looking for some tips + tricks for your next adventure that don't break the bank (or your finally-developed self-care habits)?! i've compiled everything i found during my favorite trips around the globe so you don't have to!
ah costa rica - the land of pura vida. i traveled to costa rica as my first trip as a "real adult" and it will always hold a special place in my heart. just being in the country for a few days showed me first hand that life is really how you view it - it's the perfect place to go if you want to unwind, explore and remember there's beauty in the little things.
like many countries in central and south america, there are multiple ways that you could experience your stay (super nice hotels versus hostels). when I was there, we did a mix of both. if I were to go again, I might skip the hostels, but some of them were really beautiful!
- san jose: we ended up staying in san jose, costa rica's capital city, for one night on each leg of our trip for ease of travel. it's also a pretty cool city and has cute restaurants and parks to explore. we stayed at hostel pangea - which had a pool, clean bathrooms and was super cheap.
- arenal: on our road trip through the country, we stopped in arenal, a small town in the jungle for one night. it was the perfect balance between beach and city life--and has loads of spas, hot springs, and hiking. we stayed at arenal backpackers resort (lol - it was pretty much a resort).
- manuel antonio: this was my favorite stop on our trip - maybe because it was a jungle-like beach with monkeys roaming the roads! we stayed at hotel coco beach - it was a little dated but had everything you need: pool, clean rooms and a walk to the beach.
public transportation is widely used and safe - we took a bus back from manuel antonio to san jose.
but if you can--definitely rent a car. it gives you the flexibility to explore the beautiful landscapes and small towns whenever you'd like. driving is relatively easy (except for the fact that there are no real addresses). so worth it though!
during our trip, we ate as local as possible so there aren't any food spots that stick out to me. overall, I would say: definitely have the yummy local coffee wherever you go. typically, meals are based around rice, beans and another protein - so go for it! try to avoid the touristy spots in manuel antonio.
there's so much to do in costa rica - especially as it relates to outdoor adventures. here are some of my favorites:
- explore the arenal volcano national park (arenal)
- indulge in the hot springs (arenal)
- drive through the monteverde cloud forest
- see monkeys on the playa (manuel antonio)
- go ziplining (manuel antonio)
- spend a day in manuel antonio national park (manuel antonio)
- go coffee tasting (anywhere!)