After almost a year since last seeing my parents, I was SOO excited that they would be visiting George and I in Costa Rica for 10 days. I had never gone that long without seeing them, and my mom and I were used to chatting on the phone at least once a week when I was living in SF. The calls were growing more distant and I was growing quite anxious for a visit.
We picked up my mom and dad (Pam and Joe) from the San Jose airport and hurried up to the mountains/cloud forest of Monteverde. We had booked a lodge ahead of time that turned out to be great for camping, but we didn’t realize they didn’t have such great rooms (sorry mom and dad!). But my parents were troopers and really got to see how we “live” on a day to day basis. We cooked together on our stove top, played cards under the awning as it rained, and soaked up the mountain air.
After spending three weeks in the rain forest/jungle on the east coast of Costa Rica, I have to admit I wasn’t too impressed with the cloud forest of Monteverde, although the region had beautiful rolling hills and there were an abundance of activities for adventure seekers which we definitely took advantage of!
First on our list of adventure was ziplining through the cloudforest. My parents, George and I had done ziplining before. Piece of cake, right? A little side note about my mom and I – we worry about everything that COULD go wrong when we have time to think about it, and in a mile long zipline, flying superman style, hovering HIGH above the cloudforest, there is plenty of time to contemplate all those not so pleasant situations that could occur. But fortunately the cable held, and we had the ride of our lives! 100% Adventura seriously has the most thrilling ziplining ever.
Then came the Tarzan swing. A free fall of about 140 feet before swinging out on a rope. Let me stress the free fall part because I literally felt like we were pushed off a cliff. But it was exhilarating and I am so proud of all of us for doing it! We didn’t get a video of this (thanks new GoPro for failing on us) but I swiped this video from the internet (click here!).
Next up was a coffee plantation tour which was SO interesting. I would highly suggest the tour we did at Cafe San Louis, which was a small family run coffee plantation. Some of the more interesting things we learned were that a majority of the small coffee plantations in Costa Rica are organic, and that really means that the coffee plants are grown in the midst of fruit trees and other plants which provide the organic material necessary to avoid using pesticides or mineral enhancements for the soil. It was so cool to see so many types of fruit, then a few coffee plants, then some more fruit trees, etc. We also learned about the different types of drying and roasting techniques, along with the ancient way of making coffee (AKA a lot of work for one cup of coffee!).
The next day we went to the Monteverde Cloudforest Reserve. It was spendy to enter and hire a guide – in retrospect we would have skipped the guide (George spotted the sole monkey we saw for the day, but my mom did get to check seeing a monkey in the wild off her bucket list!).
After spending time in the cloudforest, we were all itching to get to the beaches of the Nicoya peninsula. But first, a pit stop to fix our broken pop-top on Titus! My parents were kind enough to agree to the detour, and the owner of the shop, Luis actually dropped us all off at a local hot springs, Puebla Antigua, for the day while we waited. Turned out to be a lovely day! AND Luis and his crew did a fantastic job with the pop-top. Highly recommend Luis MotorshopCR for any 4×4 work.
After picking Titus up, as good as new, we headed for the Puntarenas Ferry to take us to Nicoya Peninsula. We caught the ferry just in time for sunset and the lighting was beautiful.
We decided on Santa Teresa for our base in the Nicoya Peninsula (mom and dad wanted off the beaten path!). It was definitely rustic and the beaches were some of the most beautiful we had seen in Costa Rica. We spent the days lounging on the beach, watching George surf, playing frisbee, and playing in the waves. The evenings we watched the amazing sunsets and navigated the dirt roads in search of food (I recommend renting ATVs to get around to avoid walking on the busy, muddy roads).
We took a few day trips from Santa Teresa. One to the hippy village of Montezuma and the waterfall there. We wanted to do a hike, and didn’t realize that the Montezuma waterfall “hike” was actually wading through water and jumping from rock to rock while hanging on for dear life to ropes and vines. Not exactly what my mom signed up for, so on my parents urging, George and I hurried ahead to see the waterfall. In heading back we expected to find my parents lounging on a rock along the path, but instead they were nowhere to be found…we lost my parents! I proceeded to do the entire hike 2 times looking for them before they turned up at the car. Turns out they decided to turn around on the hike and find some nice beachfront drinks instead of hike on. It was a classic parent/child role reversal of “mom/dad, where have you been?!? I’ve been so worried!” while my parents had a huge smile saying how they found a lovely BnB to have drinks at…they can always make lemonade out of lemons.
One of the highlights of our time together was a snorkeling trip we took out to Tortuga island. Some of the best snorkeling any of us had done with so many colorful fish, and the island was just beautiful! A relaxing and awesome way to sum up our time on the Nicoya Peninsula.
Mom and dad, thank you thank you for being so wonderful and supportive, for being up for an adventure, and being open minded. I credit my adventurous spirit and confidence in approaching the unknown to you guys and I love you guys more than you know. xo
See some more pics from our time with my parents: