Travel Guide: Costa Rica!

Costa Rica was a fun trip to plan, or not plan depending on how you look at it! We went into this trip pretty open minded. We made sure to have all of the places we were staying booked but pretty much left the activities open and figured we would see what we wanted to do when we got there. Which worked out great for us! I’ve been asked a lot questions about where we stayed, what part of Costa Rica we visited, and what activities we did while we were there. So I am going to cover ALL of that in this post! Incase you’re thinking of planning a trip. Which I highly encourage you to do so!

First stop: Tamarindo- Beach Town! We knew two things when booking this trip. We wanted to spend part of our time at the beach and part of our time in the rain forest. So here’s what we did! We flew into San Jose, rented a car from Adobe (Pro-tip: be careful, when renting a car. We did our research beforehand and we aware that some of the companies there will try to rip you off when you get there. You think you are paying one price and you get there and the insurance makes the price sky rocket. Also make sure you are given a spare tire and tools to change it!) Adobe was great, very friendly and we had no problems!

From there we drove to our AirBNB in San Jose and spent the night. It is not recommended to rive at night there, if you don’t know the roads. The next morning we got an early start and hit the road to Tamarindo! It’s about a 5 hour drive. However it took us much longer because there was an accident on a 1 lane road and the medics took quite a while to get there. If this happens to you, don’t fret, remember your in Costa Rica! And it also helps to have some good music on the radio. ;)

In Tamarindo we stayed in 2 different places. The first place was called Las Velas Blancas. (Also booked trough AirBNB) which was an absolute dream. It’s a proper that consists of 5 secluded huts on Playa Grande (a private beach across from the main Tamarindo beaches) This place was magical, there is a swimming pool on the property , communal hammocks and seating areas where you can watch the best sunsets! Apparently you can even see howler monkeys on the property (We didn’t see any) but Jose the property attendant is awesome and will help you with anything you need! Now don’t get me wrong, these huts are not The 4 Seasons, you will find a few ants and bugs here and there. But that just comes with the territory. If there is one piece of advice I could give, it is to embrace the peacefulness and serenity of Playa Grande because it really is something special! We spent 3 days there hanging by the pool, laying out on the beach, drinking wine while the sun sets, and watching the surfers. There is also a cute little town that you could even walk to with some of the best restaurants and little bodegas for groceries.

Las Velas Blancas

Las Velas Blancas

After that we move to our next AirBNB for 2 days. After a few days in peace and quiet, we wanted to move somewhere a little more lively while still hanging by the beach! SO the next places was a 2 minute drive to downtown Tamarindo where all of the action is! Lots of shops. restaurants, and people. While we were here we rented surf boards, explored the surrounding beaches, and dined at some really great spots. Our favorite was Pangas Beach club! It was recommended to us by friends who had been and they were right! They have beautiful outdoor seating right on the beach and the food & drinks were really good! Also if you’re looking for a coffee shop while your there, I would definitely stop by _____ I went both mornings for their lattes and avocado toast! YUM!

Tamarindo Beach

Tamarindo Beach

Tamarindo Beach

Tamarindo Beach

Tamarindo Beach

Tamarindo Beach

Tamarindo Town

Tamarindo Town

Next stop: La Fortuna- rainforest & volcano! After our beach days were over, we headed to the rainforest Which happen to also be home to the Arenal Volcano and some of the best hot springs! So it was a win win!

You can see the Volcano through the window here! Such a cool site!

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We arrived at our Air BNB in La Fortuna. A house with a view of the volcano. The shower in this house was designed to feel like your in the jungle with real plants. It’s so cool, they also had a pool in the back with a swim up bar surrounded by lush vegetation and flowers! Unfortunately we were so busy exploring, we didn’t have much time to relax in it…next time! haha.

Air BNB La Fortuna

Air BNB La Fortuna

During our stay, we decided to hike a trail leading to Rio Celèste! A beautiful waterfall where the water is a gorgeous turquoise. You can hire a guide if you like, but we hiked it ourselves no problem. On your hike there, it its likely that you will see monkeys swinging from the trees! It takes about an hour to hike to the waterfall from the parks entrance.

Rio Celèste

Rio Celèste

Rio Celèste

Rio Celèste

On our final day in La Fortuna, it was my goal to make it to a hot springs, so that is exactly what we did! There are several different ones to choose from and they vary in pricing. From what I had seen, Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa had the best scenery. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. It was like something out of a jungle fairytale. A day pass entry with 1 meal included is $85 per adult. There are a few different options available though depending on what best suits your needs. Pricing also goes up during peak season.

Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa

Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa

Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa

Tabacon Thermal Resort & Spa

Arenal Volcano

Arenal Volcano

I also highly recommend you take a sloth tour! They are cool animals to see up close. Most sloths stay high up in the trees so your guide will carry binoculars, but we were lucky enough to see one pretty close up.

Sloth Tour

Sloth Tour

Sloth Tour

Sloth Tour

And that’s a wrap on Costa Rica 2019! Let me know if you have any questions about where we stayed, activates, weather.. etc!

Coloradograms: Vail & Garden Of The Gods

What do you do when you arrive in Denver Friday Morning, have a wedding in Vail Saturday afternoon, and fly out Sunday evening? You try to jam pack as much exploring as you possibly can into one weekend!

