While a lot of people go for the adventure, I had zero time to plan anything between getting back from Austin and immediately turning around and leaving for Costa Rica. We were staying at a resort on the Pacific side of the country in a marina resort called Los Suenos, about 15 minutes south of Jaco, which is a formerly—and maybe currently—seedy beach town, but with some great food, including Soda Jaco Rustico which was one of the best meals we had. Speaking of, we realized three days in that the "sodas" are the way to go with food. You get a huge plate, as you'll see in two of the pics below, of the most delicious Costa Rican food for under $10 for two people. Do both breakfast and lunch at these roadside outdoor spots and you won't be disappointed. Iguana Soda Pacific was our other favorite, though it's a little off the beaten path.
One evening, we ventured up a seemingly neverending mountain to watch the sunset from Hotel Villa Caletas. The Costa Rican sunsets are stunning no matter where you are, but the view from this mountain top was unbelievable and they have carved out an ampitheater so that guests from all over the area can come to enjoy cocktails and the vivid colors as the sun goes down. There was even an engagement as we were there—that's how impressive of a backdrop this sunset is.
Of course, we couldn't leave the #puravida without going ziplining through the rain forest, and after googling about 25 articles on all of the terrible things that can go wrong, I bucked up and went...and I'd totally go again.
Keep reading below for what I would do differently!
What would I do differently if I was to make a trip back? First off, I would absolutely rent a car. Though we were able to find ubers most of the time or book a taxi through the resort, there were so many little spots alongside the road that we would have stopped at or nearby parks and towns that we would have visited had we been in control of our own transportation. Also, had we not been booking this stay with hotel points, I would think that an Airbnb would make for a more authentic experience. Costa Rica is not a country where you’re looking for the all inclusive resort life, it’s a colorful place full of local culture and stunning landscapes that would be best experienced staying amongst the locals.