In 2007, I went to Costa Rica with two friends. We were there for nine days and packed a whole lot into each day!
On the first day, we had a shuttle pick us up from the airport. They were waiting for another group as well. After waiting for hours, they never showed up, so we missed our chance to go to Arenal Parque Nacional – the National Park with the volcano and the hot springs. Oh well, now I have a reason to go back. (Who wants to come?)
We stopped at this little mom-and-pop restaurant. They served us authentic Costa Rican food – chicken, pork, or fish with beans and rice and an egg cooked over easy. When our food came, it felt like they were serving us at their house! The food was excellent. The three of us decided to take turns paying for meals. When I went to the counter to pay for the meal, the lady told me, “That’ll be $11.”
I told her, “No, I’m paying for all three of us.”
She said, “Yes, that will be $11.”
Ok, sounds good to me.
The hotel was gorgeous. The buildings looked like cabins. There was a hot tub that had a perfect view of the volcano. (The clouds were covering the volcano that day.)
La Fortuna (the city where the volcano is) is such a beautiful place. Hopefully I can go back some time and have that view with clear skies.
Another day, we went ziplining. It was very high up, and one of my friends is terrified of heights! I was terrified of dropping my camera, so I didn’t get any pictures. It was awesome to see the rainforest from that high up!
We also went whitewater rafting, sort of. The water level was very low, so it was more like floating down the river. It was still lots of fun. We stopped in the middle of the trip and jumped off of a bridge. Halfway down the river, the guide had everyone get out of the boat. He dragged it on land, flipped it over, and started cutting fresh fruit for us to snack on. What a treat!
One of my favorites is rappelling down waterfalls. I saw it on TV when I was a teenager and thought it was the coolest thing ever. I think Costa Rica is the only place where you can do this. If you know of another place, please let me know in the comments or email me.
We spent some of our last days in Playa Tamarindo. We had a surfing lessons from a guy that didn’t speak any English. It was awesome!
This is us after the lesson. Not bad for our first time surfing. Our other friend wasn’t able to stand up on the surf board.
After surfing, I got really heat sick and ended up on a “sailboat” that turned out to be a booze cruise. That was the only mistake I made all week, which is very good for a 9 day trip.
It seemed like most people spoke English, except in the more rural areas. Luckily I’m fluent in Spanish. That came in handy. I remember seeing a lot of restaurants that attempted to make American food. They were overpriced and the food definitely didn’t resemble anything from home. I met this local guy at a shop and started chatting with him. I asked him what are the best places to eat. He said there were a bunch of places down the street. We tried out the one he recommended. The food was amazing and very cheap. It was so good, we went back to that same restaurant for several more meals. The next day, we discovered that they give free samples at lunch. And their idea of “samples” are a full serving of rice pudding. Or a full appetizer. I’m so glad I found out where the locals eat.
This trip to Costa Rica was the most adventure-packed trip I’ve ever been on. The idea to go to Costa Rica came from a former classmate. He invited me to go on his trip, which was already planned out. We lost touch before the trip. I still really wanted to go, so I planned my own trip to Costa Rica. On the flight down, we ran into him at the airport. He was talking about how drunk he was going to get, and wanted lay on the beach all week. I’m so glad I went on my trip instead.