I have used the term Pura Vida, but to be able to experience it in the place where “simple life or pure life” is known for, was amazing. From the moment we arrived until we boarded the plane back home, Costa Rica will always have a special place in my heart.
Initially I was torn about whether to rent a car or use a shuttle from the airport to the hotel. Opted for shuttle since I didn’t want to deal with driving. It was definitely the best decision! The hilly, winding, narrow roads, although well paved, was not the kind of driving I was use to, so I left it up to the natives. I cannot rave enough about how fantastic our driver (Oscar) from Everywhere Costa Rica Shuttle Service was! The drive from the airport to our hotel was 131 miles, but it seemed a lot less with all the laughs and views along the way. Halfway to our destination, Oscar suggested we stop for lunch at a local spot, La Choza de Dona Emilce, he promised the food would be great. I ordered the Pork Casado, and it was absolutely delicious, just as he said it would be! From the pleasantries to the meal, this was by far the best shuttle service I’ve ever experienced.
Upon arrival to our hotel, Mountain Paradise Wellness and Spa, we were greeted with a tasty beverage, and instantly felt welcomed. Our hotel villa was absolutely perfect and very spacious. The view of the Arenal Volcano from our room was gorgeous! The swim up bar became our favorite spot to wind down in the evenings. Ave del Paraiso Restaurant, the onsite restaurant made our taste buds do a happy dance. When the staff greets you by name, makes your stay so much personable. It was so hard to leave, when you enjoy the accommodations.
However, let’s talk about The Spa! If I were to describe tranquility this Wellness Spa would be the perfect depiction. Soon as I entered the room, I felt a sense of peace. If my entire body could do a “sigh of relief “, it would have the moment I walked into the room. Because my best friend and I are always looking for the ultimate spa experience, we chose the Chocolate Massage. Our bodies were massaged with ACTUAL CHOCOLATE, and it was heavenly! The feel, the smell, the relaxation of it all was beyond magnificent! Messy but so worth it! I have had many spa encounters, yet those 90 minutes being rubbed with chocolate is one of the best EVER!
A trip to Costa Rica would not be complete without doing some of the most popular tourist stuff. Our 1st tour was an all day tour with Jacamar Tour Costa Rica. It was the combination tour that included the Hanging Bridges, La Fortuna Waterfall, and hiking the Arenal Volcano. Although it was a long day, we saw all types of animals, breath taking views, and the waterfall was beautiful. This was truly all about the experience, we even endured a few minutes of heavy down pouring rain while we hiked the volcano, totally expected when in a rainforest right! The hanging bridges and waterfall was my favorite, however the views from the volcano made the long hike worth it.
Because my Bestie and I are all about adrenaline rush excursions our trip would not be complete without ziplining and atv tour while in Costa Rica. Sky Adventures Arenal zipline took us up 656 feet in the air, across 7 lines, and it was exhilarating! The staff made it even more fun with their jokes and witty personalities, plus they sang Happy Birthday to me numerous times! Ziping across the lines at 50mph with gorgeous views is a must while in CR!
Our last adventure was 4 hours with ATV La Finca, and it was so much fun!! Driving a four wheeler through mud with glimpses of beautiful scenery is nothing but a great time. Our guide Antonio was adorable and fun on this private tour, that concluded at Termales Del Bosque Hot Springs. When I say this was the best, it was THE BEST! Splashing through mud, dirt roads, curves, and hills on our red machines felt like something right out of the movies. When we arrived at the hot springs, we could only say “Omg, this is amazing”! It was like our own private oasis in the middle of the rainforest that included a wet bar!Several different hot springs, the hottest one was 113° and it felt WONDERFUL! Sometimes going away from touristy spots has it privileges because this was truly one of the moments when all you can say is “Wow”!
Costa Rica exceeded my expectations! Everything from the most friendliest and genuine people, delicious food, and fun, fun, fun times, made this Bucketlist Destination one of my most memorable trips! Bonus is having my Bestie, Michelle along, made turning 46 a momentous time! Costa Rica I will definitely be back! #wanderwithraq #wanderlust #costarica #createmoments #puravida #everywherecostarica #jacamartours #lafortuna #arenalvolcano #letsgetlost #travel #skyadventures #lafortunawaterfall #rainforest #adventure #bestieswithpassports #bestiebehaviorcostarica #hiking