Pura Vida ya'll pura vida. One of my first trips and still one of the best. Costa Rica is a delicious paradise of happy kind people, grubbin food, beautiful men, 4-wheelers, perfect waves, jungles, and the best coffee I've ever tasted.
(Anything underlined has a link to booking info or company that we used for your convenience.
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ALMOST PARADISE HOSTEL, NOSARA
Nosara is a village and district in the Nicoya canton, Guanacaste province of Costa Rica on the Pacific Coast. Best way to get there is by bus. It's like $8 from San Jose and you get to see a lot of the country side. Tucked up on a little hill in Nosara, a short walk from the bus station was a delightful little treat of a hostel called Almost Paradise. Super chill with a bar and balcony lounge area for all your sluggard ways. Have a drink in a hammock with an ocean view and contemplate why you aren't doing these kinds of activities always. (Update: Not sure though if they are still open but there are lots of other great hostels in the area for around $10-$15 a night.) And just down the hill is an ice cream cafe owned by a local guy who makes his treats from locally grown fruits and herbs.
SURFS ERP BRAH!
The best surfing I've ever done was at Playa Guiones, Nosara. Given I'm not a very good surfer, this didn't look that impressive though I'm sure. The water was beautiful and warm and the waves were strong and a nice constant flow of perfect wave, one after the other...no waiting 15 mins in the cold for a decent wave that you try to hit but instead panic and fall off your board and ruin in the process...(cough cough Los Angeles surfing.) There are a few places around to rent boards and it's like $30-$40 bucks a day. Also the beaches are covered in twirly seashells, and living sea creatures like craps, fish, and stingrays... not a push pop wrapper or cigarette butt in site. Indeed Pura vida.
If you noticed that everything looks all gold and warm...it's not because of instagram filters. Wow, that just sounded like the way a parent who accidentally stumbled onto social media would say #nofilter. Eh, I'll go with it...shout out to moms reppin'. Anyways, the light in Costa Rica has this magic rose gold tone to it that I haven't seen anywhere else. It's just freaking LOVELY.
We had 3 high school aged boys staying in our room who we became quick pals with. They took us down to the beach and showed us around like a bunch of fun lil brothers. One night we all hiked out to these giant rocks at Playa Pelada and found hundreds of black crabs climbing all over in swarms. Then we went out and laid on the top of the rocks and listened to the waves hitting down below us. You know, one of those, "I AM ALIVE!" moments of carpe diem-ing and having your life look more like a movie than usual. I thought it only fitting to aggressively flash everyone's picture at that moment and I think they came out looking pretty pretty...pretty good.
One of the best memories of our trip was renting 4-wheelers and riding up north through the mountains and along the beach. I had like a bucket of dirt in my eyes by the time we were done, but so worth it. Also I saw a monkey. One night we were riding our 4-wheelers back home from dinner and I thought it a good idea to box up our leftovers...because curry is delicious...and on we hopped on to ride home tandem. The road we took back though was equipped with the most treacherous dips and holes that made me spill most of my left overs on Becky every time we hit a bump. Once all was lost, the left over carrots and potatoes were thrown at the boys who were driving behind us. Needless to say I ended up spending a significant amount of time the next morning cleaning the rice bits and curry bits off the handlebars and seat.
VOLCANOS + COCONUTS
La Fortuna is a big draw for those who tend to be "active types." You can go white water rafting, canyoning, stand up paddling, biking and hiking to La Fortuna waterfall, or zip-lining, horseback riding or having a handsome Costa Rican man machete down coconuts for you and your giggly beaming lady friends.
ARENAL BACKPACKERS HOSTEL
There's a swim up bar at the hostel so that if you spill your drink, no one will notice. Our hostel was a great deal, super cheap and super nice. A pool, hammocks, a bar, and very cute staff boys running around the place. A good time was had by all.
THEY GOT HAMMOCKS BRO
Just a little walk up through town to the hostel. It's a chill vibe but mostly young people from all over staying there. We met people from Spain, Sweden, Germany, UK, and...Chicago, then we all went to a clurb. Très Exotic.
The zip-lining guide insisted on a tandem ride as if it was the only way that we would make it to the next post. I want to say it was a suggestion that I was too skinny...but from the look of his face, I'm gonna say I got duped on that one. So much awkwards.
Oh sweet sweet Franklin. My one regret of this trip is that this guy didn't get to come back home with me. We met Franklin at a cafe in town, then he decided to follow us around for the rest of the week and would wait outside the gates of our hostel for us. One time he walked with us to the bank then waited for us outside like a loyal pup friend. We named him Franklin and he will forever be ours.
The rest of the stuff...