Costa Rica is Great!
My good friend Miles visited us from Texas with aspirations to experience Costa Rica to the fullest. On the first day of his visit, he asked “So, what’s so great about Costa Rica anyway?” What a superb question! Anna and I took some time to show Miles what Pura Vida is all about.
Our first destination was to beautiful Manuel Antonio. It’s an easy 3 hour drive from the Central Valley, with plenty of fresh fruit stands along the way that allow you to fill up on healthy snacks and drink Pipa Fria - coconut water served in a chilled coconut with a straw. On the way to the coast we simply had to stop at the crocodile bridge, a must for all tourists and wildlife lovers. From this well known bridge you look down to find crocs the size of pick-up trucks… and also to find yourself clutching to the railing!
I’ve only been to Manuel Antonio once before, and thought perhaps this was a perfect place to get our adventure started. Manuel Antonio is a national park and beach community on the Pacific Coast, which houses tropical forests, white and volcanic sand beaches, clear blue waters, and plenty of shopping, dining and lodging options. For Anna and I, a visit to one of the most beautiful beaches wouldn’t be complete without practicing Yoga on the beach.
And let’s not forget the wildlife. Manuel Antonio is the perfect place to see some monkeys...which I think is many people’s #1 thing to do when in Costa Rica. You’ll even find signs when driving in the area touting “Manuel Antonio: More Monkeys Than People.” We had a wonderful weekend of hiking, surfing, taking in the sun and dining (ok we went to Sancho’s Mexican restaurant 3 times…but you just can’t beat their fish tacos, pork tamales, and of course, being a vegetarian, their veggie burritos).
We continued our tour of Costa Rica driving to Turrialba, where the Pacuare River offers some of the most exquisite white water rafting in the world, actually ranked in the top 10 in the world by National Geographic. With it being April, the last month of the dry season, we weren’t necessarily hanging on for dear life during the trip down the river, so we had a chance to enjoy the natural beauty of the river canyon. It was a beautiful trip.
The Caribbean was our next stop. It’s probably one of our favorite areas in Costa Rica. In addition to the laid-back vibe, lots of local artisans and clear Caribbean waters, you’re bound to see a sloth up close if you just stop and look around. To Miles’ surprise, a mama sloth with a baby visited us at Hotel Atlantida where we were staying for a night. What a treat! We are excited to be holding our next yoga retreat in Costa Rica at the Goddess Garden in Cahuita as our guests will get such an authentic flavor of Costa Rica on the Caribbean coast and no doubt see abundant wildlife.
Finally on the way back to Atenas, we had to make a detour by Volcano Poas. On a good day, the clouds will be kind and allow you a peak of the active volcano crater emitting sulfurous gas. We were lucky and able to get some good photos, before taking a hike and finishing up with some authentic New York-style pizza in Grecia. We have to say, it was quite a feat to show off Costa Rica in 7 days, but we definitely gave it a fair shot.
Ok so perhaps we don’t spend each week filled with such adventure, but if you’re thinking of visiting Costa Rica, you can expect a similar experience. You don’t even have to spend the whole week in the car like we did (perhaps we went a little overboard as the driving got a bit tiresome.) One of the greatest things about Costa Rica is that whichever resort you stay at, the beach is typically not far away, you’re always surrounded by wildlife and Mother Nature’s bounty, and numerous activities are made available to you. Hope you join us soon on a Yoga vacation in peaceful Costa Rica. Pura Vida!