Rincon de la Vieja, Costa Rica

While It may not sound like much, I have spent 1% of my life in Costa Rica. This small Central American country is one of the most important places in my life, and I have not been back for 7 years. It is a place I never get tired of, and always find it wonderful to return. Even after 6 or 7 trips, I am still finding new and amazing places to visit. This trip I went to the jungle around the northern volcano of Rincon de la Vieja; northeast of the city of Liberia. Getting there meant a short but bone-jarring drive in an SUV (that was supposed to have 4WD, but didn’t).

Blue River gets its distinctive color from minerals

Blue River gets its distinctive color from minerals in the water

The area is filled with volcanic hot springs, and abundant wildlife. Thanks to its elevation it is mercifully mild, even though it is so geographically close to infernally hot Liberia. I saw monkeys and a flock of more than 20 toucans.

The area is filled with lots of activities. I rode horses to a nearby waterfall and went zip-lining 120 feet up in the canopy. While I am not generally afraid of heights, the craziness of the idea of zip lining definitely hit me full force. But after gaining a little bit of experience I felt like an expert after the 10th run.

I chose Rincon de la Vieja in part because I wanted to avoid the well beaten tourist path in Costa Rica, but it is also worth mentioning the Arenal volcano, which had been spewing lava daily for decades, has all but stopped. Also, I chose this more remote location because what was once a long trek through the cloud forest to get to the entrance to Monteverde, has now become built most of the way to the park. Rincon de la Vieja feels 10 times more remote.


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