A Few Days in Costa Rica

I was really excited to visit Costa Rica. While there I learned plenty.  Although there were a few bumps in the road it was an amazing trip. I would have loved to spend more time there, but I only had a few days and made the most of it!

A Few Days in Costa Rica ©2016 HollyDayz

Day 1

Arriving in the San Jose airport, I noticed many people were in the Duty Free shop near baggage claim. These were people who had just gotten off their flight. As I saw them coming out many had huge bottles of alcohol or big boxes of wine. The question many had was, why are they buying duty free alcohol? The answer ended up being pretty simple…it was apparently cheaper then purchasing it outside of the airport. We didn’t go that route and left the airport to get to the rental car company.

After waiting a good while for the shuttle to the rental car everyone started getting ancy in the hot sun. Just when a plan was formed to grab a taxi, the shuttle showed up and we all piled in. Most rental cars there are manual so we had to make sure to get an automatic. Once we got the GPS working correctly we were on our way to our Airbnb in Esterillos Este.

We were extremely happy to have that GPS seeing as there are no street signs at all. We would make several turns many times in what appeared to be very different streets, but according to the GPS we were on the same road! Everything seemed so close to the road as well. It almost felt like we were in the house or business right from the car. After a good amount of time we were driving on what seemed like more of a highway and were paying a few tolls to keep moving.

Store and Soda we stopped at ©2016 HollyDayz
Store and Soda we stopped at ©2016 HollyDayz

After hitting traffic due to construction and many areas only having 1 or 2 lanes to drive, we finally got near the Airbnb, but stopped at a store/soda. We were starving at this point and got some pizza which was really good and only $1.86 for a slice. We also got some snacks, water, and they got some alcohol. Once we reached the house the sun was almost finished setting. It was such a beautiful house called Casa Tucana.

Kitchen in Casa Tucana ©2016 HollyDayz
Kitchen in Casa Tucana ©2016 HollyDayz

After we roamed the house inside and out we decided we would hang out by the pool a little and unwind. While I was in the bathroom changing the lights went out. I thought maybe it was just in my room and had to feel around for my phone to use it as a flashlight. I would soon find out the entire house lost power. After my friend played with the circuit breaker we realized the entire neighborhood lost power.

We searched the house and found electric tea lights which didn’t emit much light and placed them around the pool. With that, an iPod, and portable speaker we hopped into the pool and swam around in the dark with lightning appearing in the distance. After a few hours the power came back on and it began to pour rain. We just kept swimming since we were already wet. Getting hungry and my friends running out of alcohol we tried to go to the store.

Pool once the power came back on ©2016 HollyDayz
Pool once the power came back on ©2016 HollyDayz

It was about 9pm and stores would be closing up soon. We put some clothes on and hopped in the car. As we were driving it began to rain horribly and nothing was open or everything was closing so we went back to the house empty handed. After a few flickers the lights went back out and we had chips and water for dinner. This time we had a couple of lanterns.

Day 2

Around 2:20am the electricity came back on. It was pretty loud and woke me up. I was happy to have the air conditioner back and I immediately jumped up to charge everything possible just in case. Sadly I couldn’t go back to sleep and was up for the rest of the day. We had to be out the door early to go zip lining.

Quepos Airport ©2016 HollyDayz
Quepos Airport ©2016 HollyDayz

We stopped at a soda near the meeting location to get some breakfast. The meeting location was at the parking lot of Quepos Airport which is very small. We had a beautiful view of the mountains and watched a small plane take off and land over and over. Finally the shuttle came and we followed it to El Santuario Canopy Adventure. It was such an amazing experience, especially flying over the tree tops on the longest zipline in Central America.

Zipping across. Pic courtsey of El Santuario Canopy Adventure
Zipping across. Pic courtsey of El Santuario Canopy Adventure

After zip lining and sweating (98 degree weather with a 100% humidity) like never before we got back in the car to head back to the house. I ended up dozing off in the backseat after being up for so long. Once we got back to the house I hopped in the shower and changed clothes. We had to get ready to go horseback riding on the beach.

