In February 2010 we took our first Costa Rican Schauer Pack adventure! Well, the two legged pack members did! Sorry, Klaus and Mac! We had read several good and bad stories, but something was calling my husband, Chris, to check it out. I wasn’t quite sold as fast as he was, but I warmed to the idea the more I read. I mean really, they have monkeys for goodness sake!!!
We took the red eye and flew from San Francisco, through Houston, and then onto Liberia. There is just no way of getting comfy or sleeping in a plane, so I just suck it up and know a good night sleep is waiting…eventually. The entire flying experience is the worst part of traveling. It’s sad how unpleasant the airlines have made traveling.
We touched down in Liberia, which is the 2nd largest airport, and is located in the Northern Guanacaste region. We heard it was easier to navigate then the main airport in the San Jose area. This airport was old school! Roll-up stairs to deplane, walk on the runway to get to the terminal, and the terminal was an open air warehouse. We walked up to a young lady at the podium, which was right in the middle of the room, and got our passport checked and stamped. We then went out front to catch a cab.
I’ve read stories about being robbed by the taxi drivers, so when we arrived around 9:00 p.m. to complete darkness, and everyone speaking Spanish, I was a bit intimidated. I’m so thankful for our pack leader, my husband Chris! He is the best travel planner, and I always feel safe when I’m with him! We had no problems with our 5 minute taxi ride to the Hilton Garden Inn. It was right behind the airport! Our driver was very friendly, too! Pura Vida!
We got to the hotel and had a quick drink and a bite to eat out by the pool.
By the way, it was perfect weather at 10:00 p.m.! Just saying!
This was PLUS number one!!
The next morning I awoke to find Chris missing. I started to get nervous, because yo no hablo espanol !!! I felt a tad helpless, but then realized he went to get the rental car. Ok, I’m good!
Driving in Costa Rica can be challenging. The drivers are aggressive and the rules are not the same as home, if they have any, that is. The main roads are pretty nice, but as we came to the road surrounding the Lake Arenal area, we played a lot of what I like to call, “pothole frogger!” I’m glad we drove though, because it’s how we fell in love with the country. The freedom to take a detour when you see something interesting is priceless.
We planned our first adventure to this beautiful country for ten days! (Two of which are spent flying, Ugh!) Our first stop was Arenal! SCORE!! We found a fantastic resort, the Arenal Nyara, (Nyara link). It is the most amazing resort! Located just a few moments up the road from the bustling town of La Fortuna, this property is nestled in lush green surroundings of the Volcano. I really enjoyed this town, and I highly recommend visiting, if you are in the area. There are so many sights to see. (Arenal/La Fortuna post)
While in Arenal, we dared our first amazing waterfall rappel adventure. Check out the video of our awkward, but daring rappel! (canyoning in Arenal) We took a day trip and drove to the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve! It was a fantastic trip!
We got into our first Costa Rica traffic jam,
saw an unhappy bull who had just had his horns clipped!
Best of all, experienced a much different way of living.
While in Monteverde, we had a fantastic day of flying across the canopy on our first zip line adventure. (zip line). This was also our first time driving at night! Wasn’t as bad as we thought, but pothole frogger is a bit more challenging in the dark.
It was hard to leave this area. It is the most peaceful place I’ve ever been. With its lush rainforest full of sights and sounds I’d never experienced. The rumbling of the volcano, the lighting bugs lighting up the night, and so many butterflies! The weather! Warm and humid! Sexy weather all year! We will be back Arenal! (Arenal 2012 post)
Our second part of the trip was a drive west across the country to the Pacific Coast. We rented a house just 200 yards from the beach in a sleepy little surf town called Nosara. (nosara link) Nosara was recommended to us by our friends Mike & Susie Huhn! Thanks for the fantastic recommendation, Huhns! We loved it! From this location, we took a day trip to Samara beach, (Samara link) which is South of Nosara. We also headed north to check out the town of Tamarindo, (tamarindo link) which was a day trip due to the dirt roads. We took a day trip on a long and slow dirt coastal road north, hitting little beach towns along the way. We went as far as Flamingo before turning around. The beaches are amazing, but the roads are not!
On our last day in Nosara, we sadly took our last walk past the Howler monkey tree to the beach. We sat there, and at that time, decided that we wanted to see much more of this country. Now to plan the next Costa Rican Schauer Pack Adventure! (Costa Rica 2012 blog)
Thanks for joining us on our Schauer Pack Adventures! I hope you will join us on our next adventure!