Subzero temps in Minnesnowta today have me dreaming of tropical Costa Rican beaches…
In April 2009, before this blog and before I had an iPhone, I vacationed solo in Costa Rica. This was also the time of the point and shoot Canon camera and the “artistic” angled photo (whyyyyy?).
I can’t remember why I picked the Nicoya peninsula, on the Pacific side of Costa Rica… perhaps an acquaintance talked about surfing there? I thought it sounded cool, so booked a last-minute flight via kayak (including a puddle jumper), found an inexpensive B&B on Trip Advisor, and off I went, just three weeks later.
Playa Carmen (between Malpais and Santa Teresa) wasn’t easy to get to. After my initial flight from MSP to San José via Atlanta, I took a 15-seat puddle jumper from San José to Tambor and then an hour taxi ride to my final destination. It was hot, humid, dusty (dirt roads), well off the beaten path (few tourists!) and absolutely incredible. I’d go back in a second. Also, bangs and super dark hair… who is that girl?!
- The beach. Beyond gorgeous, pristine and practically deserted.
- The sunsets. Over the Pacific… spectacular.
- The ocean. Falling asleep to ocean waves? There’s nothing better.
- The mangoes. A quarter at the local grocery (where no one spoke English) and so juicy. I had one every day for lunch.
- The surfing. I was terrible, but that split second when you stand up and then actually surf is exhilarating.
My first selfie, I think?!
What I did
Honestly, not a whole lot. I was a little timid because I’d never traveled alone before, so stuck closer to the B&B and the beach. If I went back today, I’d be much more adventurous. But, there was plenty of beach reading, beach walking – Gisele and Tom were staying a beach over! – zip lining, renting a quad (four-wheeler) and driving to Montezuma, climbing waterfalls, and meeting some really rad people (who I’m still occasionally in touch with – hi, Adele, Chris and Fredi!).
I still dream of this watermelon water and these tacos from Café Organico in Montezuma.
Where I stayed
Casa Colina bed and breakfast. Delicious gourmet breakfast and coffee every morning, kind hosts, sweet dogs, and a room with a view of the Pacific. It was perfect (and inexpensive).
All in all, an amazing eight days, almost completely disconnected from home (I found an internet café a few days into my stay where I checked in via email and facebook and to let my parents know I was ok). Traveling solo at least once is a must… no better way to get out of your comfort zone, grow and learn what you’re capable of!