Pura Vida!

Published: January 25th 2014
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Pura Vida means pure life (e.g. life is wonderful) in Spanish. Costa Ricans embrace this saying in their daily lives and happily share it with tourists. Their positive outlook, warm smiles and friendly greetings were contagious and made me feel very welcome. From the airports to the restaurants and hotels, we received first class service and a plethora of Hola! Buenos Dias! and Gracias! from local staff. Being in Costa Rica reminded me of my homeland.
Do you strive for happiness every day and live with an attitude of gratitude? A smile or kind gesture can truly brighten someone’s day.

Our trip to Costa Rica was in June 2013. June is considered “Rainy Season” -yes it was hot, a bit humid but it only rained once. Thanks much weather God. Below you will find a variety of things that you can add to your Costa Rica itinerary. I can assure you, Costa Rica is the place to go!

Baldi Resort & Spa- The resort provided us with the exact relaxation we were looking for after a long drive in the mountains. All 29 pools have different temperatures and the heated ones felt amazing. The breakfast was really yummy and fresh. Gallo Pinto por favor!!!

Is this place perhaps the Disney in Costa Rica?

Sky Tram and Sky Trek- The views were spectacular. Sky Trek was my third zip lining experience and this one beats them all. I am not going to lie; I was very nervous and a bit scared. The height was outrageous; the lengths of the cables were terrifying and let’s not talk about the speed… fun!!

Tip: Make sure you wear long pants. I wore shorts and I burned my knee with the cables. ::ouch::

Zip lining in Costa Rica, CHECK!

La Fortuna- Located in the foothills of the Arenal volcano. La Fortuna is a small town with plenty of restaurants, local bars and shops. Here, we were able to walk the town without any issues or feeling scared, it was very safe and the locals were extremely welcoming and friendly. Another excellent website I use for reviews is tripadvisor.com, here I was able to find reviews on local restaurants, activities, hotels, transportation and more. After reading so many restaurants reviews, we gravitated towards “La Choza de Laurel”- aaaamazing!

La Fortuna Waterfall- The hike to “Las Cataratas” was totally worth it. There is a steep set of stairs (roughly 420+) to get down (eventually you have to go back up) to the waterfall, still worth it. The waterfall was huge and beautiful. It was also FREEZING! There’s a bunch of rocks where you can leave your things and get into the water. I tried to swim into the actual water, but it was deep and powerful. The rocks were very slippery; a girl actually slipped and almost cut her head… So be careful! Overall, the experience was beautiful.

Tamarindo Beach- The second leg of our trip was Tamarindo beach.

Here are the different options with regards to transportation to Guanacaste.

A. Flying- Unless you charter a flight, you will not go direct and the cost is about $150 per person. Is it worth it? NOPE.

B. Renting a vehicle- I hate driving and my boyfriend was in dire need of relaxation therefore renting a vehicle was not an option for us. We did consider this option but after researching prices, we didn’t think this option was worth it. But it all depends on you! I only suggest renting a vehicle if you go with a group of friends. If it’s just you and your boyfriend, this might not be worth it.

C. Shuttle- For my bookings, I used anywherecostarica.com. Trustworthy website with excellent reviews and very knowledgeable customer service representatives. We used a shuttle to get from Liberia airport to Arenal and from Arenal to Tamarindo beach in Guanacaste. The cost for this option was $45 per person for a one way. Again, we travel on a budget so this was an excellent choice for us. Total travel time was 5 hours with several stops to take photos and to eat.

5 hours later, we arrived to Barcelo Langosta Beach in Tamarindo. Langosta beach is huge and beautiful. You must see the sunsets over the ocean, they are absolutely amazing. Take long walks at night and perhaps start a bonfire?

Fishing- Fishing was not in our itinerary but I am so glad we experienced it. We met a nice couple the first night in our hotel, we all got along pretty well. Drinks, laughs and stories later, they invited my boyfriend and I to their venture at sea. I have never been interested in the sport of fishing but this was a great experience. I caught my first tuna fish and I felt terrible with the idea of killing the poor fishy so I told the Captain to let it be free. However, this was not the case for my boyfriend and our two new friends. They decided to keep a couple of tuna’s and take it to a local spot in Tamarindo and have them cook it for us. I must say, the tuna was scrumptious.

Coco Spa & La Palapa- June 28th is my birthdate and I happen to be in Tamarindo, Costa Rica.. celebrating life! My lovely hubby surprised me with a spa reservation to the famous Coco Spa in Tamarindo. The experience we had at this spa was wonderful from start to finish. It all started with a simple glass of iced tea to a delicious glass of champagne. It was all heavenly!

La Palapa is a restaurant located in Tamarindo. Reservations are not needed but my boyfriend was awesome enough to call in and make a reservation so that we can have the table at the beach. He knows me pretty well, what can I say. The setting is gorgeous and the food was excellent.

Overall, Costa Rica was very relaxing & very green. Loved every single aspect of my trip. PURA VIDA!


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