Published: May 7th 2011May 7th 2011
View from our resort
This is the view from our resort in Playa Hermosa
We took off from San Diego at 10:30PM May 5, 2011 on a 4 hour flight to Atlanta. Atlanta was our layover to our final destination, Costa Rica. We took a direct flight from Atlanta, GA to Liberia, Costa Rica, the flight was just over 3 hours in length. Our final destination was Condovac La Costa in Playa Hermosa, Costa Rica. From Liberia, it was just a quick 25 minute drive to our resort. We did not want to have to fly into San Jose and make the 4-5 hourd drive. We rented a car from Dollar rental car. We rented a 4x4 Nissan Xterra, because we plan on doing some exploring all around and did not want to take any chances on not having an adequate vehicle.
As always, when you travel abroad, you have to abide by local customs and laws. We found out that the government of Costa Rica will not allow for $0 deductible insurance policy. The maximum coverage you can get is $15/day with a $1,000 deductible, regardless of fault. Because we really plan on exploring Costa Rica, this policy came as a dissappoinment. But it is the local law, so we just have to deal the possibility that we may owe $1,000 to Dollar rental car when we return the vehicle. The other oddity we learned when renting a car in Costa Rica, at least from our location, they don't care about scratches, missing paint, dents, cracks in windows, etc. They only cared about major damage that equals over $1,000. Basically they know the car will come back damaged in some fashion and over time they learned that is just what happens and they would spend too much time going after the small damages and most would never pay, so they just let them go.
I must admit that Costa Rica, so far, is not what I expected. I expected jungle every where. But so far from Liberia to the west coast and in and around, Playa Coco and Playa Hermosa, it has been all dry and brown, quite dissapointing because I was thinking I could have gone to visit friends in Phoenix, AZ if I wanted dry, brown and hot. But we have not headed east of Liberia yet, which we will definitely be doing during this week. Hopefully the grass IS greener on the other side...
Things I was expecting and was pleasently surprised to see; wild monkeys in trees, iguanas running across the parking lot and black sand beaches. The resort sits in a crescent shaped bay that provides perfect surf. The ocean is luke warm, which is much better than freezing in San Diego.
It is exciting knowing that we have so many activities that we have on our to-do list and we are hoping that each of them lives up to our expectations.
After sleeping in due to the extremely long previous day, we decided to take it easy and hung out on the beach. We took our lunch down to the beach and ate on a picnic table under palm trees. After lunch we grabbed our snorkel gear that we brought with us and headed up the northern portion of the cove. it was all lava rock with a little bit of sand so it was a good thing we brought our water shoes with us. We snorkeld for about an hour, the visibility was not that great, but we finally made it to an area that we could see quite a bit of fish. We probably saw about a dozen different fish. We even had a school of fish (about 10) follow us around the whole time, which was really cool.
We ended the night at Papagayo Steakhouse which served local and imported steak. We decided to eat local steak and it was as expected, not great, but not bad.
Today we drove from Playa Hermosa to Arenal. It was about a 4 hour drive with a few stopss. We took the long route, along the lake, and it was pretty amazing. We got to our hotel "Royal Corin". Very nice hotel. We unpacked our stuff and called the zip line company "Ecoglide" and they came and picked us up. We ended up doing the tour on our own with 3 guides. It was quite enjoyable as we didn't feel rushed. The tour was awesome, it had a 12 lines and platforms with a tarzan swing that was about 50-60 feet up. Absolutely crazy! The longest line was 435 Meters and was very fast. Would do it all agian if we could.
Then we hung out at the hotels hot springs that had two waterfalls and a lot of little private pools that were very sensual.
Went rafting today with "Wave Expeditions"out of La Fortuna and it was amazing! We rafted with 8 total people, so we were 4 to a raft. We shared with a couple from Chicago. The other "international" raft contained couples from Canada and Ireland. We went down the Rio Sarapiqui. It was mostly class 3-4 and lasted 2.5 hours. We didn't want it to end. It was Roah's first time rafting and my first time at class 4. The river filled was excitement and enjoyed it very much. The scenery was amazing. Tucan's were flying overhead. We had lunch on the bank and ate fresh cut pineapple and watermelon. We jumped off high rocks on the bank of the river. We floated down the river outside the raft and just had a great time. Our new favorite activity is white water rafting!