Celebrate Eagle Eye View of Costa Rica
Imagine flying above the Costa Rican jungle getting an eagle eye view. This is exactly what I experienced when on a helicopter tour over Chirripo National Park during my stay at Hacienda AltaGracia. It is hard to understand the majesty of the landscape from the ground and this gives you a wonderful opportunity to soar like a bird.
I had never been in a helicopter before and I will admit that I was a little nervous about taking one. Everything was well planned and explained to me in detail, which made me feel reassured about the helicopter ride. On the day of the tour, I was picked up from Hacienda AltaGracia and taken to the helipad. The guide gave me an introduction to the helicopter. The blades began to spin and I got some butterflies in my stomach. I quickly put on my headphones so I could hear what was happening over the whirring of the engines warming up.
Lifting off the ground was surreal! It isn’t like flying in a plane at all. The helicopter immediately goes up and the world gets small very quickly. Once up high enough, you can see for miles. You can spot both the mountains to the east and the sea to the west. Heading towards the water, we saw the slope of the jungle give way to flatter land and more sand. Then suddenly, there is the ocean. The waves were lapping the beautiful shoreline. The pilot took us along the coast and we peered down to look for whales.
Even though we were about 30 miles away, we could still see the tallest mountain in Costa Rica, Cerro Chirripo. We headed towards the peak to explore more nature from above. Now that I am used to the motion of the helicopter it felt like we were sailing above the national park the mountain resides in.The jungle was lush and a mist hangs low around the trees. As the altitude rises the scenery changes and while it was still green, we can now make out the hills and valleys. From above, I could see the winding hiking trails and lakes that surround the mountain and the pilot explained the different climates that create the unique scenery we were seeing.
An unexpected treat as we headed back to the helicopter pad, was the sun was setting. Watching the sky change colors from red to purple over the landscape of Costa Rica was surreal and unforgettable . The pilot even hovered for a bit so we can see the sun slowly sink past the horizon. I will never forget the feeling of being an eagle watching the sunset.