Costa Rica Travel Diary | The good and the bad

Costa Rica Travel Diary

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Another vacation has come and gone for me, but this time I’ve seriously left a piece of myself behind. As you may know if you followed along on SnapChat and Instagram, I fell in love with Costa Rica and all it’s glory. The country has a saying “Pura Vida” which means pure life in English and let me just tell you that it lives up to it’s meaning!

Greg and I stayed in the well known surf town Jaco Beach. While the town was super cute and had a bunch of great restaurants (Kaya was the bomb for dinner) there really wasn’t much to do during the day besides surf. So if you are a hardcore surfer I highly recommend the town, but if you are looking for a nice beach, I’d stay away. The waves in Jaco are some of the biggest I’ve ever seen making it impossible to swim in. This led us to make our way almost every day to the Manuel Antonio area , which is the national park about an hour and half away.

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On our first trip to the Manuel Antonio area, we decided to visit the national park. The park is famous for having monkeys on the beaches and a lot of different animals. I decided to wear this bikini (top & bottom) and this coverup, which I got so many compliments on. I also brought the bag below, which use to be my sister’s back in the day. I had been looking for a pom pom bag before the trip but they were a little to pricey for my taste, I mean spending over $80 on a beach bag? Yeah, I’ll pass! So when I found this pom pom bag charm for under $30 I didn’t hesitate to order. Best part is all my bags can become pom pom trendy now!

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The national park has a couple of points with beach access, but I highly recommend the main beach access that’s where you’ll see the monkeys! Ohh and if you bring a bag of chips you’ll have them eating out of your hand, literally! Unfortunately Greg and I didn’t have any chips and it started raining when we got to the beach, but we did experience them jumping over us, while we waited out the storm in the giant tree house next to the main beach.

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On day two of the trip we went white water rafting in the Naranjo River, which is again near Manuel Antonio. Believe it or not this crazy adventure was actually my idea and not my super adventurous boyfriend’s!!! I will admit though the nerves kicked in the minute we signed up.

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The Naranjo River is considered to be a family friendly river with rapids class Class III-IV. But like our guide explained it just depends on the water level the day of your trip! On the day of our trip the water level was pretty low, so the rapids weren’t that intense. Truthfully once we were on the raft and moving I was actually kinda bummed out that the rapids weren’t a little more rough…I guess I expected someone to fall off the raft (Greg), but nope that didn’t happen. BTW: Check out my face below! I’m the small one in the back left lol !

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The rafting trip it’s self was absoutely stunning! The scenery could have been the backdrop for any of the Jurassic Park movies. Plus we got paired up with a super friendly family of four from California, which made the trip even better. For those who are curious, we used the company H2O rapids for the trip and paid $70 for a two hour tour, which included a midway stop and snack. The guides were extremely funny and helpful the whole way through and very conscience of our safety. Over all I can’t wait to go white water rafting again, next time on more intense rapids!

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After the tour we headed to a restaurant called El Avion, which is one of the most unique spots in Costa Rica. The restaurant has an old C-123 Cold War relic in the front that serves as one of the coolest bars to drink at! The inside is complete with a full bar and cockpit where guest can sip on drinks while pretending to fly.  Head outside and you’ll find the most amazing view overlooking the ocean, the below picture really doesn’t do the view justice because the lighting was really not in my favor!

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After lunch we headed back to Jaco to change and catch the national surf competition at the local beach. While neither Greg or I know much about surfing, we were totally lost with the rankings, we had a ton of fun sitting by the beach and watching the pros hit the waves. We ended up staying at a local bar called El Patio the rest of the night. I decided to wear my favorite vacation dress, find it here, with my new favorite tie up sandals!

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On our last full day we woke up a little late since we had nothing really planned so we just hit Jaco beach, but after just two hours there our exploring itch kicked in and we decided to go to the Nauyaca waterfall, which was about two and a half hours from Jaco by car. The trip there wasn’t so bad, it was pretty easy until we hit the actual town where the waterfall is. From there the car ride got a little worse because it’s up a hill in circles for about 20 minutes, the worst part is that there are barely any signs for the waterfall so you hope that the GPS is taking you the right way!

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To get to the waterfall you’ll need to purchase tickets because the trail is on private property. The entrance fee was about $7 pp. From there it’s about a two hour uphill hike to the waterfall. The trail is full of lush trees and animals, Greg and I saw snakes, baby deer and monkeys just to name a few. Once you reach the top of the waterfall it’s pure bliss, and since we started our hike a little later than normal around 1:30pm, we were actually the only people at the waterfall making everything a little more magical.

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There are actually two waterfalls, or really just a top part and a lower part, but they consider it two. It is recommend not to swim in the top part as it really shallow, but of course Greg doesn’t like to the follow the rules and so we made our way down the slippery rocks. I highly recommend wearing non-slip sneakers! We then went to the second waterfall and took a swim in the insanely cold yet beautiful blue water. We both kept our shoes on, and thankfully we did because the rocks were extremely slippery inside the swimmable waterfall too! I admit the hike up isn’t the easiest, but it was the most amazing part of our trip and the best way to end it as well!

For the hike up I wore these blue leggings, this sporty top, and this bikini top and bottom under!

TIP: they offer car service or a horseback trip up the mountain for those that can’t hike the two hours!

Overall I can’t wait to find myself back in Costa Rica hopefully in the near future! Next time I want to explore the Arenal area and definitely visit Rio Celeste!

If you have any questions about my trip leave me a comment below and I’ll be more than happy to help! As always thanks for visiting Laura Wears!

Love always, Laura B.

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