Published: August 7th 2012August 7th 2012
Finally made it to Monte Verde! I arrived early afternoon and stayed at Pension Santa Elena. It's a nice little place owned by a couple from Austin, TX. I tried to book a horse back riding tour to the cloud forest but everything was booked. Instead I went zip lining through the cloud forest. So awesome! The canopy tour in Costa Rica was much more exciting than the one I did in Nicaragua. At one point it started to rain while zip lining through a canyon. I could feel the top of the rain drops hitting my face, it felt like I was going through a cloud of needles. Later that night I did night hike to the cloud forest where we got to see many nocturnal animals and insects. We saw monkeys, sloths, exotic birds sleeping, giant insects, and tarantulas. The next day (realizing I've been spending too much money) , me and another guy from Switzerland walk to San Luis Waterfall. It was a bit farther than we thought so we ended up walking about 12km from the hostel to get there not to mention the hike to the waterfall during the rain. It was definitely worth the trek!
And after the mission there we had to reward ourselves by jumping into this ice cold waterfall!
I took the 6am bus to Montezuma the following day. Surprisingly, I ran into Georg at the bus stop and we are traveling together again. About 8 hours of traveling via bus-ferry-bus we got to Montezuma. Montezuma is in summary, a super chill beach village. There is not much to do here if you don't like the beach but for us, coming from cold mountains, the beach was exactly what we wanted. There is also a chain of three waterfalls that you can hike up to and jump off from. The larger one being a 40ft jump from the top of the waterfall. This was probably one of the few things in Costa Rica that was free. Being fed up with the Costarican economy taking advantage of tourists and paying a premium price for everything, Georg and I decided to head to Panama as fast as we could. Unfortunately, the border closes at 6pm so we spent our last night near the Panamanian border in Puerto Viejo.
Puerto Viejo was actually a lot of fun! We stayed at Rocking J's hostel
sleeping on hammocks and going to the local bars at night where we met one of Georg's friends from college in Holland (Anna). The 3 of us fled to Panama in the morning with hopes to save some money on our last leg of travels.
The first destination was Bocas Del Toro. It is a series of islands off the Caribbean coast in northern Panama. We wanted to stay at Aqua Lounge (a floating hostel near the main island) but they had no vacancy. Instead we stayed at Mondo TaiTau which was an awesome place. Our first day in Panama it rained all day so we pretty much drank with the other backpackers all day. Day 2 was more eventful. We booked an all day boat snorkeling trip that took us from island to island. We witnessed some colorful corals, fish, and apparently Anna saw a shark. We partied at the Aqua Lounge later that night where they have swings and trampolines going into the sea at the bar. The following day Georg had to take the bus to Panama City to catch a flight to Canada. Anna and I decided to make a stop in the cloud forest
jungle lodge (Lost & Found Lounge) for a couple days before heading to Panama City.
There are more photos below