After three cold, rainy, crazy nights in Monteverde, we decided it was time to look for some sun and warmth. And what better place to go to than one of the most beautiful beaches in the world? From Monteverde we took a big touring bus to Quepos, with a short stop in the most ugly beachtown I’ve ever seen: Puntarenas. A long drive along the amazing coast line of Costa Rica! But not before we conquered our biggest fears by going on a night walk through the dark and creepy reserve at our hotel…
Night walk with Jonathan
Monteverde Inn was one of the very first places in Monteverde where you could do a night walk, but nowadays there are some other very popular places to do it. The concept is this: you wrap yourself in a thick sweater, good shoes and a rain poncho, guard yourself with a bright flashlight and follow your guide! Our guide was a tall dude named Jonathan, who deep-freezes cockroaches for fun and knows everything about every little creature in the reserve. On our hike through the trees, we saw some very impressive tarantulas, colorful birds, quick coatis and agoutis, a leopard frog, a giant stick insects, creepy spiders and the national butterfly of Costa Rica, the blue morpho. There were even some poemas in the forest, but we were not so fortunate to run into one. One of the hotel guests had actually seen one while jogging in the morning, but luckily for him it was so windy the poema couldn’t hear him coming. Can you imagine?! After almost two hours of walking through a pitch dark reserve, we returned to wrap ourselves in the thick blankets of our beds. Ready to conquer the next day!
Villa Jacana, our little piece of heaven
Upon arrival in Quepos, we took a taxi to my very first Airbnb: Villa Jacana. Owner Alex was very welcoming, even though we arrived about three hours too early. Our room had a lot of leakages due to the heavy rain, so Alex transferred us to another room in the main house. No problem at all, since we got the bedroom right above the swimming pool, with an amazing view over Quepos and the beach. Villa Jacana is located in a giant villa park in the hills just outside of town, so it was a very quiet area. The villa was absolutely amazing, although it looked like a hippie paradise when we got in. There were buddhas everywhere, candles, drums and just these things that you would think of if you imagine a home for hippies. Anyway, we had a nice, big pool, a giant open kitchen, a big balcony with a lounge set and a campfire place and a freezing airco in our enormous bedroom. During the day we were visited by several capuchin monkeys and in the evening, squirrel monkeys would give a show on Alex’ balcony. Absolutely a little piece of heaven! Well, I will let the pictures speak for themselves..
On our second day we took a bus from Quepos to the National Park Manuel Antonio. Of course, I did not have enough cash to pay the $16 (!) in colones, so we had to find some sort of ATM. Turned out to be three kilometers uphill! No way! After asking several shops for cashback, the final supermarket finally gave in. With just enough cash to enter the park, we followed the stream of tourists. We decided not to go with a guide, because that would cost us another $52 (!) and we could actually see every animal, just by following the groups. You see what? A spider? Okay, we’ll go to the next group, maybe they see something interesting. After hiking several trails through the park without seeing nothing but some screaming monkeys, we decided to give the beach a try. The beach was already filled with tourists, even at 10 in the morning. Right when we laid down our towels, two very brutal raccoons tried to steal our bags and basically anything that smelled like food. Even when I laid down on top of my backpack, the sneaky bastard grabbed my bag with its little paws. I tried to hit it with my flip-flop, but even thát did not scare him. He even fought with my flip-flop! After only fifteen minutes we could not longer stand the crazy raccoons, so we decided to walk along the beach and go back to the path. There we saw another beautiful beach at the other side of the trail. No raccoons! Only some poisonous trees (don’t ask me how) and an iguana. The sun was so strong I could almost smell my flesh burn, so after getting a ridiculous tan, we went back into the park. We took the Sloth Path, but we saw anything but sloths. Until a guide made his way back to the entrance.
“Excuse me, have you seen any sloths?”
“No dear, they are very hard to find. Very hard.”
“But I’ll try to find one for y… oh there it is!”
After only a few seconds this amazing sir had already found this lazy creature, even though we’d been searching for it for hours. With an expensive telescope we could see a little grey, furry friend hanging in the tree, doing what it was supposed to be doing… nothing. The guide even offered to take some pictures with our phones, so now we are the proud owners of a sloth picture! Eventually, our somewhat dissappointing day was actually pretty amazing!
When we got back to our villa and took a nap on the balcony, the housekeeping team started yelling at us. “Un perezoso, un perezoso!” After running this word through Google Translate I slowly looked up. And there it was, another sloth! Right above my head! It slowly tried to scrath his arm, while hanging upside down on a branch. So we had spent hours in several parks to find a sloth and then it miraculously shows up at our house. And not only a sloth, Alex also brought in a colorful red-eyed leaf frog! And with this big wildlife show and a lazy day at the balcony, our awesome trip to Costa Rica came to an end. On Thursday afternoon we flew back to Guatemala through some very thick layers of rain clouds. We were home again!