Costa Rica

Turquoise Dreams at Rio Celeste, Costa Rica

Original photos from February 2012.

It’s natural to want to explore the popular landmarks when you travel. But what Alex & I find even more exciting, are places off the beaten path, the places you have to yourselves. I read about Rio Celeste in Lonely Planet, which means it’s not completely unknown, however when we went... we literally had the entire steep hike to ourselves (aside from a few people we met at the waterfall). 

A little about the river from Anywhere Costa Rica:

Situated within the Tenorio Volcano National Park, the Río Celeste winds, tumbles and crashes through a verdant rainforest. A trip here involves a moderately challenging, one-hour hike through the park’s secondary forest – an effort that is well worth the trip. Two rivers merge into one at Borbollones, a confluence where the minerals from the river and volcano meet and subsequently create the famous blue hue.

In addition to the colorful attraction of the water, the river also has several thermal hot springs and a large waterfall. Dips into the pool at the base of the fall are popular, as are soaks in the hot springs; still, one needs to be wary of the hot water and boiling mud pots, and use caution while exploring the banks of the river.

The Río Celeste is best accessed through Guatuso, about an hour drive from the town La Fortuna. From the park’s entrance, it takes about an hour to hike to the Río Celeste Waterfall.

Expert Vagabond also has a great post about it: Fairytale Magic: Costa Rica’s Rio Celeste.

And just a note, we stayed at Hotel Cacao, where we were able to see a few frogs, including the colorful Red-Eyed Leaf (Tree) Frog!

Cloud Forests in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Original photos from February 2012.

It’s been almost four years since we travelled to Costa Rica, so it’s difficult to recall much detail. However, what I do remember, is the long, winding, unpaved, uphill drive to Monteverde during the golden hour, and the cicadas singing through the valleys below.

As expected, the cloud forests were green and lush. Our guide was great, educating us about the flora and fauna that surrounded us, as well as the history of the forests and their diverse epiphytes. The night tour was just as fun — amazing insects, frogs, birds, and sleeping sloths!

Thank you to the Monteverde Village Lodge for a lovely stay.

Playing in Playa del Coco, Costa Rica

Original photos from February 2012.

Following El Salvador, Alex & I headed south to Costa Rica with our friends Boris & Mui. The plan was to do some diving, so after landing in Liberia, we hopped in a car and headed to the coast.

Playa del Coco is such a small, intimate town, full of color, beachside dining, and music, it had us feeling like locals after one night! We stayed at Toro Blanco for a few days, dove with Rich Coast Diving (where Alex received his PADI Open Water certification!), and basically ate and drank our way down the short Avenue Central.