An attempt to catch up on and summarise my time in Costa Rica: Part 1, Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center

So as you probably all know by now, I fell in love with Costa Rica. This is when you say “What?ย You’ve been to Costa Rica?”. Well, I’ll have you know I tried to keep it on the downlow!๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜‚ It’s kind of a running joke in my family that Isabelle says “This one time in Costa Riiica” ๐Ÿ™„. Well, I had no idea what to expect when I ย booked the trip back in July. Little did I know it would be the best experience of my life. Those very short ten weeks were so fulfilling in so many waysโœจ.

At one point when I was volunteering at ยดCosta Rica Animal Rescue Centerยด I just didn’t have the time to keep you guys updated anymore. For most of my time at the center there were hardly any volunteers to be seen which meant that there was more for us to do! This is not a complaint seeing as I got to stay busy and try out all the tasks.

When writing about the center I have to mention a lady who really showed me what true kindness is – Sarita. I know I wasn’t there for long but I have never seen such excitement in someone’s eyes when an animal is having a speedy recovery from an injury or such sadness when humans have treated that animal in a horrible way. As I have mentioned before, the center has gone through very tough times but Sarita has continued working through it all and kept the volunteers going with a big smile on her face. Such an utterly kind person.

IMG_6375 from Isabelle Arding on Vimeo.

Here’s Sarita showing us a sloth in the ‘sloth garden’ where the little cuties get a chance to roam around once they are closer to recovery and being released. As you probably know, seeing a sloth on the ground is very unusual but they do climb down when they need to ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ๐Ÿ’ฉ.

IMG 6376 from Isabelle Arding on Vimeo.

I’m sorry, sloth overload, but they really are the best creatures ๐Ÿ˜. The most important message here is what Sarita is saying in the video: The rescue center’s mission is to give these animals a second chance. Rescue, Rehabilitate and Release!

you can always follow the center on facebook and if you would like to volunteer they will welcome you with open armsย





Some of my favourite sloth pictures from my time at the center. If the quality of the pictures is extremely good I didn’t take them because my phone was not capable of that!

My personal favourite was Salima the sociable porcupine. Unfortunately she had been kept as a pet and cannot be realeased (which is why I’m holding her in the picture). Animals that can be released should be touched as little as possible!!



Nik bringing out his nursing instinctsโ˜๐Ÿผ๏ธ๐Ÿ‘ฆ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป.

Below is a video of me getting peed on by a Kinkajou just as lovely Victoria (the center’s Biologist) is about to film me and Sofia. Victoria and her boyfriend Patrik are also Swedish by the way! big up, big up! Patrik’s hat had somehow ended up in the Kinkajou’s house so I climbed to get it out).

IMG 6596 from Isabelle Arding on Vimeo.

IMG 6601 from Isabelle Arding on Vimeo.


Rosie and Chuletta getting fedโ˜๐Ÿผ.

Possum feeding time โ˜๐Ÿผ๏ธ

After every meeting we cheered for someone or something. This is us cheering for the dog ย Wallace โ˜๐Ÿผ๏ธ๐Ÿถ.

Many, many laughs were had at the center. I believe it’s because there were people from all around the world there. An international environment is always so much more fun and accepting! This game of spoons got really aggressive though…partly my fault to be honest. .IMG_6592.JPG

IMG 6583 from Isabelle Arding on Vimeo.

Nik being attractive as usual..


Jarrah, my crazy Australian who I later got to meet up with and go on adventures with โ˜๐Ÿผ๏ธ. Ridiculously artistic and has done plenty of henna art for me as well as an anklet which Im still wearing by the way!ย 

Wherever I was I could always find a spectacular sunsetโ˜๐Ÿผ๏ธ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿผ.IMG_6471.JPG

Not looking my best all covered in mud but had to include this picture of two of my main chicks, Jarrah and Sofiaโ˜๐Ÿผ๏ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ.

Thank you Animal Rescue Center for everything you have taught me ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’๐Ÿญ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿ—๐Ÿท๐Ÿ–โ˜˜๐Ÿ€๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒŽ.

