As we make our way through the enchanting Cloud Forest of La Fortuna and the stunning Manuel Antonio in the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, we prepare to be inspired by the beauty surrounding us. Let’s embark on this adventure together and create memories that will last a lifetime.
The first thing I noticed about Ticos was their Pura Vida mindset. It symbolizes a way of thinking, an idea of letting things go and simply enjoying life. After hearing so much about Costa Rica, its people, the Ticos, and its breathtaking beauty, it’s no wonder I had yearned to visit this place for so many years.
Join me on an incredible road trip from San Jose to the breathtaking Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Our journey will be filled with unforgettable experiences, starting with a unique stay in a charming tree house.
Travel Guide to the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica: Pura Vida
When I first visited this incredible country, I relied on a basic online search for our itinerary and had a smooth journey. However, if I were to visit again, I would definitely approach things differently. Nevertheless, I hope you can benefit from our mistakes and gain more knowledge if you plan a trip in a similar manner. Let me inspire you with my experiences!
Flying to San Jose Airport
After our flight landed in San Jose, we decided to take a shuttle to the rental car company. Looking back, this was a mistake for a budget traveler like myself. We didn’t anticipate all the additional costs, such as insurance, car upgrades, and gas. In the end, we ended up spending around $350-400 on transportation for just one week.
It seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I realize I would much rather take the bus. It can take you anywhere for a very low price, and we can use the money we save for exciting and adventurous activities. Surprisingly, driving in Costa Rica wasn’t as stressful as I had imagined, especially with the help of a GPS, which we added as an upgrade from the rental company.
However, this experience taught me a valuable lesson about being mindful of expenses and making smarter choices in the future. It’s important always to consider the hidden costs and find more affordable alternatives to save money while traveling. So, let’s learn from this and make wiser decisions to make our journeys more budget-friendly and enjoyable.
Visit The Cloud Forest
With our GPS guiding us, we embarked on a journey through the enchanting cloud forest, heading northwest towards the Tree Houses Hotel nestled in the charming town of Santa Clara. As night fell, we found ourselves navigating through the unmarked roads, determined to reach our destination.
Staying at Tree Houses Hotel was truly a remarkable experience. The moment I arrived, I was captivated by the unique cabin-style rooms nestled high up in the trees. The atmosphere was incredibly secluded and tranquil, with only three treehouses on the property.
In the morning, we all gather in the common area, which is a separate house. The innkeeper, Renee, prepares us a wonderful breakfast of eggs, toast, and fruit. Renee is incredibly informative and eager to answer any questions we have about the area. We are lucky to have a few hiking trails on the property, including one that leads to a breathtaking waterfall.
If you’re interested in experiencing this incredible destination, I highly recommend checking out Hotel Tree Houses, Costa Rica. While the rooms may be slightly pricier than other accommodations we’ve encountered, I assure you they are worth every penny. Prepare to be inspired and amazed by the wonders that await you here. One of the highlights was taking a shower, where the only thing separating me from the outside world was a simple screen. It was a truly inspiring and unforgettable stay.
Visit Arenal Volcano, La Fortuna
After our hike, we hit the road again for a short drive to La Fortuna, home to the active Arenal Volcano. We arrived at the Lavas Tocotal, and I couldn’t believe the breathtaking panoramic view of the volcano from our large room. It was conveniently located right next to the pool. The tranquility of the surroundings helped me calm down and relax for the rest of the day. For lunch, we found a small restaurant downtown and enjoyed a delicious meal. We took a leisurely stroll, taking in the sights, and stumbled upon an amazing deal for a zip line trip the next day. I couldn’t wait to experience the thrill and adventure that awaited us.
After dinner, my friends and I decided to drive for about 5 minutes to reach the Arenal Paraiso Resort. We were really looking forward to soaking in their famous hot spring pools. Interestingly, we had initially tried to book a room at this resort, but unfortunately, there was no availability. However, after visiting this place, I can now understand why it’s always fully booked. The experience was truly awe-inspiring and left us feeling inspired and rejuvenated.
We were fortunate enough to have access to 14 swimming pools, with 13 of them filled with Thermo mineral water. The temperatures of these pools ranged from 78 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit. It was truly a blessing to have almost all the pools to ourselves. I can’t help but wonder how often one can be as lucky as we were.
