4.14.2015

My Costa Rican experience/travel guide

Hey guys!
I recently went to costa rica and thought it would be a good Idea to share my experience with you. I am an “adrenaline junkie”, so a lot of what I did was outdoor adventure activities.
I left on a Friday and came back on a Saturday. I live on the East Coast, and the plane ride from Newark to San Jose 5 hours and 30 minutes on the way there, and only 5 hours coming back. The time difference from EST to Costa Rica is 1 hour back.
I arrived late friday night and took a bus to the economy car rental store. Unfortunately economy had overbooked and they didn’t have a car for us. They called a cab and we drove 1.5 hours to Jaco where we stayed for a night. Because economy was overbooked, they paid for the car ride to Jaco and brought the car to our rental house the next day.
Saturday, our first day was kinda a travel day too. We rented a beach house on playa hermosa that was quite nice (I’ll talk about it more later), but since we had stayed at a condo the previous night we had to move to the house. By saturday morning we still hadn’t gotten our car so we cabbed it to the house. That afternoon I went grocery shopping (for 3 hours!!). The first store we went to was “Mas por menos” or MasXmenos. This was supposedly the cheaper store in Jaco. Compared to the prices where I live I don’t think it was that cheap. I do think this was a really well stocked store and I would recommend it if you’re in that area. The next store we went to was “Automercato” which we first thought was an auto supplies store because of the name. Although this store was more expensive, and more out of the way (for us at least!), it had everything we needed and wasn’t too expensive!
On Sunday, we took a surfing lesson. I was with my sisters and we each had an instructor for a 1 hour lesson. Each of us got up at least 5 times, but by the end we were so tired! It was so so fun and I definitely recommend this activity! The rest of the day we relaxed by the pool.
Monday we went ziplining! The company/zipline tour was with Vista los suenos (www.vistalossuenos.com). We had a lot of fun even though there were a lot of people! It was very structured and was definitely an advertised company so a lot of tourists were there. Not to say that costa ricans go ziplining on a daily basis but you know what I mean. Later on we ended up going ziplining by mistake and I would recommend that more but this was better for beginners. Monday night we went to Taco Bar, a really cool beachy restaurant that was in jaco. The food was absolutely delicious! The first time I went (yes… we went more than once it was that good!) I had a fried calamari taco and a beef taco. The fried calamari taco was fried calamari in a taco shell with nothing else. I ate the calamari alone and it was soo good! But I would recommend getting the calamari without the taco shell because I didn’t end up eating it. The beef taco was one of the best tacos I have ever had! It came with a good amount of beef and a peperonata sort of thing that was not spicy.
Tuesday was a low key day. We hung out at the pool and boogie boarded on the beach. We also went to the complex’s pool. This was a much larger pool with a snack bar. For dinner that night, we bbqed chicken which was really good.
Wednesday was a more interesting day! We went to the caracara forest. Jaco isn’t close to a rain forest, but it is close(ish) to the caracara forest. We didn’t see monkeys! but we did see hawks, macaws, and other types of birds and plants. I’ll inset some pictures at the end of this post!
Thursday was my favorite day because WE WENT WHITE WATER RAFTING! I have literally wanted to go white water rafting since like 2010 and i finally went! We rafted down the El Churro river and did some class 5 and 6 rapids. It was INSANE! I really really liked the company we went with. The guides were really nice, and funny, and it was just an amazing time! We met the guides in Manuel Antonio and then they drove us on a terrible (really rocky and bumpy) road for about 45 minutes. The guides had a lot of skill and helped us navigate the intense rapids. http://www.h2ocr.com
Friday was sadly our last full day. We went rappelling and ziplining (again). We had made reservations over email and it turns out that that wasn’t a good idea because there was a lot of confusion. We were supposed to rappelle twice then take 2 ziplines back to the meeting area. We were with a big group of people, half of whom had just come from horseback riding, and the other half were going ziplining after. They had only paid for one rappelle so after everyone went, they took down the ropes. The other 2 groups left and we were still at the waterfall. Fortunately the guide was very nice and offered to take us ziplining back down. This ziplining was awesome! some of the “zips” were 1 and a half minutes long which is crazy! I definitely recommend this place for ziplining and rappelling because 1) its was extremely fun and 2) they helped us when we were really confused and took the blame on themselves.
Saturday, we woke up early (like 7!) and drove about 1 hour and a half to the airport, dropped off the car, and headed to the airport. The airport was not bad at all and had a lot of places to eat.
We rented out house through Best in Jaco, who were very very helpful! http://www.bestinjaco.com/lang/en/vacation-rentals/casa-del-mar. The house was nice, but they could have taken care of it better. The house is a 6 room house with a pool table, smallish pool, and movie theater. There are 4 rooms in the main house, and 2 rooms in the guest house. The main house has 6 bathrooms, and the guest house has 1. The guest house also has a mini kitchen. Every night, there is a security guard walking along the beach. The people at Best in Jaco were super helpful! We were helped by Maria and Katia, both spoke great english and were always available. We had some wifi problems and Maria was always at the house with the network guys, and Katia helped book tours and get us our rental car.
I loved costa rica, and think its a great place for everyone to go. If you love to lay on the beach and relax, Costa Rica is great! If you love adventure activities, Costa rica is great for that too! And if you love some of both this place is truly great. The food is overall pretty good, and the people are really nice!
If you have been to costa rica, or want to go, let me know in the comments below what you did/wanna do! I will be working on some travel posts from my summer in Europe!


XOXO


Shadow





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