The time is just before six in the morning. I'm awake. As per usual the first sound I notice is the one of the birds outside, next a fan somewhere, but besides that everything is pretty quiet around here.
We took off from Monteverde early in the morning - around 7:30, which might not sound that early, but it definitely is when you're still rather tired from the day before. We didn't mind. Based on our host José's recommendation we were heading towards Playa del Coco - a beach town on the west coast by the pacific ocean - we planned a few stops on the way though.
We packed up our car, I got behind the wheel and down the mountain we went. We've come to really appreciate paved road as we've spend a lot of time on not just gravel roads, but roads with major potholes, large rocks etc. Driving up and down isn't all torture though. All around us we see the most beautiful nature, pass through small, by the looks of things, self sufficient villages and cross many small picturesque bridges. As the paved roads turned into gravel again we still had a long way to go, yet slowly but surely we made it. We got out of the car and all had a desperate craving for something to eat. We decided on a mango and peanut butter banana sandwiches. Halfway through our food we realized that we still had a few kilometers up the mountain to go.
Now at the right spot of entrance, we parked the car, had loads of trouble coming up with the right amount of money to pay the entrance feee in cash and then we set off for the waterfall of Rio Celeste. We had the most amazingly beautiful hike through the rainforest. I find it challenging to point out specific beautiful aspects about what we see and experience. Everything just seems unbelievable. Describing a hike through the rain forest as amazingly beautiful doesn't do it justice, but that us truly what it was. No words can really describe what we see. The same goes for the waterfall. As we got closer we could hear the massive amounts of water flushing over the edge and pounding into the pool beneath it. We made our way down the pool and were all stunned by what we saw. It turns out that certain minerals in the water, some of them from a nearby volcano, gives the water its significant blue hue. Surrounded by the rainforest's many nuances of green, it was one of the most spectacular natural wonders I have ever seen.
We made our way back to the car and decided to seek out a little swim. We knew that there was a natural pool 1-2km away since we came by when we initially got lost on our way to Rio Celeste. At the entrance gate we were met by a young Costa Rican guy named Danni(at this point delivering a message to "a Daniel" was doomed to be challenge). He and his uncle greeted us very kindly, and Danni said he'd take us some of the way to the pool. As we went down a path leading into the rainforest, he did his best to describe the plants and trees around us. There was a few coffee plants, citronella, banana tress, baby pineapple trees amongst the ones I remember. The path continued down through the rainforest. Windy, a little slippery and very green. Suddenly he took us off the small main path. Shortly afterwards we realized that we now stood in front of the real Tarzan swing. A natural swing, made out of lianas attached to the treetops high above us. One a the time, we got on it, pulled back by Danni, and wow. Such a surreal experience!
Danni then showed us where to go from there, and we continued our way to down towards the pool. Soon we could here the sound of the river, and we were all amazed upon arrival. With the massive trees of the rain forest all around us, we found this little blue pool soaked in sunlight. Such a surreal experience to dive into the water in a place that can only be described as perfect. We played around in the current of the river and were all very content with life. As we were getting out of the water, Danni showed up again. He took off his t-shirt, got in the water and swam towards the cliffs. He climbed up the cliffs rather easily, and dived head first in the water - naturally we had to try that too. We had the most amazing time at this natural pool deep in the rainforest and it was so cool to have Danni guiding us!
Having climbed back up to the car through the rainforest we said goodbye to Danni and headed for Playa del Coco. Because we had prioritized a dip in the pool, we had to drive mostly in the dark. Daniel was behind the wheel and didn't seem to mind much. After a 2,5-3 hour drive we arrived at our destination after having a little trouble finding it. The town itself was quite touristy, but we didn't really mind since we were only here to sleep. Our host provided a rice cooker and with another delicious version of our wraps we went to bed with smiles on our faces.
All the best