The long awaited honeymoon has come & gone and boy was it one to remember. I’ve been wanting to go to Costa Rica every since I found out I’d be surrounded by monkeys, mountains and beautiful waterfalls – all of which I did see! I’ve been lucky enough to travel to a handful of all inclusive resorts and this time I was looking for one a bit different than the others I’d been to. The scenic views alone in Costa Rica were like nothing I’d seen in other countries and the additional wildlife made walking around fun as you never knew what creature you’d see next.
What I loved most about Costa Rica:
1. The Weather. Costa Rica had the most consistent weather out of all the places I’ve been. We landed in the evening and as soon as we stepped foot outside we couldn’t believe the cool breeze we felt. It did get hotter later on in the week but for the most part it was a very comfortable, not humid, kind of heat. We saw our first cloud on our last day but there wasn’t a drop of rain in sight. If you’re looking for a beautiful place with full sun and no rain, travel to Costa Rica in March!
2. Vandara Hot Springs & Adventures. If you’re looking for the FUNNEST (not really a word I know) excursion in Costa Rica, do this one. I would seriously travel back for this excursion alone, that’s how much I loved it. It’s full day of fun, 8-5pm, and it was about a 45 minute bus ride from our resort. The first thing you do is horse back riding up a mountain for 15 minutes, short & sweet just the way I like it. Horses are beautiful to look at but riding them isn’t my absolute favourite thing to do. One of the horses actually got too close to another horse on our journey and let’s just say it was the first time I’ve seen a real-life horse kick and I basically wanted to cry (luckily it wasn’t my horse).
The next thing we did was the best part of the day, zip lining, and we did 10 zip lines total! My poor husband is incredibly scared of heights so zip lining wasn’t really his idea of fun and I was lucky enough to get him on the bus in the first place. The first zip line was short and pretty low to the ground which was perfect for first time zip liners and also people scared of zip lining (my husband). Each line got more & more beautiful as we zip lined over the canopy where we could see rivers & waterfalls. The staff were really great as well and ALMOST convinced us to go superman-style on our stomachs for the last line, but we chickened out. Next time for sure!
From there we rode down the mountain on a slightly dangerous but incredibly fun waterslide where keeping your arms inside the ride at all times actually meant something & wearing a helmet was a must. The rest of the day consisted of a delicious lunch, a volcanic mud bath where we rinsed off under a beautiful waterfall, followed by a relaxing afternoon in the volcanic hot springs. It was the only excursion we did but it was hands down the best. The best part was the price at only $115 USD, which was cheaper than most of the other excursions that had less activities. It was a jam packed day but we never felt rushed and our tour guide Martin made the day even better.
3. Tamarindo Beach. If you go to any beach in Costa Rica, let it be this one. We knew our resort wasn’t known for its white sandy beach as it actually had black sand and a ton of rocks but we were okay with that. We’re more drink-all-day-swim-at-the-pool kinda people so having a big beautiful pool is typically more important to us than a white sandy beach. We wanted to do some off resort travelling so when we heard about Tamarindo Beach we thought it sounded nice. It was an hour bus ride but when you have the scenic route of Costa Rica to look at the time flies by. When we arrived we couldn’t believe how beautiful the beach was. No rocks, pure white sand, and huge waves that are meant for surfing but we liked jumping in them instead #childrenatheart. We visited Coco Beach the day before and the beach itself wasn’t as great but it was awesome to see the more local vibe of Costa Rica. At Tamarindo Beach there were many villas & restaurants on the waterfront and we definitely saw more tourists than locals, but the beach itself would bring us back there in a heartbeat.
Things I didn’t know about Costa Rica:
1. 70,000 Canadians live there. Yes LIVE there! I had no idea that many Canadians lived there but after visiting I can definitely see why. We actually met a retired couple on the plane ride there who told us they were going to look at real estate and potentially buy a place. When we saw them on the way back they told us they bought a place for $85,000, sold their house back in Canada & were moving end of April.
2. No military. Costa Rica hasn’t had a military since 1948. Instead they spend money on improving education & health care and have an incredibly high literacy rate. I couldn’t believe how well the locals spoke English which made me feel awful for not knowing much Spanish (should have taken it in high school!).
Would I go back?
Yes, yes & yes. Before going there were a handful of people who said we shouldn’t stay on a resort to really see Costa Rica. I wasn’t sure about it at first, but if I went back I definitely would. We went off resort twice and felt incredibly safe, even at their local grocery store where we went to buy tasty coffee and get my chocolate fix. I could only imagine the amount of hidden gems & beautiful rainforests you’d find in Costa Rica while exploring on your own.
All in all, a beautiful place to visit & would recommend to anyone who hasn’t been. Check out the photos below to see the beauty for yourself!