Costa Rica, a tropical paradise filled with sloths and parrots

The view of Manuel Antonio National Park from Hotel La Mariposa

Regularly labelled the happiest, greenest and most sustainable country in the world, Costa Rica is a tropical haven in the heart of Central America. The country relies mostly on renewable energy, it doesn’t have an army and it’s home to the world’s most adorable creature: THE SLOTH.

To summarise, Costa Rica is about as close as you can get to heaven on Earth

Tortuguero beach, Laguna Lodge, Costa Rica via A Ranson NoteGardens at Laguna Lodge, Tortuguero, Costa Rica via A Ranson NoteMural in San Jose, Costa Rica

Thanks to its tropical climate and lush vegetation, photographs of Costa Rica need no filter. It’s like someone has turned up brightness and saturation on the whole place, it’s so green, so blue, so yellow and so red, in equal measure. Describing it without resorting to cliche is nearly impossible.

We recently spent an incredible two weeks travelling around Costa Rica and it was an absolutely unforgettable trip.

On the canals in Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica via A Ranson NoteTortuguero Village, Costa Rica via A Ranson Note

We hiked through dripping rainforests, sailed along crocodile-infested canals and trundled along mountain roads past erupting volcanoes. We shooed cheeky monkeys away from our picnic and in turn were chased by brazen coatis and racoons after a quick snack.

We floated gently down the still waters of Tortuguero, watching with wonder as white-faced capuchins leapt high above our heads.

Tree Canopy in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa RicaFungus in the Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa RicaMoss on a branch in Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica via A Ranson Note

The cloud forest is a curious, misty place. Every branch is covered in moss and vines, orchids and bromeliads. Ferns hang down, creeping vines curl around other plants.

In the early morning light, we crept through the forest on the hunt for the country’s beloved Resplendent Quetzal. The aptly named bird has rich green and red feathers, a ludicrously long tail and big eyes to help it see in the forest. Stubbornly resistant to living in captivity, the Quetzal can only be found in a few places on Earth, the Monteverde Cloud Forest being one. We were so lucky to spot a family nesting in an old tree.

Sun shining through the trees in the Cloud ForestResplendant Quetzal in Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica via A Ranson Note

Alongside the early mornings, strenuous hiking and long journeys on treacherous unpaved roads, we found time to relax. We rested aching limbs in hot springs heated by the lava bubbling under nearby volcanoes. We splashed in infinity pools, swam in clear blue seas and sunbathed on the pure white sands of unspoilt beaches.

Sunset in Tortuguero, Laguna Lodge, Costa RicaTortuguero beach, Costa Rica via A Ranson NoteOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If this is sounding too much like advertising blurb from a travel agent brochure, then it’s only because I really, really, love Costa Rica. But to balance it out a little, I’ll say this: at times, the humidity was unbearable. One night, I lay in bed, in a room with no air conditioning, in a place with 89% humidity and I felt like a little tree of broccoli being gently steamed ready for a Sunday lunch. It was impossible to think about anything else but the stifling, inescapable heat. I lay there for over an hour, dripping with sweat, imagining what it would be like to be steamed to death.

Aside from the dream about my untimely demise, it was an incredible, beautiful trip. On the way to the airport, I even shed a little tear that it was coming to an end…

For more photos and travel journals, visit SIGHTS


12 thoughts on “Costa Rica, a tropical paradise filled with sloths and parrots

  1. Oh! I need a holidays to Costa Rica right now to check all this green by myself! Some friends went there last year and they were complaining about the humidity too…!
    Have a nice day! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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