My favorite place we’ve visited thus far. California was being exceptionally cold and rainy so we decided it was time to make some moves. We wanted to go somewhere off the radar and booked a ticket to spend the next eight days living that Pura Vida lifestyle down in Costa Rica.
Or in English “pure life” is the lifestyle of the Costa Rican people. I think our shuttle driver described it best. Pura Vida means that even though times may be tough in Costa Rica, it could always be worse, and for that they are grateful. Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been and it was also one of the poorest. The people didn’t have much but they were so nice and so welcoming to us. I think we could all use a little Pura Vida in our life.
Where We Stayed
In La Fortuna we stayed at Tabacon Grand Spa Thermal Resort. We give it five stars across the board. Beautiful ground, prime location, and accommodating staff. It’s in the middle of the rain forest and has a natural hot springs on the ground that’s free for all guests staying at the resort. If you’re ever in La Fortuna staying here is a must!
In Guanacaste we stayed at the Marriott. It has a five star rating both online and in our hearts. Seriously, the nicest hotel either of us have ever stayed at, and it’s located right on the beach. It’s a bit pricey, but definitely worth it.
What We Did in La Fortuna
Tabacon Hot Springs
A piece of paradise located right on our resort. Follow a winding road and get lost in the hot springs. There are multiple pools and waterfalls which offer plenty of room for privacy. Definitely one of the coolest places we’ve ever been, and no words can accurately describe how breathtaking it is. The bar is just steps from the entrance so you can easily grab a cocktail and go. Bonus!
Our resort also housed an award winning spa, so we couldn’t pass the opportunity up. We decided to splurge on a Citrus Honey Massage. The spa is located in the same vicinity as the hot springs and our massages took place in an outdoor hut. A thunderstorm just so happened to start up as our appointment began. It was magical. After an hour of pure bliss we were the epitome of zenned out.
And then we weren’t.
Following the massage we had to rinse the honey of of our bodies in an outdoor shower. Sounds liberating right? Except for the fact that we were naked. Outside. In a lightening storm. I don’t think I’ve ever showered so fast in my life.
An obvious must when frolicking through the jungle of Costa Rica. We booked a tour through Sky Trek (http://www.SkyAdventures.travel) which happened to be right down the road from our resort. We signed up for their “extreme” course (don’t be a sissy) which consisted of seven lines that offered some incredible views. It felt like a mixture of Indiana Jones meets Jurassic Park.
We came. We saw. We conquered that course. We also ran into good ole Saint Nick who was catching some rays during the off season. Definitely making the nice list this year.
La Catarata de la Fortuna
Epic hike to a waterfall oasis that became one of the highlights of our trip. WARNING. This trail is not for the weak. It’s a 500 stair decent through the middle of the jungle. Oh and the stairs are all man made and unpaved. It had us crawling on our hands and knees the majority of the way back up on the verge of cardiac arrest.It’s all fun and games until one of you has a heart attack in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle.
All kidding aside, if you can make it down the trail it’s 100% worth it. It’s serene and absolutely beautiful. It’s one of those places that leaves you in absolute awe at the beauty of this Earth. It’s places like La Catarata de la Fortuna that keep us traveling like the mad women we are.
We love a good ATV ride to get the day started. We booked a tour through our resort which took us off roading through the hills of Costa Rica. Our instructor may or may not have hated us after having to tow us out of a trench…. twice. Definitely a must do while in La Fortuna but keep in mind you will get mud in places you didn’t know mud could get, so dress accordingly.
What We Did In Guanacaste
The only white sand beach in Costa Rica. It was a trek to get there, but well worth it. White sand, clear skies, and crystal water. The beach is small and filled with locals barbecuing and living that Pura Vida lifestyle. They come around selling fresh lobster and beer. We relaxed on the beach and enjoyed a cerveza… or ten.
A town nearby that is world renown for it’s surfing. It had a good vibe to it. Although we didn’t ride the waves, we did spend some time at the beach. We had the BEST dinner at a local brewing company. Killer views and killer sauteed shrimp. Can’t beat that. If we ever go back to Costa Rica we will definitely stay in Tamarindo next time around.
Animal Sighting Excursion
An informational boat tour through Costa Rica that focuses on the countries wildlife. One word:uneventful. We saw birds and alligators galore, but no monkeys and sloths which is what we had booked the tour for.Those exotic species are stubborn and mysterious so brace yourself because there’s no guarantee you’ll get a sighting.
Overall our trip to Costa Rica was a dream. We’re not big on repeating destinations, but we will definitely be back to the land of Pura Vida sooner rather than later. But we’re off to the next destination for now.
One of 80,000 sunset pictures we took while we were there. We’re suckers for a good sunset.