Peter and I just got back last night from Monteverde, Costa Rica and we had a BLAST!
I must admit though, it did not start off that way. See, we bought a voucher off of Travelzoo.com for both of us to spend 2 nights at the Ficus Sunset Suites in Monteverde plus a canopy tour (zip-lining) for around $300.
We stayed on the bottom floor, and this was our awesome view!
Unfortunately, this was the only sunset shot I got before the clouds moved in. The hotel claims it has “the best sunset in town” so it was a shame we didn’t get to see a good one. You can, however, see the gulf from the Pacific Ocean from here. It’s the bright orange sliver.
We bought the voucher in September and decided not to use it until December so that we could have one last trip before returning to the states on the 18th. Plus, the voucher expired by December 15. We didn’t call to make the reservations through TravelbyJen (they were the ones offering the voucher on Travelzoo.com) until about two weeks before we left. We are sort of last minute planners. But it didn’t say anywhere on the voucher that we needed to make them within a certain time frame or anything. It actually said something like, “Buy the voucher now, and choose when you want to go later!” which is what we did.
When we did call to make the reservations, TravelbyJen’s super rude reservation/customer service guy told us that the voucher had expired. He said we had to reserve within 30 days of buying the voucher. Long story short, we argued with him for awhile, got attitudes back and forth, he seemed to think it was Travelzoo’s fault that it didn’t say that….anyway, it all worked out after about a week of going back and forth via e-mail with ‘Matt’ from TravelbyJen (never use them if you have the choice!).
We were just glad we got our reservations, the hotel was super nice and included a hot breakfast both mornings. Oh! And a yummy, complimentary pinacolada upon arrival!! I should also mention that to get there, we took the public bus (they are like coach buses) for $5 per person each way. It took about 5 hours to get there, and the last 2 hours was on a bumpy dirt road climbing uphill that was uncomfortably close to the edge of a pretty steep drop off… Our bus home was super nice though with air conditioning and a cup holder! What?!
Fancy drink holder.
Ready for take off!
Alright, on to the fun times.
We took the 2:30 p.m. bus from San Jose (the only other option was the 6:30 a.m. bus. Need I say more?) so we didn’t get in to Monteverde until 7:30 and we walked up this SUPER steep hill to get to our hotel that was close by. Let me just say that we walked a lot on this trip, and most of it was up and down hills. Actually, pretty much all of it was 🙂 Yay for natural exercise!
We drank our pinacoladas, settled in to our room for a bit and then headed off to eat dinner at a yummy restaurant called Morpho’s. Our food was delicious and we got a coffee ice cream ting for desert! We never get desert when we go out, so this was special.
The next day we woke up, ate breakfast, and were off for our canopy zip-line tour that was included in our package through Selvatura company. Peter and I had been zip-lining when we were in Arenal in January 2012 and were not really impressed by it, so we weren’t expecting much. We were wrong. Zip-lining here was amazing! The scenery was beautiful and they even have a zip-line that is 1km long! Peter and I had to go together because they said if one person goes alone then they will not make it to the end because they are too light! It was also actually fun riding down with Peter. On all the other zip-lines we rode individually. Great experience to share!
I should have mentioned that it was about a 20 minute, uphill, rocky ride up to Selvatura Park where they offer a lot of different activities, and once you are up there the shuttles only return during certain times to give you a ride back down the mountainside to your hotel. After zip-lining we still had a little less than 2 hours until the next shuttles came back, and we were wanting to go walk on the hanging bridges through the cloud forest anyway, so we decided to go for it.
One of the only pictures of us together. One of the drawbacks of traveling by ourselves.
This is what most of the walkways in between bridges looked like.
The longest bridge!
SO much dense forest!
Me, out on Bridge 4, the longest one!
Peter, just hangin’ out! lol
Can you see the person on the zip-line? This was the same one we did!
