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Costa Rica in 1 week

Sometimes destinations are not only chosen by where you want to go but also by accessibility. I remember clearly that a few years ago I was looking for a cheap short trip from Mexico to somewhere in Latin America. The most accessible flights (before the Rona) were surprising to Costa Rica. So, the decision was easy, great, I will spend a week in Costa Rica: Pura Vida, and all that. The more difficult part was now to figure out where exactly I wanted to go. The final plan I came up with was rather vague. I booked a hostel in San Jose and an Airbnb in Santa Elena, Monte Verde for 2 days. The rest was really up to me.

Arriving in San Jose I made my way to a hostel close to the airport to spend the night and start my trip the next day fresh in the morning. Only that it wasn’t that fresh because I noticed in the morning that my laptop had been stolen in the airport, which is never something nice to wake up to. However, I tried to stay positive, packed my things, and moved to the bus terminal: there was nothing more I could do about it than at least enjoy the country I am visiting now. The bus I took from San Jose to Santa Elena, Monteverde took quite some time, to be honest, a long time. I arrived late in the evening at this beautiful village in the mountains and had a taxi take me to my Airbnb ‘Finca El Paraiso’ since it was far outside of the village itself. The area around Santa Elena and Monteverde is known for its Cloud Forests, Forest high up in the mountains which are almost all day covered in fog or clouds. Here they put up hanging bridge trails, ziplines, and so on to host all kinds of tourists. I chose a natural reserve hiking trail, where I saw monkeys up close in the wilderness, and a hanging bridge trail where I took this photo.

Santa Elena also has a very beautiful village life, there are tasty cafes all around the main square of the villages and good, economic restaurants as well. Once I noticed that my time here is coming to an end I started figuring out a new plan on where to move to next, and rapidly was told: No buses are going back to San Jose from here, you can only take transportation to cross a lake to La Fortuna and then take a bus from there. So I guessed it's La Fortuna then. Early the next morning a small bus picked me up, drove me down to the Lakeside where we moved on a boat which took us over the most beautiful lake, flanked by huge, green volcanos and beautiful jungle surrounding it. On the other side, a taxi picked us up and drove us to the center of La Fortuna.

I was already deciding on how to move on from here when I noticed that this place is marvelous. It was one of the most luscious places I had seen in a while and once my hotel told me that they had private hot springs included in a partner hotel I took my swimming suit and went there to enjoy the rest of the day in peace. The same evening, I took a deep dive into the activities offered there and what else I could visit, preferably in one day so I book myself the perfect tour. It was the first guided tour I did on this trip and with 99 USD quite expensive, but worth it. It Included: a volcano hike, visiting the waterfall La Fortuna and in the evening cocktails in a natural hot river.

After closing my time In Costa Rica on this note, it even hurt a bit to leave the natural places I have seen, the people I got to know behind, and move back to the Airport of San Jose.

I know most people when visiting Costa Rica want to see the beaches and the jungle close to there and that is exactly why I chose a different route. I knew that I wouldn’t have the time to see everything, so I preferred seeing the Cloud forests and nature. In the end, I think it turned out quite a nice tour, considering that moving on public transport was not the easiest in these regions.

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