Hello loves, happy Thursday! I finally got around to writing about my recent travels to Costa Rica, and I’m so happy that I did because it brought me back to living the Pura Vida lifestyle. the term ‘Pura Vida’ is spanish for ‘pure life’, and it’s a phrase that completely encapsulates the culture of Costa Rica. It is used in many forms, such as a greeting, a compliment, or even further a way of life that is relaxed and simple.
Now to dive into all things Costa Rica. I broke this post up into 2 sections, 1 being all about our time in Jaco and the other being about our time in Guanacaste because both destinations were completely different from each other.
Part 1: Jaco, Costa Rica
Jaco (pronounced Haco- something I didn’t know until arriving in Costa Rica) is an awesome beach town about an hour and a half away from the San Jose airport. My friend Nora and I decided to stay at an AirBnB there, and it was a great option because I truly felt like we got a taste of what it’s like to be a local. The house/condo we stayed in was so beachy and cute, complete with a pool we could use and most importantly only 2 blocks from the beach, which was so beautiful. Photos don’t do it justice, but it was the first time I was on a beach with lush green mountains surrounding either side of it. The sand in Jaco is more rocky, so it was a trip getting into the water but the ocean was so warm and fun to swim in.
Another amazing part of Jaco was the food. O-M-G I’ve never had such authentic, yummy, flavorful food in one city. It was like a never ending list of restaurants to try, and they all were unique in their own way. My favorite thing to order was the Costa Rican Casado dish, which has rice, beans, plantains (my fav), salad, and a meat or fish- seriously so good. The breakfast options were also amazing, and there were so many healthy options like cacao and acai bowls, fruit, and juices.
A fun day trip from Jaco was going to the Manuel Antonio State park. We had heard about it and saw that there were tours you could book, but we weren’t interested in spending that much money, so Nora found out that you could take their version of a city bus to the park and we decided to do that. It was such a fun adventure, starting with riding the bus and passing by so many local and cultural areas of Costa Rica that you don’t see when at a resort. The park itself was really beautiful, with monkeys and sloths hanging in the trees. What we were most anxious to see was the white sand beach, and it did not disappoint. This beach was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. It was so beautiful and relaxing to look at, and the water was seriously perfect to just float around in. I would love to go back here some day and stay at one of the cool hotels in this area of Costa Rica.
Jaco is also known for it’s surfing. I had tried surfing once in San Diego, but had never taken lessons, so I decided that it would be so fun to try it out while in Costa Rica. We found a guy offering to teach, and he gave me some really great pointers on how to stand up on the board. The biggest thing I learned was to take my time getting up, and after a few practice rounds I was able to do it all on my own. It was so fun, and I can’t wait to keep practicing my surfing skills.
Part 2: Guanacaste, Costa Rica
While Jaco was so unique and vey cultural, we were ready for our next destination which we knew included unlimited drinks, food, pools, and beach. We headed to the RIU hotel which is a nice all-inclusive resort in Guanacaste Province, near the Liberia airport. It met all of our expectations and more. The room was beautiful, and we had our own balcony where I spent a lot time at doing yoga, meditating, or just staring off into the mountains surrounding us. The pools were amazing, as was the beach for relaxing and paddle boarding. This was my first time at an all-inclusive, and while I absolutely loved it, it definitely took some getting used to. We had amazing weather during this leg of the trip as well, so that was a great bonus and gave us so many beautiful sunsets.
And lastly, I couldn’t leave Costa Rica without doing some kind of excursion. We kept seeing people riding this huge zip line way above us when we were on the beach, so I decided that that was what I wanted to do! The zip line park was actually just across the road from our resort, but once we got there the nerves set in. I realized how high up these zip lines were, so it definitely took a big self pep-talk to tell myself that I could do it. And I did! It was such an amazing experience, you seriously felt like you were flying through the air. It was also such a fun way to see all of the beautiful nature that is in the mountains, and a great view of the beach too.
I was so sad to leave this beautiful country, but I have a feeling that I will be back. There is so much to do and see there, and I feel like the time will come where I will need to be immersed in the Pura vida life again. If you read/looked through this whole post, thank you! I hope it inspires you to travel to Costa Rica if you get the chance.