Trip to Costa Rica 2018

Published: April 28th 2018
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Day 1 Saturday April 14th

We get up early and left for the airport in Nashville by 5 AM. We boarded our American Airlines flight and off we went. We had a few bumps along the way, but at 2:30 pm Costa Rica time, we touched down in Liberia. The airport was really easy and we were outside with our luggage to meet our shuttle in no time. With just a little delay a friendly driver took us the 20 minute drive to Casa Conde Beachfront Resort where we were staying.

Casa Conde is a small boutique resort amongst the trees right on the Pacific Ocean. It was lovely. We were greeted with a cold towel and a fruity drink. We were upgraded to an ocean view room. It didn't have a Jacuzzi tub, but we enjoyed the view more anyway.

Our first evening at Casa Conde we went for a walk around the grounds. It had two pools and was very quiet. Beautiful jungle trees and southern style buildings. We walked to the beach to watch the sunset. On the way, we encountered a skunk and a LOT of iguanas.

As we were standing looking out at the sun on the beach a nice man named Doug took our picture an sent it to us. It turned out awesome. After the beach we ate at the buffet. It's open air and we sat at a table that let us watch the bats swoop down and get the mosquitoes for us. 😊

Day 2 Sunday April 15th

We got up and dressed for breakfast. Rob shared part of his with an iguana that reminded him of Copper when he is waiting for food. Breakfast was good. After that we changed into swimsuits and headed to the beach. We saw lots of iguanas, birds and even a puffer fish in the water. We even saw a pretty white squirrel and an owl!

Then it was off to the big pool with the waterfalls. We really enjoyed it and had plenty of shade. We swam up toe the bar and had a few drinks and met a couple of guys from Canada. We really enjoyed it.

I was in need of a nap after that so we came back to the coolness of our room. After a bit of shut eye, Rob went to the smaller pool while I prepped for the dive on Monday.

We had another gorgeous sunset and walked out to the beach to enjoy it and take pictures. At 7:30 pm we had reservations for the A la carte restaurant. It was great with fancy presentation. It was a lovely way to end our day. We encountered some more little skunks on our way to the room after dinner. They let us pass unscathed. 😊

Day 3 Monday April 16th

Dive Day. Rocket Frog Divers picked us up at 7:20 am and we headed to Coco Beach to their dive shop. We got set up and headed out. The water was calm in Coco Beach but got rougher as we went out. Our first dive was on a spot called the Point and was supposed to be the spot for bigger fish like Mantas. We saw mostly the usual suspects but I did see some devil rays. The next dive was called Widow Rock. It was not fun at all. We didn't see anything cool and had to fight the surges and upwelling the entire time. By the end of the dive we were exhausted and we still had the rough boat ride back and the walk to the dive shop from Coco Beach.

When we got back to the resort at 2pm we showered, ate and then just crashed in the room for several hours. We ended up sleeping through the sunset. We dragged ourselves down to the buffet for dinner and then went to bed early.

Day 4 Tuesday April 17th

We got up early in the morning and had breakfast, then met Tico Tours in the lobby around 7:30 am to begin our culture and nature tour. They took us on a drive through some small towns and sugar cane fields and into Palo Verde National Forest. We stopped at an 180 year old plantation villa that they converted into a restaurant and gift shop. There we got fresh fruit and juice. Then it was on to the river boat up the Tampeche River.

We saw lots of crocodiles, tons of heron and other birds, lizards and two types of monkey! It was really fun. The tour captain was really accommodating, slowing down and even backing up so we could get a better look at the wildlife.

The next part of the tour took us to the old fashioned sugar press still turned by an ox. We got to feed in the cane to be pressed and sampled the sugar water, the fruits of our labor. It was not as sweet as I expected. Our tour guide (who was dressed in period attire) then took us to the workers house where we made corn tortillas the old fashioned way and sampled them with sour cream and stuff. We also got to try some other goodies cooked in the original stone oven.

Our cultural guide handed us back over to Marco with Tico Tours and he took us to the main house for lunch. It was delicious. Then it was back to the bus for the hour drive back to the resort. It was altogether a great tour with good company. Our tour companions were Doug (who took our photo on the beach the first day) and his wife Kelly and Andy and Amy, all from our resort. It was just the six of us which meant we were catered to nicely.

