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Any waterfalls, but probably one somewhere in the Montezuma area (or somewhere in Costa Rica), that’s where I usually see them.

Written By: Gary on February 17, 2011 2 Comments

I got some other traveler I’d been talking with to use my camera to video me jumping in at the upper falls in Montezuma. I’m guessing this is 30 feet(?) up, I worked out the people behind me are about 40 feet up (did some GPS based calculations a few trips ago), so maybe a little higher than 30 feet.


Watch in HD.

The water really hurt my face when I went in the water. I guess my head is tilted a little forward but I’ve jumped from the higher spot (where you can see the people) a few times before and never noticed anything. But then I can see it took me longer to come up than from the higher spot (which makes no sense either).

He tracked me pretty good for a fast as I was going and he’s way zoomed in, here’s some other video of the upper waterfalls in Montezuma.

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This isn’t the most exciting photo of the upper falls
but you can see the whole falls and the ledge where I jumped from
(the ledge on the right that looks even with the top of waterfall).

Someone else in his group got a picture of me with the SLR, but she never e-mailed it to me, which isn’t a huge surprise, but since I actually got him jumping in on hidef video I thought they’d at least e-mail for that…

Written By: Gary on December 29, 2010 No Comment

This is me jumping of a BIG rock at the lower falls in Montezuma Costa Rica. It’s not very high, but you really need to get out past the rocks below (and the water is WAY deep).

Watch in full screen HD!

My videographer (German tourist) shot a bit of the falls after, and them me swimming back, so after the action it kinda slows down…

Written By: Gary on December 28, 2010 No Comment

Just a quick pan of the upper falls in Montezuma. I’m thinking they’re about 40+ feet, but looking how tiny the people at the top looks I want to say it’s taller. Next trip I’m bringing a ball of string to drop over the edge and then I’m just measuring it…

The thumbnails is small but the video is bigger or you can watch in a larger window.

FYI, The guy at the end of the video (above) is standing right at the top of the lower falls (130 feet is).

Actually, the (video) is of the second falls, right above these falls is another pool with some 20 foot falls.

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This was just a quick update since I haven’t done much of an update lately…

Written By: Gary on December 22, 2010 No Comment

I always feel like these stacks of rocks are something the aliens left behind; you know, like they did with the pyramids.

When I went to the waterfalls in Montezuma, I saw the aliens had been very very busy…

Also viewable in HD (of course).

Actually, later I did notice a few people adding some smaller rocks to the tops of some already existing piles. I was too high up to get some good footage though. Some people calls these piles “cairns” or “ducks”; personally, “cairn” makes me think of something religious or a memorial.

I was really hoping that zooming in would change the rocks scale to make them look huge, but no such luck. Not sure if it’s the plant life or that everything looked in focus (or something else) that made it look so different. But I still thought it was fun enough to share…

Written By: Gary on April 24, 2009 One Comment

So I finally got a decent video of me jumping at the upper falls. I played with the GPS today and I’m figuring they are about 40 feet high.

Direct link to HQ video

I like this jump even though it’s kinda high because there aren’t (m)any rocks below you so you don’t have to push out as far. It’s not that I mind the pushing, it’s just I worry about not pushing enough.

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This is a view from the side of the same falls.

Written By: Gary on April 23, 2009 No Comment

It’s always a debate to how high the waterfalls in Montezuma are. It comes up almost every visit to the falls. So today I specifically took some readings with the GPS (location just isn’t longitude and latitude, it’s height too!) and came up with the following numbers —
Water level of first waterfall: 82 feet (above numbers see level)
Waterlevel of second fall (which is top of the first fall): 238 feet
Top of second falls: 280/313 feet

If you don’t want to see how the numbers work out and the how whys of my rounding (and I rounded way down for the first one and a little for the second one). I’d say the first water fall is 130 feet (40 meters) and the second is 40 feet (12 meters).

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Here’s the way I did the math and the “rounding”:
So 238-82=156 and rounding down I’d say this makes the big falls about 150 feet (47 meters). That’s higher than I thought it would be and there is error in these GPSs so lets round down to 40 meters and say it’s 130 feet. I’m hoping that’s generous enough to where people wont’s say it’s an exaggeration. This is mostly consistent with some readings I took last fall.

