The 4th country in my Bon Voyage Series is……… Costa Rica!
Costa Rica is a magical place. I’ve been there 3 times and loved every visit.
It’s an outdoor enthusiasts dream come true where playgrounds of long walkable white sand beaches meet lush jungles, sunsets are to die for, and hiking trails leading to waterfalls with clear swimming holes are waiting to be explored. Beautiful cloud forests, active volcanos, all mixed with exotic wildlife, yummy food and nice people. There’s a reason the expat community is so large - Costa Rica Is paradise. Pura Vida.
I visited for the first time in 1995 on a 4-month trip through Mexico and Central America, traveling by bus with a friend from college. We took the Green Tortoise from San Diego down to Guatemala where the first leg of our month-long trip ended, then hopped on a local bus down to Costa Rica before heading back via local bus and concluded our trip in Mexico.
We were in Costa Rica for 1.5 months and spent a lot of time at the beaches on the Pacific and Caribbean side. Our favorite place was Montezuma on the Nicoya Peninsula where we rented a small, no frills cabin and easily fell into a daily groove filled with exploration and discovery. I remember being excited before bed each night to get up the next day to see what the day had in store.
In 2006, I returned to the Caribbean side for another two week visit with friends. Wow, this paradise was just as I remembered it! I found inner peace in Costa Rica. I was in heaven with the flora and fauna, yummy fruits, and slow and relaxed pace. We had a very loose itinerary planned and were able to let our spirit of adventure guide us without constraints. We traveled down to Panama, Bocas del Toro for a few nights where the adventure continued. We had a blast and were sad to come home and return to reality.
My final trip to Costa Rica was in 2015. My friend was getting married in Santa Theresa. It was as gorgeous and green as ever. But so expensive! San Francisco prices! We had a lovely time and it was a gorgeous wedding but Costa Rica had gotten very touristy and expensive although it continues to be a beautiful and magical place that I would love revisit.