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