On this last day of February, it seemed like a good reason to share our last full day in La Fortuna and our departure the next day.
We woke up to another grey start, a light drizzle, but you could see the sun was trying its best to shine for us. Even so, a little rain won’t stop us! We headed to our last big breakfast up at the Tres Cascadas. So bittersweet, because we ended up having the sun shine during breakfast like it was meant solely for us. We were the only people there on the patio for a while, so it felt like a personal send off. All these different type of birds flew by and stopped at neighboring trees, like it was a parade. So special. We hung out at breakfast again for a long while, just no need to rush anywhere, felt so good. This day we decided to spend the whole day at the resort, to see everything and have a real fun lazy last day swimming.
Afterward breakfast we went down to the Perdido Springs area, where we played on the slide with the kids, then did our thing by letting them play on their own so we could escape up to the hotter pools. When we got up there I noticed that some type of wildlife, a monkey or something, had just foraged a meal and placed it on the edge of the hottest pool (where the vegetation was thick and out of the way). I saw little bite marks along with split open fruits/berries. It was awesome. We ended up staying in the pools for a long time, just chilling out, talking to some other guests and enjoying a drink. It was a beautiful day relaxing.
We had only made one plan for the day, to enjoy the resort, and we had yet to explore Club Rio. Club Rio is an outdoor adventure area, on The Springs property, about 2 miles south of reception. They offer kayaking, tubing, horseback riding, rock wall climbing, wildlife sanctuary, hiking, bird watching, etc. etc. A funky green bus picks you up outside of the main reception area to take you down to Club Rio. When you arrive, you are greeted by the main thatched check in desk, but the views beyond to the right are the coolest. There is this green lush lawn overlooking a raging river scurrying by. First we saw a team of tubers floating, then a bit later a handful of kayakers, super cool! Then to the left there was an open floor plan restaurant, and then beyond that were trails going in every direction then to the left of that were the lockers/bathrooms adjacent to this massive rock wall. This place was AMAZING!
The girls really wanted to go on the Wildlife Sanctuary Tour, cause they remembered seeing it on their website. This was a fantastic tour, and our guide made it special for my girls. So off we went hiking up this massive stair case that gave way to the grounds above. There was a natural styled habitat for each rescued animal, some like animals could be together, but there were many that just couldn’t be together. There were a lot of jungle cats, like ocelots, pumas, and margays. They had a float of crocodiles, too! HUGE ONES! They had rescued a lot of tropical birds, and a slew of monkeys. This place, sadly, was created to rescue animals that are either illegally taken on as pets, in zoos or used as performers with traveling shows and neglected or in unfit conditions. The weird part was the largest jungle cat, the puma, acted like a house cat because it was conditioned by its previous owner. So this giant cat would come up to the window wanting to be pet. Super crazy, and sad. Yet I wanted to take him home. smh. A few of their animals were rescued from the wild too, because they were ousted in their packs from injuries. They were all so beautiful, and happy there.
We were talking to our guide while we were inside the two-toed sloth’s home, yes inside!, that the girls really wanted to see the toucans cause they had both done projects on them at school, our 9yr old this year and our 11yr old two years ago. Well, that got him excited for our next leg of the tour. He told us we were about to go to their enclosure, but if we wanted, and for nothing, he would let us inside to feed them…lemme think…UHM YES!!
The girls went nuts, and we had the most insane adventure with these toucans. There were three in total, one more beautiful than the other. Their beaks are a marvel really. Perfectly colored. Huge. Their contrasting feathers were just amazing. The blackness of the base feathers compared to the brilliance of the yellow and greens, seamless and plush. Beautiful animals. The guide gave us a few pellets of food in our hands, and told us to open our hands a certain way so the toucan knew we had the food. First, our youngest tried it. The bird flew right to her. She was happy at first, but then when she looked at the creature she just freaked out! Hahah She held one bird only. Second, our oldest was given pellets, puts her hand out and a bird flew to her. She was in heaven and this bird was so happy to be with her. She was hooked, and got to feed all the birds multiple times. Third, I was given a handful of pellets. Gently this beautiful bird lands on my arm and eats. I figured that their talons would be sharp, but not even a little. They had the coolest blue colored feet. So, as one bird is on my arm, another bird perched himself on my SHOULDER! I was covered in birds. Haha Snow White strikes again! Then lastly, but not least, my husband was given pellets and fed two birds. He looked adorable holding them. Then we were able to take pictures with the birds as a group and alone, it was so awesome.
Best part was NOT ONE BIRD POOPED ON ME! Woo!
After the toucans, the tour was basically coming to a close. We got to check out the crocodile pit. They had five or six crocodiles that were rescued from a home. HUGE crocs! They built them a pit with fresh running water, and those guys were content beyond content. We were too, safely above! After the tour, we headed to our room to change and wash up for dinner. We had heard about another local restaurant that was supposed to be great, ironically the name of the place is The Rainforest Café haha, so we decided that is where we wanted to go. This place was locally owned and everything was made to order and super fresh. It was right off the main street, quaint, and soooo busy. So it had to be good right?
