latin america, South America, Travel


March 2015

I guess I’ve been really into vacations on a whim lately, because when my friend from high school, Olivia, asked me to go to Costa Rica with her and her college friends, I said yes. It’s totally unlike me to be spontaneous (though I’d LOVE to be). It was only days before my planned road trip to West Texas with my friend, so I had to coordinate it well. After frequent flyer miles, an awesome Airbnb with a view and two swimsuits, I embarked on three short days & nights in Costa Rica.

So, we flew to Liberia with no specific plans, just knowing we were going to rent a car. After getting our four wheel drive, not-so-sure-what-brand car, we headed to check out our digs. Let me just tell you, I wasn’t expecting the roads to be so rough & unnamed. Never had I ever appreciated a four wheel drive more.

The Airbnb we stayed in was a guesthouse for a bigger place and it was great. Only the bedroom was air conditioned, so you were greeted by the 93 degree humidity in the morning, but that just reminded you that you’re on vacation. In a tropical place.

That infinity-ish pool made me really excited. We swam in that the first night, played water basketball, and then floated on our backs just staring at the bright, clear skies &amp stars. Every night ended with a shower and then swinging on the hammock waiting for our hair to dry. It was so peaceful and I’ll never forget it.

That first day, we checked out the beach nearby, Playa Conchal. It was a gorgeous shade of blue, so clear and such a hot day. Exactly what I needed after cold, rainy days in Texas.

We hadn’t eaten since before our plane ride, so we headed over to the clifftop restaurant near our place and soaked in the sunset views of the western coast. And enjoyed a few drinks & awesome food (plantains, beans, meat & some salad). It was the perfect end to our first day and we were hella excited to see more.
The next day was beach day all the way. We first headed to Playa Avellanas because I heard there was a nice beach-front bar/cafe place called Lola’s where you can watch all the good surfers. You can’t tell in this first picture (where I’m chilling in the perfectly-placed hammocks), but waves were SICK. Good for surfing if you know how to surf. We spent a few hours splashing & diving into them. The water is so much saltier here than in other parts of the world (or maybe I just forgot how salty the ocean could be). Also, make sure you have a steady intake of water because getting dehydrated in that sun isn’t hard. I chugged it like it was going out of style. I also didn’t have any alcohol during the day because that would’ve made it worse.
Then, we checked out Playa Tamarindo because we wanted to see the town. We heard it was tourist central and “a college town without the college” (our Airbnb hosts said that). Spoiler Alert: It wasn’t. It was actually pretty dead on weeknights (AKA when I was there) and not lots of young people. It wasn’t bad though! We spent our nights there because we had an inexpensive dinner place we liked.
Anyway, it was photoshoot central at that beach. I didn’t bring my professional camera, but my little point and shoot did the trick. It was a lot of fun posing in the water–I highly recommend being a little silly/vain and taking photos with your friends on vacation.
We also met up with a few more people that second night, but they were there for the surf so we didn’t see them during the day. The next (and my last full) day was MY FAVORITE. We went back to Tamarindo, asked a random guy about ATV tours and he instantly became our guide. He got us to the ATV tour place and insisted on taking us around personally. Also they threw in snorkeling. The ATVs were so much fun. At first, I was afraid (I was petrified) because there are so many steps for turning them on/off/parking and you needed to change gears. Automatic transmission cars in America did not prepare me for that. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a breeze. We went up rocky hills and loads of dirt roads. We also did a lot of tricks on the beach. JUMP SAND DUNES, you won’t regret it. It’s not unsafe if they are very slight sand dunes.
The snorkeling would’ve been better if I had remembered to pack my contacts (I KNOW RIGHT? Olivia also forgot her contacts. We were wearing glasses on our beach vacation.) However, the waters were gorgeous and we climbed & jumped off of rocks. It was fab.
That last night, we just chilled out and had dinner on the beach at night. Just listening to the waves was enough for me. It was so calming and I cannot imagine living in a landlocked place ever again. Sorry, Austin. You don’t have beaches.
The next morning I watched Olivia learn how to surf (and took a million pictures), had that famous Costa Rican coffee, and headed on my merry way back to Houston. My friends dropped me off at the airport before headed into the forest/volcano area for waterfalls and the like.
I’d like to thank all the Costa Ricans for being so kind to us. Of course, it was pretty much American tourists’ playground. Loads of places even took USD, which shocked me. It wasn’t removed or adventurous in that respect, but I still think we tried to understand local culture as best we could.
Until next time!
Young Lion

2 thoughts on “COSTA RICA

  1. Pingback: Olivia | Love, Young Lion

  2. Pingback: Stargazing | Love, Young Lion

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