Remember forever ago when I told you I was going to Costa Rica? I know, it feels like an eternity ago.
Well, I think you are finally ready to see my amazing pictures. All of our pictures were taken with my iPhone. I didn't want to worry about my big camera getting ruined or stolen while I was trying to be adventuresome (this does not come naturally to me.) Lucky for us the iPhone takes great snap shots!
Growing up in Hawaii spoiled me when it comes to tropical places. I'm always comparing, and saying things like, "Oh, this is just like home. Green trees, over grown vegetation, come on show me something new!" Bratty, I know, but don't walk away yet.
It's the culture, people and the food that I really love to experience when we are traveling. Costa Rica was nothing short of amazing for us. Our trip was spent in two different towns.
First stop: La Fortuna. It's a small town close to the Arenal Volcano. Which is still an active volcano. You can see steam spitting out of the top of it.
We rented a little car and drove from the Liberia Airport to La Fortuna. There are lots of companies that offer transportation, but we wanted to be able to stop and take our time along the way. After we arrived we realized our iPhone GPS wasn't working, so we rented a GPS as well. It was totally worth it. There were many times we would have thought we were on the wrong road if it hadn't been for the GPS.
Renting cars in foreign speaking countries isn't for sissies. Mike speaks Spanish fluently and that made a huge difference for us. While lots of people speak English, it's best not to assume, and we were not in resort type areas.
We booked our trip on the shoulder months, aka the rainy season. This saved us a bit of money on our hotels. The rainy season can be a bit rainy. Did you notice the picture of the pothole up top? When we were driving into town, it was raining cats and dogs. Our little rental car hit that pot hole at 30kph. What happened next could be classified as a small disaster. Pothole + speed = flat tire. To top things off, the car jack was not with the spare in the trunk. Don't forget about the rain. Mike was walking back and forth moving suitcases, looking for all the tools, and looked like he jumped in to the ocean. We determined there was not jack. A nice, local guy, in his pick up stopped to help us. Mike was able to explain in Spanish what the issue was. While they were changing the tire in the rain, another driver hit the same pothole and pulled over right behind us. When we finally got to the hotel we looked a little worse for ware. We told one of the staff about the tire, and missing jack. He laughed and told us the jack was under the driver's seat. Lo and behold, there it was. Maybe if there had been a manual in the glove box we could have found it, but there wasn't. Now you know, if you can't find the car jack, look under the driver's seat.
After the tire and rain ordeal, a nice hotel was very welcomed. We spent three nights at Nayara Hotel & Spa. Each room was freestanding, and completely surrounded by lush plants to feel like you were totally alone. There were indoor and outdoor showers, a personal jetted tub and hammock on your deck, and air conditioning. Each room also had a picture perfect view of the volcano. This really was a lovely hotel with great staff. I would stay here again, with kids too.
The town of La Fortuna itself is only a few city blocks with the Catholic Church at it's center. There are more than enough shops and restaurants to occupy a few days. The top photo is our awesome rental car in front of a party store. All good towns have a party store.
We wanted a legit Costa Rican dinning experience, and it took us a long time to find someone that wasn't trying to pamper us. Local eateries are called Soda _____ fill in the blank. We ate yummy empañadas at Soda Pito Pito.
The last photo is our bill from a restaurant. Notice the address. It says it's halfway between the Catholic church and Alamo car rental. I think the postal service there must really know their way around.