…and that’s just what I’ve done. This is the cleanest these shoes have been in the last 3 months. I purchased these Merrill’s for $100+ before I came here at the recommendation of many, to buy hiking shoes for the move. I never imagined I’d get so much use of them. One of the things I have done in this country more than any other is- hike. I never thought I’d be into it, but it’s so beautiful here that I absolutely love it! I can’t get enough of the colorful flowers, large leaves, variety of trees and plants and bird songs. The insects and animals are, and I never thought I’d say this, but, pleasantly abundant.
So far, I’ve completed three official hikes but I’ve also walked miles in national parks and around the city. The Senderos Hike was my first on July 23. It’s located in Ciudad Colon near the University of Peace. It has nice trails for biking and hiking. Pets are allowed too. You do have to pay a small fee for this hike, but I can’t remember the price. It’s a fairly easy hike but can be a little slippery after rain. There are ropes along the slippery paths. I went on this hike with a family and their two children so we didn’t go too far. We saw birds, butterflies, a toad, plants, trees, flowers, a river and insects of course. After our hike, we stopped for lunch at this yummy Vegan restaurant called Tulsi, which is pretty close by. It was a good place to refuel. Enjoy the video and food from Tulsi…
The next hike was Las Eolicas de Santa Ana on August 2. It’s basically a walk to the wind turbines and it’s a free hike. Here is the view of the windmills from my apartment.
I thought it would be cool to see them up close and personal since I see them everyday from afar. My friend Shanny and I took this hike together. Neither of us did much research on it, but Shanny suggested we take an uber up and walk back down and that’s what we did. The ride up was pretty steep so we were happy about this decision but you can imagine what the walk down was like. From the top we were expecting to see the windmills unfortunately, we were met with clouds and fog. It looked like we were in a scary movie. Visibility was very low. At least we caught a glimpse of the windmills. The fog hindered the promising views of Santa Ana below too. So we began our descent. Visibility got progressively better as we made our way down. It was a long and very steep hike back down. I think it took us well over 2 hours. Our knees, calves and toes were aching by the time we reached the bottom but the views we caught on the way down were wonderful. The hike was on a car path unlike Senderos which was a nature path. I’ve heard there are several trails to Las Eolicas. (Note: It’s not the safest hike as there have been reports of robberies at the top. We found out about this afterwards but felt completely safe during the hike. I recommend going with a group.) After we made it back to the bottom of the mountain, we walked another 2 hours back into town while stopping and checking out some local shops. Finally I purchased a Casado- a typical Costa Rican meal consisting of rice, black beans, plantains, salad, a tortilla, and an optional protein before heading home. Check out the slideshow.
The third hike, and most commercialized so far was Hacienda La Chimba but it was also my favorite thus far. The school principal brought my husband and I here, when we first arrived, for a coffee tour and lunch. We didn’t do the hike that day but I knew I would return to do it, because of all the Instagram photo, worthy stops on this hike. Along with food and coffee tours, this place also has canopy, zipline, and hiking trails. There is a fee for the activities. The fee for the hike is $12.00 or $8.00 if you have a local ID. It’s a very safe location and monitored, for that reason, I would recommend this trail out of the all three to do alone. However, doing it alone means no company to take those amazing shots of you. The hike is a nature trail with hills and dips, soil and rocks. I don’t think the trail is very hard but it can be a little demanding. I assume that is why children under 7 years old are not allowed. The longest trail spans 9km with several stops and short cuts along the way. Shanny and I made this trek on September 3. We almost opted out because we thought we were going to get rained on, but we went anyway. Pura Vida! We completed a little more than the 5K. You can see from the video how wonderful this hike is…
While hiking, I recommend carrying a backpack with water, snacks, sunscreen, bug repellent, sunglasses, a hat and rain gear. Wear comfortable closed toe shoes or hiking sneaks/boots. I prefer long pants over shorts so I don’t itch from plants or insects touching my legs. Don’t forget your phone and smart/fitness watch to keep track of your steps because everyone knows it doesn’t count unless it’s recorded. A smart watch is also helpful in the case of an emergency. My Garmin has detected an emergency and alerted my husband on his phone on two different occasions while I was hiking. My heart rate suddenly spiked due to running or jumping and took the signs as an emergency. Thankfully they were not, but it was super to know that this feature worked if I ever needed it. Also for the public walks, exercise caution. Check the weather before any hikes. Morning hikes are often better in the rainy season, which is most of the year, because the rain tends to hold off until the afternoon. Also, if you reach the summit and its cloudy, wait a few minutes, the clouds usually pass with time.
Hiking seems to be the most exercise I’m getting in Costa Rica, due to my work schedule, and I am very much enjoying it. I guess Costa Rica has made me into a nature girl. These Merrills have been great hiking shoes for traction but don’t do much for keeping my feet dry. I guess it’s time to invest in some waterproof hiking boots because I see many more hikes in my future here.