Costa Rica, where all trails lead to waterfalls, a salty coastline, or luscious green jungle.
In Costa Rica, your money is best spent on epic experiences, from zip-lining to horseback riding to exploring caves and active volcanoes. Those memories will last longer than any souvenir.
One decision is final – if you choose this country, you choose adventure.
San Jose –
What I love about Hotel Presidente is the ability to stay on hotel grounds and still feel completely immersed in the culture of Costa Rica. The problem with a beautiful hotel is finding adequate time to spend outside the hotel. Leaving certain properties is hard but the next day we settled in our rental car with Adobe Rent-A-Car and were on our way North. We named her ‘Tica’ – word the natives use for Costa Rican girl.
First stop was La Paz Waterfalls and Garden. That day we saw many different indigenous animals that call Costa Rica their home. It was a great introduction to the country to familiarize ourselves with different flora and fauna that make up this beautiful land. We walk along six waterfalls that cascaded down a mountain. It was crazy to see the amount of water that flowed from each fall.
After the falls we made our way to Villa Blanca Cloud Hotel, North of San Ramon.
The 10 km drive off the main highway leading to the hotel was one of the most amazing drives I have ever taken. I said to my sister “Well I know where they got the slogan from, Hotel in White Clouds, because we are literally driving through just that.” At check in we were given warm towels and a refreshing drink, an unexpected service that was greatly appreciated. On this night Kelly and I had a lovely dinner at El Sendero and I finished of the night journaling and reading by the fire.
Villa Blanca really brings the culture to their guest, we milked cows with Antonio, admired a beautiful church on property, hiked to the hummingbird garden and walked among the dozens of greenhouses on property. After a fun filled morning on property it was on to the next one.
Volcano Arenal –
On the drive we passed by massive commercial hotels and high volume stays, we zoomed right passed them and headed straight to Majestic Properties. Set on top of a hill overlooking Volcano Arenal you will find your oasis — just as we did.
Lucky for us we went during November which was off-season, and we had the entire place to ourselves and enjoyed views from the infinity pool all ours for the taking. Equipped with a personal porch, full-kitchenette and private bathroom, we easily fell into the laidback luxury lifestyle. We couldn’t wait to grab our suits and jumped in the pool! Afterward my sister and I shared a pizza and beer at the restaurant attached, Howlers– Chatted with the locals (playing pool) and relaxed.
At night we fell asleep to the sound of ranas (frogs) on top of our personal mountain and in the morning woke up to a view of Volcano Arenal that can’t be described better than.. majestic.
This is the pure life. Pura Vida.
Head over to Rancho Margot for visionary sustainability initiatives, a day in the life of the ranch, homegrown food, and a look into what may just be the only option to live if we keep making the negative impacts on our world in our daily lives.
Take a ride into the ranch life, go even further by trotting on horseback to get an aerial few from above.
Zip-lining next up! If you didn’t go ziplining, did you really go to Costa Rica?
An adventure thrilled time is sure to be met with company, Canopy Los Cañones (Los Lagos Hotel, La Fortuna)
Afterward relax in the hotel springs attached to the hotel, the spring water comes from deep into the core of Volcano Arenal, this hotel has 15 different lounge spots, play then relax.
Now tell me where in the world can you gaze up at a volcano while ziplining, afterward bask in the hotsprings and in the afternoon enjoy a cold drink in your personal infinity pool.
Deserted beaches that stretch as far as the eyes can see. That’s what you’ll find here. Oh and a peninsula that is shaped like a whales tail.
We checked into Flutterby Hostel – Mostly good things to say about this place but the option to book online must be three days in advance (odd policy and will turn people away in my opinion), also, no breakfast included in our outdoor/in cabana at $80 a night. Another thing that had me quessin’ was the free wifi, that did not work in our room, and my two cold showers.
Besides all this great job on sustainable living, promoting ecotourism, the yoga studio, yummy purchased food, and brushing off good vibes, that rubbed off easily on beach goers/ hostal go-ers.
On our full last day in Costa Rica we visited a local waterfall – paid only 1,000 colones ($2) to swim, climb, jump and splash. I spent most of it lounging on a rock and admiring how the sun filtered through the leaves above. Afterward we purchased local coffee at Café Mono Congo, and sat along El Rio Baru. We got fueled up and headed toward the capital, San Jose.
I fell in and out of sleep but every once in a while I would open my eyes, to see coffee plantations zoom pass my window, small villages, a quick smile, and palm-lined roadside views.
Costa Rica is a long swath of rugged mountains, encompassing sublime coastlines, dotted with national parks, and all things.. lush green.
It was lovely to be travelling with my older sister, and meet up with my cousins while they live as expats in the gorgeous land of Costa Rica.