costa rica.

i just returned from traveling to costa rica with my mom and little brother!  it was the perfect off-season trip for sun, surf, and jungle adventuring.  this was my second time to costa rica (can’t believe it’s been that long!), and my how this country has grown since my last visit.

this time we were in the north western part of costa rica, in the guanacaste region, which is way more dry than the humid central coast.  with the dry, comes the heat, and i got a tad bit of sun poisoning after a few days in the sun, but that’s the price i pay for choosing to live in winter 9 months out of the year.  we stayed at playa flamingo, a tiny little beach peninsula north of tamarindo. it’s in the perfect driving distance to multiple surf breaks. (playa grande was a favorite and only $1 parking and empty beach, cha ching!) we discovered the best smoothies i’ve ever had…..surf box you are what acai bowl dreams are made of. my mom really wanted to see monkeys so we convinced her to do a jungle adventure day!  she was such a trooper and loved hitting the zipline and a natural waterslide that ran 500 feet down the jungle floor. Buena Vista Lodge offered so much! the ecosystem was insane and being able to jump from canopy to canopy, with howling monkeys next to you, was the perfect costa rican adventure.
we took an afternoon to horseback ride in the jungle and clearly we were unprepared.  flip flops on horseback?  we went for it.  i laughed the entire time as my brother’s horse was so small compared to his 6’4″ frame! the horses led us to natural hot springs deep in the jungle where we were greeted with a volcanic ash mud-bath.  never knew volcanic ash was good for you but my skin felt like buttah. the trip was too short, as they always are, but here is a list of places to stay and where to eat in the flamingo beach area. i recommend renting a car to bop around to different beaches and towns, but there are surf shuttles everywhere too. costa ricans are extremely hospitable and friendly. compared to the last time we went, the country is much more safe. the highways are paved and sustainability is everywhere. i love seeing a country run on sustainability with a smile on their faces. until next time costa rica, pura vida!!!

EAT

Surf Box – amazing breakfast and smoothie bowls.  fuel up before hitting the beach
Coco Loco – their coconut drinks were probably the best things we tasted during our trip!
The Beach House – great lobster and ceviche and right on the beach
Angelina’s – their snook was unreal and i’m not even a huge fish lover. best food in the area  and closet thing to fine dining
Cafe de Manglar – super authentic and cheap!

STAY

Flamingo Beach Resort and Spa – we stayed here! great location, great pool
Hacienda Pinilla – a great surf break right outside the hotel. day passes available too for quiet pool time!
Paradise Flamingo Hotel – on top of the cliffs looking down on the beach

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