Many fond memories were created during my two weeks here. I also want to thank the center’s taxi driver/guide Jhonny for making my two days off so much fun by showing us all those great places. (He doesn’t speak English so hopefully this page is translatable)




El Avion is a restaurant in Manuel Antonio with a crashed plane inside it as well as an amazing view of the forest!

On our second trip Jhonny took us to Monteverde to go ziplining as well as quadbiking (ATV). Look at that, how can a country be so beautiful?



I was in awe of this tree.


Me being a child!โ˜๐Ÿผ๏ธ

The gang! โ˜๐Ÿผ๏ธ


I cannot describe how nervous I felt doing the ziplining! I’m sooo scared of heights! I mean, look at that face I’m pulling and the fear in my eyes!! ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ


More awkwardness…All hunched up…

In my defense we joined the spanish speaking group for the instructions and we were told thatย if you don’t hold your hand in the right position, you will dislocate your shoulder. You are absolutely NOT allowed to close your hand at any point. You pull your hand down to brake, but without closing it. Fancy not understanding those instructions and going to hospital?!๐Ÿ˜ฑ



Veronika looked so free doing the Superman with her Camera in one hand!

Jhonny didn’t manage to film me doing the Tarzan swing, but I did it, I promise. And I did not stop screaming. Weirdest sensation ever….sooo here’s Veronika!

P1010673 from Isabelle Arding on Vimeo.

Sooo about the quadbikes. We rented fewer bikes to save money. Veronika was an excellent driver and Sofia ended up behind her. Andrea and Jhonny had their own bikes and I somehow ended up behind the guide. He drove insanely fast and we both got completely drenched in mud. But it was extremely thrilling, going on two wheels and all sorts!! (My Mum would not have been happy seeing that but the guide luckily knew what he was doing) We all laughed and laughed at this video because of the difference between the speed me and the guide were going at and the speed Andrea was going at!

IMG 6650 from Isabelle Arding on Vimeo.

Thank you again Costa Rica!! ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ท


Manuel Antonio

I’ve got some time to write!

Day off yesterday was excellent! 

Sofia, Nik, Kristina and I got picked up outside the centre at 5.30 am yesterday by our driver Jhonny (yes that’s how he spells his name). We were all so excited about our day off! The music in the car was excellent. Latin music was played non stop (reggaeton, bachata and also dancehall). I am going to be driving my friends crazy back home with all this music!!โ€‹

โ€‹We stopped off for breakfast and as usual most breakfast options include rice and beans but I got to order an omelette, woo! Kristina doesn’t speak any Spanish and Jhonny doesn’t speak any English so I acted as a translator all day

Afterwards we Stopped off by the side of the road to see some crocodiles. This was an incredibly exciting experience! 


Kristina makes me laugh ๐Ÿ˜‚

When we got back in the car Jhonny got a phone call and found out that the national park is closed on Mondays. He resolved it by booking us in for a boat trip through a mangrove forest instead!

We stopped off at a place with a beautiful view and We saw macaws flying above us. Of course being me I didn’t get a good picture of them. Here’s the view! ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿผ

Kristina was trying to make me do all sorts of poses where I flick my hair etc but I don’t think I’m a natural poser ๐Ÿ˜‚.

First we visited the beach in Manuel Antonio (playa espadilla). IT was all a massive photo shoot as well! I drank the juice from a coconut with a straw which was another new experience!

Shortly after this we had the tour trough the forest. It was like those documentaries where the narrator says something like  “somewhere deep in the Amazon jungle…”


Can you spot the three toed sloth in the tree? โ˜๐Ÿผ๏ธ.They go green in the wild because they’re covered in algae. Another fun fact: 

For years people have thought that sloths are evolutionarily useless. What is more, that they’re stupid for leaving the tree once a week to go for a poo on the ground instead of just doing it whilst hanging from the tree. I mean why risk dying when you can’t possibly defend yourself? Well, the reason they do this is to fertilise the tree they’re sitting in. I don’t think that’s useless. Do you?

