Wildlife vs. Waris

My adventures with my family in the forests of Costa Rica

Ravishing rainforests, breezy beaches and welcoming wildlife made Costa Rica an all in one package. My family could participate in many outdoor activities feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and sometimes worn out, but it didn’t matter.

What made this trip even better? The fact that I could come to my hotel after a long day of exploring and watch all of the Harry Potter and Pirates Of the Caribbean movies on Netflix, which we lacked back in the states.

During our short time there, my family and I had the privilege to tour the main things Costa Rica was known for: rainforests, volcanoes, wildlife and the beaches. On these tours, my family would wake up around 5 a.m. and then head down to the entrance of our hotel to meet our guide for the day, along with other families that would be joining us for the tour. 

One of the many waterfalls in the rainforest.
One of the many waterfalls in the rainforest.

On the first day, we planned to visit the rainforests and waterfalls that Costa Rica was best known for. Before we could, our guide took us to one of his favorite restaurants in which we had a cultural breakfast: scrambled eggs, rice with beans, coffee (which the country was well-known for), and plantains. The food was good, but the location of the restaurant was better. At first, I thought that we were going inside a garden which slowly led into this big rainforest which we would explore upon finishing our breakfast. But we were in for something better. 

If anything could accurately portray what I saw and what was going inside my mind in the rainforest, it would be scenes of Tarzan. It was just amazing to see how all of these animals were living harmoniously, unlike how they are perceived to act in the wild. My favorite encounter with the wildlife of the rainforest was while I was exploring the forest and took a quick glimpse at something bright red on a tree, which I first thought was a deflated heart balloon, but it was actually two parrots keeping each other warm.

The view at the top of our trail.
Our view at the top of our trail.

For the other part of our trip, our tour bus drove up the steep, snow-covered mountains. It was breathtaking, literally. The change in altitude made me struggle to catch my breath for a while, but I was able to get the hang of it. During the hike, my not-so-active family could barely make it to the top without thinking about giving up. Looking at the elderly trailing behind us didn’t help either, since they didn’t need as much effort and breaks as we did. But to save our reputation, we continue to trudge along the muddy steps all the way up to find ourselves face to face with clouds, and underneath them, what appeared to be a dormant volcano. 

I was truly astonished by the fact that such scenery even existed. At the railing, I put my hand out into the abyss of clouds which swallowed it whole. If it weren’t for other tourists crowding around the area, this would have been an ideal location to clear out my mind.

On our other tour, we took a four hour ride to the beaches of Manuel Antonio, where we wouldn’t have gone if it weren’t for International HGTV, which inspired my parents to visit it. It was like a typical beach: white, soft sand, and frequent cool breezes. But, unlike most beaches, we had the opportunity to interact with the monkeys hanging from the palm trees. Due to their curious nature, the monkeys would sometimes jump off of their trees and attempt to steal people’s shoes, food and whatever that wasn’t guarded. So, there’d be frequent screaming and chasing whenever a monkey would attempt to take something, a very entertaining scene to watch.

Costa Rica had something for anyone, those who enjoyed hiking (unfortunately not us), cultural food, exotic animals, or even just lazy days at the beach.