Spring break in Costa Rica was so relaxing and uneventful, it doesn’t seem to even merit a blog post. No major highs and lows like we’ve experienced in other trips- just completely chill, or as the local Ticos say, “Pura Vida.” Guess that’s why Costa Rica is such a popular destination.
Josh had already been in Costa Rica for more than two weeks, working and hanging out until Aminda could join him. The area he had been staying was in the hot, dry north (at the end of the dry season, so was looking pretty scortched). So as soon as he picked up her up at the Liberia airport, we headed straight to the mountains that are home to the Monteverde and Santa Elena rainforest preserves. (we stayed at the Pension Santa Elena, value priced with a great staff).
We enjoyed a couple days hiking around… ultimately deciding against a guided activity like ziplining, canyoneering or mountain biking… which would probably be fun but unfortunately our standards are pretty high when it comes to activities we don’t usually have to pay for. But we really did enjoy the well-signed trails that allowed for independent travel in the forests. Our last visit to the rainforest was a heavily guided excursion. (we fully appreciated the guide, since there were no trails and we weren’t about to go wandering around the Amazon on our own). And we understood that without a guide we might miss out on seeing some wildlife and on some fun facts about the local flora and fauna, but we traded that for the opportunity to just be alone in the forest.
Once Josh’s body temperature had returned to normal, we headed back down to the beach, and the warm ocean waves we came to play in. Our first beach town was Malpais, a surfing destination for beautiful, young travelers from around the world, like the trio of Swedish girls and Australian guys who were seemingly destined to be staying at the same hostel at the same time. (The Tranquilo, where we finished off our days in comfy hammocks)
The waves here were a little big for us non-surfers, so we entertained ourselves with standup paddleboarding, snorkeling and swimming. And watching howler and cappucine monkeys frolic, in the beautiful Cabo Blanco preserve, where a forested trail leads to a secluded beach.
Our final stop on the way back to Liberia was Samara, where we entertained ourselves surfing the mellow breaks. (and hammock time at the beautiful Tico Adventure Lodge)
Here is a map of our loop, which made a great week. There are plenty of options to add stops, like at the Arenal volcano or the Barra Honda caves.
Yes, we did take a roundabout way between Malpais and Samara. the direct route is a rough 4WD road. Our car may have been OK, but it was making a funny noise by that time and we didn’t want to take the risk.