano along with the exotic sounds of the birds and other creatures in the jungle. We have a lot planned while we’re here including just relaxing by the pool or having a drink at the bar. But the first morning we were going to the river.
Known as a river safari, we had an early morning pickup at our resort and, with multiple stops to pick up other people we made our way to the Peñas Blancas river with our guide. For the next 2 hours, in the blazing sun, we floated down the river, often stopping at locations to see monkeys or other animals in the trees. It was a great experience to be out on the water and see all the unique trees, birds and animals but it was honestly there was a lot of rowing in the humid heat and not quite as relaxing as originally thought. I suspect that my arms are going to be feeling it tomorrow.
After coming back from the river safari, we spent some time relaxing at the pool and just had room service tonight for dinner. We have more excursions booked over the next few days, but the next ones will not be quite an early morning start as it was to get to the river today.
I’ve already started to post photos from our Costa Rican Adventure on my photo website here.