Middle of the month,I took off to Costa Rica as a reward to myself for almost completing my pilots license and as a Christmas gift to myself. It’s been quite a year and I needed the trip. I had planned to go to Costa Rica last March, however I quit my job around the time I would have been going and money and time were tight. This time around I was suppressed to go with my roommate, but work got in the way for him, so I went solo.
It was a beautiful trip with a couple downs and a lot of ups. Thankfully the ups far outweighed the downs.
The biggest down was “losing” my camera the third day into my trip. The only other downs were a lot of rain while in Puerto Viejo and not giving myself enough time on the Pacific coast of the country. Neither of which were too bad.
I planned just a few evenings of my trip and allowed the rest to form naturally.
Alajuela (1 night)
After landing in Alajuela around 8:30pm, I made my way to Maleku Hostel via a taxi. I spent my first night here and had a good time meeting my first of a number of awesome people. I went out with a fellow traveler from Canada to a local bar and enjoyed my first cerveza (beer) in the country. He brought me to a restaurant and had a spicy burger. Went to bed around 11pm cause I was getting up early to catch a bus to La Fortuna.
La Fortuna (2 nights)
I had a good time in La Fortuna and ended up meeting a new friend, his name is Shrini, along the way that I stuck with for most of my trip as we had a similar idea of what we wanted to do.
- Stayed in Arenal Backpackers Resort ( “A 5-star hostel” )
- Tour/hike around the Arenal Volcano observatory.
- Saw a coati and an ant-eater on the drive up
- Was attacked by a 4 inch grass hopper
- Went swimming around and jumped off a waterfall
- Hanging bridges were cool
- Saw a good sized coral snake (very poisonous)
- Ended with having some cervezas in natural hot springs
- Zip-lining Tour with Horseback riding
- 11 zip-lines, some as long as 980 meters!
- Maleku tribal huts with presentation about them
- Camera was “lost”
- Horseback riding followed by shuttle to hostel
- Dinner and partying with the other hostelers till late in the night
After some cool adventures in La Fortuna accompanied by the loss of my camera, Shrini and I left the following day early to make our way to Puerto Viejo close to Panama on the Caribbean side of the country.
Puerto Viejo (4 nights)
Puerto Viejo made up the majority of my trip. I came over here with Shrini and we ended up staying the first night at the same hostel, but went to different ones the rest of the time as we had different priorities. We had a great time being there and met some great people.
- Spent the first couple nights on a beach front hostel called Lazy Loft
- Met some crazy girls from Holland (Itje and Heleen)
- Played the locals in some pool using their rules
- Went to beautiful beaches (Punta Uva and Punta Manzanillo) by bike
- Hiked in the rain through the Cahuita Rain Forest
- Played with monkeys and saw other amazing animals at the Jaguar Rescue Center
- Ate great food in the area
- End of The World party at Rocking J’s hostel (huge hostel!)
- Hung out with some awesome locals in the area at their place
- Saw the sun rise
- Swam in the Atlantic Ocean
The time spent in Puerto Viejo was amazing and someday I hope to get back to the area. Thanks Brendan for recommending me get to this part of the country.
Jaco (1 night)
Woke up early on the 22nd to catch a bus for Jaco. It took about 8 hours to get here as I had to take a bus to San Jose, wait an hour, and take another to Jaco.
While in Jaco I stayed at a great hostel ran by a couple friends Las Camas Mini Hostel. If you get a chance to get to Jaco, you should stay here. Great people and a great place to hang out.
- Saw the sun set
- Swam in the Pacific Ocean
- Tried a chocolate covered jalapeno
- Had some local crafted beer
- Tried surfing out (it’s hard!)
- Relaxed with awesome people at the hostel
- Took a picture of me wearing my Monkey Bar t-shirt I bought 8 years ago in a thrift store in front of the Monkey Bar.
My time in Jaco was short, and I’d like to get back here again. It’s a fun place.
San Jose (1 night)
My last night before departing back home was spent in San Jose at Hostel Pangea. This place was awesome as they had their own bar at the top of the hostel. I met some awesome people here and ate some good food. One of the people I ended up meeting is even from Portland herself. Small world!
I didn’t do a lot here as I didn’t get in till around 6pm or so. I spent majority of my time just hanging out with other travelers and getting ready to fly the next day home.
I left early around 7am to get to the airport for my flight. Shrini randomly ended up seeing me at the airport and we had one final lunch with his friend Bill. Bill was awesome and I look forward to hanging out with him again.
My trip was overall a success
Outside the loss of a couple items, I met some amazing people and had quite the adventure. I’m looking forward to doing more solo trips like this where I can just let things flow without too much thought. I’m glad to be back in Portland and looking forward to wherever I go next.