Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Costa Rica.....Paradise

 View of Playa Escondida

Inside of Owl Butterfly at the Butterfly Garden

 Outside Wings of Owl Butterfly

 Cows Enjoying Grazing on Grass....Chillin How They Should Be.

 Monkey in my Friend Kristen's Backyard

 Toucan We Spotted at the Pura Vida Gardens Outside Jaco

Gorgeous Afternoon View at Villa Calettas

Iguana Chilin in the Tree at Villa Caleta

Final Sunset at Playa Escondida

Pure Doin His Thing on Jaco Beach

Three years ago I was lucky enough to go to Jaco, Costa Rica with my friend Nadine.  I had been trying to get back ever since.  I truly believe that the earth breathes in Costa Rica.   They have a greeting the say to one another there Pura Vida...which translates to Pure Life, and that is Costa Rica in a nutshell.
I couldn't understand why when you read travel books so many of them tell you that Jaco is definitely not the best place to go in Costa Rica.  I didn't get it because last time I was there I spent all of my time at my friend Kristen's beach, Playa Escondida, which is just ten minutes outside of Jaco.  The name means hidden beach, and it is definitely that.  It's like a little perfect cove, and one of the most gorgeous beaches in the country.  If you are planning a trip to Costa Rica, and can find a house or condo to stay at in this development that has access to this beach I highly recommend it.  You will have the best of both worlds.  All of the beauty that Costa Rica has to offer, and the nightlife and fun of Jaco.
We stayed at Sonidos Del Mar which was a fabulous 2 bedroom house located just off the south shore of Jaco Beach.  We had a gorgeous pool, and grounds and we were just steps to the beach.  Sunsets in Jaco are amazing so it was nice to be able to just walk out to the beach each night for the sunset.  
We went to Costa Rica with my best friend from college Wesley, his girlfriend, Erin, and his daughter Audrey.  They went off and went zip lining, and through the jungle on suspension bridges.  Audrey also managed to squeeze in some horseback riding at Discovery Horseback Tours.  Unfortunately we didn't plan ahead, and there wasn't enough room for us all to go.  If you plan to horseback ride I highly recommend this place.  They take very good care of the horses there which is not always the case in all of Costa Rica.  Pure and I went to the Pure Vida Garden and Waterfall which did not disappoint.  We saw toucans, waterfalls, and a gorgeous botanical garden with spectacular views.  We also took a day trip to the Arenal Volcano, and the Baldi Hot Springs.  Unfortunately it was an extremely cloudy rainy day so we did not get to see the volcano; however, the hot springs were fabulous.  Next time we return we will be trying the Tabacon Hot Springs.  They were not taking visitors who weren't staying at the hotel when we went due to the fact it was Christmas/New Years Week.  Last but not least sunset, and a breakfast at the spectacular Villa Caletas.  This hotel and the views are unbelievable.  Sunset there is an event.  Everyone arrives for drinks each night, and the amazing 180 degree views of the ocean and sunset.  On a sunny morning there is nothing like enjoying the traditional Costa Rican breakfast there of black beans, rice, plantains, eggs, and avocado.
Speaking of amazing food almost everyday we ate at Caliche's Wishbone and dined on the best black beans ever, Caliche's amazing tuna poke, and all the guacamole and plantains we could eat.  We couldn't get enough, and of course had to have our final meal there.  This time I didn't get to Manuel Antonio which is only a 45 minute drive from Costa Rica, but if staying in Jaco, I highly recommend a trip over there.  Beautiful beach and a great walk through the rain forest.  
All and all we had a wonderful time.  Sorry for the time off from blogging, but when in Costa Rica it's hard to do anything but be on the beach.  Pura Vida!!


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