I don’t really know where to begin in telling you the stories from my recent travels. Every day was full of adventurous exploring, good vegetarian cuisine and beautiful scenery. My two favorite activities of the week at Arenas del Mar was the Rainmaker Reserve Hike and the remarkable sunset we had one late afternoon at Playitas Beach (the small semi-private beach at the Resort). The cutest part were all the baby sloths and the funniest part was a tie – either it was the raccoon who was doing a yoga pose in Manuel Antonio Park or it was the jelly beans I found on our balcony one morning and the clothes, shoes and socks, which were drying, that had been moved around. It appears the night before either the monkeys or the raccoons decided to have a party. Did I mention our room was on the third floor! At least they brought their own food (the jelly beans) – although I’m sure they attempted to access our mini-frig but the hotel got smart and put a latch on the inside of the cabinet.
The Rainmaker starts you off in secondary forest, with an easy hike upwards to eventually find yourself in the lush tropical primary forest. A primary forest so expansive that it cannot be captured in a single photo. With tall trees and shrubs surrounding you, you make your way across the first of many hanging bridges. Several hundred feet off the ground, you can notice the difference in temperature, hear the birds more clearly and on a clear day, enjoy the horizon. From here you can see the layers of forest – primary, secondary, palm oil plantations, rice fields and then eventually the beautiful Pacific Coast.
Along the way, we walked by several beautiful waterfalls and ponds, dipping our feet into the cool, refreshing water coming off the mountain. We passed by all kinds of small creatures, brilliantly colored flowers and one very sleepy viper snake. “You can get close but don’t touch the leaves and wake it up!“, said our guide, Roger.
The tour finished with a typical lunch at the Reserve’s Ranch – a casado consisting of rice, beans, tortillas, coleslaw, etc – and a juice but I can no longer remember which kind, other than it was delicious and fresh. I drank so many juices on this trip that they’re all blending together at this point.
And the sunset that I mentioned…it was brilliant. Just because I live in paradise doesn’t mean we always have the best sunsets. Some nights, the sun is just a big ball of fire melting into the horizon, which is nice but not as nice as the nights when there is just the right mix of clouds and clear skies. That’s when the magic happens. Even after the sun has dropped, the sky will still be lit up with all different colors – reds, purples, yellows, oranges, blues.
I love watching the sunset. For me, it’s the perfect way to end the day. Several times a week at home, I’ll meet up with friends, stopping by the local market to pick up a cold beer and we’ll just sit on the sand and watch the sun go down. It’s the little break I need to get outside, socialize, take a deep breath and let my work go for the day.
Enjoy the slideshow…
Note: While I am now paid and/or receive comped services at many of the places I visit, I will always offer my unbiased opinion to you, my readers. Fortunately, I almost always have experiences that exceed my expectations.