More to come!
We decided to travel to Costa Rica in October or the "green season." I was expecting to be drenched in rain the entire time, however that wasn't the case at all. The weather was sunny, hot and humid with a refreshing evening rain each night. The beaches weren't packed and at times we had the entire beach to ourselves! Costa Rica during the green season is the time to visit in my opinion!
We flew into San Jose and rented a car, and drove to our AirB&B in Playa Flamingo.
Some things we did around Playa Flamingo:
Playa Conchal: Beautiful beach made up of pink, white and tan shells! A perfect spot to cool off and enjoy life Pura Vida.
Playa Grande: about a half hour drive from Playa Flamingo. We pretty much had this beach to ourselves. We walked the beach, went body surfing and just spent time exploring. We saw sea urchins, colorful fish and stunning shells. We could also hear the howler monkeys off in the distance!
Town of Tamarindo: This is a busy tourist town, but definitely worth a visit. There are funky shops, great restaurants and beautiful beaches.
Catarata Llanos de Cortes: An hour and a half drive from Playa Flamingo. This is a spectacular easy/moderate hike around a waterfall. Be sure to go with a guide because it will be impossible to navigate without one. Our guide was very knowledgeable and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience! There is a $4 entry fee and remember to tip your guide.
We drove 3 and a half hours from Playa Flamingo to La Fortuna. The drive was an adventure in itself with stunning views.
We stayed a couple of days here and enjoyed the beauty of this magical place. La Fortuna is cute town with shops, delicious restaurants, friendly locals and a true Pura Vida vibe.
Our Air B&B was a bit out of town, and the neighbors cattle dog joined us for our walks, he even introduced us to his puppy which was adorable!
We spotted a flock of Macaws and enjoyed the colorful blooms of tropical flowers. Toucans and hummingbirds were common sights, Costa Rica is a true bird watchers paradise!
Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges hike: located at the Arenal Volcano foothills. This was an easy, well maintained hike. We opted for the self guided hike as it was easy and they give you a map.
Enjoy the treasures of nature as you spot metallic insects, vibrant hummingbirds, tropical flowers and tower above lush green trees. Listen to the roar of the waterfall and feel the cool rainforest air on your skin.
After our visit to La Fortuna we drove about three hours to San Jose where we enjoyed the towns action. We ate delicious food, checked out a museum, art gallery, and had a couple drinks at a local bar. We settled into our hotel where for a good night's sleep before heading home the following morning. Costa Rica and the Pura Vida lifestyle left a lasting impression.
Tips to remember
The roads in Costa Rica can be tricky, they aren't always maintained and you might just run into construction, random bumps in the road or livestock in the streets without warning. I would avoid driving at night at all costs because it just isn't safe. Hiring a driver is also not necessary.
Be sure to download your offline maps (we used Google with no problems) and plan your route carefully. Some people recommend renting a 4x4 but we did just fine in a car.
When you drive to various beaches there will be a seemingly random person there, tip them as they watch the parking lots.
Things to pack: Binoculars, sunscreen, bug spray, quick drying towels, sun hat, umbrella or rain poncho, water shoes.
On some of the more rough or not so touristy hikes, utilize the guide and remember to tip.
Don't be in a rush, embrace Pura Vita (Pure Life). Be mindful of all your senses because there might just be a family of monkeys playing in the trees above you!