Tag Archives: beachlife

Off to the captivating Costa Rica and through the jungle by zipline.

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Driving towards the coast

We spent our first week in Costa Rica hunting for the best beaches, little did we know that the first beach we found would be the best and our favorite.  Pro-tip: Look for Hotel Playa Conchal just southwest of Playa Brasilito, drive down the beach access road until it ends and opens up in a beautiful cove.  The drive to beach was anything but dull right off the highway.  The road turned into a rugged dirt route quickly and here is where we met our first of many river crossings.  We would let the dinky cabs pass us first before diving the van into the river, all went well.

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Our first camp-spot in Costa Rica

We showed up here late Sunday afternoon which is a noob-move and we knew that.   The beach was packed until sunset, after the sun sets it completely empties for the week.  We pull up to the beach careful not to hit the soft sand and then we dug in.  As soon as we woke up the next morning we slid the sidedoor open to the water and we have the beach to ourselves.  This van has a room with a view like none other.

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Playa Conchal.  Pura Vida

My favorite moment here that sticks out in my mind is probably our third day on the beach.  Christian and I split the day by staying in the shade under our awning or dipping in the bay for a swim to cool off.  Off in the distance we see a family of four kayaking right towards us from the other side of this bay.  The mom approaches us under the awning and asks us “how much are ya’ll renting four-wheelers for?”  Christian replies very nicely “Mmm I am not sure how much they are but I think you can rent them down the beach at the hotel.”  Lovely mother of two replies “Ugh, so you’re what are doing then, just sitting here?”  She was damn right, we were just sitting and soaking up this kick-ass place while not doing a thing.  She thought quite highly of us thinking that we were running a four-wheel tour company out of our van though.

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This place is free
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Let’s never leave
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We found this awesome waterfall on the side of the road

Our drives through this country were Christian’s favorite part of Costa Rica, pull over anywhere and you are guaranteed to see at least a waterfall.

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Driving through Costa Rica

MonteVerde National Park, Costa Rica

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I was feeling brave and excited when we arrived to Monte Verde, Costa Rica.   On our PanAmerican-Highway Trip Bucket List is another box I was ready to check off, zip-lining above the Rainforest.

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Christian in the first part of the mile-series lines
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Superman over the jungle for a mile

I am a nervous wreck when it comes to heights, I get dizzy standing on a chair or using a short ladder.  I can’t even watch someone cliff-dive on TV without getting butterflies.  Zip-lining over the tree-tops is way beyond pushing my comfort zone.  Honestly I loved this, it was dreadfully marvelous.

After MonteVerde we camped down at Lake Arenal for a few days making our way around Costa Rica.  We had a lot of rain here so working our day (finding groceries and a bank) around the down pours was our only qualm here.  Two blocks from this camp spot into town was a German Bakery that sold all things delicious.

We received insider information where we could find free thermal springs right across the street from a pricey Hotel Spa.  The directions were iffy but I mean what else do we have to do, nada.  We brought nothing with us beyond a go-pro, yet again another novice move.  What’s our deal, right?  Next time…cold drinks, snacks or a cooler full of hot springs items at least.  This gem was found underneath a small highway bridge.

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Where to next: El Salvador and a drive through Honduras, visa deadline coming in hot.

We spent over two months in Guatemala most of that time was spent in Antigua where we were taking spanish classes and I was catching up with good ol’ buddy.  When we entered Guatemala we were given a 90 day visa for four countries called the CA-4, which includes Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.  We had to do some trimming and quick moving to get to Costa Rica in three weeks.  I had a list of to do’s that I wanted to check out in Nicaragua and two weeks was barely enough time.  The plan was to spend about four nights on some beaches in El Salvador and drive through Honduras in one day in order to get to Nicaragua in five days.

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El Tunco, El Salvador.   A black sand beach.
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Sunset at El Tunco
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The night Christian wanted a van-kitten

When looking at the map and our route we had to stay on the Pacific side in order to make this timeline.  After a little bit of research it looked like all of the cool places and things to do in Honduras were all on the Carribbean side.  Unfortunalely we spent only four hours in Honduras and stopping once for gas.  Most of our time in Honduras was spent driving to and through the two borders or waiting in lines.

We arrived in Leon, Nicaragua after a nine hour drive from El Cuco, El Salvador driving through Honduras while crossing two borders and three countries in one day.  Here in Leon, Nicaragua we found one of the hottest and most humid places on Earth.  Let’s find a parking spot and a very cold drink, like one that has ice in it!