Monday, May 23, 2016

Costa Rica: Part 4

Our last excursion was on Tuesday. This was the day that part of our group (Jake, John and Vinnie) went White Water Rafting and the rest of us went to the Rainforest!

Both excursions were a lot of fun!

I've always wanted to go to the rainforest, so this was a really amazing day for me.The particular place we went was called Sensoria (Land of the Senses). It was literally on the side of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. Which happens to be one of 5 or 6 active volcanoes in Costa Rica. The tour was made to awaken all of your senses, so every chance he got, our tour guide made an effort to let us see, smell, taste and feel everything we could.

The drive there was long (over 2 hours) and only half paved. So it was pretty bumpy too! The scenery was beautiful though, so that made the drive a lot easier. Once we got further inland, the trees and grass were much greener and the temperatures were cooler and more humid.

Along the way, we drove through a wind-mill farm. Being right next to them, you could see how huge they were! The driver actually stopped so we could get out and feel the cooler air and stretch our legs. The volcano in the back-ground was beautiful to see as well. Costa Rica has 3 distinct volcano ranges. This range was the Guanacaste Range which is home to several volcanoes, including Orosi Volcano, Rincon de la Vieja and the famous Arenal Volcano. I'm not really sure which volcano this was, but it was beautiful.

Our second stop was in a little village along the way. We stopped at a bakery where we were able to watch them make coffee. We were also able to sample the coffee and some little cakes as well. It was all very tasty.

While waiting for everyone to finish up and take a bathroom break, a few of us waited outside, so I snapped a few pictures from outside the bakery.

As I said in a previous post, we saw a lot of stray dogs while in Costa Rica. We fed a few of them on the beach back at the resort and we met a few while we were here in this village.

They were all very friendly.

This one even attempted to hop on board the tour bus and go with us! Ha.

Sadly, he had to stay behind.

Finally, we arrived at Sensoria!

There wasn't much to it really. Just a covered banquet area with changing rooms, restrooms, a kitchen area and a gift shop. When we got there, we each got a locker and got our stuff together for the hike. We each got a walking stick and then the tour guide took us on our hike into the rainforest!

The hike was around a couple hours long I'd say, with a few stops to swim along the way. The sights, sounds and smells were all wonderful. It did rain for a short time while we were in there, but we didn't really get wet because of so much tree cover.

One of the first (and one of the coolest) things we saw when entering the rainforest, was this sweet momma hummingbird sitting on her nest.

I took this picture to show just how dense the forest was.

(Photo from our friend's camera.)

Then we made it to the Blue River, which was absolutely breath-taking. I mean, I saw the signs leading us to a blue waterfall, but I had no idea the water would literally be this blue! It was amazing. We were able to swim in it, which was really cool. It was freezing cold water though, but still so cool!

After our swim, we climbed back up the steep embankment and ended up at this look-out over the river where they had a snack prepared for us to eat. It was a nice cup of fresh fruit! Right before getting to the look-out the guide spotted a snake!

Thankfully, it slithered away and we were able to enjoy our snack among the beautiful scenery.

As we were leaving, we also spotted this pretty blue lizard. The colors of the rainforest are just stunning.

A few other things we saw that I didn't get pictures of was a snake eating a lizard, a beautiful Blue Morpho butterfly (I so wish I could have gotten a picture of it but it was too far away and moved too fast), a giant moth and a giant roach like bug.

We also swam in this beautiful warm spring. So relaxing. I could have stayed there forever. It was literally a tropical paradise.

(Photo from our friend's camera.)

This was one of our last stops on the hike. Once we were done swimming, we dried off and headed back to Sensoria for lunch!

After lunch, I walked around and took a few photos of grounds.

Once everyone was finished with lunch and ready to go, we started the trip back to the resort. On the way back, the driver stopped in this little town to let us get a few drinks. There was a man there with his horse, which I found to be so cool.

I also got a picture of a little church in the town.

We also made a pit stop at the same little bakery that we had breakfast at.

More stray dogs.

I can't pass up taking a photo of a pretty sunset.

On the way back, the driver also pulled over so we could get pictures of the volcano! It was so breath-taking.

We arrived back to the resort at around 7:00 I believe. It was a long day, but such a fun day.

I'm going to try and combine the rest of our trip into one more post, so stay tuned for that later this week.