Pura Vida in Costa Rica

My favorite shot - the cab driver was kind enough to stop and take a pic since apparently it was foggy and this was the first time in a month that it was clear to see Arenal

My favorite shot – the cab driver was kind enough to stop and take a pic since apparently it was foggy and this was the first time in a month that it was clear to see Arenal

A few years ago, my brother had a destination wedding in Riviera Maya, Mexico.  Since we were in the area, my ex friend and I decided to also tack on Tulum, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.  We saw amazing sites which I will share at some point – Chichen Itza, Ik-Kil Cenote, Mayan ruins in Tulum, Tikkal – but Costa Rica won it hands down because at 3 a.m. in the morning we were able to witness a sea turtle swim to the beach and lay an egg!  It took about 3-4 hours for one to come up shore, but to witness it was an absolute miracle – sea turtles are ginormous and beautiful, and I learned so much about sea turtle’s nesting cycle (i.e., how their genders are determined whether the egg was out in the sun or in the shade, I forget which determines what).

Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take pictures, as we went to a conservatory and they were really strict with everything (i.e., there’s no light at the beach and I could only use the red light setting for my head lamp).  I still absolutely loved Costa Rica, though, and here’s my favorite memories from it:

If I had any recommendations, it would definitely be to stay in hostels if they don’t bother you since the ones we stayed at also included breakfast, and for sure visit Arenal!  I don’t think I would visit countries again once I’ve been there since there’s so many I want to explore, but Costa Rica is definitely an exception!  It’s so green and gorgeous, and everyone is so friendly and I love how they use “mucho gusto” rather than “de nada” for you’re welcome.  Little differences like that  are very charming to me and it gives a feel for the hospitality, and I’d for sure want to come back to explore rain forests and more of Costa Rica’s culture some day.


10 thoughts on “Pura Vida in Costa Rica

  1. Hostels are awesome when you’re traveling on a budget. I especially love the ones with breakfast, even though it’s not much usually. You get a good quick healthy meal and don’t have to spend money on breakfast or waste time getting food.

    I haven’t been to Costa Rica yet but I figure since it’s so close(relative to other countries I’ve visited) I’ll get there soon enough 🙂

    • Harry – agreed, definitely get there once breakfast is served because once it was gone, it was gone. Most of the breakfasts were usually cheese, bread, and fruits – enough to get you started. 🙂 The only exception would probably be Arenal Observatory Lodge – it’s pricier than hostels though not compared to US prices (I think around $40 at the time), plus it’s an extra cab ride to get there… but to hear the volcano rumbling at night was so freakin’ awesome!!

  2. Costa Rica was so much fun~ I backpacked there only for 10 days few years back, but it’s one of the most memorable moments of my life. I didn’t get to see too many wild animals like you did, but on our way to Turtle island, we got to see a whale spraying water from far away~^^

    • Yeah, Costa Rica is amazing and somewhere I would go back to see again!! Most of those animals are from a tour we took… how awesome to see a whale spray water!! I saw one here when a friend came to visit, but we were far away so we didn’t get to see too much of it.

  3. Pingback: Tikal in Guatemala « Are Ya Gonna Eat That?

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