This past March I was lucky enough to explore a little bit of Central America. I flew to Costa Rica to visit a friend from Guatemala, whom I met a few years ago in Canada. José had also just recently moved to CR, so it was quite adventurous for the both of us. He welcomed me perfectly with a collection of local craft beers (he knows I’m obsessed) to get the vacation started!
Throughout the week days when José was at work, I explored around Santa Ana and San José solo, practising my Spanish and learning a little bit about the culture. I also spent majority of my time by the pool in his apartment complex, because why not? Costa Rica is one of the more developed areas I’ve travelled to, with lots of stores and name brands that I see back home. Because of this, CR is very safe to travel around solo. While wandering, I learned that everyone says “Pura Vida” after everything!! After you say thank you, when you say goodbye to someone, anything. It’s a common phrase that you can find on numerous t-shirts too. Also, depending on where you are, there is a crazy amount of English speakers so if you’re someone wishing to explore Latin culture but lack the Spanish part, CR is the country for you!
During the weekend, we drove out to the Pacific coast to Quepos to visit Manuel Antonio, one of the national parks. Quepos is beautiful! Full of backpackers and travellers from all over the world. White sand beaches, monkeys, sloths, iguanas, etc. The first night we got there we spent the night on the beach with some people we met from the hostel, around a bonfire with some beers. One of my favourite things about travelling is that no one cares who you are. Just that you’re another person to hangout with. It’s like kindergarten all over again. During the days, we would stock up on a bunch of fresh fruit before hitting the beach and spend the day in the ocean. This was a great idea until the nearby monkey decided to steal my banana… bugger
I would 110% return to Costa Rica but instead, I would stay for two weeks and rent a car. The country is very expensive, we bought a pineapple of the side of the street which worked out to be $8CAD…that’s absolutely ridiculous. A way to save money would be to sleep in the car and the odd hostel every once in awhile. Attractions are also very far away from each other and the traffic is terrible right now due to renovations in infrastructure so travelling in your own car by night would be the most logical.
Some highlight of my trip include seeing sloths and monkeys just casually hanging around you, drinking fresh coconut water right out of the coconut I bought off some lady on the beach, then smashing it against a rock to eat the coconut as well. Also, I went zip-lining for the very first time and it was amazing! I highly recommend! It’s so much fun but holy cow I was not ready for how fast that sucker would fly!
Overall, Costa Rica is just a small and very expensive Colombia but I still love it and can’t wait to have the opportunity to go back again!