Costa Rica has always been high on my bucket list. My mother, whose Nicaraguan, briefly lived in Costa Rica and always spoke wonders of it. The more and more I researched it, the more and more I wanted to visit. Luckily, a friend of mine was getting married and the bridesmaids (I was one of them) threw her a bachelorette party in… COSTA RICA! Country #5.
As soon as we arrived in San Jose, we were greeted by our “party bus.”
Our driver was so nice and attentive; he took us to a local market where we bought liquor and snacks; it was going to be a bachelorette party to remember! As we made our way to our hotel, Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Gulf Resort, which was about an hour away from the airport, I could not help but to stare at the horizon. I was so scenic, unlike anything I had ever seen before! Miami may be considered tropical to some, but I consider it a sort-of concrete jungle. Maybe I feel that way since my career is in finance and I’m always crunching numbers.
Upon arrival, my hotel view mesmerized me! “Why is this place so gorgeous?!“– I thought. As soon as we were all settled, we walked to a local restaurant just a few meters away from the resort. I was surprised to see how cheap the food was and how similar it was to the food I eat back home; Miami, after all, is a melting pot of cultures, traditions, customs and food. I ordered Vigoron (Costa Rican style).
As we walked back to the hotel, it started to drizzle, but the rain was momentary. The rest of the afternoon entailed relaxation and bachelorette-like activities lol.
Embracing Adventure and the Ecosystem
Even though this was a “party trip,” I am fortunate enough to have a group of adventurous friends. As we prepared for this trip, we planned day trips to go horseback riding, hiking, zip-lining and white-water rafting. We are an adventurous bunch! I had never done any of the aforementioned activities, but I always try to go out of my comfort zone, sometimes unwillingly, but I try!
Horses are kind of scary animals (granted, I am scared of all animals). Hesitantly, I got on my horse and we trekked through a hiking trail. With my luck, I had the most rambunctious horse of the bunch! My horse was picking fights with other horses, eating whenever it pleased and never listened to me. One of the horse owners told me to pull the horse’s rein and I did; I swear… the horse gave me this look like (insert whichever funny phrase comes to mind). I just said, “Fine. You win!”
We eventually got off the horses about 30-45 minutes later; I was sooo happy! We started to hike downward towards these hidden waterfalls. About 30 minutes later, we arrived! I got in the water and finally relaxed! The water was so cold but refreshing.
After our free time, we had to hike and ride our horses back to the meeting location. I tried to walk back, but I had to ride the mean horse.
Now, it was time for zip lining. The idea sounds cool in theory, and I was all for it, until it was time to do the deed. We walked towards the next location and met up with our zip-line tour group. Everyone was really, really friendly. I just love Costa Rica and its friendly people! We hopped on a jeep and circled around and around and around… towards the top of the mountain. The fact that I was about to zip-line was becoming real. As soon as we were on the precipice, I looked down. BIG MISTAKE! And did I mention that I am deathly afraid of heights… oh yeah, this was about to be a spectacle!
Everyone was putting on their zip-line gear and I was having a nervous breakdown. I tried to bail but the jeep that brought us to the top of the mountain had left! I really wanted to walk back but the tour guides were going to zip-line all the way down with everyone. I was stuck; I had to endure TWELVE lines from the top of the mountain ALL the way to the ground.
I CRIED through 4-5 lines. Like an ugly cry. I just imagined everything possible going wrong. “How is this line so sturdy? When was this built? How high am I? Could I survive this fall?” I have a Type A personality, and since I was not in control of the situation, I was panicked. I eventually stopped crying and just prayed that the line did not snap.
I found zip-lining quite exhilarating on the last couple of lines when I learned to let go and live in the moment. This experience was scary, fun, thrilling, agonizing, adventurous… to many words to describe… but I am happy that the jeep left and I stayed behind to experience this.
Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls…
During this trip, I also went white-water rafting. This was actually pretty cool and our ride to Quepos was absolutely scenic. This place is just unbelievable.
White-water rafting was pretty fun; we went downstream and I thought I was going to fall out of the raft a couple of times. We got to a location where there was a beautiful waterfall and we were allowed to get off the raft and swim. The water was freezing! I swam towards the waterfalls and let and let the water hit my back; at one point, I lost my positioning and the downward flowing water hit my head! The water’s force and pressure was incredible; it could literally make you unconscious. And with that being said, that was the end of my waterfall experimentation. We eventually got back into our rafts and headed to land.
Overall, Costa Rica was such an amazing trip! It did not disappoint and I cant wait to visit again!
Costa Rica, ’til we meet again…
Trip Date: May/June 2014 Country#: 5