This has been such an incredible trip and we are sad that it is coming to an end. We couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to be our first travelers and together we have had many laughs, pushed the limits on our adventurousness, and saw some unforgettable sights and experiences! One last day full of adventure was on the menu for Day 6!
Cave Rappelling and Tubing | Tanamá River
This was our earliest day and we had to eat breakfast on the fly, but it was clear that the early alarm would be worth it as we climbed the mountains in the van through greenery and forestation that is fit for a Hollywood movie.
Our guide, Fernando, owns the company Tanamá River Adventures and he was the bomb. He started off by showing us different indigenous instruments made from gourds, wood, and bamboo. He showed us a variety of indigenous plants and which ones to avoid. He told us how some of them are used medicinally and how the water in the river is the cleanest in the United States.
After loading in the vans to the drop off point, we took a short hike through the forest to a 45′ cliff above a cave. It was time for rappelling! If you know me personally, you know I am a liiiittle bit afraid of heights, but this trip was a time of pushing past my fears and just taking the plunge. They got us all suited up for rappelling and down we went. It was nerve racking but I was assured that the backup tether would keep me safe should I lose my grip on the rope which I, of course, didn’t. My death grip is entirely too strong. Everyone in the group did awesome and it was fun watching them all float down from my viewpoint on the ground.
From the rappelling cave we went further down the hill to the river. The water was frigid! We grabbed our tubes and dropped our dry clothes and bags to leave until we got back. Hooking our feet under the tube in front of us, we formed a chain and the guides brought us up the river a bit and through La Portilla (‘the little portal’) which was actually massive and creepy and awesome. The bats flew above our head as the water from above dropped on either side of our tube chain.
At the top of the river (or the bottom maybe…. it actually flows south to north), we stopped and Fernando showed us the spring of clear and clean water coming down on the side. We drank from it after he showed us the water on a leaf that was hydrophobic. The water acted like mercury when moved around and it creates a silvery sheen to the surface of the plant. We drank from the stream, which Catalina dubbed the Fountain of Youth. (Crossing my fingers it works!)
The only thing that had been missing from this trip was a visit to the spa but Fernando pulled through and gave us some clay that is good for your skin and healing for bug bites, cuts, and burns. Poor Sammi had to spread it all over her body because she was the only one that got eaten up by mosquitos.
After a short while it was time to float back down the river through the same long cave that we went through before, only this time Fernando played a wooden flute that he hand carved and wore on a necklace. IT WAS PERFECT! After a relaxing float down the river, we once again faced our fears and jumped off a cliff into the river below. I couldn’t have asked for a better end to our excursion except maybe the awesome sancocho (root vegetable stew) and rice they prepared for lunch!
Cliffs & Caves | Cueva del Indio
Privately owned, you can enter the land for $5 and view the gargantuan caves and cliffs. Walking along the rocks was difficult but worth it as you came to a sandy beach with large beautiful tide pools full of sea urchins.
Salsa Dancing | The Streets (aka El Adoquin del Patio)
After a delicious dinner and drinks accompanied by live music at Princesa Gastrobar in Old San Juan, we set out to find some salsa dancing. We found a small courtyard that had live salsa music, tables for relaxing, and people dancing in the streets.
Antonio, being outnumbered 7:1, was a trooper and gave each of us who wanted to dance a spin! Thanks, Erica, for sharing your fiancé with us 😉! It was so much fun and a perfect end to a perfect trip!