Costa Rica is truly an amazing country, full of beautiful beaches, lush greenery/rainforest, volcanoes, natural parks…. & MONKEYS!!! Lol, clearly see my favorite part.
I spent 7 days in this beautiful country, it was packed with adventure, culture, and a broken toe! Let me take you on a weeks’ journey through my lens…
Before we get started here are a few things to know:
- Renting a car is expensive! The actual car will only be roughly $50-100 for the entire trip, however the insurance is $1000-$1500. This is at pretty much all locations unless you find an independent hustler on the side of the airport.
- Navigating through the mountains is whew, an experience! From San Jose, traveling to any tourist area will take roughly 1.5-4 hours one way.
- Very few people speak English – only about 10%. Be prepared to use Google translate if you can’t speak Spanish.
- Get cash before you leave the United States, finding an ATM was difficult. They had one in a pharmacy and Walmart. Some locations wouldn’t accept our credit cards. We attempted using Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
Arriving in San Jose, Costa Rica on day 1 we were instantly greeted by these beautiful people and fast-talking hustlers. While walking through the streets to attempt to find an ATM were able to really get an up close and personal look at their everyday lives.
While we know most of the areas rich in culture and unbelievable scenery is often times has a struggling economy and most poverty stricken citizens. One thing I have always found intriguing is their ability to preserver in-spite-of their current circumstances.
Let me be very clear, this is not true for all areas in San Jose. We stayed in a beautiful high rise “penthouse” which was very different from what we consider a penthouse in the US. It was still very nice.
Jaco Beach! We were excited to get out the next day and explore and this was our first stop! Jaco offered dark sand and beautiful blue water. Perfect place to relax and unwind or surf, hike to the waterfall, Zip-line, birdwatch, and try out the ATV’s.
We opted to…. Zip-line!
Parque Nacional Volcán Tenorio was on of my Top 2 places we visited while there. This is a MUST see, but let me warn you, bring walking shoes and endurance! The hike is rewarding once you finally make it to the top but…the journey to the top is a challenging one!
The first waterfall was my favorite, there were 4 different ones. Although, the first one didn’t allow you to be able to swim in it. The others at the top permitted that. After leaving there we wanted to just relax in the water so we headed to the springs across the street… & this is where I BROKE MY TOE!
I slipped on the rocked and jammed my toe into a rock in front of it. The blood begin to gush everywhere and I couldn’t move it, I knew then it was broken. As much pain as it was, I didn’t want to leave all this beauty… I made myself a bandage and laid on the rocks.
Tabacon Hot Springs in Alajuela Province, La Fortuna offered all the relaxation I needed after breaking my toe! Now this was my #1 spot, it was well worth the drive. Tabacon hot springs is attached to a Resort and Spa. The entry was approximately $60, this gave you access to a person locker, towel, pools, and the HOT SPRINGS!!!!
The hot springs several pits to sit to let the hot water massage your entire body, you won’t want to leave! Trust me.
Broken toe or not, I was ready for some adventure! What is more adventurous than ATVs and Horseback riding through the mountains? Vista Los Suenos offered just what we needed! We booked this excursion in advance, we were tired of driving and wanted to be chauffeured for a change. We paid roughly $150, it included ATVs, Horseback riding, and roundtrip (2 hours 1 way) from our Airbnb to the location.
First up… ATVs! I will warm you, wear something that you don’t mind getting ruined and water shoes are a must.
We rode the ATV’s up the mountains for about 2 hours to see views that aren’t available by vehicle. After the adrenaline of the ATVs it was time to slow down and ride the horses to another water fall.
After an adventurous day, we spent this day seeing what San Jose had to offer. We visited that was consider the “downtown” area. Here we hoped to experience more of their culture and some good eats.
As our trip was coming to an end, we wanted to ensure we saw the Volcanoes and spend the day relaxing on the beach, so we did just that at Rincón de la Vieja. Rincón offers 2 volcanoes, rivers, streams, hiking, horseback riding, hot springs, and swimming.
But nothing is better than this right here….
Whatever you decided to do in Costa Rica, it is sure to be an amazing time. I hope this will help you plan your perfect itinerary. Like this blog? Check out Thailand