The next morning, I woke up early, filled with excitement for our zipline adventure. A van was waiting to pick us up as I stepped outside our hotel. We hopped in and headed towards the Ranch. The zipline employees greeted us with a safety training session, ensuring we were well-prepared for the thrilling experience ahead. Soon, we all gathered into a tractor-drawn car and began our ascent up the hill to the dropoff point. The anticipation was building, and I couldn’t help but feel inspired by the adventure that awaited us.
With the help of our guides, we geared up and began our ascent on foot. This trek felt like it would never end. I must admit, I was breathing heavily and not in the best shape for this climb. But we persevered and finally reached the top. And let me tell you, reaching the summit was an incredible feeling.
As we stood atop the trees, we gazed out at the vast expanse of the rainforest. It was truly a sight to behold – both awe-inspiring and a little terrifying. In that moment, we felt a surge of fear, questioning whether we were capable of conquering this challenge. But our fear dissipated as soon as we witnessed the first brave souls grab the line and take the leap. We were inspired to follow in their footsteps and embrace the adventure that awaited us.
It was one of my life’s most incredible experiences, and I would do it again. I learned a valuable lesson about not getting stuck in the middle of the line, as some of us did, which resulted in the guides having to pick us up. It could be a bit embarrassing for some, but it reminded me of the importance of being prepared and staying focused. This experience has inspired me to always strive for greatness and enthusiastically embrace new challenges.
After experiencing the thrill of ziplining down a dozen different lines of varying lengths, we were met by a friendly guide who had horses ready for each of us. With excitement coursing through my veins, I mounted my horse and embarked on the rest of the journey. It was an incredible adventure, especially for those who deeply love horses.
That evening, I went to a place where many people gather at sunset to admire the active volcano. I was able to witness numerous eruptions and stayed well after sunset. I highly recommend bringing bug spray to protect yourself from any pesky insects. It was truly an awe-inspiring experience that inspired me by nature’s power and beauty.
I want to share a word of caution with you all. It’s important to be aware of the potential dangers when hiking near a volcano. Just before I arrived, there was a tragic incident where a couple took a guided tour of the volcano and unfortunately, everyone on that hike lost their lives due to getting too close and inhaling the toxic fumes. This serves as a reminder to always ensure that your guide is knowledgeable and experienced in handling such situations. Let’s learn from this and make sure we prioritize our safety above all else. Stay informed and stay safe!
I won’t bore you with the details of our stay at La Fortuna. We ended up staying there longer than we should have, but it was time to move on to our next destination: Manuel Antonio. This was our first time visiting the coast in Costa Rica, and it turned out to be the highlight of our trip. The beauty of the ocean and the surrounding nature left us in awe. We wished we had spent more time here, as it truly was a magical place.
Manuel Antonio – The Pacific Coast of Costa Rica
My three-day visit to this enchanting city was too short. I highly recommend staying at the villas in Hotel Karahe. Our private villa was situated on top of a hill, offering breathtaking views of the ocean in the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica
Not only did we discover affordable surfboard rentals right on the beach, but we also stumbled upon inexpensive beachside massages. To top it off, we even decided to rent kayaks for a few hours of adventure. I can’t even begin to express how reluctant I was to leave that place. The experience was truly inspiring.
I cannot express how much I love Manuel Antonio. There are numerous restaurants near Hotel Karahe that we could easily walk to, and we found them all incredibly delicious. However, the most memorable meal we had was on the beach. We enjoyed a homemade Costa Rican lunch with grilled chicken, rice, beans, and plantains, all for under $5. It was truly a delightful experience.
As we explored the park, we were fortunate enough to encounter a knowledgeable guide who pointed out the sloths hanging in the trees. He also warned us about the dangerous Bullet Ants and shared his extensive knowledge of the local plants. If you ever have the opportunity to visit this park without the chance to meet someone like us, I highly recommend taking a guide. Trust me, you will see and learn so much more than if you were to wander alone. So go ahead, embrace the adventure and let the expertise of a guide enhance your experience in this incredible place.
Next morning, we went to hike in Manuel Antonio National Park as we had already planned to visit the park that day earlier. The scenery was so beautiful. I really enjoyed the trip and I would come back again in near future.