Costa Rica, a developing country that got rid of its military to instead focus its finances on a universal healthcare and education program, you know the things that really matter. Not a surprise they consistently rank top in the global happiness index. Once again, the plane ticket price confirmed my attendance when I was looking for my next country to visit. I remember I had just got word that Betsy Devos would be our new Secretary of Education. I was floored, angry, so many damn emotions! Looking for an escape to put my mind at ease, I stumbled upon a Costa Rican flight deal, texted my travel crew and we were booked.
Our plane arrived in San Jose, Costa Rica which is the nation’s capital. There’s not much to do in San Jose so we decided to go somewhere with more sensory overload. Though it was tough narrowing it down because Costa Rica had so many great destinations to escape to, we ultimately decided on the Manuel Antonio/Quepos area. Being that we visited during rainy season, we heard up north was more susceptible to rain than the south so we took our chances during rainy season in the southern part of the country and luckily we only got caught in the rain once while we were there.
We took a shuttle from San Jose to our hostel in Manuel Antonio which took us almost 2 hours. We found out that you can get a plane ticket for the same price so be sure to look into that if you ever visit. The hostel we stayed in was called Selina. It was an amazing atmosphere. Didn’t seem like a hostel at all. So many good vibes. We met so many people from around the world, even met a girl from Ann Arbor who was attending the University of Michigan with us. It was the 3 of us to a room and we had an amazing extra roommate from Utah.
We spent the first day exploring and relaxing at the beach. We then stumbled upon a group of students studying abroad from Virginia. They were pretty awesome and we invited them to our hostel later that night where there the hostel would be hosting a hip-hop dance party. That night was amazing. Wish I could put it into words. The second day we woke up and had a Zipline/Canopy adventure which further added to my sensory overload. The tour took us through the amazing Costa Rican Rain Forest and the scenery was amazing. The Ziplining was some of the best and highest in the world they say.
The next day we went on a white water rafting excursion. This one I was particularly nervous about cause heights I can do but I don’t do water especially rapidly moving water. No Bueno! But I did it and I’m glad I did. It was one of those things that you only see and hear about in movies so it’s still so surreal that I was able to conquer my fears and make lifelong memories. We had our last dinner that night at a really fancy restaurant where we met a nice black couple honeymooning from Houston who basically shared their wisdom with us on how to make marriage work. They were so dope and we even got to see them again and chat with them at the airport. I will be forever grateful for the many people I meet and connected with on this journey. Costa Rica showed me what living truly is. Pura Vida!
Costa Rica Pro-Tips:
- Bring comfortable shoes, you’ll be hiking a lot in Costa Rica
- Visit the southern region if you are going during Wet Season
- Try to see at least 1 waterfall & volcano while you are there.
- Depending on where you are, you can plan a day trip to Nicaragua or Panama using a tour company.
- Amigos Del Rio is the best tour company in Costa Rica! Period.
- If in the Manuel Antonio/Quepos area, visit Silencio Village. A completely community ran town where everyone puts their money together to better the community as one. Remarkable to hear the story of the village.
- Pura Vida!