I have always been one of those people who took a few days of work to sit back, relax and read a good book, curled up in my warm pink blanket. But this year, something in me changed. Whether I have read all that there was, or there were no good movies released lately, but I woke up one morning and thought: I need some action. I could not drag myself all day, from couch to armchair, so I took my laptop and started browsing. And so I ended up on a two-week tour in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, and I can honestly say that it was the best vacation I ever had.
Normally, I would go to the beach and drink cocktails on a deck chair while working on my tan, but after this unforgettable experience, I would always choose adventure travel over that. But I think that the fact that I chose precisely these two countries, had to do something with it, as they have so much to offer. The scenery is breathtaking – the rainforests, rivers, waterfalls, amazing beaches - these places have it all. So basically I could chose from wide range of activities, and there is truly something for everyone. On one hand, you can go on walking tours through rainforests and amazing beaches and visit traditional villages, but on the other hand you can chose to go a bit wild, and try hiking, surfing, canoeing or rafting.
Nicaragua is where you will find the biggest volcanic lake island in the world. Two magma pyramids rise from the water, housing two volcanoes, only one of them being active. The view is amazing, and you will have to pinch yourself a couple of times to make sure that it is real. This place also offers adventure activities you should not say no to. Even if you never went hiking and it sounds too dangerous to try, professional guides will make you feel safe and guide you step by step through the whole experience. As you go higher and higher, you enter a field of clouds, where the air is clearer than anywhere else in the world. And when the day is over and you get down to the foot of the volcano, you can treat yourself with a swim in the lake, where the water is so warm you will have that luxury spa experience, only with better surroundings and a light breeze in your hair. After the swim, you can go kayaking around the forest where you can see such unique wildlife. If you decide to go to a Pacific coast of Nicaragua, you will be the only one on one of the deserted beaches, perfect for surfing, or just a picnic, while looking at the dolphins and turtles in the distance.
Unspoiled by, not only Western, but civilization at all, Costa Rica is a synonym for a tropical paradise. Misty volcanoes, wide beaches, roaring rivers, and jungles filled with exotic flora and fauna, is precisely why this land is better known for its “pure life”. After hiking in Nicaragua, I honestly needed something more down-to-earth, and so the second part of our tour took us surfing (close enough). Beginner or a pro, you could find your spot in the water. There are many beach breaks where you can sail the waves in peace as there are no crowds. But if the deep ocean is not quite for you, Costa Rica is also famous for its wild rivers where you can try out rafting or canoeing. You stroll down the river stream with such speed that your heart immediately starts pounding hard, and it will not stop, not even when you reach the endpoint. While you scream and laugh out of excitement, nature that surrounds you cannot be more serene - rain forest with its diverse wildlife and extinct volcanoes that should definitely be your next tour destination, as even though you are probably tired of hiking, this little trip will not leave you disappointed.
Do not let yourself become a couch potato. This world has so much to offer, and there is not enough time to see everything, but if you chose to visit Nicaragua or Costa Rica, you are bound to cross quite a few things off your list, as these places almost have it all.