TRAVEL GUIDE: COSTA RICA. //

-BRYONY

If you're a travelling junkie like me then Costa Rica is an absolute diamond of a country to visit. It's all about the ‘PURA VIDA’  (pure life) lifestyle and is an absolute MUST on that bucket list of yours.

3 weeks in Costa Rica. What on earth do you pack?

First of all, work out which season you'll be hitting...December – April = Dry season.  May – November = Rainy season (and they mean some SERIOUS rain).

We ended up going in the rainy season and as a sun worshipper I was slightly anxious at the prospect of not being able to sunbathe with a cocktail in hand. But I assure you, there was plenty of sunshine and cocktails for the 3 weeks I was there. (Phew!)

Costa Rica isn't your standard beach holiday, this placfe has EVERYTHING. I'm talking activities, jungle treks, waterfall adventures, volcano sighting, water rafting, monkey spotting, fending off raccoons and of coursem surfing. So you need to be packing for every single eventuality. Oh, and do not forget that MOSQUITO REPELLENT. Embrace that new fragrance for the next few weeks.

 

I am very fortunate that my partners family live in Costa Rica (talk about personal tour guides). So we spent the first few days at his beautiful home in Heredia (you'll find them on Airbnb if you need somewhere close to the airport). We explored the fresh fruit markets (full of weird and wonderful delights), soaked up the sunshine, ate delicious Costa Rican cuisine and drank the local beers. 

 

Being the fitness fantatic that I am, even managed a few HIIT workouts:

 

10 rounds of:

4 x lengths of the pool (only 12m long)

​​20 x Mountain climbers​

10 x squat jumps

10 x walking lunges WITH COCONUT

HIGHLIGHTS
Playa Esterillios (Pacific Coast)

We spent 1 unforgettable week at this beautiful, untouched, surfers paradise. It was a dream. The never ending beach is lined with palm trees full of coconuts, your perfect mid morning refreshment. The waves are feisty - any surfers dream or if you're not quite ready to launch yourself on a surf board like me, grab yourself a boogie board. So much fun and a great way to work out. This is one of the closest beaches to San Jose and well worth a visit if you want to avoid the touristy beach towns.

La Fortuna – Hanging Bridge and Waterfall Gardens 

Venturing back in land and up into the Jungle where you will find the Hanging Bridges and waterfalls. Surrounded by gorgeous views, nature at its finest, more monkeys, very wobbly bridges and incredible waterfalls. If you're afraid of heights then the bridges can become quite a challenge. Prepare to sweat as it gets very humid in the midst of the jungle. You finish off this trek with the breathtaking view of Volcano Arenal. The top of the volcano is only really visible on clear days but it's picture perfect if you can catch a glimpse. It is currently an active volcano, however the last recorded eruption was 2008...

Manuel Antonio National Park

A very touristy day out but an absolute must for all animal and nature lovers like me. Trekking through the ‘jungle’ and spotting monkeys playing around in their natural habitat, sloths chilling out in the tree canopies, the most colourful parrots throwing fruit at the tourists, Iguanas (which are actually adorable) and coming across hidden coves of white sandy beaches. Keep on the lookout for Racoons at all times, oh they love to pick pocket.

Tamarindo

From San Jose we took a teenie tiny plane (I was practically on the pilots lap) all the way to the surfers paradise beach town. I highly recommend this way of travelling Costa Rica as you fly very low and get to look over the gorgeous views of Costa Rica.

Time to unwind, soak up the sunshine and drink all the Margaritas. This town is very touristy with fabulous nightlife, endless beach bars, yoga retreats and surf shacks. Here they are truly living the ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle. 

Local cuisine- Gallo Pinto.

Be sure to try it. A typical Costa Rican breakfast which soon became my favourite dish of the day. Fried Plantain, rice and beans, scrambled eggs, tortillas with a dollop of sour cream. Ok, so it took me a few days to get used to this kind of food for breakfast but it was GOOD.

A very quick and brief description of some of the incredible things Costa Rica has to offer but this barely touches the surface of what else there is to discover.

My list for my next visit - Caribbean Coast, whitewater rafting, surf lessons, Coco Islands, Monteverde, sloth sanctuary, visit Nicaragua and not to mention all the other gorgeous beaches there are to discover. The possibilities in Costa Rica are endless.

Embrace it.

PURA VIDA!

Follow Bryony's incredible travels on Instagram.