Back at the resort we changed in to swimsuits and went to the big pool. It had a lot of tree debris in it, which is to be expected with all the trees around the resort. We had a few drinks then decided to go to the other pool. That was where all the people were hanging out. We were the only Americans in the pool, the rest were Canadian. They were really friendly and a lot of fun. The group included Doug and Kelly who were on the tour with us. We had a few more drinks, and I was feeling pretty good.

We decided to cancel the local dive for the next day. It was a little bit of an effort to get a hold of Rocket Frog as they were not answering their phones. I finally emailed them and got a reply.

We then changed and went to the beach to watch another gorgeous sunset and little fish jumping in the waves. It was really cool. We had a nice dinner at the buffet and went to bed early.

Day 5 Wednesday April 18th

What a beautiful morning! The weather was perfect. We got up early and had a nice breakfast, then came back to the room to enjoy listening to the waves, the birds and the occasional howler monkey.

Late morning we went to the beach for a nice walk enjoying the view and listening to the water. We got pretty hot on the walk, so we hit the big pool before lunch.

Lunch was A la carte and very good. After that it was time for a siesta in the room, especially since I managed to get sunburned. As it got later in the day and there was more shade at the small pool, we went down there for drink and socializing. We met a nice young couple. She was originally from Peru, but met him at a resort in Dominican Republic and they eventually fell in love and after nine years, finally just got married. She moved to Canada to be with him. What a nice couple, too bad I cannot remember their names.

Back in the room and in dry clothes, Rob walked to the beach to get some sunset pictures while journaled on the balcony while watching the sun go down.

At 7pm we went down for a special dinner we were "invited" to at the coffee deck that was now being referred to as Mare Calmo. It was A la carte and very much like the A la carte restaurant we tried earlier in the week, but outside this time. I had a glass of wine with dinner and that along with the earlier drinks and the sun had me feeling under the weather by that evening. I was up much of the night tied to the bathroom.

Day 6 Thursday April 19th

Not a good start to the day. I remained chained to the restroom. Despite this I decided to try the trip to Coco Beach to shop for souvenirs. Tico Tours met us at 10 am for the quick trip to Coco Beach. It started out ok, all the shop owners were really nice and the prices were good, but no haggling in Costa Rica.

Unfortunately, I started feeling sick to my stomach as well and the heat was making it worse. We had to call Daniella at Tico Tours to come get us. It was not easy for her as she had no drivers available, but she got someone to us. While we waited, a couple of nice ladies at Teo Leo, one of the only shops with A/C, let us hang out in their shop.

Back at the resort, I just went to the room and crashed. That left Rob alone to eat lunch. I was still doing poorly when he decided to head to the pool. They had finally stocked the ice cream cooler to he made sure he got some. Then my sweet husband went to get Imodium AD and a cheese quesadilla for me as my stomach was feeling better and I decided to eat something. Rob went back to the pool after that and I stayed in the comfort and convenience of the room.

I did venture out for dinner with Rob and had a delicious steak and baked potato. It settled well and was really good.

Day 7 Friday April 20th

Our last day there. I was still a little off, but we made it down to breakfast. Then it was back to the room to pack and prepare for tomorrow's very early wake up.

Impressions of Costa Rica

1. The people are very friendly, they really embody the Pura Vida lifestyle.

2. Our resort was nice and quiet.

3. There is a lot to see and do in Costa Rica. It warrants another visit, this time inland.

4. It is a little buggy.

5. The fresh fruit and coffee were awesome.

6. It was really dry and brown in Guanacaste in the dry season. I would like to see it in the wet season when it is lush.

7. It's really different than anywhere else we have been.

8. The diving is not that great. Murky water with a lot of surge, but with lots of fish.

9. Smells good, like wild flowers.

10. The Fall would have been better.

11. There are only two seasons in Costa Rica: Rainy and Dry.

12. The roads are pretty rough and a lot of them are dirt.

13. Howler monkeys are REALLY loud.

14. Had really good bar tenders at the pool bars. Johannes, Michael and Bryan.

15. Very eco friendly in Costa Rica. Nothing goes to waste.

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