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.

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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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