Thursday, January 18, 2018

Costa Rica-- Pacuare River White Water Rafting

When planning our trip last minute there was one thing I knew I wanted to do.  I wanted to raft down the beautiful Pacuare River.  Thankfully our friend Ahndres Leon with Dinghy Expeditions was able to organize a trip for us.  Since it was a two hour drive each way we had to get up extra early for our 6:45am pick-up.
The hotel made sure to have breakfast ready for us.

Waiting for our transportation...

We were on our way in no time!
We hit some traffic along the way because this tanker had fallen over on its side.  By the time we passed the truck it had already been pulled back right side up.
The drive was really pretty and our anticipation grew as we approached the river.

After a refresher course on all the commands we were fitted with our life jackets and helmets.  
And then we were off!

The Pacuare River is a class III-IV which made it all the more exciting in my opinion!

After rafting for about two hours we stopped and had lunch on the property that 
belonged to one of the guides.
His place was gorgeous-- we could tell how much blood, sweat, and tears went into it.  The deck, the home, the chairs-- everything was made from wood floated down the river.
Look at that view!  There isn't a better place for a deck overlooking the gorgeous Pacuare River!
When we were taking these pictures it began to drizzle making the moment all the more memorable.

We enjoyed learning all about the property, the area, and the people.
It was neat to watch our tour guides cook us an amazing lunch.
These burritos were absolutely delicious-- my favorite thing I ate on this trip.
These hammocks were the perfect place for relaxing for a few minutes 
after lunch to let our food settle.

Fresh coconuts are the best!
On the second part of our trip we went through the canyon.
The ride was so slow and peaceful that many of us jumped out to float next to our rafts.
As the canyon opened up we were pulled back into our rafts to experience a few more rapids.  I think the best was saved for last!

Rafting was so much fun!  Though there are a few of us who didn't enjoy it very much, I think most of would do it again in a heartbeat!   

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Costa Rica-- Baldi Hot Springs

Many of us woke up with sore arms and shoulders from ATVing.  I'm not too surprised since I was holding on with white knuckles a few times!  Not to worry since today we were going to Baldi Hot Springs-- probably my favorite place in Costa Rica.  There we could spend the whole day relaxing our sore muscles in the different thermal pools filled with invigorating minerals getting waterfall massages.
On the way there our driver made a quick detour to Muelle so we could see the iguanas.  I spotted the first iguana and then before we knew it there was a gazillion of them.

It was fun looking as far as we could and still spotting iguanas in the trees.
We arrived at Baldi a little after 9am.  Most people come to Baldi for just a few hours and have lunch or dinner, but I found great prices on all-day passes including lunch and dinner.  Since this was our second time going, we knew we could easily spend the whole day there, so that is what we did.
One of the reasons I love traveling to Costa Rica is how few people there seems to be.  Christmas time is considered their high season and yet it never felt crowded.   The lines were nearly non-existent, and it truly felt like our own personal getaway.
Each pool is a different temperature, and they were so clean and crystal clear. 
The water slides are crazy fast!

My favorite thing to do is go explore each pool.  They are spread out all over the property and so you have to "hunt" to find them. Many times we were the only ones in the pool so we could float around on our backs or have swimming contests.
Sveta and Anastasia enjoyed doing this with me while the others were riding water slides.
Another thing I absolutely love about Baldi is how beautiful it is.

Many of the hot pools have cold pools inside them where you could take a refreshing dip.
It was very cold at first but my body craved these cold plunges every now and then.  It was exhilarating!

Adam and Rebecka
We call this water slide "The Toilet Plunge."  The boys like to stop themselves and walk around the bowl before jumping into the center.

Lunch and dinner were served buffet style in the Pavilion.
The food was delicious as were all the different fruit drinks.
We enjoyed sampling the desserts.

 Night time came way too quickly and it was time for us to head back to our hotel.