Looking back on Tuesday the 3rd of April, I can still say it was one of the best days of my year. This is the day I went white-water rafting for the first time on Costa Rica’s Rio Pacuare. The rapids are classed as III-V which is pretty high on the scale (VI is the highest), and the route takes you down a beautiful stretch of the river with jungle covered banks filled with monkeys, waterfalls and numerous birds (including the photogenic toucan). But we didn’t spend too much time birdwatching, as there were some mighty rapids ahead, and the adrenalin was pumping!
Our bus arrived in San Jose, and we jumped in the nearest taxi to another bus station. We hadn’t heard anything good about Costa Rica’s capital, and we didn’t want to waste a night in the place. Our next trip was a tour ride into the green coffee covered hills to the east, where volcanoes, ancient ruins and white-water rafting on the famed Rio Pacuare lay.
After the busy streets of Cartagena, we decided we needed some time on a beach. We had heard of Tayrona National Park through other travellers and friends, and it came highly recommended. Colombia is a little more difficult to travel than other more tourist-orientated countries in South America, and after doing some investigation, it turned out a door-to-door minibus transfer would be better than the arduous task of getting a local bus.
So we set off on the 5 hour trip to Taganga, a small little fishing village that had become a popular spot for locals and backpackers. In some respects this popularity and the resulting tourist development had negatively affected the town, and the beach front was practically just restaurants and street sellers. I didn’t see many fishermen!
Iquitos is the biggest city in the world without any roads leading to it. To get there we had to take a three hour flight over the rainforest, and when the clouds cleared, the view from the window was pretty spectacular.