Well, how I ended up in Costa Rica is an interesting story.

Hurricane Irma, was the reason. I had planned my cruise to the Caribbean 8-9 months ago, and was super excited to go on my first real cruise!! Bummer, only to discover there’s a hurricane coming to Miami,

When we first heard about the hurricane, we weren’t very worried as Miami and the Caribbean are known for hurricanes especially in September. So it’s a risk we decided to take anyway. Closer to the date of the trip, we contacted the cruise provider to inquire if the hurricane is serious which will stop the cruise, or if we’re expected to sail anyway? (Cruises are designed in a way where they could survive storms and hurricanes (the regular ones, not cat 5!). While doing that, I thought to myself you know what? Let’s have a backup plan incase the cruise doesn’t sale.

My process of finding a backup plan, was a place that doesn’t require extra visa work (A place that allows me in with my current visas), and a new county that i’ve never been to before. Since I was going to the states, I was focusing on countries that allow me in with a US visa. Amongst my top picks were: Costa Rica and Ecuador.

We land in Miami after a 15 hour flight, turn on our cell phones, check our emails to find out that it’s serious more than ever! Irma was moved up to Cat 5, super dangerous, and our hotel reservation was cancelled, cruise was cancelled/postponed aaaand we’re caught off guard (sort of).

SEASON TO VISIT

The time of our visit was ‘NOT’ season. We easily found a same day reservation (or a day before), activities were easily booked a day a head BUT the weather was wet! Rain rain rain. I think we were lucky, cus it wasn’t raining that much but it did rain at night especially.

The best season to visit is from December until May! (Dry season)

Costa Ricca Marriott San Jose

Our first stop was a night in Costa Rica’s Capital, San Jose. San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica and is located in the heart of Costa Rica.We picked Marriot randomly from booking.com, and stayed for the night. Its a cute place, but I would not stay there if the stay was more than one night for sure.

Through viator.com, we planned a walking tour in San Jose to see some of the markets and learn about the history of San Jose.

Watch my instagram one minute video here

Costa Rica is bounded by Nicaragua to the north, by the Caribbean Sea along the 185-mile (300-km) northeastern coastline, by Panama to the southeast, and by the Pacific Ocean along the 630-mile (1,015-km) southwestern coastline. At the country’s narrowest point, the distance between the Pacific and the Caribbean is only about 75 miles (120 km).

According to the most recent Happy Planet Index, published in 2016, which aims to measure human well-being and environmental impact, Costa Rica is the most satisfying place in which to live.

Another interesting fact about it, the constitution of this peace-loving nation has forbidden a standing army since 1949 and it is now the home of the United Nations University for Peace.

Oh, and there are SLOTHS! I saw a sloth.

Arenas Del Mar

Arenas del Mar is part of Caguya Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges. The collection is known of eco lodges, resorts and sustainable hotels in amazing locations throughout Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

The location we stayed in was a walking distance to Manuel Antonio National Park (in Manuel Antonio Area). It has a beachfront and is located in a Rainforest!

Arenas del Mar is part of Caguya Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges. The collection is known of eco lodges, resorts and sustainable hotels in amazing locations throughout Costa Rica and Nicaragua.

The location we stayed in was a walking distance to Manuel Antonio National Park (in Manuel Antonio Area). It has a beachfront and is located in a Rainforest!

To reach Arenas Del Mar, we organized a transfer through the hotel which was expensive (200$ per way) and the drive was around 3 hours 30 mins.

Near the hotel is Quiepo Area, which has a nice walking strip, little streets with colorful houses and a lovely Marina with amazing restaurants don’t miss it! 15 minutes drive from the hotel.

Campesinos Area (South of Costa Rica)

The hotel had a list of activities that could be arranged through them, one of the activities we decided to explore is to checkout Los Campinsenos (Waterfalls & Hanging Bridge!). The day trip was lovely, highly recommended!

BTW – MOSQUITOS EVERYWHERE! bring plenty of repellent and some allergy pills & after bite..

(Note: Another nice area worth exploring for the nice beaches and suitable for the surfers too is Tamarindu. Tamarindu is NOT close to Manuel Antonio.)

Again, since our visit was short we didn’t have much time to explore. If you’re planning a visit to Costa Rica, I’d advise at least 6 days.