Nov 28, 2009

Finding Paradise in Costa Rica

Sunrise over Osa Peninsula rainforest 

Though I am a self proclaimed urban dweller and can talk for days about my favorite cities around the world (Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Prague, etc.), by far one of the most life changing destinations was the country of Costa Rica.  I took a short ten days in 2003 to escape the chilly Chicago April weather to jump in and out of questionable small planes, buses and boats to see the sites of what was then still fairly underdeveloped areas of lush rainforest, dread-locked surfer beaches and funky eco-hotels. 

My adventure began with the most take-your-breath-away taxi ride I’ve ever experienced, between the capital city of San Jose to the popular destination of the still active volcano, Arenal.
After horseback riding the base of the volcano, jumping into a harness to fly around the zip lines for a canopy tour and enjoying the rumble and fire shows of the erupting beauty it was off to the highlight of the trip, Osa Peninsula.  Osa juts out into the Pacific Ocean at the southernmost tip of Costa Rica.  The faint of heart do not typically make it this remote location in Costa Rica.  It took a white knuckled flight in a 12 seat plane, landing on a dirt strip in the middle of nowhere (after passing low first to shoo the cows of our landing strip) a bumpy ride in an old school bus through plantation fields and boat ride through a river, out into the ocean and around a bay until finding…paradise.

The rainforest, to say the least, is a humbling experience.  To walk amongst the intricate eco-system, one feels very small…and fortunate to be part of this beautiful world.  I will return, someday.

About the author:

Ashley Cole resides in Heritage Hill in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Besides running her interior design business, Ashley Cole Design,  she enjoys modeling, traveling the world, yoga, dance, photography and being a student of life.
Air strip in Southern Costa Rica
Arenal Volcano
View from taxi ride
Villa at Iguana Lodge
Arenal village
"Broccoli trees" - the leaves don't touch each other, creating an open space
between the foliage to allow sunlight through
Waterfall between San Jose and La Fortuna
Osa Peninsula rainforest tour
Mama and baby monkey hanging out
Osa Peninsula beach
Deck at Iguana Lodge


jLe said...

great pics and story Ashley!..thanks for sharing.

Laura said...

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