FYI, Peter and I both decided by the end of this trip that Monteverde is basically a tourist trap. If you go, it’s so far out of the way that you have no other options other than what’s available to you, and they know that, so they jack up the prices. Zip-lining was included in our package, so I don’t remember how much they posted it was to do that, but the walking bridges was an extra $25 per person! And that was with a $5 discount each! Don’t get me wrong. It was all absolutely beautiful, but if you visit just be prepared to spend a few bucks 🙂
After our zip-lining and walking the hanging bridges we were starving! So after the shuttle dropped us off at the hotel we headed off on foot in search of food. We came across this Tree House Restaurant that was very unique and the food was actually really good, too! I feel like normally when you find a restaurant that’s really unique, they are trying to compensate to terribly food. This was not the case here. Another win in the food category for our trip!
So much food! But sooo good!
This is the same tree spilling over off of the patio.
He was posing with the tree in the restaurant.
Peter gave the food two thumbs up!
On our stroll back to the hotel for a little food coma nap, we passed by this place called Extremo that offered different activities, one happenning to be bungee jumping. We talked about it with each other because Peter has been trying to get me to do this for years, but I’ve always been too scared. Peter mentioned how high it was and that it would probably be really expensive because it seemed like such a good jump. When we went in to get more information on it, they said it was only $60 per person!
Peter’s thinking: “That’s a steal!” (because it cost him twice that much to do a similar height jump in New Zealand)
I’m thinking: “Do I really want my first time bungee jumping to be a bargain buy?” I mean, you get what you pay for, right?
We walked away, talked about it some more. I have actually been thinking about trying ti lately, I just never thought I would actually get the guts up to do it! I think the last-minuteness of it was what helped us to decide……………..to do it!!! That was our special surprise to all of my fb friends visiting. Sorry for the suspense 🙂 !!
I was freaked. They were picking us up at 7:30 the next morning and my hands were already getting clammy! They actually still are just thinking about the anticipation. lol
I tried not to think too much about it. I knew I was going to do it. I’m not the type to back out once I’ve paid for something. 🙂 So Peter and I didn’t talk much more about it until we were up on the mountain and getting our gear on!
I also have to admit that we rode up the mountain in a car with about 6 or 7 other people, to which I thought, “Great! I can watch some of these other people go first and feel more at ease!” It turned out that Extremo also offers canopy zip-lining tours and ALL of the people in our van did that. So it was just Peter and I for the bungee….back in to the nervous state I went…
Us getting our harnesses on! Also, our ‘guide’, Danny, was trying to get this hummingbird to fly again that just flew into the window and looked a little loopy. that’s what’s in his hands! Poor thing!
Next, Danny and Andres got all of our necessary ropes and carabiners and we set off on the suspended cable car. Oh man, was this part freaky. It was really windy that day, so the car would sway a little. Also, if the two guide were on one side of the car, then there was a really bad tilt. I think it freaked Peter out more than me, though, because he is SUPER afraid of heights!!! Lol, go figure. I should also mention this was his FIFTH time bungee jumping!
Definitely do NOT look down before you jump….look out at the beautiful mountains instead! This is the ledge we jumped off….
Another taken after we had bungeed.
These are actually pictures taken after we had bungeed. Don’t we look so happy?! lol
This jump is the highest in Latin America, and the 4th highest in the world at 143 meters!
Below we have video from our helmet cameras for you to enjoy our fear 🙂
My bungee jump!
I like Peter’s video more because you get a better view. Mine, you just get to see my terrified face the entire time. Sorry!
Also, another thought I wanted to add: I couldn’t help but think about something my friend, Veronica, mentioned to me once, and that is that once you have kids you don’t feel right about doing things like bungee jumping or sky diving. It seems so selfish. I want to thank her for that, because I’m not sure if Peter and I will ever have kids, but I do think she is right, and I was definitely thinking about that during the whole ‘getting ready’ process. We get more conservative the older we get and a lot of that is due to things like having children. It would seem very tragic if you happen to leave them alone in this world because of a leisure activity…
I’m really glad we did it, but I can’t say if I’ll ever do it again. Once was enough for me! It also helps that it was such a beautiful place, and such a high jump! No need to go again anywhere. lol.
Here is a youtube video of an Extremo Bungee jump.
~Thanks for reading~