Photos that make you want to visit Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica

If you appreciate pure nature, are interested in observing wildlife and love relaxing on beautiful beaches watching an incredible sunset, then Costa Rica should be on your travel bucket list.

Manuel Antonio National Park faces the Pacific Ocean in central Costa Rica. This part of Costa Rica encompasses rugged rainforests, white sandy beaches and coral reefs. Costa Rica is known for its vast diversity of tropical flowers and animals. The National Park is roughly 680 hectares huge and has a variety of different hiking trails, which lead you from the coast up into the mountains.

If you are keen on hiking through the rain forest, you want to make sure you can see all the wildlife and not missing out on anything. I, therefore, recommend booking a guided tour through the rain forest. The guides use a large telescope and know the forest and their inhabitants inside out. They spot tiny little animals you would have never guessed finding on your own.

Enjoy the journey through the rainforest in Manuel Antonio National Park:

You have the beach for yourself midin the National park of Manual Antonio. On the way to the beach you can observe the Costa Rican wildlife.
You have the beach for yourself mid in the National Park of Manual Antonio. On the way to the beach, you can observe the Costa Rican wildlife.

Costa Rica has some fascinating wildlife to see in the rainforests:

The Montezuma is a New World tropical icterid bird. It is a resident breeder in the Caribbean coastal lowlands from southeastern Mexico to central Panama.
The Montezuma is a New World tropical icterid bird. It is a resident breeder in the Caribbean coastal lowlands from southeastern Mexico to central Panama.

 

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The great Kiskadee is one of the tyrant flycatchers which can be between 21 to 27cm in length.

 

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Without the tour guide in the Manuel Antonio National Park, I would not have been able to spot this caterpillar.

 

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Who would have found this tiny grasshopper in the middle of the rainforest without the local guides and their telescopes?

 

Know when to bite your tongue.
You can see the white-faced capuchin monkeys when strolling through the rain forest. Unfortunately, this species is endangered. These two guys in that photo were fighting and chasing each other.

 

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The three-toed sloths are one of the Costa Rican locals. They are very slow in moving from one spot to another. Their faces seem to smile all day long. When you walk through the rain forest, take your time and see if you can spot them in the trees.

 

lizard
The Black Spiny-tailed Iguana is a lizard in Central America and Mexico. It is the largest species in the genus Ctenosaura and has been recorded as the fastest-running species of lizard.They have distinctive black, keeled scales on their long tails, which gives them their common name. The males are capable of growing up to 1.3 meters in length, and the females are slightly shorter, at 0.8–1 meter.

Besides the tropical animals you will notice the most beautiful colourful flowers in the rainforest:

It was raining in the rainforest near Cachi in Costa Rica. The flowers were covered with rain drops which made it so much more interesting to photograph.
It was raining in the rainforest near Cachi in Costa Rica. The flowers were covered with rain drops which made it so much more interesting to photograph.

 

walking through the rain forest in Costa Rica is paradise for flower lovers
Walking through the rain forest in Costa Rica is paradise for flower lovers.

 

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Lots of you will notice this beautiful orchid, however, to see it growing in the wild rainforest is fascinating.

Costa Rica has also plenty of options to go on boat trips for snorkelling in the coral reef. On the way you might be lucky to see dolphins and whales:

I was on a snorkelling trip in Costa Rica and was lucky to being able to see a dolphin jumping out and back into the ocean.
I was on a snorkelling trip in Costa Rica and was lucky to being able to see a dolphin jumping out and back into the ocean.

 

Being on a snorkelling trip and seeing some dolphins is what I have expected but then getting to see a humpback whale was not on my list and made the trip so much more exciting.
Being on a snorkelling trip and seeing some dolphins is what I have expected but then getting to see a humpback whale was not on my list and made the trip so much more exciting.

Now you have seen so much from this wonderful region of Costa Rica, the beautiful colourful flowers and cute, exotic wildlife. It is time to relax on the beach in Manuel Antonio National Park enjoying the sunset.

Watching the sunset in Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica.
Relax and watch the sunset in Manuel Antonio National Park in Costa Rica.

Did the photos inspire you to travel to Costa Rica? Enjoy your trip.

Why you should visit Munich during Christmas

christmas market

Christmas is a wonderful time to visit Munich in Germany and here are the reasons why:

The christmas decoration is taste- and colourful. The city is covered in beautiful christmas lights.

Munich has numerous christmas markets where families and friends are having a good time together eating delicious food and drinking the famous German gluehwine. The origins of the Christmas market are reported to date back to the ‘Nicholaus Markets’ of the 14th century.

