This next chapter took place in La Fortuna, one of the more touristy areas of the country, but no less beautiful or fun 🙂
Day 4: Hanging bridges hike + Arenal volcano hike + La Fortuna waterfall hike
I woke up earlier than Michelle, and opted to take a walk around the neighborhood. Our cabin was a bit removed from the touristy strip of La Fortuna, and it was so nice seeing the colorful houses of the natives, their livestock, and their dogs (so many dogs in Costa Rica!)
After a big breakfast, we were off to the Hanging Bridges park for our first hike. The park was super pretty. The hike wasn’t bad, but my sore calves from the previous 2 days made it more difficult than it needed to be. There were six hanging bridges in the park. I have a weird obsession with bridges…I even took a course in college about the physics behind them, so this hike was my nerdy dream 🙂
Came across this beautiful waterfall.
View of the Arenal volcano from the park.
Afterward, we went straight to the Arenal volcano nearby for our second hike of the day. This one was relatively flat with less spectacular views, but it was refreshing to hike on some different terrain and see the volcano from different angles.
We were pretty pooped after the two hikes, and grabbed some lunch at a restaurant near our cabin. Feeling ready to go and to tackle our third and final hike of the day, our car broke down…
Thank God for Michelle’s Spanish and the nice locals or else we would not have been able to get the help we needed!! Happy again with how we kept our cool in a not-so-ideal situation 😛
Given the time it took to fix the car, we knew we were cutting it close to make it to the third hike before the park closed. We booked it and made it with just 30 minutes to spare!! Michelle and I literally RAN the entire trail to make it to the waterfall. We were determined to get a swim in and see it for ourselves!
The trail was estimated to take 20 minutes, and we made it in 6…HA! SO. WORTH. IT. This easily makes the top 3 favorite travel moments with Michelle. So beautiful, relaxing, and situationally hilarious. Thank you to the nice park ranger for taking pity on us and letting us splash around a bit longer!
A relaxing evening afterwards of swimming near our cabin, eating a nice dinner & drinks, and roaming the town 🙂
Day 5: Canyoning + cliff diving adventure!
We signed up for a fun canyoning/cliff diving tour for the day. Our bus brought us to a remote location approx 45 minute from central La Fortuna. On the bus, I befriended a nice guy from San Francisco who is also a triathlete! The ride went quickly as we chatted away about training/races :).
The tour itself was such a blast and had a ton going on. Cliff dives ranging from 10-30 feet, rock climbing, rappelling, swimming, rope swings…an adrenaline junkies dream 🙂
Our group was a lot of fun. I was so happy this tour group took pictures for us – it felt great to be in the moment and not worry about carrying electronics for a few hours :).
Afterward, we hit the road to our final destination. Another 3+ hour drive, but this time in the afternoon, which was so nice for seeing scenery.
We got to the Guanacaste province around 5pm. We had an Airbnb booked in Coco beach, but of course, as bad luck follows us…our host was no where to be found. We couldn’t locate her house or reach her via email/phone. We were stranded!
And so, Michelle and I split. Since Michelle was the Spanish-speaking one, she went off to walk the neighborhood with a new friend we made and ask the locals about our host. I stayed on the beach and watched our car. For a stressful situation, I was weirdly at peace. It’s hard to be too upset when you have a lovely beach view at sunset.
Everything worked out when our host FINALLY answered us a few hours later. Phew! We enjoyed a well-deserved dinner in town, and then headed over. Our host was such a ball of positive energy. Costa Rican’s life motto is pura vida, which translates to pure life, or cheers/take it easy! And our host really embodied that and made us want to live the same for the remainder of the trip.
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