Some of the horses eating ©2016 HollyDayz
Some of the horses eating ©2016 HollyDayz

We arrived to The Riding Adventure ranch earlier than expected. We didn’t realize it was so close to the house we were staying at. I called the owner to let him know we were there early. Once he arrived he started to round up the horses and feed them before he saddled them up and we rode out. I have always wanted to go horseback riding on the beach. It was so beautiful and peaceful and I really enjoyed it.

Sunsetting during our ride ©2016 HollyDayz
Sunsetting during our ride ©2016 HollyDayz

Once we were done we headed to get dinner and stopped at the store again before heading back to the house. I was exhausted and laid down for a bit while everyone else hung out in the pool drinking. Soon after, I hung out in a hammock before just calling it a night.

Hammock Area ©2016 HollyDayz
Hammock Area ©2016 HollyDayz

Day 3

We woke up somewhat early to gather our things. We were leaving the beautiful house and staying at a hotel closer to the airport in San Jose. Before we headed back we stopped in Jaco to walk around and get some breakfast. We found a cute spot to eat outside. The food was really good and an iguana stood their like a dog waiting for a bite.

Iguana during breakfast ©2016 HollyDayz
Iguana during breakfast ©2016 HollyDayz
Breakfast in Jaco ©2016 HollyDayz
Breakfast in Jaco ©2016 HollyDayz

After breakfast we walked over to the beach. The sand wasn’t your typically sand. It reminded me of a sugar charcoal facial scrub. I saw people sitting down covered in it. I took my flip flops off and dipped my feet in the warm ocean water. The views surrounding the ocean were beautiful.

Playa Jaco ©2016 HollyDayz
Playa Jaco ©2016 HollyDayz

After we were done at the beach we walked barefoot down the street looking for a place to rinse off out feet. We found a place at a little RV spot that had showers. It looked a bit run down, but it got the job done. We headed back to the car to head to San Jose where I fell asleep in the back of the car. Once we arrived to our hotel we unloaded everything and took a walk over a bridge to buy some souveniors and then grabbed some food.

Hotel Room ©2016 HollyDayz
Hotel Room ©2016 HollyDayz

We decided to drive to Central San Jose, which took some time because there was traffic. As we got into the area I noticed street signs for the first time. The amount of people I saw reminded me of Times Sq. times 5. The amount of police was nothing like I had ever seen on a normal day. Huge bus loads of cops where being dropped off and picked up. Every cop had a partner as they walked around. It was so different going from hardly seeing anyone to seeing so many people.

Nacional Teatro ©2016 HollyDayz
Teatro Nacional ©2016 HollyDayz

Central San Jose seemed very seedy. We watched some street dancers, saw the beautiful Teatro Nacional, and got some ice cream. We walked up and down the streets and saw people selling remote controls and begging for money. After purchasing some coffee my friend’s spidey senses felt it was time to go so we headed back to the car. As we drove away we realized we liked Costa Rica, but we certainly didn’t feel the need to come back to this area of San Jose.

Dancers performing in the street ©2016 HollyDayz
Dancers performing in the street ©2016 HollyDayz

Costa Rica was an amazing time and I would certainly go back. There is so much to see and do. It is a beautiful country and I am glad I got a smattering of it. I look forward to returning.

Have you been to Costa Rica? How was your experience?

45 thoughts on “A Few Days in Costa Rica

    • March 16, 2016 at 11:33 am
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      Thank you.

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  • March 16, 2016 at 1:35 am
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    It sounds like you had quite the adventure in Costa Rica. I can’t even imagine seeing an iguana up close.

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    • March 16, 2016 at 11:34 am
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      It was certainly an adventure!

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  • March 16, 2016 at 6:17 am
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    I have friends who visit Costa Rica every year. It’s definitely a beautiful place and one I would love to see.

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    • March 16, 2016 at 11:34 am
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      I don’t blame there. There is so much to see and do there. You should join them if you can.

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  • March 16, 2016 at 7:18 am
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    Your sunset ride looks like it was amazing!!! I was just telling my husband that I want to venture out to countries like costa rica!

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    • March 16, 2016 at 11:35 am
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      It was beautiful. You two should go, you would enjoy it

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  • March 16, 2016 at 11:26 am
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    I’m so jealous! I want to zipline too. And looks like the weather was beautiful!!!!