The guide started making some weird noises to summon the capuchin monkeys. This very old, wrinkly monkey showed up โ˜๐Ÿผ๏ธShe’s been cast out of the pack because of her age๐Ÿ˜ž. I thought monkeys took care of each other!


They took me by surprise! โ˜๐Ÿผ๏ธ. The guide had also captured a baby crocodile that he had seen swimming on its own. He said that he couldn’t release the baby crocodile yet because the other crocodiles would eat it. I really wasn’t a fan of this seeing as he obviously gets it out several times a day for tourists to hold. In addition to this there was a baby snake as well.

After the tour we went back to the beach and stayed there for a couple of hours. We kept diving head first into the waves. So much fun!!

We finished our day with a trip to ‘the crashed plane restaurant’. That’s definitely not what it’s called so I’ll have to find that out! Really cool though! An actual abandoned plane is part of the restaurant .I had fajitas and they carved a pumpkin face into the onion on my plate ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ!

I’ll add the pictures from then on later because they were taken on other people’s phones. 

We then began our journey back accompanied by amazing Latin and dance hall tunes in the car. I was the only one dancing after three hours ๐Ÿ˜‚. Just because I told Jhonny I listen to ‘wine and kotch’ when I motivate myself before going to work he played it like ten times and everyone found it so annoying ๐Ÿ˜…. ‘It’s a shame we only just missed the Halloween party at the centre when we got back! 

 Tomorrow Andrea, Veronica, Sofia and I are going ziplining in monte verde! We’ll be able to have a full day of Spanish as well, finally! I’m also going to be brave and face my fears by doing the Tarzan swing ๐Ÿ˜ฑ.

Sleep tight!! ๐Ÿ’

Los perezosos

I’m at the end of my first week and I’ve really enjoyed the work here so far. 

Nonetheless, I need to start by sharing some really sad news from today. One of the howler monkeys was pregnant but she gave birth to a still born at 5 am this morning. This happened Despite the efforts of Staff checking on her every few hours during the night. Sarita went in to the enclosure and saw the mother holding her baby, trying to understand what happened. Sarita tried everything to resuscitate the baby and even though there was nothing physically wrong with the baby it wasn’t breathing (Sarita did say the baby was unusually big. All in all, this was really sad news to everyone.

I helped clean the enclosure and scrub away the blood. As chase, Sofia and I approached the enclosure we saw how the mother was lying on the ground being cared for by the other monkeys. She spent the whole day on the ground just sitting there and as I walked past I could see how watery her eyes were. This was heart wrenching to watch because I can’t even imagine what losing a child like that would feel like. The howler monkeys are also such gentle creatures and that makes it even more upsetting. 

I chose to be on sloth duty both in the morning and afternoon. Either you prepare food for the animals or you help with the sloths basically and after come all the other tasks. 

I forgot to mention that I got up at 6 am to help feed the baby possums. One part of it is holding them so that they’re on their back whilst rubbing their genitals so that they do number 1 and 2. I tried but couldn’t quite get the hang of it so I’ll have to try another day..

I know I haven’t been adding pictures but they’ll have to be done  later during the week when I finish my project and potentially have a better internet connection. In the meantime I’ll show you this picture of some sleeping baby sloths.

I’m also currently making a tube for some of the smaller animals to use. It’s part of the ‘toys and enrichment’ task and seeing as I normally don’t do anything like that I thought I’d challenge myself . It’s not the prettiest but I’m almost done! I found the material inside a palm tree whilst collecting rubbish! 

Tomorrow is my first day off so we will be heading to Manuel Antonio and the famous national park. We’re getting picked up at 5.30 am. Did I mention this yesterday? It’s 10 PM and I can barely keep my eyes open! Oh, and in the evening were having a Halloween party. I wonder what I’m gonna go as?

Jarrah left today and it’s such a shame, but we’ve decided to meet up later on during our time in Costa Rica and that’set in stone!

Speak soon ๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ‘ป