Friday, May 31, 2013

Costa Rica

Costa Rica was incredible... and, not just because we were finally relaxing in one place after a week of backpacking, hiking a crazy tall volcano, rushing to catch buses, crossing borders, etc. After an amazing, but crazy, time in Nicaragua... Costa Rica couldn't have been more welcoming! Costa Rica has the best of everything! Incredible beaches, lush, green jungles, lots and lots of wildlife, great food... the list goes on. 

Beautiful beach and a view of Manuel Antonio National Park

We spent hours and hours boogie boarding!

Building our sand volcano (exact replica of the one we climbed in Nicaragua)... haha

Soaking up the sun!

The seafood was unreal! So fresh and so delicious!

We were SO incredibly lucky to find the condo that we stayed at. We booked it the day of... and we were extremely surprised to realize what a gem it was. We had a huge kitchen, living area with couches and a tv, two HUGE and very nice rooms (so each couple got their own room), a tall tower you could climb up to overlook the ocean, outdoor seating area with grills and hammocks, a beautiful pool (that we had all to ourselves), etc. It was seriously amazing. And, still way cheaper than any average hotel room in America. We were so happy!

Our condo was above and beyond the places we are used to staying in! 

We had a private pool ALL to ourselves! Seriously! Pretty cool, huh?

Beautiful outdoor eating area with grills, and hammocks, etc.

On one of our days in Costa Rica we explored Manuel Antonio National Park. We hiked all around it and saw so much wildlife! We saw massive iguanas, dozens of monkeys, a few raccoons, lots of birds, etc. Austin and I love nature and animals. So, this was one of our favorite experiences from the trip.

Exploring Manuel Antonio National Park!

We saw dozens of monkeys so close we could have touched them!

Monkeys everywhere...

The crazy little things...

Standing under a little monkey

After we exited the National Park there was an area where a bunch of Costa Rican men in little boats were waiting in the mangroves. They didn't speak any english but they kept saying the word "crocodile", which piqued my interest! Anyone who knows me should know how obsessed I am with animals... but mostly large predators like sharks, crocodiles, etc. They scare me to death but I'm also obsessed for some reason. I love the thrill of danger! haha.

 Anyway, we paid a guy to take us through the mangroves and we were SO glad we did! As soon as we started paddling through we realized they were all around us!!! The guide (in his broken english) told us that the crocodiles were over 3 meters long... that's over 10 feet long!!!

The crocodiles came up to the surface of the water and just stared at us with their big, dark eyes. So creepy! It was the coolest feeling ever. THIS was my favorite experience from our entire trip! That's how much I loved it.

Our crazy guide even put his foot in the water to get the crocodile to charge, open-mouthed at our boat! He almost got his foot, too! It was crazy. haha.

Paddling through crocodile infested waters!

This crocodile was literally RIGHT next to me. We didn't use zoom on our camera.

So cool!

On our last night in Costa Rica we all went on a sailboat dinner cruise. We had unlimited drinks, a really yummy seafood dinner, we spotted some dolphins, we saw a flying fish and we just relaxed as the boat cruised all around! It was a really nice evening to end the whole trip on a good note. 


Kim and I watching for dolphins!

Me, Austin, Jesse and Kim! Travel buddies for life!

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