For the end of my time in Costa Rica I had reserved one of the highlights: Corcovado National Park. National Geographic has called it “the most biologically intense place on Earth in terms of biodiversity”.

The trip already started with a highlight – I opted for the snob version of transport, the plane. 45 minutes vs. 7h of bus, connecting bus and a boat to get to the remote Drake Bay. And when I spotted the plane which would take me I got really excited. A small single engine turboprop aircraft. Didn’t check it yet but pretty sure I would be allowed to fly it myself and if not I at least would be able to. So I was all curious to watch my “co-workers” 😎

I have to admit I really would have loved to take over myself and fly around a bit for a while – especially with the fancy Garmin G1000 glass cockpit.
I watched the guys doing their thing and it was fun to watch and know exactly what was happening. And then I was a bit surprised. We flew on 9.500ft eastwards. Normally odd-1000ft are always used for flights east and even-1000ft for westward flights based on instrument flying rules (IFR) which is the standard in commercial aviation since you are e.g. allowed to fly through the clouds. The same altitudes +500ft are reserved for VFR – flights on visual reference or “on sight” which most private pilots (also I) are allowed to do. So no clouds and also being responsible not to fly into something or someone. So we were on a VFR flight level. When I asked the pilots after the landing they confirmed that they only fly on VFR rules and for flying through the clouds (which we did for quite a while) they have “special rules”… 😂😂😂 Am I glad that I learned to fly in Canada!!!
Landed on a tiny gravel airstrip in the jungle – so cool!

I had booked myself in a one of the cheep hostels which was located in the middle of the jungle and a bit away from “the town” – the Drake Bay Backpackers. Great place to stay if you ever want to go – 15$/night in a dorm and you will be woken up by the sound of the howler monkeys in the morning. Since some of the staff didn’t speak English and I had just invested three weeks of my life in this Spanish course I decided right away to only speak Spanish with them. After the frustration in the last weeks when I thought I didn’t progress at all I slowly felt that there had been an improvement. I was able to communicate, understood more or less everything and even if I had to ask the one or other time again – it was no big deal.

First day was diving day. The waters infront of Drake Bay are quite famous for diving. The marine reserve around the Isla Caño are one of the two best dive spots in Costa Rica. I guess I don’t have to write about it a lot. Just see the pictures. We saw a lot – from schools of thousands of fish, white tip reef sharks, trevallies, pufferfish, eels, grunts, barracudas, turtles and much more. The waters look really healthy and probably one of the best dives – when it comes to the shear number of fish and diversity – I have done so far.