Category: Travel

Pura Vida!

Pura Vida!

Arrival

Two weeks ago, Tyler (the hubs) and I were in Costa Rica for our long over-due honeymoon. We were in-between so many different destination choices, that eventually we just decided to pick one and save the rest for our next trips. Also, doing a price comparison, Costa Rica by far gave us the biggest bang for our buck. It had everything we were looking for- relaxation and adventure! We booked through Apple Vacations online, which made it easy.

The great thing was we had a direct flight from Chicago to Liberia right off the bat. Between the two of us, we downed an entire bag of Garrett cheese popcorn and two boxes of candy- we would be your definition snackers. Upon arrival, we realized the Liberia airport is small, which makes it super easy to navigate. You exit the plane and there are people holding signs with names on them to take you to your resort. We hopped on our bus and made the 1.5 hour trek to Dreams Las Mareas in El Jobo. According to reviews, the ride was supposed to be treacherous and bumpy, however, we really didn’t find it too bad.

Oh, I forgot to mention, Costa Rica is hot- very hot! We got to the resort, in our jeans of course since we were coming from Wisconsin after all, and were greeted with a cool towel and a glass of champagne while we checked in. We instantly changed into shorts, we literally were dying from the heat, and decided to hit up the first restaurant for lunch before we spent the rest of the afternoon laying by the pool. Even though it was an extremely long and early day, we instantly felt ourselves starting to relax. A week away from work is exactly what the both of us needed.

Zip Lining 

The next day we went zip lining with Spider Monkey Canopy Tours and let me tell you, it did not disappoint. Jose picked us up at the resort in his truck, which we were confused about at first, but it ended up being just fine! We arrived and were taken on a hike through the jungle, where we saw two sloths and a group of howler monkeys. The tour guide started shaking the tree and those monkeys can sure howl! After our hike, we made it to the start of the zip lining tour and the sites were absolutely beautiful.

As the start of zip lining got closer, I started to get a bit nervous. I’ve never been before and we were up awfully high. Tyler had done it in the past so he knew what to expect. I think what made me the most nervous was when they handed me some leather-bound gloves and said, “this is your brake.” Umm, what?

They harnessed me up and there was no going back! I’m glad I didn’t chicken out because it was a blast! After the first few lines, Tyler went down “superman” style vs. the traditional sitting position. Then, he started to be a bit more adventurous so the guide flipped him upside down and pushed him down the line- I was just terrified watching that! But, he said it was amazing. So, sure enough, Tyler convinced me to step out of my shell only a little bit and go superman style with him. Well, when you’re going alone the entire time and go with someone else almost double your weight, you go MUCH faster- and going face down was even worse! Even though I screamed the entire time, as he laughed, I’m glad I did it- it was so fun and I lived to tell the tale!

Arenal Volcano

Although we had a few days in-between where we did nothing but laid by the pool and ate nachos, we planned our next excursion to Arenal Volcano. We were hesitant to go since it was three hours away, but we decided it was worth it. When else would we get the chance to see a volcano like that?

Well, the day started extremely early. We were on the bus by 6:30 a.m. Our tour guide, Vinny, gave us great information on the country throughout our trip. We stopped for lunch at an authentic Costa Rican restaurant, which was fantastic. The fresh squeezed papaya juice, chicken and rice, and this amazing dessert that tasted like Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal were all great. After lunch, the trek continued. The closer we got to the volcano, the prettier it got. The volcano is closer to the rainforest, so everything was bright with beautiful plants and flowers. We arrived and started our hike through the rainforest. Tyler loves doing his videography, so we got wonderful shots throughout the day. They called our area the “cloud forest” because of how high up you are throughout the hike. There were hanging bridges throughout which were a bit terrifying to walk over, especially when there are groups of people on the bridge. Let’s just say we weren’t too excited going on those even though we pretend to be happy in this photo below, haha.

But, the volcano and sites were beautiful. I can honestly say I’ve never seen anything like it. I’d recommend this trip to anyone visiting Costa Rica.

Before we hit the road again, we stopped at some natural hot springs that were formed from the volcano. They were a bit more commercialized than I thought, but it was super relaxing. Next, we went to dinner at a restaurant near Arenal. The food was wonderful and it was the closest restaurant to the volcano- dinner with a view! Then, back on the bus. We got back to the resort around 10 p.m. It was a long day, but completely worth every minute!

The Rest

We spent the rest of the time trying out the new restaurants on the resort, reading books, napping, and starting adventures of our own. The resort is tucked away, so we decided to hike around the resort, and it was well worth it! About a half mile into our hike, we ran into a private beach with white sands and turquoise waters. It was gorgeous. We continued on and ran into a wild dog that wanted nothing to do with us, but made his way all the way to the resort.

Monkeys Galore

Another highlight of our trip- the monkeys! We had SO many spider monkeys at our resort. They only came out every few days, but one morning there were about 10 just hopping around our balcony. Tyler has amazing video, once he has it complete, I’ll post a link in this blog for you to check out. They were grabbing things out of his hands and eating any snacks they could find. Absolutely adorable.

Sunsets

We ended each day with a sunset. They were gorgeous! Bright orange with yellows and pinks. We sat in our beach chairs and just watched the sun go down, which was a perfect end of a day and start of an evening.

As we were taking video during one sunset, another photographer came up and said she wanted to get a picture of us with the sunset in the background. Who could pass that up?

It ended up being my favorite picture from the entire trip.

Overall 

Visit Costa Rica! It was amazing. The people were fantastic, the food was great, the adventures were fun and we definitely weren’t ready to leave. There was so much more we wanted to do, but couldn’t squeeze it in. Until next time, Costa Rica.

Pura Vida!