The next falls up, where people do a lot of jumping was 42 feet when I took the readings, I did the math then and I know that’s what it said. The bookmark on my GPS says it was at 313 feet, but maybe I moved when I wrote the bookmark, I know I started talking about it so if I stood up and went to a higher rock I easy could have added another 12 feet. From last fall I recorded 303 feet, but at the time I was looking for long/lat and not height so I have no idea where I was standing (and all my readings for fall were about 18-20 feet higher but it was extra cloudy). So I’m going to stick with 40 feet for this measurement (12 meters) since every thing else says it’s actually higher (I would have guessed it’s more like 30 feet, maybe 35 but what do I know?).

Yes, I know there are many variables in the GPS so these are estimates, but it’s better than how it’s been discussed before which is a bunch of people standing around looking at it and guessing. Also, the water levels change here, but only by a few feet. It’s particularly low right now.

Written By: Gary on April 19, 2009 No Comment

So it’s actually my second day in Montezuma, but it’s my first full day so I made the most of it. I picked up a sandwich first thing in the morning and I hiked up to the waterfalls and stayed for hours. It’s really hot today so I took 5 bottles of stuff to drink (2 water, 2 gatorade and 1 coke).

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The water level was low in the river. Not too low just lower than the last two times I was just (at the beginning and ends of rainy season). Many of the rocks in the above photo would be covered with water, causing it to be (almost) like rapids. It made for an easy walk. It’s not hard to navigate the rocks or even step in the water, but it the water isn’t clear it’s hard to tell if it’s 6 inches deep or 6 feet deep.

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I jumped around into the pond at the bottom of the falls; it’s hard to see the big rock on the left (since I didn’t get it in the photo) that I was jumping off of but I’d have landed in between those swimmers (but I waited until they were gone). I tried to climb up into the falls themselves but the rocks were too slippery today, after three falls I took the hint and gave up.

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Then I went up to the upper falls, if look at the above photo you can see the where the water runs over the far edge, that’s the top of the waterfall from the previous photo.There were multiple groups of people up there and everyone was pretty social today, it was pretty fun up there. Lots of people jumping, with everyone encouraging everyone to jump. I actually jumped from the spot where I took the above photo (I need a better one to show how high of a fall it was).

Obviously, I had a hike back down so I post more later (with some more photos)…

FYI, I ended up drinking 6 bottles of fluids, I stopped at the butterfly gardens hotel (at the top of the hill on the way back) and picked up another drink. They had cold sodas and my last was pretty warm by then, but I still managed to finish the warm gatorade before I made it home.

Written By: Gary on January 9, 2009 No Comment

Costa Rica had a huge earthquake yesterday (Thursday, January 8th, 2009), 6.2 on the richter scale (I’ve seen reports that say 6.1). Just north of the San Jose area. This is the biggest one that I’ve heard of in Central Valley. The Tico Times has a lot of the earthquake coverage (you do have to do some clicking and scrolling, they’re mostly a subscription service).

costricaearthquake-2009bpba.pngThey’re reporting about 23 dead with 11 still missing (at least that’s how I’m piecing everything together, I’ve seen numbers all over the place; as high as 30 dead). Lots of damage, mud slides and people trapped in various areas. 1,000+ people relocated and another 1,000+ stranded. If you check out the news stories from around the world there are definitely conflicting reports (especially on the death toll). Lots more earthquake details here and if you’ve got Google Earth installed there are some additional visual details if you click on the spot of the earthquake.

I can’t imagine the chaos and devastation that something like this causes. My thoughts an prayers go out to everyone affected by this…

I’ve been having a hard time getting my head around some of the damage, I found some photos at Inside Costa Rica and a video clip (in Spanish).

You can see many of the areas that felt it on this map, people can actually report it and that’s what feeds the map (don’t know how long they keep these on-line).

How many people are affected by this that I’ve met on my various trips down there? Places that I’ve visited or stayed at the I don’t recognize the names. I wonder how much it freaks out the tourists, imagine if they didn’t speak the language. I don’t speak Spanish well enough, in a crisis, without my translation book, I don’t know what I’d do…

There was a slightly bigger one (6.5 richter scale) in November when I was there, but I didn’t feel it and I don’t remember this much death and damage, but it was way at the south end of the country (I think it might have been in Panama) and if it was a few of my more isolated days I wouldn’t have gotten much news. My biggest earthquake ever was also in Costa Rica (4.3 richter scale) but most people didn’t even notice it (it was just after midnight).

A slightly erratic post but these thoughts have been in my head and wanted to share them…

I’ll add more links below:
Pictures from the Tico Times newspaper (more landscapes and buildings are towards the end).
Photos from al Dia from La Cinchona de Sarapiquí, Heredia
La Paz waterfalls had to close down. I believe some people took shelter there when the roads got cut off (I might be mixing the location up).