One of the most famous christmas market in Munich is the ‘Christkindlmarkt’ at Marienplatz in front of the new town hall right in the centre of this beautiful city. The christmas tree is the emblem of the city with its 2,500 lights.

the new town hall in Munich on a christmas night
the new town hall in Munich on a christmas night

Continue reading “Why you should visit Munich during Christmas”

10 things money can’t buy

heart graffitti

We need money to survive, to pay our bills but money is not everything and it definitely does not make us happy.

These are the things money can’t buy:

love

manners

morals

respect

personality

common sense

trust

patience

class 

integrity

heart graffitti
graffitti in NYC

Why not to be scared when your life is changing

sunset

People are usually scared of changes because it is unknown and it brings us out of our comfort zone. Let me tell you something: change can be a good thing and it usually happens when you just get to comfortable but felt you always wanted to change something in your life but were scared of the unexpected. Be open-minded and embrace the new. The unexpected can be the most beautiful thing you will experience. Getting out of your comfort zone makes you feel great and happy.

Our mother nature is changing on a daily basis. Changes from day to night brings out the beautiful colours. Imagine it would always be the same, life would be boring. Light reflects transition from one state to another. You might see a light in the tunnel or have a great idea to pursue; this means change and with it a new beginning.

Live your life; expect the unexpected and be always ready to embrace change in your life. Just open your mind and you will see that there is always something positive in changes even if you can not see it in that moment. Once time will pass, you will be able to see it. Believe in ‘everything happens for a reason’.

“Light precedes every transition. Whether at the end of a tunnel, through a crack in the door or the flash of an idea, it is always there, heralding a new beginning.” 
― Teresa TsalakyThe Transition Witness

sunset
when the sun is setting in Manual National park in Costa Rica

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/transition/”>Transition</a>

 

one word photo challenge: bridge

bridge

In this week’s one word photo challenge I chose the ‘bridge’. A bridge to me symbolises going on a journey to pursue your dreams.

You sometimes don’t know what to expect but you have a goal in mind – the other side of the bridge. In life we might have goals we sometimes start thinking and worrying too much that we might not be able to reach it. Once this is in your mindset this will happen – you won’t reach your goal.

Instead be open minded, get out of your comfort zone and chase your dreams. Don’t give up, stick to your goal, be brave and have the courage to follow your dreams.

“To embark on the journey towards your goals and dreams requires bravery. To remain on that path requires courage. The bridge that merges the two is commitment.” 
― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

bridge
Sydney harbour at night

Why you should visit Ushuaia in Argentina

Ushuaia is the southernmost city in the world in Tierra del Fuego on the shores of the Beagle Channel. Ushuaia means ‘the bay facing westward’ in the language of the original Yamana inhabitants. The town is surrounded by the Martial Mountains and the Beagle Channel. It is in Ushuaia where the Andes meet the southern ocean in a sharp ski.

happiness
Ushuaia the most southern city in the world.

Ushuaia was once a penal colony for political prisoners and criminals. Nowadays it is a busy adventure hub for tourists. Antarctica cruises start here in Ushuaia’s port.

Ushuaia
port in Ushuaia, Argentina

The Tierra del Fuego National park is 63,000 hectares huge but only a small part of it is open to the public.

How do you get there:

There are daily flights from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia.

In case you are planning to see El Chalten, El Calafate and Torres del Paine National park in Patagonia first, you can take a bus from Punta Arenas. Punta Arenas is a small town of approximately 100,000 people, Chile’s southernmost city. The estimated travel time via bus is approximately 12 hours depending on the border. Once you get close to Ushuaia the scenery suddenly changes. It is worthwhile experiencing the bus ride if you have the time.

What to do in Ushuaia:

In winter the town is a major ski resort area for both alpine and cross-country skiers.

There are plenty of hiking options available in the Tierra del Fuego National park. Also sailing, kayaking and even scuba diving options are just minutes away.

Ushuaia is the base for cruises along the Beagle Channel to observe the marine wildlife. Expect to see lots of sea birds, sea lions and penguins. In case you cannot get enough from penguins, you can book a trip to the penguin colony and walk around the little cuties and get a bit closer to see the king penguin.

The Beagle channel:

The Beagle channel is named after Darwin’s expedition vessel and is a strait in Tierra del Fuego Archipelago on the extreme southern tip of South America partly in Chile and partly in Argentina.The channel’s eastern area forms part of the border between Chile and Argentina and the western area is entirely within Chile. The Beagle Channel is about 240 kilometres long and about 5 kilometres wide at its narrowest point.