Here’s what we did:

Flew into Denver Airport and arrived around 11 am. Hopped on a bus to our rental car and hit the road to Vail. We made one pit stop for lunch (Jimmy John’s duh!). Chase was actually in the wedding so he had to be at the rehearsal at 3:00 pm. We got to Vail around 1:00 pm, quickly explored Vail Village. Basically just on the hunt for wine (we found it!), then checked into our AIRBNB at Vail Racquet Club. (highly recommend btw- they gave us a free upgrade to a 2 bedroom suite and it’s only about 7 minutes from Vail Village!) Chase changed quick and flew out the door, meanwhile I took my time getting ready for the Meet & Greet at Four Seasons at 6:00pm. Flash forward to Saturday morning. Chase didn’t have to be at the ceremony until 1:30, so we finally had some time to explore a bit. We drove around Vail and pretty much stopped anywhere that looked worthy of a photo op. The pines were so pretty with all of the snow! Pro-tip: renting a car really is the best way to go. I know I say this about all of our trips, but if you want to make the most of your trip, you will listen ;) Wedding festivities took place the rest of the day/night at the Sonnenalp. Flash forward to Sunday morning! Okay so this is when the real exploring kicks in. We have until 3:00 pm to take in all of Colorado’s beauty. We make a last minute decision to drive to Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. Mind you this is an hour south of Denver but it had been on our list so why not!

Okay Garden of the Gods is really cool! Not only is it pretty with the red rocks but you can actually climb them too! Only serious climbers with a permit were allowed to climb the tall ones (which there were some climbing while we were there) but there are a few crevices in the rocks that are really fun for the basic climber. As Chase said, my inner tom boy came out! haha. Anyway my point is that it’s definitely breathtaking and worth driving an hour out of our way.

Okay phew. Just reminiscing about this weekend tires me out all over again, but it was all worth it! Plus we got to see our friends get married, so win win! Here are some pics from our trip below:

Vail, Colorado

Vail, Colorado

Vail, Colorado

Vail, Colorado

Chase and I

Chase and I

Garden of the Gods  , rock climbing!

Garden of the Gods , rock climbing!

Exploring San Francisco

Where to explore:

It was my goal to visit as many places on our list as possible within a few days! If you’ve been following me for a while you know I love pretty backdrops and always do my research on places with the best views before a trip! So below are some of my favorites that are great stops if you are traveling with friends or a significant other!

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Bernal Heights Park- Pretty views of San Fran! It’s an easy hike to the top where you will find this swing! Pro tip- go earlier in the day. You won’t have to wait to snap a pic on the swing! However- this place still flies pretty under the radar so chances are there might be 1 or 2 other people waiting to snap a pic.

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Golden Gate Bridge Lookout- Battery Spencer located on the other side of the bridge from San Fran in Sausalito. It’s the best place for a pic of the city with the bridge! It tends to get crowded and parking can be a battle. I suggest parking down at the bottom and walking up. It only takes about 15 minutes. Pro tip- return for sunset and drive all of the way to the top. It’s unreal! (Bam Margera from Jackass asked my BF to take his photo here, haha!)

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Baker Beach- You can’t really go wrong driving anywhere along the coast, but this was another spot on my list. It’s the best location to get the beach and Golden Gate Bridge in one photo. (see photo below!)

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Point Bonita Lighthouse- According to a local this spot is still pretty undiscovered by most, but totally worth the hike. (Another easy one!) It was pretty foggy while we were there, but when it would break the ocean and cliffs we're beautiful!

Where to stay:

We wanted to stay in the heart of San Fran so we were close to all of the places we wanted to explore. The Clift, located in Union Square, was just what we needed and not to mention we had great views of the city from our windows. We stayed in a one bedroom suite. This includes, a dining area, living area, bedroom, bathroom, and vanity room. What more could you possibly need?

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The Clift Royal Sonesta- Sometimes you just want breakfast in bed! I highly recommend!

Napa Wineries:

We figured since we had traveled all of the way to the West Coast, it was only right to check out Napa while we were there. Plus, it’s only a little over an hour from San Fran! We stayed in an AirBNB for the night that was close to the wineries and then just hopped around all day. I mean wine not!? ;) #WhenInNapa

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Round Pond Estate- We were on the hunt for palm tree lined streets and based on my extensive research (ha!) I know of at least 2 that have them! Round Pond Estates and Scribe Winery. Pro tip- Both wineries need reservations. I would book a week in advance.

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Robert Mondavi Winery- I love Robert Mondavi wine so this was a no brainer. Plus you can buy by the glass and don’t need reservations. :)

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Domaine Chandon- Calling all champagne and sparkling wine lovers! This is your stop, plus the view is gorgeous. Not a sparkling wine fan? Don’t worry they have still wines available by glass! Pro tip- most wineries require reservations. This one does not!

Domaine Chandon - Chase took this shot with his drone!

Domaine Chandon- Chase took this shot with his drone!

Where To Eat & Grab coffee:

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Palm House Restaurant- Caribbean cuisine. If you’re looking for a lively vibe, cute decor and yummy tacos and margs. Check out Palm House! All of the food has a fun Caribbean twist, like ceviche in a coconut! (See below!)

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Home Coffee Shop- I love anything rainbow so when I heard Home Bakery had Birthday Cake Lattes, well I’ve never made an easier decision. It really does taste like birthday cake in coffee form.