FYI, I’ve been updating the details in this posting daily, it was originally from January 9, 2009 but some of the details might be from up to a week later.

Written By: Gary on November 28, 2008 No Comment

Just me getting into the water and climbing the big rock in the background and jumping into the water. Nothing ultra-exciting but should give an idea of the pool and jumping area…

I’m not the first person you see. I’m the guy who walks in front of the camera a few seconds into the video (and gets in). There is a larger version of the video if you go to the direct link (below). It’s not the best quality, it must have lost something in the encoding to YouTube :(


Here’s the direct link to the video of me.

Written By: Gary on November 27, 2008 No Comment

Here’s part two of the video from the waterfall video from last Saturday (Nov. 22, 2008). This is the view from the top of the falls taken a few minutes after the first video. I’ve since learned that the waterfalls are named El Chorro (and the adjacent beach is called Cocolito).


Here’s the direct link to this waterfalls video (sometimes the embed codes don’t work); be sure to notice that under the right-hand side of the video you can “watch in high quality”.

Written By: Gary on November 22, 2008 3 Comments

So here’s a photo of me at the waterfalls North of Montezuma, Costa Rica. The walk to get there is to walk along the beach of the ocean (maybe this is technically the bay?). I’ve since learned that the waterfalls are named El Chorro (and the adjacent beach is called Cocolito).

Img 0558This was a long hike, about 2 hours each way with stops, snacks and quick swims I was gone about 6 hours. I brought seven bottles of water, gatorade and Fresca (the one bottle of Fresca for when I ate my sandwich) and drank six-and-a-half bottles so I judged that pretty good. Although I cheated and when I was 20 minutes from the hotel I stopped at the Ylang Ylang on the beach and got a mucho frio (very cold) Coca-Cola in a glass bottle (the rest of my drinks were pretty was pretty hot by then) so I still had a 1/2 water and a gatorade; Ylang-Ylang is the last stop on the beach so don’t expect much after that. So my bag kept getting lighter but it felt like it was getting heavier.

This is a 20-30 foot waterfall there is a waterfall/stream you get to early (after 45 minutes?) that some people think is “the” waterfall but it is not the waterfalls you see here. Here’s the longitude and latitude that my GPS gave me when I got to the final destination this was about 6 km from the center of town as the bird flies (I’m sure I walked farther since it wasn’t close to a direct route, plus it was on the sand and rocks). It’s N 9°41.157′ and W 085°01.530′ or at least that’s what it was about 100 meters away in the shade when I made the marker on my GPS (please note that this is the corrected coordinates as referred to in the comments).

Here’s some video that I shot when I got there.

And in case the above embedded video doesn’t work, here’s the direct link to this El Chorro Waterfalls video; be sure to notice that under the right-hand side of the video you can “watch in high quality”.Tips for this hike: Lots of liquids; comfy shoes for water, rocks and sand; some uphill climbing in the woods; take a swim when you get hot; it’s totally deserted so tell someone where you are going. I liked going in the afternoon because as the sun went down it cooled off. Be sure to check when high tide is, you don’t want to get trapped out there. Bring a flashlight, if the sun goes down it gets dark quick. If the beach area looks hard to pass, look for footprints (or horseshoe prints) in the sand since they probably lead to a path in the woods.

Written By: Gary on November 19, 2008 No Comment

The power has glitched off and on the last few days. Just for a few seconds generally but it’s enough to turn off the A/C unit in my hotel which kept waking me all night long when it kept kicking off…

Today we lost it for a few hours but it eventually came back on. But it’s always a worry that it might not come back on (most hotels with A/C don’t have windows that will open) that means no A/C and no hot water (it’s electric).

Boring post, but that was out of the ordinary part of today…

I hiked up to the waterfalls too! It’s such a nice view!! But since I do this almost every day it’s really not out of the ordinary any more :)

Written By: Gary on November 14, 2008 One Comment

If your display is set to 1024×768 or larger you should be seeing my new background. That’s a shot from Montezuma up by the waterfalls, I hike up there every day that I can when I’m in town….

Does it fit okay? Does it load to slow? It’s the first time using an image, so please give me feedback!

Written By: Gary on August 24, 2008 One Comment

Montezuma-Beach-Pict2568The weather was amazing all day. Sunny and warm but very humid. We didn’t get any afternoon rain at all.

But, regardless of the wonderful weather, the first thing I did this morning was find a new hotel, the other one wasn’t that great but I was too tired to look around any more last night (I did check two others that were full). I found one that is nicer and cheaper, $30 a night which includes A/C and hot water. Don’t laugh at the “A/C and hot water comment”, some hotels have 4 prices based on which combination that you would like. As long as I sleep okay here, I think I’ll stay here until I have to go to San Jose on Wednesday.

