Costa Rica, Day Three: August 17, 2014

We all woke up early since the sun rises early. Still no Internet. It was Sunday so we figured it might come back sometime on Monday…maybe. We went down to the tour desk to see if there were any partial day tours for today and full-day ones for tomorrow. The ATV won for today, leaving at 1:00. But first, breakfast in the little restaurant here.

I remembered that we had that other Internet outside Brian’s office and went outside there to log my iPad on with WiFi so I could give AT&T a pile more money and I could get more Global Data, just in case. Sneaky, huh? Turned out, it wouldn’t start until midnight on the 18th, but better than nothing!

Our driver came about 1:00 and we headed off for the ATV trip. This turned out to be a place that also has ziplines and such. We met up with another couple, Tony and Donna, before we headed off up and down unpaved, rut-filled “roads” When we left the Congo Trail Canopy place we visited two beaches: Penca Beach with white sand and Potreros Bay with dark sand), and had snacks at a beach bar. Michael later commented that we learned a lot about operating an ATV but nothing about Costa Rica. True!

Back “home” and found the elevators had signs on them that they weren’t working. Surprise! Tom and Michael went out for Subway subs. When they got back, there was a huge rainstorm and loud booms. We looked out and some of the rocks were coming off our mountain. Great – landslide!

We played some of the games I’d downloaded last night, then early bed. Tomorrow is an early day.

Western Caribbean Cruise, 2009


Day Four, November 18, 2009: Belize City, Honduras

Today’s Schedule!


From http://www.belizecruiseexcursions.com/BelizeCaveTubingZipLineExcursion.htm

Belize Enjoy two of the most exciting tours offered in Belize today, cave tubing and the canopy zip line excursions on your one day visit to Belize!

Your Zip Line adventure begins from the First Platform where you will “jump” from the first Platform to zip to the next Platform found 150ft away. Flying through the air surrounded by nature is the most exhilarating feeling ever encountered, the Ziiiiiiip birds and Howler Monkeys found onsite will be at eye level making you one with the prolific nature Belize is famous for.

The Zip Line Adventure consists of 8 Zip Line Platforms each strategically located within the Rainforest canopy. Double cables (each capable of withstanding 2,000 pounds of weight, the requirement for this tour truly has nothing to do with weight but with the size of the safety equipment) are used for the ultimate safety. All landing Platforms are equipped with safety gear, handrails and Guides to meet your next landing as well as to ensure your personal safety throughout the tour. The Platforms are as high as 85ft into the Canopy and as far apart as 250ft!


Extreme adventure with X-stream BelizeOn the second part of your exciting excursion you will then reach the Cave Branch System Welcome Area where you will be fitted with your life vest, (if you would like one) cave lamp and your tube.


The famous Cave WaveThe walk to the beginning of the first Cave Entrance is an easy gentle 30 to 40 minute stroll through the beautiful Belizean Rainforest. Your guide will take you through two dry caves where many stalagmites and stalactites can be admired along the way. Once we have reached our access point for your Cave Tubing adventure, you will be able to enter the crystal clear, refreshing river and enter the first cave. A picture of the first cave can be seen on our website but unfortunately the picture does not do the area justice as the cave entrance and color of the water is simply spectacular!

You will visit 1 full underground cave system (2 caves) within the Cave Branch System, you will also be guided to underground dry caves within the cave system, a treat only offered by our outfit, X-Stream Cave Tubing! As you approach the end of your cave tubing experience you will float through small fun rapids where you will pickup some speed and end the cave tubing ride in style, bringing you right back to the starting point of your Cave Tubing adventure. Tropical Fruits are offered following your excursion.

If a picture is worth a thousand words the following pictures should give you a great description of both tours.


jungle walk to the caverns

Belize tubing Jungle walk through cave

Trekking in the Belizean Rain Forest, an easy 30 minute walk with your tube cave tubing entrance

Walking through a cave on the way to the river for the cave tubing



belize cave tubing

X-Stream Cave Tubing Excursion

In the Rain Forest, an easy 30 minute walk with your tube to the river tubing entrance

Off we go on our Xtreme Cave Tubing Adventure



belize cave tubing easy river tube entrance

Cave Tubing  in Belize into the caves we go

Regular Cave-Tubing entry and our guides assist you if you need help

Floating through the Belizean underworld



Belize tubing floating in the dark

Cave Tubing Excursions, Belize

Exploring the cave system and various formations by the glow of the cave lights (head lights?)

