Whilst in San Jose we also took a trip out to La Paz waterfalls. We weren't expecting to have so much wildlife on show. It was such a pleasure to walk through huge aviarys with toucans and parrots, into butterfly areas and tropical frog enclosures. The big cats were also on show. The birds will fly down and sit on your arm and you can be covered head to toe in butterflies if you are lucky although some were a little large and freaked me out a bit!
After you have explored the wildlife you take off on a series of trails discovering the waterfall at different stages also getting absolutely soaked at some of the vantage points.
After our stay in San Jose I was craving some more beach action and headed out to the Pacific coast town of Jaco. We were told to expect a tourist nightmare but despite being busy (we were there for New Year) the beach was never crowded and you only had to travel 15 minutes and you were into the quietness of the jungle.
The first thing that hit us was the heat, it had been warm everywhere we had been so temperatures up to 30oC hadn't phased us. Jaco was different altogether, every day was hitting 40oC plus and night was around 30oC. It took a good few days to get used to this and we did feel slightly exhausted!
New Years Eve was special, the whole of our guesthouse headed down to the beach just before midnight where people had set up bonfires and were playing music. At twelve a countdown started and fireworks lit up the whole sky for the next hour. Rather than an organised display this was very much a bring your own experience and huge rockets would take off all around you. We had to duck on a few occasions as health and safety wasn't high on anyones agenda here! Walking back from the beach the street parties started and firecrackers went off around your feet and the back of pick ups were used to launch yet more displays of fireworks. Definitely one to remember.
Whilst there I had my birthday and we headed into the jungle for a ziplining experience. 12 ziplines of varying speeds and heights took us from the jungle canopy down to the bottom. I enjoyed this so much, even Matt who doesn't really have a head for heights got the buzz. You can see me swinging from the tree tops on my instagram here http://instagram.com/luxxmint
The beach was our main focus of the days and we hired surf boards on a few occasions to practice what we had learnt a few years back in Brazil. You may remember my last attempt a few months back in Hawaii. (see here) The beach was perfect for surfing, the waves not too rough and the water not too shallow meaning wipe outs weren't painful!
Best of all was the sunsets, sitting on the beach with new friends and a local beer watching the coral red sun set. It really doesn't get any better.
Please someone take me back! I hope you enjoyed the photos from central america - has it made it on to your travel lists?