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    • March 17, 2016 at 6:35 pm
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      It was beautiful and humid zip-lining

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  • March 16, 2016 at 12:01 pm
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    What an adventure, I would have freaked out at the power going out. Sounds like you totally made the best of it. The horses on the beach were beautiful, I’ve always wanted to do that. I love the zip line but I’ve not had this kind of view.

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    • March 24, 2016 at 10:50 am
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      The power going out wasn’t cool. I was glad I wasn’t alone. This is when solo travel doesn’t sound so great lol.

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  • March 17, 2016 at 1:30 am
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    The house and the pool look amazing! I loved your zip lining adventure and the horse back riding! It looks so lush there but I hate iguanas lol

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    • March 24, 2016 at 10:51 am
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      It was very lush and beautiful. That iguana acted like a dog. It was pretty amusing.

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  • March 17, 2016 at 9:38 pm
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    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. It was so descriptive. I felt like I was there with you guys. #BLMgirl

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    • March 24, 2016 at 10:52 am
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      I am so glad. Thank you so much.

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  • March 18, 2016 at 8:30 am
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    Wow- the power went out? Yikes! Glad you didn’t let that put a damper on your time there. The photos are beautiful. I have always wanted to visit.

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    • March 24, 2016 at 10:53 am
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      Thank you! Yea it sure did go out, but we made the most of it.

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  • March 18, 2016 at 3:51 pm
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    Holly you really did pack a lot into ade ways! That’s how I like to travel! Looks like it was a really awesome trip!

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    • March 24, 2016 at 4:17 pm
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      I know..I have a tendency of doing that. It was a great trip

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    • March 25, 2016 at 12:04 pm
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      Yes it is

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    • March 25, 2016 at 12:04 pm
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      I try to get a lot done in small amounts of time.

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  • March 22, 2016 at 12:23 pm
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    Costa Rica is on my list… just haven’t managed to get down there… your post just confirmed that I need to get on it! haha

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    • March 25, 2016 at 12:05 pm
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      Yea you gotta get on it. You will love it.

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  • March 22, 2016 at 1:08 pm
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    I want to go to Costa Rica so bad. I keep hearing good things. Looks like you had an amazing time.

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    • March 25, 2016 at 12:05 pm
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      I want to go back. So much to see and do. I had a great time.

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  • March 22, 2016 at 2:59 pm
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    Wow!! The sunset horse pictures are so incredible! This trip looked amazing! Thank you for sharing!
    xo
    Krista

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    • March 25, 2016 at 12:06 pm
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      Thank you so much! I had a great time.

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    • March 25, 2016 at 12:06 pm
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      You should!

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  • March 22, 2016 at 8:53 pm
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    I have always wanted to zipline. You’re so lucky! My dad went to Costa Rica when he was in his twenties and told me how much he loved it. I have to go someday.

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    • March 25, 2016 at 12:07 pm
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      It is a great place that many people have enjoyed. You should go soon.

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  • March 23, 2016 at 12:25 am
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    So many people I know visit Costa Rica regularly and your post just made me want to visit even more! The horse riding on the beach sounds amazing and your photos are beautiful!

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    • March 25, 2016 at 12:08 pm
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      I am not surprised it is a great place with many things to do. The horseback riding was beautiful I loved it.

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  • March 23, 2016 at 10:08 am
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    Your pics are amazing! I love Central America so much. I’ve spent a lot of time in El Salvador, but never ventured down to Costa Rica. Zip lining there is definitely on my bucket list!

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    • March 25, 2016 at 12:08 pm
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      Thank you. Hopefully you will get down to Costa Rica soon.

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  • March 23, 2016 at 7:05 pm
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    I never was interested in Costa Rica but it seems like in the last few years so many people I know have gone and had a great time. It is definitely on my travel bucket list. Great pictures!

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    • March 25, 2016 at 12:09 pm
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      Thank you. I know I did and would go back to see more. I think you would really enjoy yourself.

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    • March 25, 2016 at 12:09 pm
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      It was beautiful.

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    • April 11, 2016 at 11:31 pm
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      Aww I think you could always try something a little less daring to get your feet wet.

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  • May 19, 2016 at 2:56 am
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    its been 7 months since, we are planning to visit Rica for our holiday camp but, now we are clear with the full plan. Thanks for the wonderful post.

    Reply

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