Harbor cruises are usually four-hour morning or afternoon excursions to cormorant colonies

sea birds from the Beagle Channel
sea birds from the Beagle Channel

and to sea lions.

sea lions from the Beagle Channel resting on the rocks
sea lions from the Beagle Channel resting on the rocks
southern american sea lions from the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia.
southern american sea lions from the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia.

You will be cruising along small beautiful islands:

Beagle channel near Ushuaia
Beagle channel near Ushuaia

and pass the lighthouse ‘Les Eclaireurs’ called ‘end of the world’ on the north shore of the Beagle Channel:

View of the Lighthouse 'Les Eclaireurs' called 'End of the World' near Ushuaia on the north shore of the Channel
View of the Lighthouse ‘Les Eclaireurs’ called ‘End of the World’ near Ushuaia on the north shore of the Channel

After a few hours on the boat you will finally arrive at the penguin colony.

Magellan penguins from the Beagle Channel
Magellan penguins from the Beagle Channel

The Magellanic penguins were named after the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, who observed the penguins in 1520.

a little penguin from Ushuaia, Argentina.
a little penguin from Ushuaia, Argentina.

If you prefer to take the bus to the penguin colony tour you will pass some interesting rough scenery on the way.

the trees are shaped from the strong winds in Ushuaia
the trees are shaped from the strong winds in Ushuaia

Reached at the colony you will be able to get closer to the penguins

King penguin with attitude
penguin with attitude

and also see the famous king penguin.

king penguin on the penguin colony, Beagle Channel
king penguin on the penguin colony, Beagle Channel

When you are visiting Patagonia, make sure you stop in Ushuaia and enjoy the wildlife and scenery.

Have you missed my previous posts about Patagonia? Just click on the following links:

Enjoy reading.

Happy travel.

 

 

What is your happy place?

A happy place can be anything and anywhere; it could be a place were you associate some important memories with; it could be your home or outside in nature.

I personally don’t have a specific place. For me it is wherever I can do things I love doing and where I can share some quality time with my friends. I love dancing salsa, so any place we go for a dance is one of my happy places.

Of course going home to visit my family in Germany is my place of memories and happiness.

sunset
blue hour in Ammersee

I also love travelling and being outdoors in nature, watching sunrises and sunsets, taking photos and watching cute animals.

Creating this list of happy places I noted that it is not about a certain place but about what you love doing. You don’t need to live in a fancy city or country. You can do anything what makes you happy anywhere in the world. In the end it is about you and your mindset and not about a place.

fog over Tamarama in Sydney, Australia
fog over Tamarama in Sydney, Australia

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Happy Place.”

Trekking the W- circuit in Torres del Paine National Park

Arrived in Patagonia and now you are ready for some trekking? Do not miss the W-trek in Chile.

I did this W-trek with g-adventure; I really enjoyed that trip. Everything was organised, they look after you and the best part is that you meet some great like-minded people from around the world.

The first day of the W-trek was an 8-9 hours hike to the majestic granite towers of Paine. If you have missed my post about the challenges trekking to the Torres please read here.

On day 2 we left early our camping site and stopped for seeing a waterfall. It was so windy, I couldn’t believe it. You basically walked forward 10 steps and were blown back 8 steps. A group of trekkers passed us and one woman had broken her nose as she got hit by some rocks. That was a wake up call for all of us. Back in the car we waited for the ferry to cross the lake Pehoe. Well actually we were not sure if the ferry would even go but they are probably so used to the wind, so no problem at all. We crossed the beautiful turquoise lake and arrived at our next camping site.

Torres del Paine National park
Torres del Paine National park

After having our lunch we started our trekking through the beautiful french valley. I thought they are kidding us going trekking in that kind of windy conditions but the valley was actually protected. On the photo below you can see how the wind is blowing on the surface of the lake. The sky formation was very unique and beautiful.

A windy day in Torres del Paine, Patagonia
A windy day in Torres del Paine, Patagonia

The walk through the french valley was an 6-8 hours trek. Arrived at the viewing point you can see the glacier formed in a cirque hidden deep in the ribs of the Paine massif. Very impressive.

the glacier in shape of a cirque hidden deep in the ribs of hte Paine massif
the glacier in shape of a cirque hidden deep in the ribs of hte Paine massif

Back at the campsite we enjoyed our dinner, had some drinks and very bad but cheap wine called ‘Gato’. Well good enough for camping and at least you will always remember the fun you had being in a group drinking ‘Gato’. I cannot recommend that wine but we made the best out of the situation and laughed about it. The wind luckily started to ease down so we could catch up with some missing sleep from the previous windy night.