The famous cave wave



Walking to the begining of the zip line excursion

Guide explaining how to zip line, jumping and landing instructions

The short walk through the rainforest to reach the first platform.

The Guides instruct the Zip method and explain the cables, platforms and itinerary. You can see the double cables.



Guide and test pilot hooking up safety equipment before zipping

Ziiiiiiip

Getting ready for the first jump to the first platform 85ft in the air!

Zip lining away!!!!



One of the zip line platforms, they are wayyyy up there

Group on one of the zip line canopy platforms

One of the many platforms found high in the canopy

Wayyy up!



Getting ready to repel from the canopy platform

Back to Earth safe and sound.  LET'S DO IT AGAIN!!!

At the end of the Zip Line Excursion you will repel from the last platform back down to Earth.

Easy does it. This is the experience of a lifetime!


Read the rest at http://www.cushingsonline.com/cruise/cruise2009.htm

Costa Rica

We finally got our plane tickets today – that makes it “official”.

We traded our timeshare a while ago for a place in Quepos, Costa Rica.  We had originally traded for Saint Martin but after reading the online reviews changed our mind and switched to Costa Rica instead. Neither of us has ever been there before so it looks like it will be really fun.

Here’s someone else’s video:

Some of the things that I thought were really neat about this place was that it was near to Manuel Antonio National Park, rainforests, volcanos,  ziplines and whitewater rafting.

Manuel-antonio

From http://www.govisitcostarica.com/travelInfo/nationalParks.asp

With over 615 wildlife species per 10,000 sq km, Costa Rica sits atop of the list as the most bio-diverse region of the world. Home to an incredible plethora of exotic and tropical flora and fauna, this tiny Latin American country is the habitat of 12 key ecological zones. With an estimated 5% of the world’s biodiversity found here, it is no wonder that Costa Rica is often referred to as ‘the living Eden’ by many scientists and naturalists from all across the globe.

In an effort to preserve much of Costa Rica’s natural beauty and surroundings, 25% of the country’s land has been set aside and turned into protective parks and reserves so as to safeguard the beautiful and lush environs from deforestation and logging. To date Costa Rica has 27 national parks, 58 wildlife refuges, 32 protected zones, 15 wetland areas/mangroves, 11 forest reserves and 8 biological reserves, as well as 12 other conservation regions that protect the distinctive and diverse natural habitats found throughout the country.

Home to a staggering 10,000 species of plants and trees, Costa Rica is also the home of over 850 indigenous and migrant birds, 205 species of mammals, over 35,000 species of insects, 160 species of amphibians, 220 species of reptiles, and around 1,013 species of fresh and saltwater fish.. This diversity and richness of nature and wildlife makes Costa Rica a truly natural paradise.

Deciduous forests, mangrove swamps, rainforests, herbaceous swamps, cloud forests, riparian forests, swamp forests and coral reefs are just some of the many habitats that are protected by the national parks and reserves of Costa Rica. Areas of geological and geophysical interests, such as active volcanoes, hot springs, caves and relict mountains as the result of plate tectonics setting; areas of historic and archaeological interest, such as battlefields and pre-Columbian settlements; areas of scenic beauty, such as beaches and waterfalls; and areas of conservational importance, such as islands where the brown pelican and magnificent frigatebird nest, or enclaves with the last remaining stands of Mesoamerican dry forest, or beaches where huge sea turtles flock, all fall under the protection of the national parks and reserves in Costa Rica.

Home to many endangered wildlife plant and animal species such as the Leatherback turtle, Olive Ridley turtle, West Indian manatee, Scarlet Macaw, Resplendent Quetzal, Tapir, Golden Toad, Jabiru and Ocelot, Costa Rica’s national parks offer tourists a wealth of diversity that was previously unheard of.

Some of the popular national parks in Costa Rica include; the Arenal Volcano National Park – with the country’s most active volcano; the Barra Honda National Park – with its Pre-Columbian limestone caves; the Chirripo National Park – home to Costa Rica’s tallest mountain; the Corcovado National Park – considered to be the most biologically intense place on earth; the Las Baulas National Marine Park – where millions of Leatherback turtles nest; the Turrialba Volcano National Park – with the largest volcano craters and the La Amistad International Park – which is a biosphere project.