Being the sun goddesses Sarah, Krystal, and I are, and given we had such a wonderful time together a year prior in South Padre, TX, we were ready and excited to enjoy ourselves in Costa Rica. While we were there we did our best to embody the country motto, Pura Vida.
The weather was hot, the water was cool, and the sunsets were spectacular. A few more of our highlights…
The hippy dippies (and prostitution!) in Jaco Beach
Jaco Beach is a very small, hippy surfer town. It’s on the west coast, less than a two-hour drive from the Jan Jose International Airport. While you definitely don’t need a car to get around, having a bike is nice, as walking to and from places gets tiring, especially in the hot sun.
Given we were so close to the equator, the sun sets relatively early…around 6:00 p.m. and then rises at 6:00 a.m. It was amazing how it goes from light to dark so quickly. When we were walking around for dinner the first night we were in town, we were shocked to come by the prostitutes. We first noticed it after going to a bar. It was filled with a bunch of old men…and very scantily clad women on the outside. We were immediately creeped out and headed back to our condo after that. Luckily, we were more prepared the next night.
There are some pretty good food joints. Our favorites:
- Side Street Bistro: This one is tucked away on the northern-most part of the main strip of the city. The food was terrific and the drinks were even better. Go. Just go.
- Wishbone: While they focused on forms of Tex Mex, they also served traditional Costa Rican food, and it was delicious. And the margaritas were cold and boozy.
- Tacobar: We went here because it had a lot of good reviews. While it was good, and the “buffet” of unlimited taco toppings was great, it was a bit over-priced.
Villa Calletas = EPIC views
We heard from a lot of people to head here for views. It’s a super romantic hotel on the top of a mountain, about 30 minutes north of Jaco. The cab was only $15, which seemed steep at first, but then we got there and quickly realized it was more than worth it.
This place is very much prepared to handle people not staying at the hotel to enjoy the sunset. They have colosseum-like seating and tables that provide completely unobstructed views of the Pacific. We enjoyed some fabulous cocktails, swanky music, and a couple appetizers as we watched one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.
Even though you’ll definitely need a car if you stay here, I’d strongly consider it. It’s that gorgeous of a place.
Manuel Antonio National Park
Costa Rica is a very eco-friendly country and there are a lot of nature tours. We opted for a full day tour to Manuel Antonio National Park.
It took a number of stops along the way where we saw some incredible vistas, drank out of coconuts, and saw sloths, lizards, and a plethora of ambitious, thieving monkeys!