Maximum adrenaline in Quepos
Costa Rica has many places to visit and each region is absolutely different. It has dry forest and cloud forest, beaches and rivers, wetlands and estuaries. All of these areas have unique sights, fauna, and flora to offer its visitors. My first trip to sightsee in Costa Rica was to Quepos in the province of Puntarenas. This area is known for being in close proximity to Manuel Antonio National Park, the smallest national park in Costa Rica.
I started my trip there extremely early at about 4:30 am. From where I am currently living in the Guanacaste province it is a 9 hour ride that included 3 different buses and a ferry ride. When I finally arrived in Quepos, there was a light air of party and festivity: it was time for Feria! It is very common in hispanic countries to have parties and festivals around spring time (or at other times during the year, basically latinos find any excuse to party). In Quepos, they were having a festival which included a tope (parade of people riding horses) and a large festival site with animals, rides, and food. The night I arrived, I was able to watch the tope from my hostel and drink some beers and relax.
I stayed at the Wide Mouth Frog in Quepos and I highly recommend it! The place is pretty quiet so it allows you to rest at night and its pretty close to a grocery store and bakery for all your food needs. The hostel offered free coffee, tea, iced tea, and oatmeal in the mornings. You were also able to purchase an additional plate with eggs, gallo pinto, and toast for a small price. They also have a lot of specials with local tour groups and can make the arrangements to get those tours booked.
With my hostel I booked a zip line adventure and a catamaran tour. The zip line tour was with El Santuario which boasts one of the longest zip lines in Costa Rica. The hike itself was amazing. I chose to go in the early tour which started at 8 am. I would suggest going at this time because it’s cooler and it gets progressively hotter as the day goes on. The amazing part was that I was able to do both an upside-down and spinning zip line. The feeling of flying through the trees was amazing and I recommend it to everyone. The sights from the hike up to each platform was breathtaking. The tour includes water along the way, fruit, and a typical lunch afterwards. Another perk that comes with the tour is that they pick you up and drop you back off at your hotel. Overall, I would recommend this tour if you want to have an adrenaline filled adventure with a nice view (Check my video here for clips from my zip line adventure!)
After the zip line tour, I went back to the hostel, changed, charged my electronics and headed back out to a catamaran tour. The company I used was The Ocean King which is, quite frankly, the king of catamarans. The sheer size of the catamaran is jaw dropping: itincludes two hot tubs, two water slides, and a fully decked bar. The catamaran starts out by giving you some treats and fruit and explaining the route you are going to be taking. Once the boat is out of the harbor, the bar opens and you are allowed to start ordering drinks. You start by heading towards Manuel Antonio National Park and they explain some of the parks history and how it is set up. You then start heading out into open waters in search of dolphins. Now my expectations were very low for this because, after all, the dolphins are wild and they can’t exactly promise you will see any. But to my surprise, 10 minutes from where we started a pod of dolphins started playing and swimming around the catamaran. They really enjoyed the waves made by the boats. Something that I really enjoyed was the environmental pitch they voiced while everyone watched the dolphins: they emphasized how we couldn’t stay more that 15 minutes in order not to disturb them, how they belong in the wild and not in a cage, and how we can do more to protect them. It is really amazing to see tourism companies really emphasizing how important it is to take care of the environment. We said our good byes to the dolphins and headed towards a small inlet inside of Manuel Antonio where we did some snorkeling. I jumped in the water first (ahead of 40+ people) and headed straight to the small rock where you could see the fish. Visibility was amazing! I was able to see a great number of different species including some butterfly fish, sergeants, and even a zebra moray eel! I then headed back to the catamaran for some adrenaline which included jumping off the second floor into the water and also partaking in the water slide. There was also dinner being served which looked really good, but I skipped out on. We then started sailing around waiting for the sunset which was amazing and very romantic (even when you are by yourself, I still enjoyed it).
That night I was a happy camper and the only thing left was to wake up really early to go to the park and hike. Unfortunately, I was unable to do this because it was down pouring when I was supposed to go, which by the way was the first time I’ve seen rain in Costa Rica. My bus left at noon and I was incredibly sad that I couldn’t make it to the park, but that just means that I have to go back!