It's been awhile since I posted a good travel post, so I wanted to make my first one back in awhile a good one. My trip to Costa Rica was my first big adventure with Lily and it was one of the most amazing trips I have ever been on. The trip by far surpassed any expectations I had for it and it created a huge passion for travel for me. We were able to meet so many cool people, go on amazing adventures, soak up some sun and party pretty hard.
Since this was our first big trip together we spent A LOT of time pre-planning and booking everything we were going to do, which was so opposite from how we did Iceland, but it worked out so well that we were able to plan things and book things in advanced, it really helped us get the most out of our stay in a country that has so much to offer. The first stop in our trip was San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. We flew in and had to catch a bust to our hostel, which went pretty well, we were able to find a bus and get off in the area of our hostel. We spend the night exploring the city, practicing our Spanish and finding a bus that would take us to La Fortuna, which was our next stop.
We were able to take a public bus from San Jose to La Fortuna, it only cost us a couple of dollars and it wasn't that long of a trip, if you have the time and the patience to spend in Costa Rica I definitely suggest public transportation because it is way cheaper than paying for private shuttles or anything else. We stayed at an amazing hostel called La Fortuna Backpackers. This place was a great hostel but it also had private rooms available. We met so many people there because of the common area/bar they had there, it was the perfect place to meet fellow travelers and share travel plans!
While we were in La Fortuna we found a rope swing that was 100% free! We asked some locals what the best thing to do was and they gave us directions to it, it was one of the greatest things we did all trip! That brings me to my next tip, always ask the local people what to do, they know the area the best and they know the free things that won't be super touristy!
La Fortuna is also where we went to hot springs, went zip lining and hiked the volcano Arenal. They are definitely all must do's when it comes to visiting La Fortuna. The hot springs were great and we were lucky enough to go to natural and man-made hot springs while we were there. Most of the big resorts have really nice, man made hot springs with swim up bars and waterslides and cool things like that, the natural hot spring was kind of hidden and we only got there because one of the tours we took ended with a trip to it.
While we were in La Fortuna we did a lot of tours. If you walk down the main street of the small town there are plenty of places to stop and ask about tours, definitely search around to make sure you are getting the best price. The tours we did were the hot springs and hiking the volcano, if we had more time we would have gone white water rafting!
After La Fortuna we went to Monteverde, home of the cloud forests and hanging bridges. We got there via tour taxi/boat from La Fortuna, one of the only things we booked ahead of time. This was a really cool way to get from one city to another and it was a lot faster than taking a taxi or a bus, if you search taxi boat taxi from La Fortuna to Monteverde you should have no problem finding it because this was a really way to get between towns.
While we were in Monteverde we walked along the hanging bridges trail and went canyoning. The hanging bridges were really cool and you got great views of the forest, definitely a must do while you are in Monteverde! Canyoning was really fun but also kind of scary. For this we were repelling down waterfalls, the first couple waterfalls were pretty small, practice ones to get us ready for the last ones that were much higher. The scary part about this was that while you were repelling yourself down the waterfall the water was hitting you in the face. Definitely gave me a good shot of adrenaline and It was really fun and I would definitely do it again!
From Monteverde we took a tourist shuttle to Tamarindo, a town on the beach for our last week in Costa Rica. Our first week was full of adventures and activity so we wanted a more relaxing and low-key second half of our trip. It turned out to not be super relaxing but it was an awesome and fun week that I'll never forget! Tamarindo is a really fun town and if you're young and looking to party and meet fun people then this is the place for you! While we were in Tamarindo we stayed at the Sunset Hostel, which I definitely recommend. They are attached to a supermarket and a roof top bar overlooking the beach and the small town. It's a really convenient location right up the street from the beach and all the shops.
One restaurant we went to in Tamarindo was called Sprout and they had DELICIOUS and healthy foods. I got a huge salad with fish on top and it was crazy good. We ate there twice in our short time in Tamarindo and I would go back there in a second if I could!
Another fun thing to do in Tamarindo is learn to surf. Surfing is so much fun and its also a great upper body workout, basically you're just pushing yourself up off the board the whole time. It's a great way to stay active and have a lot of fun while at the beach.
Overall, we had an amazing time in Costa Rica. I would suggest La Fortuna for adventures and Tamarindo for partying and relaxing at the beach but however you want to spend your vacation, Costa Rica definitely has a lot to offer!