Well, let’s wrap up these Costa Rica posts, shall we?
I love reliving the trip, but all good things must come to an end! Besides, the faster I get these posts out, the more I can focus on the next trip – a weekend trip to Austin, Texas in June!
Costa Rica was short and sweet. It was a bit too short for our liking, but definitely worth it. When I first booked the flights, I knew the trip was going to be to short to do everything we wanted to do, but that definitely wasn’t going to stop us from going! Between work, family, friends, and all those other things on my list, it can be hard to find the time to travel. Now that my girlfriend is a full time high school teacher, and the kiddo is getting older and more involved with school too, I’m trying to take advantage of school vacations.
Unfortunately, everyone else is too, so the price difference between flying home on Wednesday rather than even one day later on Thursday was huge. We opted to save the Rapid Rewards points for a rainy day, and take the earlier flight home on Wednesday.
Our final stop in Costa Rica was two days in the Santa Elena and Monteverde area of the country. Known for its rolling hills leading up to cloud forests, the beautiful Central American country continued to impress me with every bend in the road.
As I hinted in my post last week, the road to Santa Elena can be a bit rough. Coming from La Fortuna, around the north shore of Lago Arenal, the road is paved for only about two thirds of the journey. The other third? A bumpy, rough ride that takes about the same amount of time as the first two thirds of the drive combine. I couldn’t go above 20 kilometers/hour, because we were getting nervous that the wheels would shake right off the rental car!
Once we pulled into town, the rest of the day was smooth sailing.
After 2 hours of winding mountain roads through the thickest fog I’ve ever seen, we made it to La Fortuna. The town’s claim to fame is the nearby Parque Nacional Volcan Arenal. Looming over town to the east, the volcano separates the town from the man-made Lago Arenal – an important source of hydroelectric and wind power for the country.
We had planned to visit the Poas Volcano on our first morning in Costa Rica. Only half an hour north of our hotel in Alajuela, we were going to get up early, drive to the National Park, and hike to the summit. On a clear day from the top of Poas, you’re able to see both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. There’s not many places in the world you can see both of those oceans at once, and we were really looking forward to the hike!
As luck would have it, the park was shut down due to a recent eruption! (Check out some of these articles for some information and neat pictures – 1, 2, 3) It was very cool to see the news stories, and talk with a few ticos (local Costa Ricans) about it, but we obviously couldn’t go hiking with the park closed. The government had even ordered the closest portions of Alajuela province to evacuate!
With Poas out of the picture, we changed up our road trip, and drove northeast out of Alajuela!
So by now, you know I was in Costa Rica last week.
And from my post Sunday, you know the trip was great. Maybe short, but still a great time. After flying into San Jose, the capital of the beautiful Central American country, we picked up our car and drove to the inn we snagged in Alajuela. We dropped off our bags, and drove straight into the heart of the city for a quick taste of San Jose.
Had to make sure a few things lined up, but I’m happy to say we’re planning our first international jaunt of 2017. We’ll be flying down to Costa Rica for a few days in April, just at the end of the dry season!
Hopefully by then we’ll have more trips planned too, but this is all we have on the calendar so far, so I’m extra stoked for this one. We’re going to try and squeeze another international trip in towards the end of the year if we have time, and I’ve got a few shorter domestic trips on the list for 2017 too.