Getting up early in the morning and seeing this scenery cannot be described in words. I got excited, grabbed my camera and went for a walk around that lake and just enjoyed being in this beautiful place with striking scenery. The colours in Patagonia are just incredible. I have never seen that many rainbows in three days in my life.

rainbow in Torres del Paine NP
rainbow in Torres del Paine NP

It was a very peaceful morning. Another day of trekking was ahead of us and the weather looked promising.

Sky formation
colours in Torres del Paine

After having a big breakfast we started trekking day number 3. It is tiring though but a great experience at the same time.

The trek ended at the Grey glacier which is the main attraction in Patagonia. At one end there is this massive Patagonian ice field and at the other a 40 metre wall of ice of which pieces fall into the Grey lake and gives it its beautiful milky blue to green colour.

Did I say the weather was promising and sunny? Well that changes quickly, so enjoy each moment. The weather is very unpredictable. You can see the clouds hanging over the Grey lake and a light rainbow disappearing on the right hand side. It started raining and together with the blowing wind it was not very pleasant. Suddenly it was cold and we had to wrap us up in our second layer of clothes.

day 3 of the W-trek in Torres del Paine, Chile
day 3 of the W-trek in Torres del Paine, Chile

Arrived at the viewing point it felt like being in winter. It was raining but we still managed to see this massive glacier hiding behind the fog.

the Grey lake and glacier in Torres del Paine, Chile, Patagonia
the Grey lake and glacier in Torres del Paine, Chile, Patagonia

Patagonia is an amazing part of the world. The colours of the nature are breathtaking and it felt so peaceful being here. The weather can change quickly with having 4 seasons in one day, the wind can be very challenging but all this is the reason why the landscape is so beautiful and unique.

Follow my blog if you are interested in more travel stories from South- and Northamerica. My next travel post will be about the most southern city in the world ‘Ushuaia’ and the beagle channel.

Happy travel. Stay tuned.

 

 

Why am I writing and sharing my photos

enjoy the early morning

I am writing because I love to share my travel stories and happiness quotes with you. I hope to inspire you to open your eyes when walking through your day, to see the beauty in our nature and help you creating your own happiness.

New Zealand sunset
reflections of Karekare beach in New Zealand

I love taking and sharing my photographs with you. See and experience amazing places in the world with me through my photos and writing.

A beautiful day in Fitz Roy National Park in Patagonia.

We easily can get caught up with first world problems in our lives and forget to see the beauty around us. I want you to open your eyes and mind throughout the day. You will be amazed what you can see. The best part is, you don’t need to travel to see beautiful nature.

Glenorchy, New Zealand
If you don’y know where you are going, that’s where you will end up

With my photos and happiness stories I want you to see the things you cannot buy with money and to be grateful of the little things you have. Enjoying the simple things in life is what we learn when we travel and experience different cultures with an open mind. Money cannot buy you happiness.

appreciate the little things
People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be

I am writing to reflect on situations we sometimes experience in life. No matter how bad a situation can be, you mostly can choose to see the positive side in it and move on knowing you learned a lesson. When one door closes another door opens.

Open window
Open your mind

Choose to be happy and you will be.

Welcome to my blog. I am happy that you decided to stick around for a while to check out some of my previous posts.

Enjoy.

How to have a happy life

Patagonia

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal and not to people or things. Things and people don’t make you happy. It is your mindset and your purpose in life.

Goals give you a purpose in life; you wake up in the morning and getting excited to work towards achieving your goal. Achieving your goals feels amazing. Knowing you fulfilled a purpose in life feels life changing.

Do not tie your happy life to only people. Surely it is so important to have friends and family who support you, treasure them, but try not to be too dependent on them.

Depending on your goals, the people you hang out with might actually change and benefit you.

It is easy falling into a cycle of getting up in the morning to go to work and earn your money to pay your rent, car or whatever it is. However, wouldn’t it be an amazing life when you get up in the morning and you know it is for a purpose in life? Find some time out for yourself and understand what your purpose in life is. You don’t need to be able to tie it back to what you are doing; you might change what you are doing once you found out about your purpose. I know it is easily said than done. Think about what is your passion, what is it you really care about, what is it you really would love to change in this world. Once you have an answer for all of the question, go and put them together. This might be your purpose you want to focus from now on. It doesn’t have to be a job you earn your living with. Money is not giving you happiness. As long as you are able to pay for your basic living this is fine. You still could volunteer for your purpose in life. The fact of appreciation of others you get back is worth so much more than money, believe me.

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.

Patagonia
beautiful colours in Patagonia