I was lucky enough to spend my 40th birthday in Costa Rica, thanks to an extremely genrous and thoughtful husband!
It was a day packed with new and eye-opening experiences.
It started with waking up near the Arenal volcano, which looks like this when it’s not hidden by clouds and mist:
Apparently there’s only a 30% chance to see the top of the volcano on any given day. We were lucky!
Our cabin was the one below with the yellow stairs. In this picture the mountain is completely hidden. There were a multitude of bird calls and birdsongs in the morning. Although the birds like to stay hidden in the trees!
In the morning we went on a boat tour of the Rio Frio. We not only saw a sloth, but we saw it eating! It was slowly munching on leaves, complete with its endearing little pink tongue. It didn’t even seem concerned when a lizard jumped on and off its belly, like a launching pad.
We saw quite a few howler monkeys up in the trees. We also saw a spider monkey, which are apparently rare to see, but s/he was too quick for me to snap a picture!
After lunch we spent the afternoon at the Baldo hot springs. Picture 20-something swimming pools of various sizes with water varying in temperature from 20-43 degrees Celcius. Just like a bathtub! It was quite relaxing (although some of the pools were too hot for me!). There was also a semi-scary waterslide that launched you out at the end like a cannonball. Once down that thing was enough for me. (Remember, I’m old now!)
There were a number of bars throughout the hot springs which was also a redeeming feature.
After the hot springs it was good-bye to our cabin at the base of the Arenal volcano and hello to the lovely San Bada hotel. These little bats decided to perch outside our front door every night. We didn’t see them outside of any other door. I wasn’t a huge fan of bats, but these guys were cute! Except for the copious amount of guano they left on the floor below each night…
This was the view from the front door of our hotel:
Every morning at 5 am sharp we were awakened by birds and howler monkeys. I didn’t mind. How often am I woken up by monkeys? Oh, wait–I have two smalll children…
My 40th was so memorable and inspiring: amazing views, sloths, monkeys, hot springs, bat-friends…both big and simple pleasures that will hopefully last in my memories until I’m over 100!