Costa Rica: La Fortuna, Montezuma and Jaco | Goal #11

If we’re connected on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you already know that Christian and I spent two weeks over Thanksgiving visiting Costa Rica. It was an interesting trip, to say the least, but definitely one that was worthwhile.

Rayna and Christian waiting on their flight to Costa Rica at DIA
Waiting on our flight in Denver International Airport.

This was my first time visiting another country, other than Canada, and I really had no idea what to expect. I knew going in that travel would be hard because of my allergies, that communication would be tough because hablo muy poco espanol (even after visiting, I still had to Google it to make sure I was right. I was) and that there was going to be a lot of wildlife. I mean, after all Costa Rica makes up about 1% of the world and yet it has 5% of it’s wild life.

I’m not going to lie. I was really excited to go to Costa Rica, but after I arrived I wasn’t very happy about being there. It really challenged wow I see myself as a person, or who I use to be as compared to who I’ve become. But now that I’m home, it’s a little easier to reflect on.

Arenal Volcano National Park, Costa Rica
We spent our Thanksgiving hiking at Arenal Volcano National Park outside of La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Instead of writing twenty paragraphs about my trip, I thought I’d put things into lists for you.

Where we visited:

  1. La Fortuna
    1. Red Frog Coffee
    2. Arenal Volcano National Park
  2. Montezuma
    1. Montezuma Beach
    2. Montezuma Waterfall
    3. Paquero Ferry
  3. Jaco
    1. Jaco Beach
    2. Playa Hermosa
    3. Carara National Park
    4. Manual Antionio National Park
Coati's playing on the road in Costa Rica
A pack of Coati’s playing on the road outside of La Fortuna.

Favorite parts of Costa Rica

  1. Animals! Monkeys, SLOTHS, Coatis and super friendly Racoons.
  2. The people.
    1. Roy from Red Frog Coffee who gave us tips, chatted with us and made us feel welcome. He also makes kick ass coffee.
    2. The little girl at our hotel in La Fortuna who didn’t speak English but insisted that she could teach me spanish. Now I know how to say Pato en el agua (duck in the water) and Frioleen (snow man). She quizzed me on my animals, numbers and colors!
    3. Alex and Barb, the couple who owned the bungalow we stayed in outside of Montezuma. Both very friendly and sweet!
    4. Raquel, one of the hosts at our hotel in Jaco who gave us great traveling advice, tips on where to go and helped me find sea salt at a grocery store!
  3. The Weather. Even Christian was starting to enjoy the humidity. It was 80-90 every day and between 60-70 at night. Even when it was raining, it was beautiful.
  4. Playa Hermosa. It’s a surfers beach just south of Jaco but it’s beautiful and quiet. The first day we went there we had the entire beach to ourselves. The second and third day we had to share with a few people, but we didn’t mind. I’m not a big ocean swimmer, so it was perfect to lay on my beach towel and read!
  5. SLOTHS!! I know, they’re also under number one. But one of my all time goals is to hold a baby sloth and while I didn’t get to do that, I did get to see a baby and watch a momma sloth do her thing. It was awesome (pictures below)!
  6. Dogs everywhere. On the beach, on the streets, in restaurants. <3 it!
Roads between La Fortuna and Montezuma Costa Rica
Our GPS took us on a crazy drive from La Fortuna to Montezuma which included 4 wheeling on a “road” and two unexpected river crossings. Not my idea of fun, but to each their own. I did however like the cows with hound dog ears.

Least Favorite Parts of Costa Rica:

  1. When customs took my food
  2. The grocery stores are tiny and don’t have much for someone with a lot of allergies. I spent 12 days eating rice, black beans, olive oil, zucchini, yellow potatoes and carrots. At every single meal. I did however lose 6 lbs.
  3. Wasps in the bed, numerous times.
  4. Sleeping in a tiny SUV in the rainforest with the windows up because of the wasps in the bed (Okay.. at least it’s a good story).
  5. Falling and breaking my landscape lens on the second day. Yea. That happens. Goodbye beautiful photos, hello cell phone photos.
  6. Unexpectant river crossings
  7. Driving. Holy crap, everyone is so nice until they get behind a wheel, then it’s your life or theirs.
  8. Being away from Savannah dog. I missed her so much every day and when we got back, it broke both of our hearts. She was so unsure of her place in our pack and she just slinked around, watching us for almost a week.

And a whole lot more photos.

Monkey in the rainforest outside of Montezuma
Monkey that lived by our bungalow in Montezuma. He greeted our car as soon as we arrived.
Montezuma Beach in Montezuma, Costa Rica
Montezuma Beach. We hang out here one morning and then explored it on foot for a while.
Coati at a swimming pool in Montezuma
A coati hanging out at the pool. I know they’re essentially raccoons but I loved them.
Ferry ride from Paquero to Puntarenas
Ferry ride from Paquero to Puntarenas
Playa Hermosa in Costa Rica
Playa Hermosa. As you can see, we are the only ones around
Lizards at the beach in Costa Rica.
Cool lizards that were hanging out at the beach with us.
Surfers doing their thing at Playa Hermosa.
Surfers doing their thing at Playa Hermosa.
playing with random dogs at Playa Hermosa
Christian playing with random dogs at Playa Hermosa
Sunset at Playa Hermosa
Sunset at Playa Hermosa
Wildlife at Carara National Park in Costa Rica
Wildlife at Carara National Park in Costa Rica
Crocodiles at Carara National park
Crocodiles at Carara National park
Some of the wild life at Manual Antonio National park including Monkeys
Some of the wild life at Manual Antonio National park including Monkeys
Sloth at Manual Antonia National Park
SLOTH!!!! Check out his climber stemming moves.
wild life at Manual Antonia National Park, as well as some spectacular views.
More wild life at Manual Antonia National Park, as well as some spectacular views.
Beach hike at Playa Hermosa
Last day at Playa Hermosa. We decided to go on a beach hike and found some really cool stuff.
Sunset at Playa Hermosa, just south of Jaco, Costa Rica
Last sunset at Playa Hermosa, including my signature handstand move and a cool shot of us kissing!


And oh yes, Goal #11, Visit another country!