Picture 14So after I moved I went up to the waterfalls which was a little more exciting than usual, with all the rain the current was really flowing. When I got up there to swim it was pretty quiet (in terms of people) the the falls were raging with all the extra water. I tried swimming but the current was too much for me, I’m not that great of a swimmer and certainly out of practice. Hung out there for a while, for as dead as it was when I got there, I think it got the busiest I’ve even seen it. Not the best picture of me, but it’s the only one I have of me so far.

So since I didn’t wear myself out swimming I decided to hike it up to the upper falls. Another difference because of the rain a few recent downed trees and lots of mud. But I got up there just fine. Unfortunately, right when I got up top I dropped my bottle of gatorade! So that meant I really had to ration my other bottle of water on the way back; I usually take 3 bottles total (of water or gatorade) I was so thirsty on the way down but I made it. It fell pretty far and I’ve climb that part before (to get to the lower fall of the upper falls) but where I usually climb had loads of water running down it.

Here’s the cRaZy spot where you have to climb down to the upper falls. This is while I was halfway down rope looking down and looking up (fuzzy), it’s really not as bad as it looks :)

Park-Ocean-Viewfile0088Stats according to my GPS: I climbed from 97 feet altitude to 572 feet, but I actually ascended over 600 feet and it was a total of 4 miles for the round trip. (But now I need to go double-check since none of that was meters or miles and I thought I had all that switched to metric; I’m certain it was “feet”, maybe it was 4 kilometers?)

All photos should be clickable for a larger version (but not very large, the ‘net is really slow here).

Written By: Gary on April 13, 2008 2 Comments

I originally posted a bad link to the second photo album. It’s now corrected.

Jump-Through-Falls-Img 7846Here’s another dozen photos (with descriptions). It’s mostly up by Montezuma Falls.

The photo to the right (click to enlarge) is me jumping through the falls (from climbing behind them). This photo actually makes it a Baker’s Dozen.

Written By: Gary on April 11, 2008 No Comment

Speedo-Img 7777So i understand how the locals do it, they’ve got feet like a hobbits on the bottom. But it’s the tourists that I don’t understand how they walk around without shoes on. Even in the rocky areas they don’t wear shoes but sometimes I see them hobbling along.

I need my beach shoes to get around, rocks and cement and stuff don’t work for me. I had to get some fancier ones this trip since some of the other ones I get don’t work when jumping off at waterfalls; it’s no fun to be up in the mountains and loose a shoe. These are a little comfier than some of the other ones I’ve had in the past (and they haven’t fallen off yet).

Written By: Gary on April 2, 2008 One Comment

NicoyatipwhereSo far I’ve only explored the southmost point of the Nicoya Peninsula and stayed in Montezuma. I want to explore more of the Pacific coast next trip (later this month).

I’m looking for tips on where to travel and places to stay. As requirements for places to stay go: walking to beach distance, hot showers and air conditioning (not fancy, cheap is better). There was a pullout section of the TicoTimes a few weeks ago but it only seemed like it covered the ultra fancy hotels and resorts.

I just want to wander around the towns and the ocean and find some waterfalls and stuff like that.

Nocoyapeninwhere

Any thoughts or suggestions on what not to miss? restaurants to eat at? or hotels to stay at?

Written By: Gary on December 5, 2007 One Comment

I hiked back up the Montezuma Waterfalls Monday. I made good time since I remembered the route better this time. Some local Ticos were jumping from up high, the jumping wasn’t so dangerous as the climbing up the front of the waterfall, that was pretty amazing. Puts where I was jumping from to shame, but I still had fun jumping and swimming (and that’s the point, right?)

ZumadiverThis guy jumped from a higher spot but I missed the shot, I couldn’t get the camera out fast enough, the video of this jump is still pretty high though.

At the upper falls I started chatting with a few groups up there so I didn’t stay long and headed back with them since they wanted to try the way I was going to leave by. I was going a bit different direction since it was supposedly more direct back so I had to make some of it up as we went along (they knew this). It was certainly an easier way back (although you don’t se any of the falls) and I saw a few animals and a few sights I hadn’t seen before. I did get to see a huge iguana, an odd bird, and a monkey of some kind that I hadn’t seen before (a howler?).

And of course there is a sixth set of photos to see (with some labels too!).

