Day 2: hiking in Manual Antonio National Park + a relaxed evening in Quepos
We woke up in our last-minute cabina, and headed straight to our original hostel to finally check in. We opted to return instead of stay in the cabina since 1) the hostel was cheaper and more social, 2) free breakfast 3) a pool!
After a light breakfast, we drove a short 15 minutes to Manual Antonio National Park for a day of hiking and seeing some wildlife.
The park itself is pretty small, but super gorgeous with some hikes right along the beach front.
It was a bit man-made up: the park was basically one huge outdoor stair-master, and the look-out points were alright. But we still had a blast hiking every single trail (literally), taking silly pictures, and getting in a crazy calf workout from all the stairs!
Spotted tons of monkeys. So cute!
Nothing more refreshing than fresh coconut after 5 hours of hiking!
We were famished after the hike, and had a late lunch back in Quepos at a cute and yummy family-run spot.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing by our hostel pool, making some new friends with the guests, drinking beers, taking walks around the small town, star gazing, and enjoying the beautiful, warm night in Quepos. Absolute perfection <3.
Day 3: special car guest + bungee jumping + hiking Monteverde cloud forest + sunset drive
Michelle and I were up bright and early to hit the road for another long day of driving. We had two 4-hour stretches to cover, with bungee jumping and hiking to cut the drives in between.
During breakfast, our lovely new friend who helped us find the cabina the first night mentioned she was on her way to Monteverde as well, and so we gladly gave her a ride! She was a fresh college grade travelling Costa Rica for a few months on her own. We chatted away about her adventures so far, life stories, and everything under the sun. It’s so refreshing new meeting people on the road, and it was such a treat to have some company on our ride :).
After dropping off our friend and saying goodbye, Michelle and I headed further up the mountain to our bungee jumping spot. I’ve been wanting to bungee jump for the longest time, and figured Costa Rica’s Monteverde forest would be be the perfect spot for it. Super high in elevation, remote, beautiful views…I was so so pumped.
Michelle didn’t want to jump and so she watched from below as I got in the cable car with the guides. I was surprisingly not scared…I love heights/roller coasters/adrenaline-inducing things. The guides were so friendly and made me feel at ease.
I did find myself very scared when I was on the edge ready to jump. The guide encouraged me to not hesitate, and just go for it. I knew if I waited, I may never get off the ledge. I took his advice, and after approx 45 seconds of making excuses, I JUMPED!!!
It was beyond surreal. The experience was so quick, and for the brief two seconds of free-fall, I felt so in the moment and just wanted to keep going and going. The sudden rope pulling back up was a bit jarring, but I enjoyed the few iterations of falling and coming back up afterward. I think the scariest portion was just hanging there afterward for what felt like forever. I was so nervous the ankle rope supporting me would slip, and I got a bit anxious trying to grab the rope to pull me up.
And just like that, crossed off bungee jumping on the bucket list!! A++ experience that I would gladly do again 🙂
Afterward, we headed to the actual Monteverde cloud forest for some hiking. It was a cool day and lightly raining, but that didn’t stop us :). The forest was super neat: the highest point was literally in a cloud!
My calves were definitely feeling the effects from the previous day’s hike. This one was a struggle! We covered main loop of the park in roughly 2 hours.
Afterward, we hit the road for our second 4-hour drive. Since we were on a mountain, the ride up and down was pretty rough. Super bumpy, hilly, and wind-y. Our car was in pretty roughed-up shape afterwards. The silver lining was that the views were killer; being on the mountain at sunset was nothing short of breathtaking <3.
We enjoyed the views, listened to music & comedy tracks, stopped for ice cream, and before we knew it, we made it safe and sound to a lovely cabin in La Fortuna. The night ended with a dip in the pool under the star 🙂