We ended up being seated right by the front window, so we could see all the passersby and feel the cool breezes. We ended up having such a great dinner there! The girls were happy because they had milkshakes (they are exactly my version of Venezuelan milk shakes, which is basically lots of ice, a cup of milk and a scoop of Nesquik topped with whipped cream!). I was happy because they had tamales, and good sauvignon blanc. We ordered a bunch of delicious dishes.. an empanada, a tamale, a chicken burrito, arroz con pollo e arroz con camarones. My oldest daughter and I lived off the rice dishes of the area; she loves shrimp, so she would be ecstatic to see that dish everywhere. I am drooling just remembering. No food eaten was salty or greasy, everywhere we went it was fresh, clean food. So ooOOOo good.
We hung out at this place till real late, the latest we stayed out our whole trip. Might have been a mistake since we had to leave the next day to meet our guide by 8AM back in La Fortuna. haha Oh well! We got back to the hotel, and I decided to pack up the room and let the kids go play in the game room with my husband. They were dying to be in there all the time, so I figured that left me free to make a big repacking mess getting everything in order. I am so glad I did that. I got everything packed, talked to a lot of my friends online and got myself showered all by the time my family got back. Boom. We enjoyed a drink when they got back, all cozied in the room, then crashed hardcore after that.
Ready for breakfast!
I SWEAR I DIDNT WEAR THIS DRESS ALL THE TIME!!
Bus to Club Rio!
There is a large river when you arrive
Waiting for our tour
He was so handsome!
Look at that beak!
Our youngest seems ok
But then she gets freaked out
Not our oldest! She was psyched!!
Even if I got the Snow White treatment…why do birds love me!?!?
Ready for dinner!
This is a lemon…it is green with a rich orange interior…
Arroz con pollo! I miss that rice!
Departing is such sweet sorrow…
We woke up at the crack of frack on our last day! That sunshine came too early.
We woke up to a bright blue sky that had wafting fluffy clouds. We got ourselves ready and out the door by 7:35AM. Said our last goodbyes to our resort guide, Dixon, before checking out. I was so sad. I just didn’t want to accept the fact that we were leaving yet. hah After we departed with Dixon, we stuck around a bit looking for that volcano to shed her grey exterior to show us her goods! C’mon, mamacita, show me what ya got! She teased me not only the four days there, but that entire morning, too. The breezes off the mountains were blowing the clouds in a pretty good clip off the volcano. The second you’d think the tip of the volcano would appear, another cloud swept over. I was tracking her the whole drive from our hotel to the restaurant where we grabbed coffee and breakfast to go.. uhm, from The Rainforest Café! haha We loved it so much there the night before, that when the owner told us they’d be open, we gave each other the eye and planned to be back! The best part of us stopping for coffee and food there was that when we left to go back to the car, we saw the Arenal Volcano in FULL!
She did not disappoint, and that cloudy tease was worth the wait! She was glorious in every facet imaginable, and the best way to say goodbye to us. 🙂 This made me so happy.
We got to the car dealership where Geiner, pronounced hey-ner, was waiting for us from Maleku Tours. We got packed in his van to make our way back to Liberia for the airport. Now all week back home was getting hit with snow, and a storm hit the night before, but we never got word about the flight until we were a few minutes into this drive back to the airport. The flight was delayed 2 hours, Boston had a delayed departure. Not the worst place to be stranded, I guess, but our tour guide had another group to pick up after our departure so he wasn’t available after a certain time. BUT. He was so great to us, because he changed up our drive with a view of some local sights; drove through some neighborhoods, stopped at a cool church and then brought us to the local super market so we could grab some food to eat at the airport. The supermarket might have been our favorite part of this drive back. First of all, it was clean and beautiful, but they had Latin music pumping loudly; you couldn’t help but dance and smile while picking out food. We happened to see a live recording of some local show in the bakery, which was funny to watch. It was all a fun experience!
We got to the airport, Geiner got our bags out of the van that last time, but before he left I made sure we got a picture together. I mean, we spent three days together on this trip, he was an intrical part of it! The airport, thankfully, was clean and had tables set up outside for us to hang out an hour or so before we went to the gate for take-off. We sat there playing games, enjoying our last 90F day in Costa Rica. It was sad but also comforting by this point to know we would be home soon. We did all miss home, too, even though this trip was tops. Well, that is it. We had a pretty basic plane ride home filled with blue chips and movies. We got to Logan by midnight, had a fun time maneuvering through immigration, then a talkative Uber ride home, and passed out by 2AM. Perfect. haha
At the resort…the volcano wanted to show off
I swear she will show herself
Outside on the highway…she is gonna show right?
And as we are getting into the tour van to go back to the airport..she shows herself!
Back on the bus!
We saw a cashew tree
Geiner! You were the bomb my friend!
Adios Costa Rica!
On the plane my husband drew the choc farmers dad!
That was Costa Rica. 🙂
Hope you loved following along my diary as much as I loved reliving it. We had so much fun learning about this rich country, and to see all the beauty it had to offer. I would love to go back one day.