Written By: Gary on December 2, 2007 2 Comments

montezuma fallsSaturday, I did the (mostly easy) hike to the bottom of the main Montezuma Waterfalls. Then I did the even longer steeper climb to the top of falls and to see the other falls that are way up there. This is where we almost lost Mark (as in “over the edge”) a few times on the last trip.

This was a chunk of the day since after getting there I spent some time at the lower, upper and back and the lower again. I also got to test my new PacSafe lockable backpack (see my other post from slightly earlier today) as I left my stuff (camera, video camera, keys, etc.) locked to a tree.

I’ve got photos posted of the waterfalls and a few other shots (see set 4 for the latest as of this writing), Again, I’ve (mostly) got titles and captions. I’ve noticed a bit of my photos are kind of dark lately but I can’t figure out if it’s the lighting or something odd set on my camera.

Written By: Gary on January 28, 2007 No Comment

Costa Rica Montezuma WaterfallSo here’s the Montezuma Waterfall that we climbed way up into the hills to get to. We swam and (I) jumped into the pool there and then we climbed way farther up into the hills to get way above the waterfall (and there were a few more pools up there too) and then I climbed down past them so that if you were where I was when I took this movie you’d seem me at the top of the falls.

I know I’m behind in getting stuff up, but I’m getting there. FYI, I rotated this movie, so if it doesn’t play, can you please let me know?!?

Written By: Gary on January 7, 2007 2 Comments

Cr Montezuma Big MapSo we really liked Montezuma, I’ve never been in that peninsula in Costa Rica and I’ve always wanted to go there (I think it’s called the Nicoloyia Nicoya Peninsula). We just kept extending our stay a day here and there and ended up staying four nights. We’re really glad we stayed an extra day or we would have missed the island of Tortuga (more on this later). It’s a very small town, just a few streets but it’s very laid back and I’ll definitely go back!

Seems like a bit of a surfer town, but we saw very little surfing, even though there were lots of places to rent/buy surfing supplies. The water seemed very clear but part of that may have just been because the sand is so dark in Jaco. Speaking of Jaco, it seems like it’s a bit mini-Jaco before it grew, maybe if you could roll it back 30-40 years.

Here is a street map of Montezuma. You can see all the busineeses on this map. If there is nothing listed it’s probably just trees or sand. Size-wise most of the hotels only have 10-15 rooms so they don’t take up much room. Most of it is concentrated in the top have of the map with Chico’s Bar (#14) at the center o the town, we stayed at El Sano Banano (#9) which is really close to the center.Things did seem less expensive in this town, but don’t assume and be sure to check the menu’s prices before you sit down. Generally (but not always) if a place lists the cost in US Dollars they are more expensive. FYI, no ATMs in this town so make sure you have cash, especially since many places will give you a better deal for cash than charge (mostly noticed this with tours, transportation and hotels).

It’s way more laid back and it’s a bit of a hippie/rastafarian/bohemian crowd that seems to have settled in there. Some just seem to be traveling for a while and stop for a few months or years and others just seem to have moved there. There seems to be a few Ticos (Costa Rican people) who have relocated up that way as well, they just think it’s more relaxed than some of the other places they’ve been.

Written By: Gary on January 3, 2007 No Comment

lower fallsSo we took a walk up to the lower waterfalls which were really small but were nice to swim in. It was just up the street and was pretty easy to get to. I’ll have pictures later, but the bandwidth here is very slow (it’s all dial-up).

Cr-Montezumafalls-2003Then we decided to hike it up to the bigger falls. This really was a hike but worth it. The falls were at least a hundred feet high (I’ll see if I can get a real number) and there was pond to swim and jump into from the surrounding rocks. You could also climb up on the rocks and get behind the falls and jump out through them. It’s really hard to swim around since the falls are generating current and huge amounts of spray and the closer you get you can feel the pressure(?) of the water impacting on the pond as you (try to) breathe.

Cr-Montezumafalls-1963It was a blast! I jumped off the rocks a few times and through the water fall multiple times too (Mark did no jumping). One of the thumbnails links to a photo of me diving in from top the rocks (not all the way up!) click for larger images of all the photos.

The we decided to climb up to the top of the waterfalls This was more of a mountain climbing expedition, it was tricky navigating the “trails” and twice I thought I’d lost Mark but he managed to hang on and we continued our quest. Once we we got to the top it turns out we were way above the falls. So then I had to go down two more levels to the top of the falls and then I was at the top, so if anyone took pictures of the falls at the time I was standing right there where the water came over the edge.

Getting back was another quest, some of it was much harder but it was shorter (and mostly downhill) so we did (eventually)make it back home alive!

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