TRAVEL DUEL #1 GERMANY'S MOST BEAUTIFUL ISLAND RUEGEN VS. THE COSTA RICAN TROPICS IN CENTRAL AMERICA

Upcoming week is meant for duel time: vacation in Germany against vacation in Central America. Let's get ready to rumble – we're getting started with round one:

Hanging bridges, Costa Rica versus tree top walk, Germany

Wherever you are on this planet, attractions are always kinda similar.

This year's April, I've, once again, visited one of my favorite countries: Costa Rica. This time, we were driving across country (literally), into the mountains of Monteverde, where you can find Selvatura Park. Highlights of the park are – of course – the hanging bridges and the canopy-trail around the bridges of the natural reserve. Well, I didn't dare the zip-lining this time, but I've done the trail across the bridges.


Getting to Monteverde isn't that easy. The street is very steep, rocky and hardly paved and you have to allow yourself some time for the journey there. But once you're there, it's all worth it. The climate of Monteverde is very alike to the European one. During the night it cools down to 64° Fahrenheit / 18° Celsius and during the day the average high is 86° Fahrenheit / 30° Celsius.

The Selvatura Park has eight bridges, you have to cross. Seven of them are leading through the tree tops of the jungle, with the highest one above it. In between, you're walking through the nature, where you can discover animals. Most of the time, it's hard to see any since the canopy trail, around the park, is certainly audible and scares off the animals but, still, a coati crossed my path and I also saw some very colorful birds.

The bridges are kind of adventurous and the conditions of some ropes and bars wouldn't pass any technical inspection in Germany. On some points, the grid bottom of the bridges is sagged and fixed with simple wires and cut out bars. The bridges itself are kind of squeaky and there is quite a lot of swaying going on up there. I, personally, think that the makes the fun out of it and I felt safe, all the time, even at the highest points.

Big minus point is the entrance fee of the Park. We were three people and already paid the price for the locals and we still had to pay 20 Dollar each instead of usually 30 Dollar, but besides this, there isn't much that can be faulted. We've been there early in the morning and there weren't too many people around. You're feeling like you're part of the jungle book and Kaa is waiting for you, just around the next corner. We've left the park around midday and during this time, the tourists slowly showed up. So, it's best to be there early, the park closes at 4 pm.


Opponent in today's park-duel is the tree top walk in Prora, on Ruegen, which I've visited in may.

Prora is less spectacular, of course, it's way better constructed and there is a wooden bridge, no hanging bridges, leading through the natural reserve, but, nevertheless, a stunning view across the Ruegner country and the Baltic sea awaits you. Prora scores with it's entrance fee. You're paying 11 Dollars per person to enjoy the fun and you're getting a free mug of coffee or tea with your parking ticket, besides, the park is completely accessible.You're walking up to the tree tops in a circle and this is where you're staying all the time. The trail is equipped with some small hurdles but you don't have to take them.


After some time you're walking up to forty meters, overlooking the natural reserve and the coastline of the island.

Although it was a holiday, the park wasn't overcrowded and there was no waiting or pushing through people.

There is one big minus point: dogs are not welcome at the tree top walk. There not even allowed to enter the terrain and if you're still having one with you, you cannot enter or you lock up your dog in a wooden box on the parking lot. It's an absurdity to me to do something like this.


Result: Costa Rica scores in this first round.

Prora has the better entrance fee and accessibility and scores with a fantastic view but it can't compete with Costa Rican jungle, biodiversity and adventures. But, still, Prora is worth a visit.

Until then, happy traveling.

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