READ about paul's journey in costa rica
Our destination specialist Paul Callcutt has headed off to Costa Rica for a taste of the incredible natural world adventures on offer in this diverse Latin American destination. He'll be reporting back with his daily diary from the wildlife rich jungles, simmering volcanoes and palm-fringed Caribbean coast line.
Day 1 - Pacure River
It was an early start this morning as I headed out of San Jose; departing the city the stunning natural beauty of this country begins to become more apparent. The lush volcanic landscape really shows off what Costa Rica is all about and we stopped for a simple breakfast along the way, overlooking coffee plantations. After another hour or so of driving I was certainly looking forward to not being in a train, plane or car for a while and as if on cue we arrived at the truly fantastic Pacuare Lodge.
This really is one of the more stunning places I have visited over the years, surrounded by jungle and nestled in a gorge with the famous Pacuare River flowing by, in front of the lodge. We had time for a quick tour of the lodge which has managed to blend luxury accommodation without sacrificing the nature that you came here to visit in the first place. The huge rooms, designed to let the air flow through, are the perfect place to relax and listen to the sounds of the surrounding jungle, the myriad of indistinguishable jungle sounds are regularly punctuated by troops of howler monkeys that are more than happy to make their presence known!
There are so many things to do here, that choosing how to spend your time you have is probably the most taxing decision you will face. I opted to have a go at something that Costa Rica has made its own over the years; zip lining. A network of cables are strung across the jungle and is the ultimate way to travel rather effortlessly through the surrounding canopy. I am not a great lover of heights to put it mildly but the expert team here are excellent at putting your mind at rest and ensuring that you have an enjoyable time. The zip lining ends on a tall platform high up in the canopy which did leave me wondering how I was supposed to get down. I should have known .... it was rappelling. Fortunately at the bottom of the rope is a bar and a cold beer awaited, which certainly eased my less than enthusiastic approach to heights.
Following a delicious three course meal the troops of howler monkeys decided the quiet dinner atmosphere had been going on long enough and they launched into full voice as the day came to an end. I have, in the past, had a bit of a love hate relationship with the jungle, but that was probably because I was not staying anywhere quite like Pacuare Lodge.