The first thing that comes to my mind as I’m looking back at these photos is, “Adventure is out there!!” Waking up to the view of a volcano right outside your hotel window gives you a sense of thrill and awe. On top of that, when your plans for the day include going rappelling down cliffs and going white water rafting, you know you’re in for a real, exciting adventure. I mean, isn’t it obvious why Costa Rica is one of the happiest countries in the world? There’s so much to do and this place is just downright beautiful, it feels like paradise. Well, it is paradise. See for yourself-
The view right from our balcony-Arenal Volcano.
Rappelling is basically like rock-climbing backwards, if that makes sense. Do you remember rock-climbing at Boomers or the state fair when you were little and you could bounce off the walls on your way down? I remember how that was always my favorite part of rock climbing (strange considering the point of rock climbing is to climb up, not come down….hahah). Well rappelling is like the grown up version of the rock climbing wall, but SO much more exhilarating. I mean, just look at this.
It’s kind of difficult to see me in this picture but I’m close to the top of the green platform to the left of the waterfall making my way down what looks like quite an enormous cliff. Looking down, it looks super steep, but once you get to the bottom, you realize it wasn’t that bad. Except for maybe that part where the tour guide holding the rope at the bottom decided to sway the string and drag me into the waterfall because I was going too slow.Oh, and not just once. Twice. TWICE into that enormous waterfall dumping out cold water. And let me just say…IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!!! At first, I was screaming because I was like “What in the world is going on and why did it just get so cold? Then I could hear my sister laughing from the very bottom of the waterfall because the three people that had gone before me were all dry from tackling that cliff like they were Spiderman or something. After, he proceeded to dunk all of the other people (on the platform) into the water on their way down, and me and my sister even got the tour guide to get my mom underneath that waterfall too. Twice. Maybe even 3 times. Muahaha. We were all cheering, laughing and shivering in the end. The thrill of it all just makes you feel so young at heart.
Next on the list? White water rafting! We did class 2 and class 3 rapids down the Balsa River. This was our first time white water rafting and this seriously beats any roller coaster you will ever go on. It’s like a roller coaster in nature that you don’t have to wait in a long line for. So. Much. Fun.
Along the entire course of the river we travelled down, we saw tons of birds, iguanas, and even a sloth. Being surrounded by so much nature and wildlife beats any other theme park I’ve ever been to.
See where I’m going with this whole roller coaster thing? There’s unexpected dips and turns, you’re splashing, screaming-it’s just fun. If you’ve never gone white water rafting-do it and the amount of fun in your day will increase exponentially. I remember our tour guide really emphasized that we needed to synchronize our paddling, so we would have to count-my dad immediately took charge of this task, and kept yelling, “UNO! DOS! UNO! DOS! UNO! DOS!” for about the entire way down the river. At one point, we were just slowly cruising down the river and my dad was still yelling loud and proud, “UNO! DOS!”. Go Dad. So much spirit, haha.
Like I said, you encounter a lot of twists, turns, bumps, and dips. Some are unexpected. And sometimes you fall off. Well, this happened. (Notice how all 3 of us are happily laughing at my sister…this cracks me up). Other things that happened during our white water rafting adventure:
- the tour guide let me “ride the bull”, so I straddled the tip of the boat and clung onto the ropes for my dear life as we went down the river
- jumping off a small ledge and floating down the river…against the tour guide’s commands, my mom didn’t stand up to get back into the boat and just floated down the river like a rubber duck (“Mom, stand up! Mom. Mom!! MOM!”) The tour guide had to pick her up by her vest like a mother dog picks up its puppy. I think my mom honestly just preferred to stay in the water and let the current carry her…paddling is too tiring
- cork screw (dang, this is the best roller coaster ever. it’s like roller coaster and spinny ride in one. p.s. I really like my roller coaster analogy) down the rapids, so we were spinning wildly in circles, just round and round and round and round
- brought the boat close to shore so we could look at the sloth, walked to step back into the boat and fell flat on my butt. oops.
- trying to skip pineapples and watermelon rinds with all the tour guides and tourists during our break (why skip stones when you can skip fresh fruit?)
- attempting to race the other rafts that we had travelled with
- PURA VIDAAAA!!!
After our happily exhausting adventure, we headed over to an organic coffee farm to have lunch and drink some freshly brewed coffee. One of Costa Rica’s main exports is coffee, and it’s so cool to see where exactly your morning coffee comes from.
At the end of the coffee tour, we had some raw sugarcane juice. We pressed and folded the sugarcane through a machine that squeezed out all of the juice and it’s a sweet, refreshing juice. Afterwards, you can also chew on the sugarcane pulp to squeeze out any of the remaining juice.
And to wrap it all off-a shot of Cacique Guaro (made of sugarcane). Arriba, abajo, al centro, adentro!! Bottoms up!
Pura vida amigos ♥