Necessity lead Wendy Avis of Warkworth Ontario to an excellent adventure in Costa Rica as seen in our first post. In fact, Wendy had a set of superb choices for vacation activities in Costa Rica. She could travel to the Northeast where the Sarapiquis. Rain Forest and Tortuguero National Park each would provide unique fauna and flora of the rain forest jungle or the Caribbean shore and palm tree estuaries.
Waterfalls in lush forests are everywhere along the Central Valleys
Along the central valley spine, Costa Rica hosts two volcano parks with tours to the Arenal Volcano Caldera in the Clouds and LaPaz Waterfall Gardens being some highlights. To the Northwest, Monteverde offers rain forest tours traveling along ziplines among the treetops. To the Southwest Manuel Antonio National Park offers some unique Pacific Ocean vistas.
However, Wendy is an avid equistrian, so her choice for vacation time was to go riding in the hills along Costa Rica’s central spine while taking in the volcanoes and some of the tropical gardens. Wendy’s pictures show the challenge of horseback riding in the Costa Rican hills:
One needs to be reasonably accomplished horse rider to match the challenges of scaling the Costa Rican slopes. But as you can see from Wendy’s pictures there are generous rewards with some superb views. However, the tropical milieu can throw in either a rainstorm or some hot weather. In either case there are convenient rest stops with swimming holes to relax and cool off.
One of the surprises of the central mountains are the volcanoes tug of war with the encroaching jungle. Despite erupting just over 40 years ago, the green of the jungle is already marching up the volcano hillsides. Even the Caldera in the Clouds is surrounded by advancing greenery and foliage. While further down in the valley, the Arenal and LaPaz waterways provide lush trails, garden views and spectacular tiers of waterfalls:
[wowslider id=”15″] The Arenal Volcano Park had not only wonderful trails and views but beautiful floral blooms everywhere. And there are pools and restaurants for relaxing or ducking out of the morning showers.
Wendy took in a number of other Costa Rican sites and tours. A big part of the economy is boosted by exports of sugar cane, bananas, cut flowers and coffee. On two of the tours, one got to see the sugar cane and coffee processing as follows:
[wowslider id=”19″] Despite having a per capita GDP of $13,000 compared to Canada’s $43,000, Costa Rica’s tropical climate and spirit of self provision reduces the disparity. Also income./wealth inequality in Costa Rica is not nearly as bad as in North America.
Wendy was in San Jose for the big sporting event in Costa Rica of the past 4 years, as the Ticos beat Mexico and therefore qualified for the World Cup in Brazil in June and July of this year. Wendy also took in the San Jose and Limon County Great Rodeo a small part of which is seen here:
Unfortunately Wendy’s camera didn’t capture some of the other Horseshow events which we are assured “were also great fun”.
Dental necessity took Wendy off the beaten path of Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic or other traditional Caribbean islands for a winter vacation. But as you can see from the photos and videos, a vacation in Costa Rica has a lot to offer Canadians looking for a respite from increasingly wicked Winters.